Power of innovation

Updated: 2012-07-09 11:00

(China Daily)

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Both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao delivered speeches at the National Science and Technology Innovation Conference, held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday. This points to the importance the government attaches to scientific innovation.

What is particularly noteworthy is that both admitted that the country's overall scientific innovation capability still leaves a lot to be desired.

President Hu emphasized the need to lift the country's innovation capability and called for a stronger sense of anxiety and responsibility in order to seize the opportunities. He called for authorities at all levels to increase investment so that spending on scientific and technological research rises from 1.83 percent of GDP in 2011 to more than 2.5 percent in 2020.

Premier Wen said that although China was a big manufacturing power, the lack of innovation capability on the part of Chinese enterprises meant it was not yet a strong one.

China does have very good opportunities for development, but that does not mean it will develop from a big economy to a strong economy.

Technological innovation is essential as new energy, new materials, environmental protection, and many other areas are crucial for sustainable development. And without innovation, a country that always relies on imported technologies for its development will never become a truly strong power.

The contribution that science and technology have made to the country's economic growth lags behind some developed countries. Many Chinese enterprises depend on foreign technologies for their success.

Chinese people have reason to be proud of the Made-in-China label, which has promoted its unprecedented economic growth. But this label needs to be changed to Created-in-China in the near future.

Enterprises must realize that whether they can increase their capability for innovation will decide whether they will be able to survive the increasingly fierce global competition.

Scientists and technicians shoulder the responsibility for China's future. Whether they can come up with new technologies will have a bearing on the country's economy and its political standing in the world. But the government must also implement policies to encourage innovation and create the environment for scientific and technological innovation.