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Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Scientific and Technological System and Speeding up the Building of a National Innovation System

Issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council

 

BEIJING, September 23 (Xinhuanet): The CPC Central Committee and the State Council recently issued the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Scientific and Technological System and Speeding up the Building of a National Innovation System. The full text of the document is as follows:

  

With a view to fully implementing The National Guideline for Medium- and Long-term Plans for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020), bringing into full play the role of science and technology in underpinning economic and social development, and accelerating the establishment of China as an innovative nation, the following opinions have been put forward with regard to deepening the reform of the scientific and technological system and speeding up the building of a national innovation system.

 

I. Fully recognizing the importance and urgency of deepening the reform of the scientific and technological system and accelerating the building of a national innovation system

 

Science and technology are primary productive forces, serving as an important impetus for economic and social development. The Party and the State have maintained a long-term commitment to promoting scientific and technological progress in China. Over more than three decades of reform and opening up, China has scored landmark achievements in its efforts to promote the development of science and technology. This has particularly been the case since the 16th National Congress of the CPC, where the CPC Central Committee made the strategic decision to strengthen China's capacity for innovation and establish China as an innovative country. Since then, the National Guideline for Medium- and Long-term Plans for Science and Technology Development has been formulated and implemented; government spending on science and technology has increased rapidly; policies and laws designed to spur innovation have been improved; efforts to put a national innovation system in place have been promoted; a series of major scientific and technological innovations have been made; and a high-caliber specialist workforce has taken shape. These have led to a significant enhancement in China's overall capacity and competitiveness in science and technology, thereby allowing science and technology to play an ever-important supporting role in promoting China¡¯s social and economic development and safeguarding national security.

 

China is currently at a critical stage of its endeavors to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This is also a period in which dramatic efforts are being made to deepen reform and opening up and accelerate the transformation of the country¡¯s mode of economic development. While the profound impact of the deep-rooted international financial crisis continues to be felt, the role of science and technology in economic and social development has never been so important. As both competition and cooperation in science and technology intensify at the international level, the next technological revolution fast approaches, and global industrial transformation picks up pace, China faces daunting challenges, as well as strategic opportunities, in its development of science and technology. In this context, China¡¯s capacity for innovation remains inadequate, and the country¡¯s systems and mechanisms for science and technology are unable to meet the demands of economic and social development and international competition. This is prominently manifested in the following aspects: 1) the status of enterprises as the major driving force of technological innovation has not been truly established; collaboration among enterprises, universities, and research institutes remains weak; technology and the economy are yet to be truly integrated; the number of indigenously-generated advances in science and technology is too low; and there is a lack of self-sufficiency in regard to key technologies; 2) the allocation of scientific and technological resources is dominated by administrative considerations, with limited resources often spread across repetitive and unrelated projects and utilized inefficiently; scientific and technological projects and their funds are managed irrationally, leading to low rates in the commercialization of research results; 3) evaluation systems for advances in science and technology are as yet unable to effectively channel research efforts into areas where they are most needed; efforts to establish a research culture that values integrity and innovation are lagging; and researchers are not fully motivated to bring their initiative and creativity into full play. These problems are all major constraints on technological innovation and obstacles hindering the enhancement of China¡¯s overall national strength and international competitiveness. Therefore, in order to substantially improve China¡¯s capacity for innovation, unleash the creative potential of society as a whole, and truly achieve innovation-driven development, it has become imperative that we further deepen the reform of the country¡¯s scientific and technological system and accelerate the establishment of a nationwide innovation system.

 

II. The guiding thoughts, major principles, and main goals in the effort to deepen the reform of the scientific and technological system and accelerate the establishment of a national innovation system

 

1. Guiding thoughts.To hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, vigorously implement the strategies of rejuvenating the country through science and education and strengthening the nation with skilled personnel, adhere to the guideline of making innovations, leapfrogging in priority fields, enabling development and leading the future, comprehensively implement the National Guideline for Medium- and Long-term Plans for Science and Technology Development , further deepen the reform of the scientific and technological system with the improvement of innovation capacity as the core and the promotion of integration between science and technology and economic and social development as the key, address prominent issues constraining scientific and technological development, give full play to the supporting and guiding role of science and technology in the transformation of the mode of economic development and economic restructuring, accelerate the establishment of a national innovation system with Chinese characteristics, and lay down solid foundations for establishing China as an innovative country and a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the year 2020, and a world power in science and technology by the 100th anniversary of the People¡¯s Republic of China.

