China in a decade: New concept spurs greater development, and a new era unleashes stronger dynamic

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III. Greater momentum in innovation-driven development, and new progresses in building an innovation-driven country

Rapid increase in investment in innovation. China's total R&D expenditure surpassed that of Japan in 2013, becoming the world's second largest country in R&D investment. 2021, R&D expenditure reached 2,795.6 billion yuan, 2.7 times that of 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 11.7%; the ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP was 2.44%, 0.53 percentage points higher than that of 2012, which is close to the average level of 2.47% among OECD countries prior to the pandemic. The strategy of developing the country through science, education and talents has been solidly advanced, and the total number of R&D personnel has steadily ranked first in the world. In 2021, the total number of R&D personnel in the country based on the equivalent full-time workload hit 5.62 million people, up 73.1% from 2012, ranking first in the world for 9 consecutive years.

Innovation output continues to expand. Major headways are made in strategic fields of science and technology. A series of major original achievements have emerged in frontier researches such as quantum information, iron-based superconductivity, stem cells and synthetic biology, and major breakthroughs have been made in strategic high-tech fields such as manned spaceflight, lunar exploration, deep-sea engineering, supercomputing and manufacturing of large aircraft. In 2021, China granted a total of 4.601 million patents, an increase of 2.7 times compared with 2012; the number of international patent applications submitted by Chinese applicants through the PCT route reached 69,500, ranking first in the world for three consecutive years. As of end 2021, the number of valid invention patents reached 3.597 million, with 7.5 high-value invention patents held per 10,000 people. According to the report of the World Intellectual Property Organization, China's ranking in the Global Innovation Index jumped from 34th in 2012 to 12th in 2021.

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