More efforts will be made to encourage mass entrepreneurship and innovation in China, as the national initiative to promote innovation has yielded significant results in recent years, a senior official said on Thursday.
"According to the latest report of the World Intellectual Property Organization, China ranks 22nd globally in terms of innovation in 2017, up three places year-on-year, and becomes the only middle-income country that has narrowed the gap with developed countries," said Shen Zhulin, deputy director-general of the Department of High Technology Industry under the National Development and Reform Commission.
"We can say that this success is thanks to mass entrepreneurship and innovation as China has a very strong atmosphere in terms of innovation," Shen added.
He made the comments at a news conference of the 2017 National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week, which will be held from Sept 15 to 21. The week long campaign takes place every year to encourage people to start businesses and cultivate innovation.
According to the NDRC, Shanghai will be the main venue this year, and will hold a variety of activities including exhibitions, competitions, carnivals and live online broadcasts. A total of 153 innovative programs in advanced technology and industrial fields will be on display.
"This year, we are paying more attention to companies, as they are the main body of innovative entrepreneurship," said Wang Sizheng, an official from the Shanghai municipal Development and Reform Commission.
"We have encouraged enterprises in different fields including big State-owned enterprises, national and local enterprises, as well as a group of foreign companies, to take part in mass entrepreneurship and innovation," he added.
Activities will also take place in eight foreign countries and regions including the United States, Israel, Germany and Australia.
For years, China has promoted mass entrepreneurship and innovation to boost employment, optimize the economic structure and facilitate a shift of growth engines.
The State Council, China's cabinet, approved 92 national demonstration bases in June to boost mass entrepreneurship and public innovation, followed by the first group of 28 such bases earlier this year.
Among those demonstration bases, nine come from institutes belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a research institute functioning as the national scientific think tank.
"These nine demonstration bases have achieved huge progress in transforming scientific and technological achievements, and promoting innovative entrepreneurship," said Yan Qing, director of Bureau of Science and Technology for Development of the CAS.
One of the nine national demonstration bases, namely Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, established China's first national hub focused on "hard technology", which they explained covers core technologies with high barriers including photonic chips, genentech and new material.
The institute said that it has invested in and launched over 190 technology enterprises and held 120 training activities for more than 15, 000 entrepreneurs.
Yan added that according to the preliminary estimate of the CAS, with total funds in excess of 5 billion yuan (.77 billion), these nine demonstration bases have incubated over 700 enterprises and provided services to over 20,000 entrepreneurs.