The Chinese government on Wednesday announced a package of policy incentives and increased public funding to bolster research and development in 103 innovation-driven companies.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and 14 other key state-owned enterprises, 77 private companies, and 11 research institute businesses are on the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) list for state support.
Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Xueyong told Xinhua, "By nurturing innovative companies, the government aims to help sharpen their competitive edges.
"These companies are expected to set an example for other Chinese enterprises that wish to profit in the knowledge-based economy."
The list would be extended to about 500 firms in the next three to five years, he said, adding, "The 103 innovation-driven companies are not permanently on the list and those lacking momentum in further developing new technologies will be removed."
The ministry would help in the establishment of research and development centers at the companies as well as offer financial advice, technical training, and support in protecting intellectual property rights.
Shao Ning, Vice Minister of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said more support would be offered to corporations in taking on nationally important projects and participating in policy-making.
Ninety-nine percent of Chinese companies had never applied for a patent, indicating that most of them lack core technologies. Research and development investment of large and medium-sized corporations accounted for an average 0.71 percent of annual turnover, far lower than the average five percent in developed countries.
Three quarters of large and medium-sized corporations had no research and development organs; two-thirds had no independent research activity; and more than 60 percent no brands of their own.