Sci-tech, innovation seen advancing modernization

China’s commitment to implementing its innovation-driven development strategy and improving the systems for scientific and technological innovation is expected to boost the nation’s technological independence and self-reliance, help advance new industrialization and foster new competitive strengths, industry experts said.

They also said Chinese high-tech enterprises should play a bigger role in achieving breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields through indigenous innovation and ensuring the stability and security of industrial and supply chains amid the rising tide of protectionism in some countries.

Their comments came after a report delivered at the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Sunday said innovation will remain at the heart of China’s modernization drive, highlighting the need to improve the new system for mobilizing resources nationwide to make key technological breakthroughs.

The country will accelerate the implementation of its innovation-driven development strategy to achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology, the report said.

“To meet China’s strategic needs, we will concentrate resources on original and pioneering scientific and technological research to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields,” it stated.

Chen Duan, director of the Digital Economy Integration Innovation Development Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said: “Against the backdrop of an increasingly complex international situation and geopolitical tensions, it is important to implement the innovation-driven development strategy to improve China’s independent innovative capacities and strengthen its core competitiveness globally.”

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Self-reliance in science and technology is vital for safeguarding national security, Chen said, calling for more efforts to beef up investment in frontier technologies and forward-looking fields, and achieve breakthroughs in solving problems that hinder progress.

China’s innovation capabilities have grown significantly, with the country moving up to 11th place on the Global Innovation Index 2022 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, 23 places higher than its 2012 ranking.

Chen also underlined the importance of advancing high-level opening-up, which, the report stated, is crucial for “creating an open and globally competitive innovation ecosystem”. She called for expanding international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, and taking an active part in formulating global rules and standards for core technologies.

“As an important force for technological innovation, enterprises should pursue high-quality development, continuously bolster scientific and technological progress by integrating global resources and contribute to the development of industrial economy all over the world,” said Jia Shaoqian, president of Chinese home appliance manufacturer Hisense Group.

The upgrade and advances in the television industry have always been driven by core innovative technologies, Jia said. The Qingdao, Shandong province-based company has invested heavily and aims to lead innovation in laser display technology.

Jia’s views were echoed by Qi Xiangdong, chairman of cybersecurity company Qi-Anxin Technology Group, who said the company will step up efforts in original and pioneering scientific and technological innovation.

Adhering to the innovation-driven development strategy is of great significance in fostering high-quality development, accelerating digital transformation of enterprises, and building China into a manufacturing powerhouse, said Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association.

More efforts are needed to cultivate growth engines for emerging industries, invest more in basic R&D and improve incentives for innovation, so as to gain a competitive edge in strategically important fields, Xiang said.

Denis Depoux, managing director of global consultancy Roland Berger, said technological innovation has served as one of the primary drivers of global economic growth and major economies agree on its importance.

“Foreign enterprises have been and will hopefully remain key contributors to China’s industrial modernization drive, particularly in segments like industrial automation and digitalization, where multinationals have strong positions globally, including in China,” he said.

Source: China Daily