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Using Innovation as the “Key Variable” to Create “Maximum Increment” Value


Respected Secretary Hao Ping, Secretary Chen Baojian, Secretary Gu Tao,

Dear faculty members and fellow students,

Good morning! Today, we gather here to solemnly celebrate the graduation ceremony of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Class of 2023.First and foremost, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of you for successfully completing your studies.I also offer my highest respect to thefaculty, families, and friends who have accompanied you on this journey,and my sincere gratitude to all those who have cared for and supported the development of PKUSZ.

In this season of vibrant blossoms, 1341 graduates of the Class of 2023 are ready to embark on their new journeys, carrying their dreams to every corner of the globe.Simultaneously, those who missed their graduation ceremonies in the past three years have returned to theirAlma mater today to complete their "final lesson" and share this significant and unforgettable moment with their juniors.Welcome home!

My dear students, during your time at PKUSZ, you have woven unique tapestries of youth and left indelible imprints on your lives.On the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Party, you pledged a youthful oath, assuring the Party of your commitment to a stronger nation. During the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, you represented the vigor of Chinese youth to the world through your voluntary service. And over the past three years, you collectively participated in the people's war against the COVID-19 pandemic.I am immensely proud of the resilience, courage, and sense of responsibility you have demonstrated, and I am confident that you are well-prepared to embrace your future.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Peking University.Over the past 125 years, Peking University has been closely linked with the destiny of the nation, and its students have always resonated with the pulse of the times.Today, the world is experiencing changes unseen in a century, while contemporary China is in a crucial period of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The 20th National Congress of the Party has initiated a new journey toward modernization with Chinese characteristics. Accordingly, your life journey will run parallel with the historical wheel moving toward our "second centennial" goal. The realization of a prosperous, democratic, civilized, harmonious, and beautiful modern socialist country lies within your capable hands.As your mentor, I would like to share a few thoughts for mutual encouragement as we part ways.Last year, the theme I shared with the graduates was "Creating Value Increment." Creation depends on innovation, and increment comes frommomentum. Today, I want to discuss with everyone a few thoughts regarding "innovation", a "key variable" for creating value increment.

Firstly, I hope you all will embrace the belief that innovation has the power to change the world, and always maintain a passion and vitality for innovation.

Innovation is the fundamental driving force for the development and progress of human society. Since the 16th century, countries like Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States have successively emerged as hubs of innovation, leading to transformative changes in the world. Domestically, pioneers like Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu initiated the New Culture Movement in the face of national peril. Starting from Peking University, they spread Marxist,democratic, andscience-based ideas in China, igniting the sparktowardsrevolution. Milestone scientific and technological innovations such as the "Two Bombs, One Satellite", manned spaceflight, hybrid rice, terrestrial oil formation theory and application, high-performance computers, artificial synthesis of insulin, and genome research have played a crucial role as engines for China's modernization. Currently, a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is in full swing, and systems, concepts, and cultures are undergoing profound restructuring. It is fair to say that the need and potential for innovation are greater now than ever before. I hope that regardless of whether you encounter intricate vested interest structures or mundane, repetitive, and trivial daily tasks in the future, you will always uphold faith in the power of innovation. Dare to put forth new theories, pioneer new fields, chart new courses, and persist in inscribing history with innovation on the "path of goodness and upward progress".

Secondly, I hope you all will harbor an unwaveringdetermination toresolveand innovate, surmounting all hurdles and impediments on the innovation journey with courage, wisdom, and tenacity.

