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Press Release for March 20, 2019 Media Briefing by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government

March 21, 2019

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press conference today (March 20), at which Shanghai Vice Mayor Wu Qing introduced the city's latest "Opinions on further deepening the reform of the system and mechanism of science and technology, and enhancing creativity as a science and technology innovation center". Luo Dajin, deputy director of the Municipal Science and Technology Commission; Jiang Hong, inspector of the Municipal Education Commission; Ruan Qing, deputy director of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission; Jin Weimin, deputy director of the Municipal Finance Bureau; and Yu Chengbin, deputy director of the Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, attended the press conference and answered questions from journalists.

The development of Shanghai as a scientific innovation hub of global influence has entered the deepening stage. The Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and the municipal government attach great importance to the reform of the system and mechanism of science and technology. Since mid-July last year, the municipal Committee of Science and Technology, together with relevant departments, has conducted in-depth investigations and studies, and then issued the "Opinions on further deepening the reform of the system and mechanism of science and technology, and enhancing creativity as a science and technology innovation center" (also known as the "25 measures" of science and technology reform in Shanghai). On March 5, Shanghai held a conference on deepening the reform and advancement of the system and mechanism of science and technology, which made a comprehensive mobilization and systematic deployment for the implementation of the "25 measures" of science and technology reform in Shanghai.

I The basic idea of the "25 measures" of science and technology reform in Shanghai

The "25 measures" of the science and technology reform in Shanghai in general focused on three "embody" : First, to embody the comprehensive goal-setting. Shanghai will carry out the three new major tasks assigned by the Central Committee, work toward meeting the highest international standards, draw on the advanced experience of sister provinces and cities, summarize the successful practices of Shanghai, and re-examine, re-upgrade and re-break through the reform of Shanghai's science and technology system. Second, to embody the combination of short and long term. The city should not only focus on the current situation and implement the reforms, but should also have a long-term view to make in-depth plans and scientific arrangements on the major structural reform issues that will affect the overall situation and launch practical measures and policies. Third, to embody the pragmatism. Shanghai must be down-to-earth and strive for practical results, adhere to the demand-oriented, problem-oriented and effect-oriented principles, make clear the major tasks and policies of the reform of science and technology system, and lay more emphasis on guidance and operability, so as to launch more pragmatic and effective measures to ensure the implementation and success of this round of reform.

The 25 measures of science and technology reform have the following three characteristics:

Firstly, they center around the topic of strengthening the originality of innovations, which requires to grasp the new features of scientific and technological innovations from the accumulation of quantity to qualitative leap, from breakthrough of point to improvement of systemic capability, and strive to create the innovation source of new breakthroughs in theory, new discoveries in science, new inventions in technology and new directions in industry.

Secondly, they aim to build a mechanism of dynamics, which requires to stimulate the power and vitality of innovations by breaking through the barriers of current system and mechanism.

More efforts should be put on the combination of breaking old practices and establishing new ones, the construction of an innovation system as well as speeding up the construction of scientific and technological systems and mechanisms which suit the laws of innovation, scientific research management and talent growth to foster an innovation ecology.

Thirdly, they pursue a development path which emphasizes the combination of systematic promotion and key breakthroughs, as well as the system design, classification guidance and multi-field coordination of the reform. They aim to  intensify the reform in areas of innovation subject, achievement transformation and open innovation.

II Main points of the 25 measures

The 25 measures aim to help Shanghai build itself into a science and technology innovation center with global influence and they outline 25 important reform tasks and measures in six aspects.

First, they are aimed to promote the development of all kinds of innovative subjects, and to build and perfect the distribution and research system of scientific research forces with diversified subjects and open cooperation.

Second, they call for efforts to stimulate the vitality of talent, and strive to create a development environment which can satisfy people near and far and can bring their talents into full play. 

The third is to promote the transfer and transformation of scientific and technological achievements, continuously enhance the endogenous power of the main body, and improve the transfer and transformation efficiency.

Fourth, the measures seek to reform and optimize scientific research management, deepen the evaluation work on projects, talent and organizations and improve the quality and performance of scientific research.

The fifth aspect is about integrating Shanghai’s innovation efforts into the global innovation network. Shanghai should establish a multi-level and multi-domain international cooperation network, and build a scientific and technological innovation community in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Lastly, the government aims to promote the construction of innovative culture by strengthening the construction of integrity system for doing scientific research and the protection of intellectual property rights and inject new connotations into Shanghai’s cultural brands.

The core of these contents can be summarized as three points:

Firstly, to open up a passage between technological innovation and economic and social development.With reforms on technologies and economic and social fields being conducted simultaneously, the 25 measures of science and technology reform will, on one hand, deepen the reform on science and technology system and at the meantime further increase the innovation supply. In recent years, while Shanghai has been steadily building up its strength in technological innovation, it still faces a shortage of world-class research organizations as well as original, benchmark innovation achievements, leaving therefore a major gap towards its goal of“Four Leaderships.”(Leadership in new acadamic thoughts, leadership in new scientific discovery, leadership in new technological invention and leadership in new industrial direction). To deal with that short board, the city has worked out a principle that “different schemes will be adopted in different institutes” and started to launch trials on new systems and mechanisms which mainly include setting no limits regarding administrative levels, headcounts and total salaries and adopting integrated budget management, accelerating the pace in fostering the country’s strategic technological capacity including national labs and high-level innovation organizations that are capable of completing the country’s key innovation missions; optimizing the approach to support fundamental research, strategic high-tech research and social public welfare research through increasing investment in fundamental research with an aim to get major upgrades and breakthroughs in fundamental research areas; reforming and optimizing tech plan management, establishing non-regular assessment and support mechanism for major original, groundbreaking and interdisciplinary innovation projects, setting up and perfecting the mechanism to start and work through key technological programs and provide solid support for technical bottlenecks. On the other hand, the 25 measures will promote synergies between the economic system reform and the technological innovation and further release the demand for innovation. While economic development needs to be driven by innovation, it also leads its devevlopment. The 25 measures have proposed rapid development in technological innovation service industries, further endeavours in the establishment of professional technology transfer services providers under colleges and scientific research institutes to allow technology transfer services professionals to receive better incentives; further development of technology market by combining technical resources and optimizing technology trading schemes; as well as an emphasis on transfer and tranformation of achievements, and consolidation of support for the whole chain of innovation and entrepreneurship from the supply, demand and service aspects.

