Promoting role of new national system for scientific breakthroughs

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"At the same time, the system should allow the market to play a decisive role in the allocation of resources, and secure the dominant position of enterprises in technological innovation," he added.

Liang said the essence of the system is to coordinate the roles of government, market and society—well reflected in the country's efforts for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the resumption of work and production.

In the fight against the virus, China has demonstrated improved efficiency and effectiveness in governance by taking advantage of its institutional strengths.

Since the outbreak, departments of science and technology have swiftly set up an expert group dedicated to scientific research on COVID-19, and identified five priority areas, namely clinical treatment and drugs, testing technology and products, etiology and epidemiology, vaccine development, as well as development of animal testing models.

With the concerted efforts of various research teams, clinical medical workers and frontline institutions, positive progress was made in advancing related scientific and technological breakthroughs within a month after the outbreak.

However, compared with developed countries, China still needs to improve its capacity for development regarding key links, areas and products, with multiple tasks at hand to achieve scientific breakthroughs, Long stressed.

According to Long's explanation, key links refer to high-tech industries with long industrial chains and a sophisticated division of labor; key areas are the ones concerning national science and economic security; key products involve a wider range of sectors and higher technical complexity. The supply of such products, from key materials, core spare parts to complete sets of high-end equipment, is at potential risk of being cut off, he said.

"Long-term efforts are required to make breakthroughs in these areas of weakness." In Long's eyes, the advantage of the new type of national system lies in clear targets, extraordinary abilities of mobilizing resources and efficient innovation collaboration.

Steady efforts need to be focused on a small number of key links, areas and products to effectively improve the overall efficiency of the national innovation system, he said.

Sui shared the same view. "To build a modernized economy and achieve quality growth, it is crucial for China to strengthen the role of scientific and technological innovation in supporting and driving socio-economic development."

In the development of key links, areas and products, he was sure the new system would play an important role in promoting science and technology innovation and breakthroughs.

Content created in partnership with Science and Technology Daily.

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