 

2. Major principles.The first is drawing on innovation to drive and serve development. Priority will be given to the role of science and technology in supporting economic and social development by vigorously enhancing our capacity for innovation, fully utilizing the underpinning role of science and technology, and realizing innovation-driven development sooner. The second is establishing enterprises as the primary driving force behind innovation and giving emphasis to coordination during the process of innovation. Efforts will be made to emphasize the role of enterprises as the primary driving force behind innovation, strengthen integration between enterprises, universities, and research institutes, promote access to and sharing of resources, and encourage coordination and cooperation among all parties involved, so as to elevate the overall efficiency of the national innovation system. The third is adopting a market-oriented approach supported by government-backing. Efforts will be coordinated to bring into play the government¡¯s role in formulating strategic plans, polices, laws, regulations and standards, as well as in exercising supervision and providing guidance, and the market¡¯s basic role in resource allocation, in order to create an enabling environment for innovation. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the state-sponsored system in implementing major national scientific and technological development projects. The fourth is ensuring coordination between all parties involved and compliance with objective laws. Coordinated efforts will be made to implement national long- and medium-term plans for scientific and technological development, education, and human resources. Full scope will be given to the initiative of the central government and local governments, the principal role of local governments in promoting regional innovation will be strengthened, and the reform of the scientific and technological system will be advanced in an all-round and orderly manner in accordance with the inherent requirements of economic, social, and technological development. The fifth is continuing to promote reform, opening up, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Efforts will be made to restructure and improve the national scientific and technological system, fully utilize scientific and technological resources both domestically and internationally, and make technological development a more scientific and international process.

 

3.Main goals:By 2020, we will aim to have met the following targets: to essentially put in place a national innovation system with Chinese characteristics that is geared to the socialist market economy and that conforms to the laws of scientific and technological development; to achieve a remarkable improvement in our capacity to make original innovations and a substantial enchantment in our capacity to integrate, assimilate, and further refine innovations; to achieve major original breakthroughs in key areas of scientific research and make leapfrog advances in high-technologies of strategic importance; to assume a world-leading position in certain areas of research; to create a further optimized environment for innovation and enjoy greatly increased efficiency brought about by innovation; to produce a great number of creative personnel and raise the scientific proficiency of the population; and to establish China as an innovative country where science and technology play a significantly greater role in supporting and guiding economic and social development.

 

Main goals during the period of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan: The first is to establish enterprises as the primary driving force behind technological innovation. Corporate investment in research and development will increase significantly, and there will be a general increase in the capacity for innovation among enterprises. Total investment in R&D will rise to 2.2% of the GDP. The R&D investment of large and medium-sized industrial enterprises will reach an average of 1.5% of the revenue that they receive from their main operations. Industry leaders will be on par with their international peers in terms of R&D investment as a percentage of revenue from main operations, and will have a greater number of proprietary core technologies. Full scope will be given to the backbone role of large-scale enterprises in driving technological innovation. Moreover, efforts will be intensified to foster a number of innovative enterprises with world-leading comprehensive strength and clusters of innovative small and medium-sized technological enterprises. The second is to advance the reform of the scientific and technological research systems of research institutes and institutions of higher learning, establish management systems and operating mechanisms suitable for different types of research activities, improve innovation and service capabilities, and achieve major breakthroughs in meeting the needs of economic and social development as well as in basic research and cutting-edge R&D. Efforts will be made to accelerate the development of a number of first-rate research institutes that boast world-class capacities for innovation and achievements in their respective fields, and a group of leading research-oriented universities that boast world-class standards in a series of disciplines. The third is to improve the national innovation system, promote the coordinated development of technological innovation, knowledge innovation, defense technology innovation, regional innovation, and the technological intermediary service system, strengthen the coordination and collaboration among parties concerned for enhanced synergy, and increase the rate of contribution of scientific and technological progress to economic development to approximately 55%. The fourth is to reform the scientific and technological management system, and to promote reforms regarding project and fund management, the evaluation of scientific and technological achievements, and incentive mechanisms, in order to create a supportive environment for innovation, break barriers among industries and government departments, and achieve the sound allocation and efficient utilization of innovation resources. The fifth is to enhance human resources development mechanisms, stimulate the initiative and creativity of researchers, and accelerate the building of a high-caliber innovative workforce, with the number of researchers reaching 43 out of every 10,000 employees. Efforts will also be made to improve the scientific proficiency of citizens, with the proportion of citizens possessing basic scientific proficiency exceeding 5%. The sixth is to optimize the innovation environment, strengthen the development of scientific ethics and a culture of innovation, improve policies and measures that guarantee and drive innovation, and open up and expand scientific and technological cooperation.

