The press center of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) holds a group interview on implementing the strategy of innovation-driven development in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 20, 2017. Wang Zhigang (3rd R), Vice Minister of Science and Technology and secretary of the leading Party group within the ministry, Wang Xiujie (2nd R), director of the Center of Molecular Systems Biology of the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wang Endong (3rd L), chief scientist of the Inspur Group and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Lu Jianjun (1st R), secretary of the Working Committee on Science and Technology of the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and head of the Shaanxi Science and Technology Department, and Jiang Fengyi (2nd L), vice president of Nanchang University, received the group interview.
Technological innovation seen as key to socioeconomic progress
China is stepping up efforts to build a "fair and just" ecosystem to better motivate science talent and facilitate technological innovation, a senior official said on Friday. [Special coverage]
Since 2012, China's science and technology has "generally, and in some cases fundamentally, affected China's socioeconomic development", Wang Zhigang, vice-minister of science and technology, told reporters at a briefing at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
China's gross expenditure for research and development grew from 1.03 trillion yuan (6 billion) in 2012 to 1.57 trillion yuan in 2016, with 77.5 percent being spent by enterprises. China also has topped the world for the six consecutive years in patent applications, including 1.34 million in 2016, more than double that in 2012, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Those achievements are fueled by a total of 3.81 million science workers, the largest group in the world. "Innovation cannot be achieved solely by scientists in ivory towers. It has to be integrated closely with the economy, society, people's livelihood and national security," Wang said.