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SCIO briefing on making China a country of innovators and supporting the fostering of a new development paradigm

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The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on Feb. 26 to brief the media on issues around making China a country of innovators and supporting the fostering of a new development paradigm.

China.org.cnUpdated: March 3, 2021

Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

The proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 adopted at the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee said for the first time that enterprises will be supported to take the lead in establishing innovation consortiums and undertake major national sci-tech projects. What measures will the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) take next to improve enterprises' innovation capacity? Thank you.

Wang Zhigang:

I will take your question. What you've asked is very important. Enterprises are both market entities and a principal force in sci-tech innovation. They need to innovate to grow, and their innovation has great significance to the development of industries and society. Therefore, it is necessary to give full play to the role of enterprises as a principal force in innovation, and this is also a key aspect of sci-tech innovation. In addition, from the perspective of building a new development paradigm, we need to prioritize sci-tech innovation and enterprises need to take their fair share of responsibilities in this regard. In recent years, MOST has been working with relevant government bodies to carry out the national technology innovation project, and guide and encourage the flow of innovation resources to enterprises. Meanwhile, we have strengthened policy support and guidance for enterprises, and given full play to the market's decisive role in allocating resources. We have been working proactively to create a favorable environment with fair opportunities, rights, and rules so as to stimulate and improve the innovation capacity of enterprises via fair competition. This applies to Chinese and foreign enterprises under all types of ownership.

First, we focused on the implementation of policies. In 2020, more than 350 billion yuan in tax was cut or exempted from enterprises' additional tax-deductible R&D costs, up approximately 25% year-on-year. Second, we stepped up efforts to develop innovative enterprises. The number of new and high-tech enterprises and sci-tech SMEs have reached about 275,000 and 223,000, respectively. A number of innovative enterprises with international competitiveness are growing at an accelerated pace. Third, we worked to improve services concerning innovation. We promoted the opening and sharing of sci-tech resources, and provided innovative enterprises with services such as technology transfer, investment and financing, and those concerning intellectual properties. In 2020, the number of China's new and high-tech enterprises grew by 24% year-on-year. Their revenue, output value, and profit totaled 51.3 trillion yuan, 37.8 trillion yuan, and 3.8 trillion yuan, up 13.8%, 16.6%, and 20.1%, respectively. New and high-tech enterprises have greatly contributed to China's efforts to ensure stability on six fronts and maintain security in six areas, playing an important role in supporting the high-quality development of China's economy. Last year, when the epidemic situation was rather severe, new and high-tech enterprises were among the first to resume production and deliver positive growth and their performance ranked among the highest compared with all types of business. In the meantime, it should be clear that the principal position of China's enterprises in innovation has yet to be prioritized, and their capacity for technological innovation needs to be further developed. In addition, the innovation mechanism that integrates the efforts of enterprises, universities, and research institutes needs to be further strengthened to achieve better results.

Looking forward, MOST will earnestly implement the guiding principles of the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee and launch a program to improve enterprises' technological innovation capacities. MOST will look to enterprises as the main player in promoting technological innovation collaboration among universities, scientific research institutes and enterprises, in a bid to promote enterprise-led sci-tech innovation. First, MOST will step up efforts to develop innovative enterprises, foster a number of leading innovative enterprises in key fields, and give full play to big enterprises' role in leading and supporting sci-tech MSMEs to become sources for innovation. Second, MOST will pool premium resources for enterprises to help them improve technological innovation capacity. We will move faster to build national sci-tech innovation centers. Centering on enterprises, MOST will establish platforms for scientific research and generic technologies in a bid to provide innovation resources such as technology, funds, and talents to enterprises. In particular, we will work to attract high-level talents for enterprises. Third, MOST will promote profound integration between enterprises, universities, and research institutes via national projects. MOST will also support enterprises to take the lead in establishing systematic and task-oriented innovation consortiums. Leading enterprises are encouraged to head up or participate in national sci-tech projects. MOST will also provide guidance for all types of enterprises to participate, summarize, and put forward R&D projects to make breakthroughs in core technologies in key areas, and further build China's strategic sci-tech strength. Fourth, MOST will strengthen targeted policy support. This means strengthening the implementation efforts of existing policies, making sure that enterprises are able to receive all possible benefits available. Some existing policies require improvement, while others must be better implemented. There is still much work to be done in this regard. Additionally, MOST will put forward a number of new policies to foster new impetus and stimulate vitality for enterprises' innovation efforts. This includes encouraging enterprises to carry out basic research and improve innovation capacity, supporting the R&D and innovation efforts of SMEs, providing incentive policies for sci-tech personnel, and policies regarding intellectual properties, etc. Thank you.

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