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Why the Growth of China’s Input in Research and Development during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period Is Below Expectations (No.270, 2020)

Dec 22,2020

By Jia Shen, Department of Development Strategy and Regional Economy & Wang Minghui, General Office, DRC

Research Report, No.270, 2020 (Total 6014) 2020-11-12

Abstract: China has steadily enhanced its input in research and development (R&D) with improving efforts during the 13th Five-Year Plan period while the input is still much lower compared with the expected level proposed in the plan. The direct reason is that the growth rate of China’s R&D investment has slowed down sharply after 2014, which can be mainly attributed to the slowdown of the growth of R&D investment of enterprises, technology-intensive industries and R&D investment in regions facing difficulties in industrial transformation and development. In the 14th Five-Year Plan period, China will embark on a new journey of modernization, which poses higher requirements for its innovation and development. However, the growth of its R&D investment has not yet met expectations. To further improve China’s innovation abilities, efforts are needed to set sound R&D investment growth targets, focus on expanding R&D investment for counter-cyclical management, increase the proportion of investment on basic research, and improve the industrial organization pattern to bring the role of large enterprises’ driving innovation into full play.

Keywords: input in research and development, efforts on research and development, the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the 14th Five-Year Plan period