The path to innovation isnot often smooth, and the fruits of success are never easilyattain. In the 1960s, Professor Wang Yiku's team from the Department of Radio Science at Peking University embarked on the development of an optically pumped cesium gas bubble atomic frequency standard.Throughout the development process, they overcame a thousand of challenges such as raw material embargoes and stringent development timelines. They persistently made breakthroughs in basic theoretical principles, enhanced material preparation processes, and optimized equipment performance indicators. Ultimately, in 1965, they successfully developed China's first atomic clock, which has since played a significant role in defense, aerospace, communications, and other fields.Mr. Li Yineng, who passed away in February this year, was among the earliest scholars in China to advocate the theory of shareholding system reform.During the process of reforming the property rights system of state-owned enterprises in China, his ideas faced skepticism, and the related work encountered stagnation and setbacks, yet he remained steadfast and unwavering.In the end, the approach proposed by Mr. Li Yineng was validated as effective and has since exerted a profound and widespread influence on China's economic reform and development.In today's world, while the conditions for innovation are more comprehensive and the environment for innovation is more inclusive, it does not necessarily imply that innovation has become easier.In fact, the challenges posed by innovation are more complex and variable, the knowledge and skills required for innovation are more holistic and interdisciplinary, and the competition faced by innovation isfiercer.As the Chinese proverb goes, 'it takes ten years to sharpen a sword.' Having this in mind, I hope you will march fearlessly down the path of innovation, consistently embodying the spirit of long-term perseverance and meticulous preparation.

Thirdly, I hope you all will keep your innovation grounded and vibrant, fostering the synergy of innovation, creation, and entrepreneurship.

Universities are not isolated "ivory towers" , and Innovation should not be "put on the high shelf". Mr. Wang Xuan, hailed as the "father of the Chinese character laser typesetting system" and a "champion of technological system reform",advocated the principle "science and technology are paramount; the market is the foundation". His leadership led his team to propose the "contour plus parameters" method, a first in the world, to describe stroke characteristics, successfully enabling computers to process Chinese characters. But he didn't stop there. He actively spearheaded the transformation and application of this significant breakthrough, propelling China's newspaper, printing, and publishing industry into a new era, one where they could "bid farewell to lead and fire and embrace light and electricity".Huang Yuanhao, an alumnus present at today's ceremony, was determined that "scientific research results must be industrialized". Starting from basic research and development, he overcame challenges and eventually established a production line for independently developed and designed 3D sensing cameras, breaking the monopoly of companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Intel.Admittedly, innovation is inseparable from the real world.On one hand, the obstacles, bottlenecks, and pain points encountered in economic and social development are crucial sources of innovation; on the other hand, the fruits of innovation must ultimately be tested in the market and practice. I hope that everyone will firmly establish a frontline mindset, grounding your theories in the realities of our homeland, engaging in hands-on practice, and advancing in both knowledge and action.

Students, over the past twenty years, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (PKUSZ) has continuously evolved, adapting to new challenges and tasks. We have crafted a future development concept of "problem-oriented, north-south linkage, AI-driven, and innovative integration", striving to establish PKUSZ as a southern stronghold for Peking University's new engineering discipline. We see PKUSZ as a bridge, seamlessly connecting the academic strengths of Peking University with the industrial advantages of Shenzhen. We aim to be a pioneer and a testing ground for comprehensive reform in higher education, making new and greater contributions to Peking University's "Double First-Class" initiative, as well as to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Shenzhen's mission to become a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We also hope that the rich legacy of our century-old institution and the entrepreneurial spirit of the special economic zone, characterized by a readiness to explore, to lead, and to work diligently, will become your defining features, laying a solid foundation for your innovativejourney, and providing nourishment for your growth.

In a dialogue with the new leadership team of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, General Secretary Xi Jinping underscored, "When our youth are filled with ideals, dare to shoulder responsibilities, can withstand hardships, and are willing to strive, they become the strength of China, and the future of our party and countrybecomes full of hope." My dear student, you are all entrusted with the significant task of national rejuvenation. I hope you will ignite the flame of creativity with the spark of innovation as the“keyvariable” and creating the“maximumincrement” of value and bravely take on the responsibility in China’s modernization construction.

Remember, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School will always be your home, a place you're always welcome to return to.Once again, I wish you all a joyful graduation!

Thank you!

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