Premier Li Keqiang encouraged Chinese engineers to develop integrated innovations by going abroad to absorb advanced technologies on April 24.
“Engineers should go to developed countries to see applications of new technologies and develop insights from them,” Premier Li said during a visit to Sichuan province.
While visiting Dongfang Electric Corp, a leading manufacturer of hydropower and nuclear power in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, Premier Li inspected the company’s labs for developing fuel cells to store electricity and new forms of energy.
The company showed the Premier its technologies and products for hydropower, nuclear power, gas turbines and batteries using new forms of energy. Premier Li said it was the first time he had seen Chinese-made equipment for fuel cells and gas turbines.
However, on seeing the company’s vanadium redox battery, a rechargeable battery that uses vanadium ions to store potential chemical energy, he told the engineers of a smaller, more efficient VRB that he saw in the UK. He also shared his knowledge of German hydrogen battery stations when engineers showed their latest achievements in this field.
The Premier found that few engineers had visited counterpart companies in developed economies, and most of Dongfang’s engineers rely on online sources to gain information on leading global manufacturers and new achievements in their fields.
They told the Premier they haven’t had a chance to see how technologies have been applied more efficiently in other countries.
“China has made innovations based on absorbing foreign technologies for years, and now our engineers have to promote integrated innovation and original ideas,” Premier Li told the company’s employees. “That’s why our researchers and engineers have to go out to see and learn.
“China will continue to learn the most advanced achievements of the human race, but also has to promote original technologies,” he added.
Li Hang, an engineer at Dongfang, said a close look at technologies or processes would help scientists and engineers gain a broader idea and develop new products with the insights gained from overseas visits.