(Yicai Global) Nov. 9 -- Shanghai and Hangzhou are the most ideal Chinese cities for overseas researchers to work at, according to a new survey.
Global scientists are mainly attracted by resources for scientific and technological innovation and excellent "hardware" conditions in Shanghai, Chang Jing, vice director for a policy lab at the Shanghai Institute for Science of Science, said at the 2018 Pujiang Innovation Forum on Oct. 29.
At the forum, the Chinese think tank and British-headquartered academic publisher Springer Nature released the survey which targeted over 650 frontline scientists around the world.
Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Hangzhou ranked highest in China. The most populous city out of these scored best in terms of research funds.
The top reason why academics wanted to work in Shanghai is that it offers good research opportunities, as more than 60 percent of respondents said. One-quarter of the participants said that Shanghai has a leading institute in their fields. However, academics valued having a scientific research platform more than individual income.
Shanghai was also the only one out of the four other Chinese cities that scientists appreciated for its urban culture. Open and inclusive urban culture, modern and fashionable urban appearance, living standards, convenient transportation and pleasant climate were among the main reasons why academics preferred to live in the region.
Language barriers remained as the biggest obstacle for overseas scholars to settle in Shanghai. Air quality and environmental safety, as well as high costs of living, were also some of the shortcomings.
Shanghai claimed number 16 spot in the overall ranking of 22 innovative cities worldwide, while the top five were Boston, San Francisco's Bay Area, London, New York and Berlin.
Among those under 35 years old, some 40 percent of them had some will to work and live in Shanghai under the right circumstances. Some 19 percent of them said they have a strong willingness to do so. Older participants were less likely to move to the region for work.
Scientists had a positive idea about Shanghai's future among global pioneers. Some 46 percent believed that the city is among the top 10 global innovative cities and 34 percent said that Shanghai currently plays a role of a highly active participant in global innovation networks.