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Sci-tech Innovation, New Growth Engine for China

Mar 08, 2024

|  Source: People‘s Daily OnlineA+ / A-

As China pursues modernization through high-quality development, innovation driven by sci-tech progress has become a new growth engine for the country. 

During the ongoing annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also known as the "two sessions," the pivotal role of sci-tech innovation has been highlighted frequently. 

The government work report, which was submitted Tuesday to the national legislature for deliberation, stressed the need to spur industrial innovation by making sci-tech innovations and press ahead with new industrialization, so as to raise total factor productivity, steadily foster new growth drivers and strengths, and promote a new leap forward in the productive forces. 

"Sci-tech innovation plays a leading role in new quality productive forces, which meets the requirements of high-quality development", said Guo Guoping, NPC deputy and chief scientist at Origin Quantum Computing Technology Co., Ltd. 

"We can use quantum computing technology to achieve breakthroughs in traditional computing and applications in various industries to improve productivity, create more value and help promote economic development," said Guo, who is also a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China. 

The company's quantum computing service covers finance, the chemical industry, biomedicine and the power industry. Its product Origin Wukong, China's independently developed third-generation superconducting quantum computer, has completed some 160,000 quantum computing tasks for global users since it became operational on Jan. 6 this year, with remote access exceeding 2 million times from more than 100 countries. 

The cultivation of emerging industries and future-oriented industries such as hydrogen power, new materials, biomanufacturing, commercial spaceflight, quantum technology and life sciences is outlined in the government work report. 

In some work reports of provincial-level regions released before the two sessions, emerging industries backed by sci-tech innovation are listed in the plans to drive economic growth. 

For example, Tianjin will beef up sectors such as artificial intelligence and supercomputing, brain-computer interaction and human-machine integration, as well as universal robots. Henan will aim for expansion in the fields of commercial spaceflight, low-altitude economy, quantum technology and life sciences. 

Innovation will not only improve productivity in emerging industries but also boost and transform the traditional sectors. 

Chen Zhihua, chairman of Chinese software developer Kylinsoft, said that the operating system is the key basic software to support and guarantee the wide application of digital technology. The advancement of new quality productive forces requires higher performance of operating systems. 

Chen, also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, added that the security and stability of the domestic operating system have achieved leapfrog development, which played an important role in the transformation and upgrading of operating systems in finance and key basic industries. 

Tang Lixin, NPC deputy and chief scientist at a national science center of industrial intelligence in Northeastern University in Liaoning, said that future factories will be an integration of informatization, intelligence and automation. 

By systematically integrating and analyzing industrial big data such as images, videos and visual simulations, enterprises can detect and diagnose product quality, equipment operation and maintenance, and production process under complex conditions, thus making targeted improvements to enhance quality and performance, Tang noted. 

According to the 2024 draft plan for economic and social development of Liaoning, the heartland of heavy industry in the country, the province will build more than 500 provincial digitalized workshops and smart factories this year, and promote the construction of 5G-factories and pilot zones featuring "5G plus industrial internet." 

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the two sessions on Tuesday, Minister of Science and Technology Yin Hejun said that scientific and technological innovation not only enhances the competitiveness of the country's traditional industries but also lays a solid foundation and injects impetus into the development of new quality productive forces. 

According to Yin, some 950,000 technology contracts were signed in 2023, with a total turnover of 6.15 trillion yuan (about 866 billion U.S. dollars), up 28.6 percent year on year. The number of authorized invention patents reached 921,000, an increase of 15.3 percent from the previous year. (People‘s Daily Online) 

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