CHINA'S State Council issued the guidelines on national medium- and long-term program for science and technology development (2006-2020), which aims to build the country into an innovative nation in the next 15 years and a world power in science and technology field by the middle of the 21st century.
By 2020, China's entire investment in research and development is expected to top 2.5 percent of the GDP, while progress of science and technology will contribute 60 percent and above to the country's development.
Meanwhile, the country's reliance on foreign technology will decline to 30 percent and below. The number of patents granted to Chinese nationals and the introduction of their academic essays are expected to rank among the first five throughout the world.
After 15 years of efforts, China will reach eight targets in the field of science and technology as follows:
— Manufacturing and information industries are expected to master a number of core technologies that have a bearing on the country's national competitiveness, with its technological level of manufacturing and information sectors reaching world class.
— Agricultural science and technology sector as a whole becomes one of the most advanced in the world, so as to promote the comprehensive productive capabilities of agriculture and ensure food safety for the country, efficiently.
— There will be breakthroughs in energy exploration, energy-saving technology and clean energy technology, which may promote the structural optimisation of energy, with energy consumption of major industrial products reaching or approaching world level.
— Major industries and key cities will set up a technological development mode of recycled economy, providing scientific and technological support to the building of a resource- efficient and environment-friendly society.
— Remarkable improvement will be achieved in the prevention and control of major diseases and epidemics, with serious diseases like AIDS and hepatitis well under control, while there will be breakthroughs in the development and manufacturing of new pharmacy and medical equipment and apparatus, with sufficient technological capabilities for industrialisation.
— The development of defense technology will be able to meet the fundamental demands of self-reliant research and development of modern weapons and informationization of the Army, to provide assurance for the safeguarding of national security.
— A large number of world-class scientists and research teams will emerge in the country, who will be able to make a number of innovative achievements of great importance in the mainstream academic research, when China reaches world level in edge-cutting technologies in the fields of information, biology, materials and space.
— There will emerge a couple of world-class research institutions and universities as well as internationally- competitive research and development centers owned by companies, which will form a relatively complete innovation system with China's own characteristics.
The long-term goal specifies four major research programs planned for the next 15 years, in a bid to increase the country's international competitiveness, promote a sustainable development, and realise major breakthroughs in science and technology.
The four research programmes cover the study of protein, the control of quanta, the research on Nano, and the study on growth and reproduction. In the next 15 years, China will give top priority to the study of protein as it is regarded as the peak for life science by scientists in developed nations.
Meanwhile, the study on the control of quanta may cast imponderable impacts on human's social and economic development in 20 to 30 years. In addition, China hopes to make breakthroughs in the study of Nano technology, which has been a strategic option for many countries to promote their core competitiveness.
Basic research has become part of the international competition of overall national strength. As a rapidly developing country, China must put the emphasis on basic research in order to achieve national goals and solve key problems which would appear in the future.
Under the principle of selecting state-listed basic researches set by the guideline, the state will pick up research programs which are influential to the economic and social development and national security, temporally weak but key to development, or capable of leading future high-tech development.
The guideline lists 10 basic researches in line with the requirement, such as basic biological researches comprising life science and diseases, research on the impact of human activities on global system, global change and regional response, and research on formation, forecast and control of disasters.
The guideline also outlines the plan to speed up the pace of research on 16 special, key technologies, so as to deal with a number of problems of importance and urgency for the country's strategic fields like information, biology, resources and health as well as some technologies that could be applicable for both military and civilian use.
These technologies are among the most important of all for developing science and technology development and realising national targets, and they must be accomplished within a certain period of time by making breakthroughs in core technology and integrating resources.
The guideline says China will urge large enterprises to set up research and development (R&D) institutes and welcome enterprises to share the state's R&D tasks in the next 15 years.
Chinese enterprises are playing a more important role in the reform and opening-up progress. The country will encourage enterprises to become the main body of R&D through economic and scientific policies.
According to the guideline, China will push enterprises to spend more on research and development, and establish state-level engineering labs and various industrial engineering centers with joint R&D groups from enterprises, universities and scientific institutes.
Meanwhile, the country will support enterprises to take part in national R&D tasks. The national science development program will also incorporate more scientific and technological demands of enterprises.
Innovation capability should be a key indicator of qualification evaluation of state-owned enterprises, says the guideline, and regulations and policies should be made to encourage innovation of small and medium sized enterprises which are vigorous but fragile to risks.
The guideline also lists a few preferential tax policies and vows to encourage enterprises to set up special funds for research and development.