Adhering to technology and innovation to enhance internal motivation and core competitiveness is the target pursued by Everbright Environment. Additionally, investment in innovative technology requires persistence.
In 2019, Everbright Environment made proactive efforts to optimise and adjust the framework for technological innovation, and further confirmed the important role of the technological innovation on guiding and propelling the development of the Company. Through comprehensive reviews and the integration of technological research and development ("R&D") resources, Everbright Environment implemented its "Three Institutes" plan through the establishment of a green technology innovation and research institute, a zero-waste city research institute, and an ecological and environmental planning and design institute. The Company also established related technological innovation platforms in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Qingdao and Xiongan New Area. Additionally, China Everbright Green Technology Innovation Research Institute Limited (the "Green Innovation Research Institute") was established in Hong Kong. As the headquarters of Everbright Environment's technological innovation and R&D, with a focus on Hong Kong, a deep-rooted foundation in the mainland China and a global vision, the Green Innovation Research Institute will form a "Four-in-One" structure together with Everbright Environment's technological innovation platforms in Shenzhen, Nanjing and Qingdao cities, in order to better promote the Company's strategic planning of pursuing development that is driven by technology and innovation, as well as to ensure the commercialisation of technological R&D results. In 2019, Everbright Environment also established its zero-waste city research institute in Xiongan New Area. This marks China's first research institute dedicated to the "Zero-Waste City" theme within the area, which aims to provide insights and advice for the development of a "Zero-Waste Xiongan".
The results of technological innovation further drove the development of Everbright Environment's major business in 2019. The Company's scientific and technological R&D investment exceeded RMB200 million for the first time, accomplishing outstanding scientific and technological achievements. During the year, Everbright Environment was granted 181 patents and software copyright licenses in total, including 11 invention patents, 124 utility patents, 42 software copyright licenses and 4 appearance patents. A total of 24 important essays were published in core journals and international conferences.
As of 31 December 2019, Everbright Environment had been granted 773 patents and software copyright licenses in total, including 105 invention patents, 588 utility model patents, 76 software copyright licenses and 4 appearance patents.