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Researchers encouraged by relaxed rules to turn findings into profits

Zhang Yue
Updated: Feb 18,2016 10:06 AM     China Daily

The central government is to further relax regulations covering the transfer of scientific and technological research achievements from national research institutions to enterprises.

The decision was announced on Feb 17 in a statement issued after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

Measures will be introduced to encourage such transfers.

First, national research institutes and universities will have the right to sell their research findings to enterprises without national-level approval.

The policy is aimed at encouraging more scientific research achievements to be sold to small and micro-businesses. It calls for special organizations to be set up to supervise these sales.

Second, all profits earned through the sales will go to research producers.

Third, at least 50 percent of such sales will go to researchers, who will eventually be allowed to work with the enterprises that buy their research findings for a maximum of three years. They will retain their positions on research bodies to help the enterprises to better implement research achievements.

The measures are also aimed at accelerating the process of turning scientific and technological achievements into productivity to advance China’s innovation-driven strategy and supply-side structural reform.

Bi Yalei, head of the Department of Development at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was delighted to hear about the new decision, describing it as a long-awaited relaxation.

He said that for many years financial approval procedures had been a headache when the institute had tried to sell research findings to enterprises because both sides had to wait a long time to obtain government-level approval.

“The approval procedure used to take a very long time, and this delayed the process of turning such research findings into new productivity.”

Bi also said that such measures will greatly encourage scientific researchers in their work.

Gao Xudong, deputy director of the Research Center for Technological Innovation at Tsinghua University in Beijing, praised the move to allow researchers to work with enterprises for three years. “Some enterprises who bought scientific research findings could not fully use them due to a lack of understanding of the findings,” he said.

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