 

III. Strengthening the status of enterprises as the primary driving force for technological innovation and establishing closer ties between technology and the economy

 

4. Establishing a system whereby enterprises play a leading role in promoting technological R&D and innovation in industry.Efforts will be made to speed up the establishment of a market-oriented system for technological innovation in which enterprises play the leading role and the efforts of enterprises, universities, and research institutes are combined. Full scope will be given to the principal role of enterprises in technological innovation decision-making, R&D investment, R&D program development, and the commercialization of results. Enterprises will be encouraged to take part in the decision-making for national scientific and technological projects, and eligible enterprises will be allowed to undertake major national industry-specific scientific and technological programs. Enterprises will also be given guidance and support in the development of their R&D capacities, and qualified industry-leading enterprises will be given priority in the planning of key research centers and laboratories in the engineering and technology category that are highlighted in the period of the Twelfth Five-year Plan. Research institutes and institutions of higher learning will provide more support and services for enterprises' technological innovation and promote the flow of the various elements of innovation, such as technologies and talent, toward enterprises. Support will be given to industry leaders, research institutes, and institutions of higher learning in establishing R&D platforms and strategic alliances for industrial technological innovation, collaborating in key technology R&D projects and basic research, jointly training personnel, and sharing technological results. Researchers in research institutes and institutions of higher learning will also be encouraged to establish technological enterprises to promote the commercialization of research results.

 

Relevant policies will be further strengthened and improved to guide enterprises and encourage them to play a leading role in technological innovation. The policy of pre-tax deductions for the R&D expenses incurred by enterprises will be implemented and applied to R&D activities in emerging industries of strategic importance, traditional industries undergoing technological upgrading, and modern service industries. Methods for the accounting and verification of R&D expenses in enterprises will be improved by reasonably expanding the scope of pre-tax deductions and increasing the accelerated depreciation of R&D facilities for enterprises, thereby stimulating them to step up R&D investment. The criteria for the identification of high-tech enterprises will be optimized, and the relevant incentive policies will be fully implemented. A sound operating performance evaluation system concerning technological innovation by state-owned enterprises will be developed, with strengthened category-based evaluation of R&D input and output in different industries. The spending in innovation that comes from the budget allocated for the management of state-owned capital will be increased to encourage central government enterprises to carry out technological innovation and the translation of research results in accordance with the country¡¯s major R&D concerns. A fair market environment encouraging competition will be created, offering great support to private enterprises in their efforts to innovate. Fiscal and financial support for innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises will be stepped up, and the relevant tax incentives will be fully implemented. Innovation funds for SMEs will be increased and various other measures including discount loans and R&D funding will be introduced to support SMEs in their efforts to innovate. A venture investment mechanism that combines government expenditure and non-government capital will be established to support technological startups, and policies concerning guidance funds for investment in newly established technological SMEs and venture investment in emerging industries will be implemented, with special measures to be introduced to encourage venture capital to invest in technological SMEs. A public service platform supporting technological innovation by SMEs and technological transfer to SMEs will be improved to offer more comprehensive functions and services. Enterprise employees will also be encouraged to carry out innovation activities.

 

5. Enhancing the capacity of research institutes and institutions of higher learning to support economic and social development.Efforts will be accelerated to reform and renew the systems and mechanism for scientific research in research institutes and institutions of higher learning. As part of reforms, research institutes will be required to clarify their positioning, optimize their structure, control their size, and improve their capabilities, embarking on a quality-based development path. Specifically, non-profit research institutes are required to adhere to their public service orientation by exploring the separation of administration from operation and establishing a technological innovation support mechanism that is geared to the characteristics of such fields as agriculture, public health, meteorology, the ocean industry, environmental protection, water conservancy, land and resources, and public security. Research institutes engaging in basic research should to focus on cutting-edge issues and the country¡¯s long-term strategic needs by putting in place a mechanism that is capable of stimulating innovation and enhancing the capacity for original innovation. For research institutes and university disciplines that engage in basic research, cutting-edge research, and public welfare research, efforts will be made to maintain a sustainable and stable support mechanism that is primarily supported by government input and supplemented by social resources. Research institutes committed to technological development should continue with their transformation into corporate entities while introducing the best practices of modern enterprises and establishing a market-oriented technological innovation mechanism.

