Artificial intelligence (AI) is the topic of the hour. At the peak of the Gartner HypeCycle, which measures the maturity of technologies in phases, it enjoys media attention just like Bitcoin or the industry 4.0. AI is one of the technologies that will have a significant impact on companies and society in the coming years. Some economic players have already taken the necessary steps to remain at the forefront of AI in the future. This can be seen, among other things, in the large investments in AI in Asia, which are constantly breaking new records.
Within the framework of the feasibility study for an AI Innovation Park, CBRE is taking a closer look at various technology and science parks worldwide. It is worth taking a look at Asia. In Shanghai, the centre of the Chinese digital industry, there is situated one of the largest technology parks in the world. The Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park was founded in 1992 as one of the first parks in China. One of the first tenants in the park was the company IBM, which rented about 18,500 square meters for its research and development department. In the meantime, the park has grown massively to 79.9 square kilometers and plans are underway to expand it to a size of up to 95 square kilometers.
The park itself can be imagined as a district. According to CBRE experts in China, it is the epicentre for technology companies in China, alongside Shenzhen (focus on hardware) and Hangzhou (Alibaba headquarters). It consists of about 75 percent commercial space, which is used primarily by large companies, but also by numerous start-ups as well as scientific institutes and universities. The remaining 25 percent are green spaces or parks, shopping malls and residential buildings. In 1992, the park was still on the outskirts of Shanghai – but now, due to the rapid growth of the city, it is centrally located.
The park's ecosystem is made up of various players. These include in particular the tenant mix of large companies, start-ups, research institutions, universities, residential buildings and shopping facilities. In addition, there are state-owned real estate developers who, in addition to procuring space, also provide operational support to companies seeking to settle here. This is particularly helpful for international companies by removing bureaucratic hurdles in the settlement process. In addition to state development companies at local and national level, private real estate developers such as Morgan Stanley are also active in the park.
This information is based on expert discussions with CBRE employees in China and Singapore.