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State-owned Labs to Open to Foreigners

All of the Shanghai's state-owned laboratories and scientific platforms, except for those that concern sensitive technology and state secrets, will open to foreign businesses and institutions next year.

Services will be available to multinationals and foreign institutions, especially those that are currently operating in Shanghai, China Daily was told Wednesday.

Some laboratories and platforms will continue to be closed to overseas organizations, however, in order to defend national interests, said Li Yiping, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission. These institutions can bid for government-financed projects, he said.

The city government has pledged to increase its investment in science and technology innovation in order to boost its technological strength, making it a driving force to support Shanghai's development.

Research and development (R&D) funding will account for 2.5 percent of Shanghai's gross domestic product by 2007 up from last year's 1.89 percent, Li said.

The level of around 2.5 percent of GDP is close to current R&D input in the United States and European Union nations.

The local government mapped out a strategy last week to develop science, technology and education in the city.

Shanghai plans to establish itself as the nation's important centers of knowledge resources, services centers and high-tech industrial bases by 2010.

The government also expects to produce a number of core technologies with self-owned intellectual property rights and boost enterprises' core competitiveness.

The government will direct and lead the process, focusing on overall layout and sustainable development, while implementation of the strategy will require the participation of all sectors, he added.

(China Daily December 25, 2003)

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