 

Full play will be given to the backbone and leading role of state-owned research institutes. A modern research institute system will be developed, articles of association will be formulated, and the governance structure of research institutes will be optimized. Efforts will be made to further ensure the autonomy of research institutes as legal persons and explore a council system with representation from the major stakeholders. An employment system that combines fixed posts and non-fixed posts will be implemented and supported by HR mechanisms that are open, pro-competition, and encourage free flow of personnel. A performance-based salary system will be implemented. Regular evaluation will be imposed on research institutes and the results of evaluation will serve as the basis for adjustment and determination of the direction and degree of support. Measures will be formulated to guide and promote the development of private research institutes and step up support for them in their efforts to take up projects under national scientific and technological programs and recruit talent. Tax incentives and other preferential policies will be made available to eligible private research institutes.

 

Full scope will be given to the role of institutions of higher learning as a fundamental driving force for the development of science and technology. Measures will be taken to ensure and expand the autonomy of such institutions. The positioning of different types of colleges and universities will be clarified, and their distinctive features highlighted, in light of the needs of economic and social development and their strengths in terms of academic disciplines, and a scientific and technological evaluation and service system that is geared to meeting needs and enhancing innovation capabilities will be put in place. Institutions of higher learning will perform dynamic adjustments to the layout of their disciplines and step up collaboration with industries in training students in a way that promotes both interdisciplinary development and overall enhancements in the quality of education. Full use will be made of the advantages of institutions of higher learning in academic disciplines and talent to make original breakthroughs in basic research and cutting-edge technologies. A mechanism for the commercialization of technological achievements that involves close ties to industry and regional economies will be established to encourage university teachers to commercialize and promote their research results. Efforts that focus on disciplinary building and collaborative innovation will be made to improve the innovation capabilities of institutions of higher learning. Education reform will be advanced to strengthen the ties between science and technology and education, promote the interaction between scientific research and teaching and the integration of scientific research and talent training, develop a pool of interdisciplinary, cross-field scientific research workers and teaching staff, enhance students¡¯ innovation spirit and entrepreneurial capabilities, and improve the employment rate of university graduates.

 

6. Improving the mechanism for science and technology to support emerging industries with strategic importance and the upgrading of traditional industries.A mechanism through which industrial development is effectively supported by science and technology will be established, where innovation links are deployed around the needs of emerging industries of strategic importance in order to break technological bottlenecks, grasp core and key technologies, speed up the development of such industries as energy-conservation and environmental protection, next-generation information technology, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and new-energy vehicles, and strengthen market competitiveness, with the goal that the added value of emerging industries of strategic importance will account for approximately 8% of China¡¯s GDP by 2015 and approximately 15% by 2020. The in-depth integration of industrialization and IT application will be promoted with an emphasis on digitalization, interconnection, and smart applications. Full scope will be given to the fundamental role played by market mechanisms in determining the direction of industrial development and the technological roadmap, to be supplemented by government guidance based on industrial plans, technical standards, market regulations, and industry-specific technological policies. Efforts will be stepped up to support enterprise-led industrial chains in emerging industries and to encourage backbone enterprises in innovation to integrate their innovation resources. Efforts will be made to strengthen technological integration, process innovation, and business model innovation, and to expand in domestic and overseas markets. Industrial deployments will be optimized to avoid repetitive investments and guide along the healthy development of emerging industries of strategic importance. In fields where national security is at stake or major strategic needs are involved, further efforts will be made to identify priorities as well the key technological constraints in the development of industries and, by giving full scope to the guiding and leading role of key national projects, major scientific and technological programs, scientific and technological plans, industrialization programs and pilot projects, to achieve major breakthroughs in core technologies in such fields as electronic information, energy, environmental protection, biotechnology and medicine, and advanced manufacturing, thus speeding up industrial development. Efforts will also be intensified to support industry-scale test runs in order to facilitate the organic integration of R&D and industrialization.

 

Efforts will be made to strengthen technological innovation, advance technological restructuring and promote the upgrading of traditional industries. A sound system for applying and promoting new technologies, new processes and new products with superiority in quality, energy conservation, consumption reduction, environmental protection, and production safety will be put in place to improve the capabilities of traditional industries for innovation and development. Resources will be integrated to build R&D bases of generic technologies in light of the characteristics of industries and technological fields and to develop technological innovation platforms in major industrial fields. A sound mechanism for knowledge transfer and technology dissemination will be put in place to accelerate the transformation and application of scientific and technological advances.

