Chi­nese In­no­va­tion Time

China Pictorial (English) - - News -

In 2017, the lead­ing and sup­port­ing roles of in­no­va­tion in China’s eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment came into full force. For ex­am­ple, China’s first self-de­vel­oped and con­structed air­craft car­rier was trans­ferred from dry dock into the wa­ter. The C919, China’s home­grown large pas­sen­ger plane, took off over Shang­hai. And a team of Chi­nese sci­en­tists built the world’s first quan­tum com­put­ing ma­chine that far tran­scends the abil­i­ties of clas­si­cal and con­ven­tional com­put­ers. All these achieve­ments tes­tify to China’s grow­ing sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal strength and in­no­va­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In 2018, China’s in­no­va­tion-driven de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to reach new heights, and break­throughs are ex­pected in myr­iad realms, in­clud­ing the in­no­va­tion en­vi­ron­ment, modes and sub­jects.

For starters, in terms of the in­no­va­tion en­vi­ron­ment, China is presently evolv­ing from a na­tional in­no­va­tion sys­tem to so­cial in­no­va­tion ecosys­tem. The con­cept of an in­no­va­tion ecosys­tem is in­tended to op­ti­mally meet the re­quire­ments for fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tion. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity be­lieves that such a con­cept should be a ba­sic tenet of a coun­try’s in­no­va­tion sys­tem.

Sec­ond, in terms of in­no­va­tion modes, China is ex­pand­ing from in­dus­try-univer­sity-re­search co­op­er­a­tion to col­lab­o­ra­tive in­no­va­tion in a broader sense. Presently, China’s in­dus­try-univer­sity-re­search in­no­va­tion co­op­er­a­tion is car­ried out pri­mar­ily at the mi­cro level. Greater in­no­va­tion re­sources in some key ar­eas re­main in the hands of the gov­ern­ment. Thus, co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion among var­i­ous governmental agen­cies and in­sti­tu­tions are es­pe­cially im­por­tant. In 2018, China will take greater ef­forts to es­tab­lish and im­prove its in­no­va­tion co­or­di­na­tion mech­a­nism.

Third, in­no­va­tion sub­jects have changed dra­mat­i­cally in China over the past few years, ex­pand­ing from ex­clu­sive in­no­va­tion con­ducted by sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tu­tions to en­ter­prise-led in­no­va­tion and then to mass en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion. This trend will con­tinue in 2018.

Fourth, in terms of in­no­va­tion types, China will con­tinue to fo­cus on rad­i­cal and dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion rather than stan­dard in­no­va­tion in 2018. Rad­i­cal and dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion can­not be re­al­ized by a sin­gle agency, in­sti­tu­tion or small group of peo­ple—it re­quires na­tion­wide ef­forts and governmental sup­port.

Fifth, China will at­tach greater im­por­tance to the cul­ti­va­tion and train­ing of in­no­va­tive pro­fes­sion­als in 2018. As early as 2016, China is­sued a guide­line on deep­en­ing re­form of pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment mech­a­nisms. It pointed out that the coun­try needed to im­prove its meth­ods of sup­port­ing and cul­ti­vat­ing strate­gic sci­en­tists and in­no­va­tive re­search pro­fes­sion­als. A strate­gic sci­en­tist is de­fined by whether his or her work could lead a spe­cific field and whether he or she can iden­tify the next ma­jor break­throughs for the field. If a team has such a sci­en­tist or a lead­ing sci-tech pro­fes­sional, it has a fair chance to reach the world’s top tier. Con­versely, a good team can ef­fec­tively sup­port and help its lead­ing sci­en­tists to bet­ter or­ga­nize ma­jor projects and com­plete ma­jor re­search pro­grams.

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