East China’s Zhejiang province will cultivate more than 100 model enterprises to boost artificial intelligence (AI) industry applications in the next three years.
The model companies refer to those which do well in incorporating AI with traditional manufacturing, according to an action plan for new-generation AI development jointly released by the provincial department of economics and information and department of science and technology.
The firms are subject to specific thresholds including increasing labor productivity and shortening the design cycles by over 20 percent each, said Li Yongwei, director of AI office under the provincial department of economics and information.
“Driven by model enterprises, AI’s role can be amplified in industrial clusters across the province,” said Li.
The plan also proposed the launch of 500 pilot smart manufacturing projects, setting up 100 intelligent plants and increasing the number of industrial robots in service to 150,000 units by 2022.
Zhejiang now has a complete AI industrial chain, from core technology and industry and smart terminal manufacturing to intelligent application. It is also home to a large number of high-tech firms in fields like machine learning, cloud computing and services, intelligent security and sensors.
To adapt to AI development and market demand, Zhejiang is exploring a model of industrial development pushed by different entities. Zhejiang Lab, jointly built by the provincial government, Zhejiang University and Alibaba Group, has launched open platforms to make breakthroughs in the AI industry.