SCIO press conference on implementing the innovation-driven development strategy to build China into a leading country in science and technology

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Chen Wenjun:

Due to the time limit, this will be the last question.

China Media Group:

The 20th CPC National Congress made comprehensive and systematic arrangements for improving systems for scientific and technological innovation . What has the MST done to boost the overall performance of China's innovation system , and what are the plans going forward? Thank you. 

Wang Zhigang:

Overall, China's innovation system is based on science, has improved, and performs well. Yet it needs constant upgrading. That is because China has transformed from making breakthroughs in some science and technology to achieving general advances. Science and technology have been central to the country's overall development.

The strength of a major country relies on its capacity for sci-tech innovation. We often say that the relationship between capacity and achievements, as well as products, is dominated by capacity. Capacity is the cause that leads to products. Therefore, one can only do what is within their capabilities. Increasing our capability is our starting point and focus, and we need to do this in accordance with the national strategy. Now, we are positioned to join the ranks of the world's most innovative countries and build China into a leading country in science and technology, developing China into a great modern country. To this end, what is important is to have systematic capacity instead of capacity in a single area. How can we improve and upgrade our ability? How can we make the innovation system sounder? A significant answer is reform. This is a key measure. Reform is needed to continuously improve the innovation system and capacity for sci-tech innovation to build China into a country of innovators. During these years, we have always kept the following in mind: reform drives innovation, and innovation drives development. Sci-tech institutional and mechanical innovation also constitutes a type of reform needed to improve the national innovation system with Chinese characteristics.

First, we will focus on national strategic goals and promote organized scientific research to form a systematic landscape. To promote systematic sci-tech innovation, we must set our sights on the global frontiers of science and technology, national economic development, the country's major needs, and people's health and safety . We have fully motivated scientific researchers by cooperating with the relevant departments. We have taken measures such as easing burdens, choosing the best through fair selection, and opening a competition mechanism to select the best candidates to undertake key research projects . We support scientific researchers in their genuine, unwavering devotion. We have adopted a level- and category-based management approach and proposed corresponding measures to make the national innovation system more efficient. Reform uncovers and solves problems through scientific research practices, further improving institutions.  

Second, we will stay mission-oriented. Building China into a country of innovators, a leading country in science and technology and a great modern country is a great goal for us and an essential mission for sci-tech innovation. We must concentrate on the mission, improve the ability system, consolidate national strategic sci-tech strength, and cultivate pro-innovation environments in the policy, law, cultural and social fields. In addition, allocating scientific research resources and ways of sci-tech appraisal should also be constantly reformed and improved to fulfill the mission.

Third, we will create an environment that encourages innovation. The innovators are not governments but universities, scientific research institutions, national labs, enterprises, and all other participants in society. These participants are willing to devote themselves to science and technology, conduct scientific research, and can secure achievements. We will strive to develop a favorable ecosystem in such fields as law, policy, culture and society to make more people interested in sci-tech innovation, understand and participate in it, and take it as their own noble cause of life. We must strive to improve the national innovation system.  

Fourth, we will coordinate the innovation layout. Unbalanced and inadequate development remains a major problem in China. The eastern, central and western regions, as well as urban and rural areas, are all different. However, all eagerly seek and hope to participate in science and technology. We need to take this into full account while making the layout. Universities, scientific research institutions, national labs, and enterprises have different roles to play. We need to let various innovators pinpoint their roles in the national innovation system, play their roles, and support and serve national goals through their sci-tech innovation practices. The national innovation system needs to coordinate basic research, application-oriented basic research, technological innovation, sci-tech applications and high-tech industrialization, and connect every link to make them perform efficiently and jointly support building China into an international leader in science and technology. In addition, diverse resources must be coordinated and allocated efficiently. All the resources of platforms, funds, the workforce and policies should be pooled to achieve national strategic goals, especially to build China into a leading country in science and technology. All the dimensions and links involved in every dimension form the innovation system. To support building China into a country of innovators and a leading country in science and technology and further to develop China into a great modern country, we need to serve the national strategic goals and interconnect various innovation activities toward the goals. In addition, we must constantly improve the national innovation system and make it perform more efficiently, and fully arouse the dynamism, vitality, and initiative of sci-tech personnel. We will encourage scientific researchers to realize their value through their work and contribute to scientific development to achieve a sense of honor in society. All of these are the focuses of our work. 

The MST will further study, grasp and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, especially its arrangements for sci-tech innovation, in all our work to let science and technology play a real, irreplaceable role in China's modernization drive. 

I hope our media friends care about and support our sci-tech work. Not only before the annual two sessions, but at other times, I hope you can pay more attention to, support and advocate science and technology. In addition, I hope you can guide society to pay attention to and support sci-tech development, talent and empowerment so that science and technology can better lead development and drive it to an even higher level. Thank you. 

Chen Wenjun:

Thanks to Mr. Wang and the other speakers, as well as friends from the media. Today's briefing has now concluded. 

Translated and edited by Xu Xiaoxuan, Wang Qian, Zhang Jiaqi, Liu Sitong, Cui Can, Yuan Fang, Xu Kailin, Wang Yanfang, Yan Bin, Huang Shan, Zhou Jing, Duan Yaying, Zhang Rui, Zhu Bochen, Wang Yiming, Ma Yujia, Li Huiru, David Ball, Tom Arnsten, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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