 

7. Improving the mechanism for science and technology to promote agricultural development, improve public wellbeing, and strengthen innovation in social management.Great importance will be attached to the development of agricultural technologies and to the role of the government as a principal investor in agricultural technologies, and increased investment will be made in this field. Barriers among government departments, geographical regions and academic disciplines will be broken to promote the close integration of agriculture, technology and education, combine the efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutes, and effectively integrate agriculture-related technological resources. In light of industrial needs, and in such priority areas as food security, the development of the seed industry, the supply of major farm products, biological security and agricultural ecological protection, a technological system that meets the criteria of high yield, top quality, high efficiency, ecological friendliness and safe farming will be established. Vigorous efforts will be made to promote entrepreneurship in agricultural technologies and encourage the establishment of agricultural technological enterprises and technological cooperation organizations. Efforts will be intensified to strengthen public welfare-based services for agricultural technology promotion at the grassroots level, encourage research institutes and institutions of higher learning to carry out agricultural technological service programs, foster and support new types of organizations offering society-based agricultural services, and put in place a sound agricultural technological service system that organically integrates public services with society-based services.

 

Emphasis will be placed on the development of technologies related to public wellbeing, to accelerate technological innovation in such fields as public health, food and drug safety, disaster prevention and mitigation, ecological environment and climate change, and meet the technological needs for guaranteeing and improving public wellbeing. Investment will be stepped up, and relevant mechanisms improved, to boost the R&D, application and promotion of technologies related to public wellbeing. The fostering of market players will be accelerated, supporting policies will be improved, the development of technological industries related to public wellbeing will be strengthened, and the public will be able to benefit from progress made through technological innovation. Technological innovation in cultural sectors will also be strengthened to advance the integration of technology and culture and improve the capacity of technology to underpin the development of cultural programs and the cultural industry.

 

Efforts will be made to speed up the building of a technological supporting system in the field of social management. Full use will be made of information technologies and other advanced means to establish a networked public service platform that boasts extensive coverage. Particular efforts will be made to promote the sharing of information and interconnection among relevant government departments. An Internet information security system based on proprietary intellectual property rights will be developed to promote the sound development of the country's information network.

 

IV. Strengthening coordinated deployment and collaborative innovation and improving the overall performance of the innovation system

 

8. Promoting the coordinated development of the innovation system.Coordination in the development of systems for technological innovation, knowledge innovation, national defense technology innovation, regional innovation, scientific and technological intermediary services will be carried out to establish a mechanism ensuring the close integration and coordinated development of basic research, applied research, and the commercialization and industrialization of results. All parties involved in innovation will be provided with support and encouragement in  exploring various models of collaborative innovation in light of their own unique circumstances and advantages. The layout of academic disciplines will be optimized to promote the convergence and balanced development of disciplines. Mission-oriented research and curiosity-driven scientific research will be coordinated, and arrangements for strategically important research, important basic research, and interdisciplinary research with a bearing on long-term national development will be made well in advance. Efforts will be made to strengthen the construction of technological innovation bases, bring into full play the role of backbone enterprises and restructured research institutes, accelerate progress in the research of critical industrial technologies, and promote the engineering application and industrialization of technological achievements. Efforts will also be made to improve the mechanism for integrating technologies for military use and those for civilian use, to construct innovation bases and transfer platforms for dual-use technologies, and to expand the scope of research of national defense technologies that can be undertaken by private research institutes and technological enterprises. Intermediary service providers in science and technology will be fostered, supported and guided so that they can become interconnected professional service providers with society-oriented functions and standardized operations. Professional R&D design service providers will be strengthened, and the IPR service market will be fostered to promote the marketization of testing and verification services, improve the market system for technology transactions, and accelerate the development of the scientific and technological service industry. Full scope will be given to the role of scientific and technological organizations in promoting society-wide innovation activities. A national innovation inspection system will be established to strengthen the monitoring and assessment of efforts to develop the national innovation system.

 

9. Improving the mechanism for regional innovation.Full scope will be given to the key role of local governments in regional innovation in order to accelerate the establishment of innovation systems that boast regional characteristics. Scientific planning and sound deployment will be made in light of the characteristics and advantages of various regions in economic and social development to improve incentive policies, step up investment and optimize the regional allocation of innovation resources. Efforts will be made to develop regional public services for technological innovation, further improve the operation and service mechanisms of business incubators and university science parks that play host to innovation and startups, and strengthen entrepreneurship guidance services. Regional cooperation in science and technology will be strengthened to promote the concentration of factors of innovation into industries bearing regional characteristics and foster a number of industrial clusters boasting international competitiveness. Coordination and category-based instruction will be strengthened to improve relevant policies, encourage innovation resources-intensive regions to take the lead in achieving innovation-driven development, and enable regions with distinctive innovation resources to accelerate the building of their innovation capacity. Central government spending, local government spending and private investment will be combined to support the development of regional public platforms for scientific and technological services. Experience and relevant policies concerning national innovation demonstration zones such as Zhongguancun Science Park will be summarized and gradually promoted. Category-based instructions will be given to national innovation demonstration zones, national high-tech industrial development zones, and national high-tech industrial bases to further improve these innovation centers, strengthen their innovation capacity building, and bring into full play their role in attracting innovation resources and benefiting and guiding the development of the surrounding areas.

