China aims to become an innovation powerhouse by 2020, according to a newly adoptednational plan on science and technology innovation during the 13th Five-Year Program(2016-2020).
The plan was passed Wednesday at the State Council’s executive meeting, which waschaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
“This is the first sub-plan under the 13th Five-Year Program … and it fully demonstratesthat we’ve given top priority to innovation,” Li said.
According to the plan, China will further advance its global ranking in innovationcompetence, with combined efforts to enhance original innovation, build key scienceinnovation parks and attract top-tier researchers.
The Ministry of Science and Technology spent two years drafting the plan and soughtsuggestions from related departments during the process.
Under the new plan, the country will start a series of key scientific and technologicalinnovation projects, and establish dozens of innovation zones across the country, withBeijing and Shanghai pioneering the effort.
The plan also emphasizes industrial upgrading and sustainable development, laying outsupporting policies for modern agriculture, clean and efficient energy, and mobiletelecommunications.
The government has, since 2013, repeatedly highlighted the importance of innovation,providing support and encouraging mass innovation and business start-ups.
Innovation is of vital importance as the economy is shifting from one driven by investmentand manufacturing to one more consumption-based and service-focused.
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that in the first half of 2016,consumption contributed 73.4 percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP)growth.
Business start-ups in China with innovative ideas and investment have been flourishing.Some indigenous innovations have greatly changed people’s lives, such as the mobilemessaging app WeChat, offering a user-friendly experience that can rival other globalcompetitors.
The plan also offers measures to address some particular obstacles regarding innovation,such as the obvious gap in technology transfer from research institutions to companies,among others.
“The case for overhauling science and research systems and generating greater enthusiasmamong science and technology researchers is very strong if we mean to enable truebreakthroughs in innovation,” Li said.