Sci-tech serves nation's strategic needs

In the past 12 months, Chinese experts provided the impetus for many discoveries.Zhang Zhihao reports.

Fostering quality scientific talent, employing innovation to serve the country's strategic needs and achieving major milestones in research capacities were last year's highlights for China's science and technology sector.

Science and technology underpinned many of the nation's biggest achievements, including hosting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, finding new engines for socioeconomic growth and completing construction of the Tiangong Space Station.

Last year, the country climbed one place to 11th out of 132 economies on the Global Innovation Ranking 2022, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. China was the only middle-income economy to make it into the top 20.

The country topped nine indicators out of the roughly 80 criteria used by the list to measure innovation capacity, including: domestic market size; the number of companies offering formal training; patients by origin; growth of labor productivity; trademarks by origin; industrial designs by origin; and exports of creative goods.

For the first time, China had as many top 100 science and technology clusters as the United States, with 21 apiece, according to WIPO.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou was the world's second-most innovative sci-tech cluster, with Beijing in third place.

Speaking via a video address to the publication ceremony of the Global Innovation Ranking 2022 in September, Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology, said that over the past decade, China's science and technology sector has seen historic and profound changes. "China has been a key participant in global frontier science, technology and innovation, as well as a key contributor to jointly solving global challenges," he said.

He added that China will facilitate opening-up and international cooperation, actively integrate into the global innovation network and foster bigger and deeper collaboration in science and technology.

In an article published last month, Hou Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that a country's research capability in basic sciences is the foundation for supporting innovation and the basis of China's pursuit of self-strengthening and self-sufficiency in science and technology.

The academy will help optimize policies to support scientific research and regulations on cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology, he said, noting that it will also build a more effective innovation mechanism, nurture world-class scientists and promote open sciences and international cooperation.

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