 

10. Strengthening access to and sharing of scientific and technological resources.A sound mechanism for the sharing of the research facilities of research institutes, universities and enterprises will be put in place. Efforts will be made to integrate all types of scientific and technological resources, advance the building of scientific and technological infrastructure such as scientific instruments and apparatus, academic literature and scientific data, accelerate the development and improvement of a resource-sharing service management mode and supporting methods, and formulate the corresponding evaluation criteria and methods of supervision, reward and punishment. A joint assessment mechanism for the purchase of scientific apparatus and equipment with government funds will be developed to avoid repeated purchases and waste. Efforts will be accelerated to establish a unified database and reporting system for government-funded R&D projects and infrastructure, and the relevant information will be made available to the public in accordance with the law.

 

V. Reforming the scientific and technological management system and promoting the soundness of management and efficient utilization of resources

 

11. Strengthening overall scientific and technological coordination.The macro decision-making system for science and technology will be improved; a sound mechanism for important decision-making regarding science and technology will be put in place; the mechanism of communication and coordination between the central government and local governments, among science and technology-related government departments, and between science and technology departments and other departments will be improved; and the focuses of various national science and technology projects, programs and funds will be further clarified in order to avoid repetition. Efforts will be made to accelerate the transformation of government functions, to strengthen its role in the formulation of plans, policies, laws, regulations and standards, and in supervision and guidance, and to improve its capacity in providing scientific and technological services, so as to give full play to the roles of all kinds of innovators. Public opinions should be solicited so as to make informed decisions on major issues concerning science and technology, and this mechanism should be incorporated into the decision-making process for major national affairs. Efforts will be made to explore the state-sponsored system of scientific and technological development under the socialist market economy, and to improve the organization of strategic scientific and technological programs. Full scope will be given to the advantage of our socialist system in mobilizing resources to accomplish major undertakings, and to the fundamental role of the market in resource allocation, so as to guarantee the smooth implementation of major national scientific and technological programs.

 

12. Promoting the reform of the scientific and technological project management system.A sound system will be put in place to ensure independent decision-making, implementation and evaluation for scientific and technological projects. Efforts will be made to improve the organization and management procedures for scientific and technological projects, determine major applied scientific and technological programs based on the needs of economic and social development, expand the channels for collecting proposals, and establish a sound mechanism for project launch and reserve. A fair competition and information disclosure system concerning scientific and technological projects will be established. Efforts will be made to explore the submission of applications online and the video-based evaluation of scientific and technological projects in order to ensure the open, impartial, and fair management of scientific and technological projects. The legal person responsibility system regarding the management of national scientific and technological projects will be improved by strengthening implementation supervision, process management and acceptance inspection, and by putting in place a sound third-party evaluation system for scientific and technological projects and infrastructure construction projects for scientific and technological research. The project review and evaluation mechanism will be improved to avoid excessively frequent evaluations and ensure that researchers have sufficient time to devote to research activities. Relevant administrative systems will also be improved to avoid the excessive concentration of scientific and technological projects among a small number of researchers.

 

13. Improving the scientific and technological fund management system.Efforts will be made to develop a funding mechanism whereby a balance is maintained between competitive funds and guaranteed support funds, and to optimize the funding mix for basic research, applied research, experimental development, and commercialization. The compensation mechanism for indirect costs incurred by scientific and technological research projects will be improved. A project fund management and audit system that conforms to the laws of research projects will be established and improved, wherein institutions responsible for project execution will be given greater power in regard to budget adjustment and greater autonomy in fund utilization. Efforts will be made to establish a sound research fund supervision and management mechanism, improve the disclosure system concerning relevant department budgets and research fund utilization, implement a more stringent finance system for scientific and technological projects through the use of such methods as centralized treasury payment and government credit cards, and strengthen supervision over the utilization of research funds and punishment of violations in accordance with the law. Comprehensive performance evaluation on the use of funds of various scientific and technological programs, special tasks, funds and projects will be strengthened, and the research project management accountability system will be improved to enforce accountability and improve the efficiency of fund utilization.

