Participants of Beijing Science Week visit Huairou Science City on May 22. [Photo by Chen Xiaogen/for China Daily]

Five large-scale science installations began construction in Huairou Science City last month, marking a big step in Beijing’s push to become China’s leading high-tech innovation center.

Among the projects is one by the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to better understand interaction between the Earth and sun, said one of CAS academicians, Wei Fengsi.

The solar-terrestrial research is hoped to have applications in aerospace, telecommunications and satellite-imaging technology.

When all construction work is completed at Huairou Science City, located in Beijing’s northern Huairou district, it will form a key national science and technology infrastructure cluster, said Dai Binbin, Party secretary of the district.

It will have the facilities to conduct high-level research and development, and serve as a complex of world-class scientific institutions by 2035, Dai said.

Huairou will focus on areas such as advanced materials, space science, atmospheric and environmental science, and artificial intelligence.

“By 2035, the number of researchers and related talented people will reach 110,000, which will bring vitality to the district,” Dai said. “Science city will combine culture, science and international communications.”

The five installations under construction in Huairou are expected to come into use by 2021. Beijing is home to 19 large scientific experiment projects deemed of “national level” importance.

Huairou Science City is a subpark of Zhongguancun Science Park, which has been dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley”.

Led by the rapid growth of the Zhongguancun, science and technology innovation has become the new driver of Beijing’s high-quality development, said Lin Keqing, executive deputy mayor of Beijing.

According to the municipal authorities, finance, information technology and science support services last year contributed 67 percent of the city’s economic growth.

Beijing was home to 25,000 national high-tech companies at the end of last year, a 25 percent increase on the previous year.

Up to 80 unicorn companies, private startups valued at over $1 billion, are located in Beijing, half of all the unicorns in China.

Lin said Beijing will accelerate efforts to become the national science and technology innovation center by focusing on 10 high-end industries-including 5G, artificial intelligence and the industrial internet, which is the integration of big data with analytical tools and wireless networks.