China to Focus on 8 Areas for Scientific Innovation

Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said Tuesday that China will focus on eight major areas for scientific innovation and technical upgrading in the coming five years.

Xu made the remarks at a press conference held by the Information Office under the State Council.

The National Key Technologies Research and Development Program, which was adopted by China in 1982 for improving key technologies, will support the application and commercialization of key technologies and the upgrading of imported technologies.

The eight areas of focus include

--Strategic high-tech research featuring information technology in fields such as information, bio-engineering, advanced agriculture, new materials, advanced manufacturing and automation, natural resources, and energy use.

--Agricultural technologies featuring farm produce processing, water-saving farming, cultivation of high quality new strains, environment-friendly farming and agricultural facilities.

--Upgrading traditional industries through informatization. The state plans to highly develop the advanced manufacturing industry, as well as the energy, materials, transportation and textile sectors.

--Nationwide sustained enhancement featuring concerted development of population, resources and the natural environment. The state will focus on environmental protection technologies, modern pharmaceutical manufacturing and those benefiting social interest.

The other four key issues are basic scientific research, improvement of scientific levels in the western region, personnel training bases, and structural reform inside research bodies.

enterprises urged improve innovation ability

The top science and technology official said that Chinese enterprises must greatly improve their innovation ability when faced with even fiercer international competition.

When asked the reason for China failing to gain a place in the annual World Competitiveness Year Book, which is issued by the Lausanne Institute of Management and Development of Switzerland, Xu said the governmental bodies concerned have noticed the deterioration of the country's scientific and technological competitiveness in recent year.

But he also cited the change of appraisal standards by the yearbook as a contributor to the downward trend.

While stressing the innovation ability of enterprises, especially those owned by the state, Xu outlined the patent system.

He said that many Chinese researchers have traditionally focused on academic theses and other achievements, but not patents.

The ministry plans to steer them into patent application and improve their awareness of intellectual property, Xu said.

People's Daily Online ---