 

14. Deepening the reform of the scientific and technological evaluation and incentive system.Emphasis will be placed on the quality of scientific and technological innovation and its actual contribution in light of the characteristics of different types of technologies and scientific and technological activities by formulating clear evaluation criteria and methods that combine incentive and punishment. For basic research, peer review will be the principal method of evaluation, wherein review by international peers will be strengthened, with the emphasis being placed on the scientific value of research results; for applied research, evaluation by third parties such as users and experts will be introduced, with the emphasis being placed on the fulfillment of targets, commercialization, and the degree of breakthrough and significance of the results; for commercialization, market and user evaluation will be adopted, with the emphasis being placed on the actual contribution of the results to industrial development. An expert accountability and information disclosure system will be established. The outcome-oriented, standardized evaluation of scientific and technological results will be piloted, and the supervision and evaluation system for national major scientific and technological programs will be improved. Ex-post evaluation on the decision-making, implementation and commercialization of scientific and technological projects will be strengthened. Full scope will be given to the role of scientific and technological societies and associations in scientific and technological assessment.

 

The national scientific and technological award system will be restructured into a system that features open nomination, panel review, verification through practice, and a high level of credibility. Measures will be introduced to improve the quality and reduce the quantity of awards and moderately extend the period of application required for research results. Awards will focus on outstanding scientists with major contributions and strengthen incentives for young scientists. Sound evaluation criteria and methods will be formulated in light of the characteristics of different types of awards and the transparency of evaluation procedures will be strengthened. A peer nomination system for scientific and technological awards will be explored. Privately sponsored scientific and technological awards will be supported and regulated.

 

VI. Improving the talent development system and stimulating the enthusiasm and creativity of scientists

 

15. Coordinating the development of all types of creative talent and putting in place a sound talent incentive mechanism.Major projects will be launched to foster talented personnel and world-class scientists, technology leaders, outstanding engineers and high-caliber innovation teams. The academician system will be reformed and improved. Great efforts will be made to introduce outstanding overseas talent, especially first-rate talent, and support overseas returnees in their effort to start businesses. The fostering of high-end frontline technicians will be strengthened. Support will be given to encourage innovators to work in western regions, especially in remote and border areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, and to encourage outstanding young researchers below the age of 35 to lead research projects. Innovation and entrepreneurship by college graduates will be encouraged. Talented people who stand out through their innovations will be encouraged to start up their own businesses. Emphasis will be placed on the fostering of engineers, skilled personnel in short supply, and rural technicians with practical skills.

 

Performance appraisal will be based on scientific and technological professionals' research capacity and innovation results, shifting away from the number of published papers, projects, the amount of funding and awarded patents, and delinking these from promotions. Efforts will be accelerated to build a public service system for talented personnel, improve the mechanism for the flow of scientific talent, and encourage exchanges of innovative personnel among research institutes, universities and enterprises. Measures will be explored to openly recruit personnel for key research posts and to lead major research projects. The employment of research personnel will be regulated and improved, with increased autonomy given to employers. Multiple modes of compensation that reward the creativity of innovators will be explored, and a sound compensation and incentive mechanism that comprehensively considers post responsibilities, work performance and actual contribution and that encourages innovation will be established.

 

16. Strengthening research integrity and fostering a culture of innovation.The code of conduct and norms for scientific research will be established and improved, and education in regard to research integrity and ethics will be integrated into the national education system and the professional training system for scientific personnel, and tied in with education in regard to ideals, professional ethics and legal compliance to strengthen the conscientiousness and social responsibility of scientific personnel. The self-regulatory functions of research institutes and academic societies will be brought into full play, with guidance on the self-discipline and self-management of research personnel. Public scrutiny over research integrity and ethics will be strengthened, and the public's right to know about and supervise research activities will be expanded. Stepped-up efforts will be made to strengthen the national research integrity system, establish a research integrity archive, improve the supervision mechanism, and severely punish academic malpractices, so as to create a clean academic environment.

 

Scientific and technological professionals will be guided in practicing the system of socialist core values and upholding the spirit of truth-seeking, pragmatism, innovation, solidarity, coordination, selfless dedication, and devotion to the motherland in a free and vigorous academic environment that safeguards academic freedom. Great efforts will be made to publicize exemplary stories of outstanding figures and teams, popularize scientific knowledge, foster a culture of innovation, and form a sound social atmosphere that respects labor, knowledge, talent, and creativity.

 

VII. Creating an enabling environment to provide a strong guarantee for scientific and technological innovation

 

17. Developing and improving relevant laws, regulations, and policies.The supporting policies of the National Guideline for Medium- and Long-term Plans for Science and Technology Development  will be implemented in order to exert the role of the government in generating more investment in science and technology, further implement and improve relevant policies designed to increase total R&D expenditure, and accelerate the formation of a diversified, multi-tiered and multi-channel science and technology investment system, so as to increase total R&D spending as a percentage of the GDP to more than 2.5% by the year 2020.

