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Li Yuguang: The Shift from Local Innovation to Global Innovation

Source: chinagate.cn Date: 2017-01-18


Liu Yuguang, Counsellor of the State Council and Deputy Administrator of the State Intellectual Property Office.
 
The 8th Forum on China’s Economic Prospects was held in Beijing on January 15, with the theme “innovation-driven development and shift from old to new growth drivers”. The forum was organized by the Economic Daily, with guidance from the Development Research Center of the State Council.
Li Yuguang, Counsellor of the State Council and former Deputy Administrator of the State Intellectual Property Office, made a keynote speech, in which he said to shift the growth drivers, we need to move from local innovation to global innovation.

Li Yuguang cited statistics to make the case. He said intellectual property is a symbol of innovation. In 2015, China processed 1.1 million patent applications, ranking 1st in the world for the fifth year in a row. By comparison, there were only 589,000 applications in the US and 319,000 in Japan. China had more applications than the US and Japan combined. When it comes to international applications, China had 42,000, the US 238,000, Japan 195,000 and Germany 102000. China’s global applications only account for 17.7% of those of the US. In this sense, China’s innovation is mostly local, not global.

“A WIPO report shows that China’s invention patent applications cover electronic engineering, computer technologies and semi-conductors as well as high-tech technologies in medicine and measurement devices. These are areas where China boasts a large number of patents. There are also other areas that can demonstrate strong capacity in science and technology innovation, which may not be reflected through patent, for instance manned spacecraft, high-speed rail, nuclear power equipment and new-generation information technologies. High-quality patents will support industrial transformation in these areas,” said Li Yuguang.

Relations between Local and Global Innovation.
Li said that innovation translates into productive forces. China is still in the process of transition and at a low level of productivity. China needs to improve its independent innovation capacity and catch up with developed countries. China still lags behind the US, Europe, Japan and ROK in innovation in advanced equipment, integrated circuit, bio-pharmaceutical. The country has yet to move from local innovation to global innovation. 

   Can local innovation and global innovation be achieved at the same time? Li Yuguang believed that “Global innovation practices show that there can be global solutions to local problems. Global innovation can produce win-win outcomes. It can meet the need for local innovation and, at the same time, global trade, and thus contributes to globalization. As global innovation is experiencing low growth, the priority should be finding new sources of productivity and future growth.”

According to Li, technological innovation is the major driver of economic growth and innovation is becoming global. And global innovation requires more platforms. For Chinese companies, they need to have innovative means. There also needs to be a platform and culture for global cooperation on innovation that is participated by all parties.
The supply-side structural reform should be pursued in an innovative way. Innovation should be international. In a number of sectors, some companies have come to the forefront of global innovation and got a large market share. This proves that global innovation is a win-win model.