China’s Innovation-Driven Development

By Eric Biegon, China

The Chinese government has disclosed that the engine behind the Asian economic giant’s growth is technology.

According to the country’s science and technology minister Wan Gang, the world’s second largest economy has been scaling the heights in the last five decades courtesy of its innovators.

And Beijing says this is an outlet for its future plans since technological innovations will guide and reform traditional industries.

“Our capacity of developing through innovation has been greatly improved.” Said Mr. Wan

President Xi Jinping’s led administration says it credits the present socio-economic environment to a generation of young innovators in China which is actively engaged in creating new business.

Cognizant of this key driver of its growth, Wan says China will channel billions of dollars towards research and innovation compared to previous years in order to develop cutting edge technologies.

“Over the last 4 years, we have invested more than 180 billion yuan ($26.1 billion) in 10 major civilian science projects. In return, these projects produced a staggering 1.42 trillion yuan in revenue.” Mr. Wan revealed.

These findings, according to the minister indicate that the country raked in billions last year from science & technology industry compared to other sectors of its broad economy.

“We have 146 high tech zones. 17 are implementing the independent innovation system. They make great contributions to the country’s GDP.” Said Mr. Wan

Addressing journalists in Beijing, Wan said the government is aware that funding is a critical component of the reform of the country’s science and technology sector.

“We need to take responsibility to encourage the researching institutes to do researches and provide better services to the intellectuals” Wan noted.

This declaration will come as good news to companies, universities and research institutions which are set to benefit from increased funding from the government.

“We have set up nine (9) funds covering 17 Billion Yuan this year, to encourage the setting up of new businesses.” Mr. Wan confirmed.

As a motivation, half of this money will end up at the doorsteps of innovators as the minister established that “Over 50% of the outcomes of the achievements belongs to the inventor”.

But to realize its long term objectives, the country is pulling all researchers from China together. Those at home and abroad have been urged to play their part as the country gears itself for another era of technological advancements.

“We are drawing power from all sides, as well as the market economy, to build major scientific projects of the future,” Wan said

These developments in a major global powerhouse must stir up developing economies, especially in Africa (Kenya included), to rethink their routes to success. The writing is on the wall, bigger investments in science and technology is no longer an option.