 

Commercialization-friendly policies will be improved; tax incentives for proceeds from technology transfer will be introduced; the national fund for the commercialization of research results will be used wisely; and enhanced efforts will be made to increase support for the dissemination of new technologies, processes, and products, to develop and implement policies for promoting the application of new technologies and new products by exploring a variety of methods, including replacing subsidies with rewards, offering discount loans and providing guidance for start-ups, and to encourage enterprises to introduce and adopt new technologies and proceed with the engineering research and application of new technologies, processes and products. Profit distribution policies will be developed and implemented to offer stocks and stock options to researchers as incentives and rewards that are linked to the commercialization of their research results.

 

The integration of science, technology and finance will be promoted to explore innovative financial services for scientific and technological development. Various financial instruments, including buyer¡¯s credit, seller¡¯s credit and financial lease, will be used to guide banks and other financial institutions in increasing their financial support for technology-based SMEs. IPR and stock-pledged loans will be adopted. Support from multi-tiered capital markets for high-tech enterprises will be increased, and the pilot program on stock transfer services for non-listed joint stock companies will be further expanded. Efforts will be made to foster and develop venture capital for start-ups, develop exit channels for investment, and support local governments in setting up guidance funds for venture capital, so as to encourage the involvement of private capital to in innovation. Insurance products designed for scientific and technological innovation will be actively developed and measures will be taken to speed up the development of the scientific and technological insurance market.

 

The creation, utilization, protection and management of IPR will be strengthened, with the goal of increasing the number of patents per 10,000 people to 3.3 by the end of the Twelfth Five-year Plan. A patent analysis and early-warning system on major national key technological fields will be put in place. IPR protection measures, including IPR-related legal aid services, will be improved. Technological standards concerning the commercialization of research results will be improved. Relevant technical standards will be developed.

 

The Law on Progress of Science and Technology and other relevant laws and regulations will be strictly enforced. The Law on Promoting the Commercialization of Scientific and Technological Achievements will be amended to increase legal support for innovation activities and innovative research achievements and crack down on IPR infringements and criminal practices related to research achievements in order to create an enabling legal environment for scientific and technological innovation.

 

18. Strengthening opening up and cooperation in science and technology.All-round, comprehensive and high-level international cooperation in science and technology will be actively carried out, with strengthened scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation taking place between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Efforts will be stepped up to pool international scientific and technological resources and take part in major international scientific programs and projects with an eye on China¡¯s national strategic needs. Chinese scientists will be encouraged to launch international scientific and technological cooperation programs and propose or take part in the formulation of international standards. Technology import and technological cooperation will be strengthened to encourage enterprises to get actively involved in international cooperation by way of stock-taking, M&A, joint R&D and patent cross licensing, and enterprises and research institutes will be supported in establishing overseas R&D facilities. Intensified efforts will be made to open up national scientific and technological programs to wider participation, to encourage international academic organizations and multinationals to establish R&D centers in China and build joint research platforms for use by Chinese and foreign universities and research institutes, and to attract global top minds to start businesses in China. Scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation in the private sector will also be strengthened.

 

VIII. Enhancing leadership and proceeding steadily

 

19. Strengthening leadership and organization.The reform of scientific and technological system and the building of a national innovation system should be high on the agenda of CPC committees and governments at all levels. The reform of scientific and technological system should be treated as an integral part of economic reform. The role of experts should be brought into full play, and scientific and technological professionals and the general public should be mobilized and integrated into the reform process.

 

20. Defining roles and responsibilities.Under the leadership of the National Science, Technology and Education Leading Group, a coordination mechanism should be put into place to clearly define roles and responsibilities. Each party concerned should bear the overall picture in mind, fulfill its own responsibilities, and work in coordination with other parties so that tasks may be implemented to the letter. Evaluations should be conducted regularly on a case-by-case basis. Based on assigned tasks, agencies and organizations concerned should develop specific plans based on their own circumstances and report to the higher authorities. Competent authorities should introduce supporting policies at an early date and strengthen the monitoring of their implementation.

 

21. Making overall arrangements and proceeding steadily.Efforts should be made to coordinate the reform of the scientific and technological system with other aspects of reform, so as to strike a balance between reform, development, and stability. Efforts should also be made to make sure that reforms proceed at an appropriate pace, to properly address new issues that emerge during the course of reform, and to start with pilot programs before rolling-out major plans on a nationwide basis. Outreach campaigns should be conducted to disseminate major scientific and technological achievements, as well as the significance, progress, and experiences of reform. Public concerns should be addressed in the shortest time possible, so as to create a reform-friendly atmosphere.