Significant Progress in Building an Innovative Country

March 7,2011




On February 24th, 2011, “2010 National Innovation Index” was released in the press conference by Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) in Beijing Friendship Hotel. Improving innovation capability and establishing innovative country are the goal of the Long- and Medium-Term development. To monitor and evaluate the process of building innovative country, CASTED has done the research of the national innovation index since 2006. It was the first time that the research results were published to the public.
    The report, according to the analysis of the main innovative countries in the world, points out that innovative country has its own features comparing with the traditional development model. Firstly, the economic growth and national wealth of innovative country is driven by innovation activities symbolized by science and technology (S&T) input, knowledge creation, dissemination and application. Secondly, enterprises mainly rely on innovation to obtain a competitive advantage. Thirdly, governments play leading roles in building a good innovation environment.
    “National Innovation Index” refers to the latest research results about the “National Competition Ability” and “Innovation Evaluation at home and abroad, and the evaluation methods from international authorities like World Economic Forum and International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, etc. It also establishes an evaluation index system with 5 first-class and 31 second-class indicators. The fist-class indicators include “Innovation Resources”, “Knowledge Creation and Application”, “Enterprise Innovation”, “Innovation Performance”, and “Innovation Environment”. The report, based on the census data from 2000 to 2008, evaluates the innovation index of 40 countries, which occupy 98% of the world’s R&D funds and 88% of world’s GDP. 
     According to the report, America, Switzerland, Korea, and Japan ranked top four in “2010 National Innovation Index”. China’s innovation index is 57.9, ranking 21st among the 40 countries surveyed.
 Major S&T indicators performance shows that China’s R&D fund has ranked the 4th in the world with the most R&D researchers. China ranked the 2nd in terms of the number of papers included by Science Citation Index (SCI). The number of invention patents authorized annually in China ranks the 3rd. The value-added hi-tech industry ranks the 2nd in the world. China has become the largest country that exports hi-tech products to the world.  
      Among the five first-class indicators, Innovation resources index ranks 33rd in the world, 5 steps lifted compared with that in 2000,with the average growth rate 12%. This indicates that China has increased the investment to S&T innovation, providing fundamental guarantee to the improvement of the national innovation ability. The knowledge innovation index ranked 33rd in the world, 6 steps lifted compared with that in 2000, with annual growth rate 24%. This indicates that China’s basic research ability has been greatly strengthened. Knowledge innovation and technology application should offer stronger and stronger support to innovation. Innovation performance index ranks 9th in the world, 23 steps lifted compared with that in 2000, with annual growth rate of 14%. It reflects that S&T innovation achievements grew substantially, and the innovation efficiency was also obviously improved. The enterprise innovation index ranked 12th in the world, 13 steps lifted compared with that in 2000, but the index itself grows slowly, with the average growth rate 10%. This shows that the task of the industry restructure still remains arduous; the enterprise innovation ability has a big room to be improved. The innovation environment index ranked 23rd, 4 steps lifted compared with that in 2005. This indicates that China’s market economy system and intellectual property rights protection has been improved.
       China has scale advantage in terms of innovation resources and knowledge creation, but still has distance from the major innovative countries with regard to efficient index, intension index, and quality index. And the progress in “Innovation Performance” and “Enterprise Innovation” is mainly dependent on the capital and natural resources input, as well as the economy performance made from exportation of foreign-invested enterprises. China still heavily relies on the oversea advanced technologies, and the efficiency of using the natural resources is still very low. The innovation financing and anti-monopoly has a long way to go.
       Looking forward, the national innovation ability will become fundamental motivation to promote the transformation of economic development. And to improve the national innovation ability is the only way to achieve the innovation-driven economic development and to build the innovative country. The next 5 years will be a crucial period for China to become an upper-level innovation country in the world. In 2015, we strive to make China’s national innovation index rank the 18th in the world, and the development of innovative country will make a breakthrough. This will lay a solid foundation for China to become an innovative country in 2020. To this end, China should make great efforts in following aspects. First, China should increase the innovation input, especially in the innovation-intensive industries, such as strategic emerging industries and modern service industries, strengthen the resource strategy, and accelerate the industrial restructuring. Second, China should continually strengthen the knowledge innovation and application ability, especially improving the quality of knowledge innovation  achievements. Third, China should also accelerate the transformation and application of technology innovation achievements, cultivate and improve the indigenous innovation ability of enterprises, enhance the innovation performance, and create a better environment for innovation.
(reported by, tanslated by Luo Qingsheng)