Secondly, to have a good management over the relationship between the government and the market. The concept of “an active market” should be emphasized. The city should accelerate the growth of a market system driven by technology and innovation, let the market allocate the resources for innovation and let the market decide the payment for innovation, thus to give market a bigger say. The proposal of Shanghai’s 25 measures is to empower research entities full autonomy and innovate on their management to establish a payment system compatible with the market and the international standards; for technological achievements, they can be traded or auctioned in the market with agreed prices. The function transition of the government should be accelerated. The city should pay more attention to services innovation, with the work focus shifting to strategic planning, key projects, policy-making, administrative reform and legal protection. The city should improve the public services such as the creation of a good environment for innovation, guidance and other services. The city will make further efforts to build a fair market and to optimize services for enterprises. It will support innovation by state-owned enterprises, and at the same time, nurture private technological companies and encourage them to undertake government projects or to serve as innovation platforms. The city should further support talent cultivation for private technological companies. Meanwhile, the city raises a series of measures to improve innovation environment and optimize related policies.

Thirdly, to fully motivate the creativity and vitality of people. Growth driven by innovation is essentially driven by talent, without whom there are no such advantages of innovation, technology or industry. One is to establish an income distribution system based on knowledge value. It is to allow scientists get their deserved honor and payment compatible with their contributions. The state-managed companies should set up a system to regulate the increase of people’s payment, while raise the income of scientists. For competitive research projects, the payment for scientists and those for registration, consultation and services of technologies should not be included in the overall performance-based payment. For state-managed companies with a certain proportion of high-level talent, they can set their own payment standards, the extra part of which can be not included in their performance-based payment. For full-time strategic projects that should introduce high-end talent, they can operate with independent policies that are approved and supervised separately.The second is to continue to optimize the talent structure. It is not only necessary to attach importance to scientists and research workers, but also to entrepreneurs; it's not only important to focus on innovative and entrepreneurial personnel, but also high-level innovative talents, as well as young scientific and technological talents; it's not only necessary to introduce overseas talents, but also to concentrate on the education and cultivation of local innovative talents and the fair treatment of talents from both home and abroad without setting discriminating standards. The third is to improve the talent evaluation and incentive system. The "25 measures" of science and technology reform have established a general mindset over the acquiring and using of talents. For entrepreneurs and innovative personnel that engage in a wide range of innovation activities, they shall be separated into different categories for assessment, and their personal evaluation results need to be combined with the teamwork evaluation results. A fundamental assessment standard and evaluation scheme will be set up and those who employ talents shall have the final say over the assessment of personnel and the evaluation has to be based on the actual work results. Team members' work results and contribution shall also be recognized and the assessment work should be separated from the innovative talents' degrees, academic papers, working titles and awards.

III The organization assurance of the "25 measures" of science and technology reform

The key to deepening the reform of the science and technology system and mechanism is to ensure implementation at the grass root level.

In order to ensure the implementation of the “25 measures” of science and technology reform, the city has made specific arrangements in terms of organizational leadership, responsibility implementation, assessment and supervision, and legislative guarantees, and has firmly established the idea of a unified mindset as well as an overall coordination scheme to deepen the reform of the science and technology system.

In the next step, the relevant departments of the municipal government will focus on the following tasks to effectively enhance the sense of acquisition of universities, research institutes, researchers and enterprises.

The first is to define the division of responsibilities. The major tasks identified in the “25 measures” of science and technology reform have clearly defined the responsible party, the leading department, and the coordination government institutions.

The lead department should take the first steps in finalizing the general working plans and the formulation of the plan, as well as communication and coordination works as well as promoting the implementation of the working plans. Other departments shall stick to their responsibilities and fully cooperate to perform their duties and to ensure that all work is well interlinked and integrated.

Secondly, the city is to strengthen the legal system. Recently, the Municipal Science and Technology Commission is taking the lead in formulating regulations for the construction of science and technology innovation centers. By promoting local science and technology legislation and rules, it seeks to provide legal guarantee for the reform of the science and technology system.

The third is to strengthen assessment and supervision.

The city shall strengthen supervision and inspection, and will carry out evaluation based on actual work results. By doing so it aims to timely discover and solve problems, and to ensure that the reform plans are implemented one by one. All government departments shall work together to improve the construction of science and technology centers to a new level.

The fourth is to strengthen publicity and communication.

The city will timely release reform information, and will answer reform challenges, and publicize reform experience, so that science and technology practitioners and industry watchers  as well as scientists and technicians are well aware of reform, so as to understand and support the reform.