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China encourages innovation

The State Council is calling for mass innovation and entrepreneurship to write the next chapter of the Chinese economy. It’s what’s being called here in China as the “Mass Maker Space” — a specific economic platform encouraged by policy makers to promote more venture capital, incubator hubs and entrepreneurs to drive innovation in China.

China is transitioning its development pattern so that innovation becomes a key driver of economic development and a maker economy will be at the heart of that. Now the State Council has decided to provide supportive policies and measures to the development of a “mass maker space”, which indicates the growing importance of the maker economy.

“Using ‘Mass Maker Space’ as a platform, we need to integrate resources, implement policies, improve service models, and cultivate innovation culture. We need to match entrepreneurs’ creative ideas with market demands,” said Cao Jianlin, the deputy director of Ministry of Science&Technology.

In 2014, the number of technology-based business incubators exceeded 1,600. There were more than 80,000 companies in those incubators, providing more than 1.75 million job opportunities. At an executive meeting of the State Council last month, Premier Li Keqiang pledged to establish a new platform for innovation and cultivate a “maker culture” in the country.

“To develop ‘Mass Maker Space ‘ does not mean to put heavy investment in construction. We should uphold the principle of government guidance and market orientation and take full use of the dominant role of social forces to foster the effectiveness of policy portfolios for innovation and entrepreneurship and the system of interconnection in the society,” said Cao Jianlin.

China will improve investment and financing mechanisms for startups and offer support to technology-based enterprises at the startup stage by utilizing government guidance funds and fiscal and tax policies and by fostering angel investment.

“Although the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in China has been improving constantly, obstacles still remain in the way of mass innovation and entrepreneurship. The government will push forward bold reforms, and reduce interference in innovation activities, so as to give any would-be entrepreneur enough space to start a business.”