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Top science authority to be given wider role

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-14 07:38

The Ministry of Science and Technology will be restructured to absorb the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, if a plan unveiled on Tuesday is approved.

The ministry would be in charge of introducing brainpower from abroad.

The plan was released by State Councilor Wang Yong at a plenary meeting of the ongoing session of the 13th National People's Congress.

The merger aims to better implement China's strategy of invigorating the country through science, education and talent improvement, as well as its innovation-driven development strategy, Wang said.

Under the plan, supervision of the National Natural Science Foundation of China would be handed to the ministry, which would then draft strategic innovation-driven development guidelines and science-related policies while coordinating research in fundamental areas and overseeing major programs.

Also, the ministry would lead efforts to build a national-level management platform for science and technology as well as a procedure to coordinate, assess and oversee program funding.

Wang said the integration will boost innovation, optimize the allocation of scientific and technological resources and promote team-building in high-end scientific and technological talent pools.

In another development, China plans to restructure the State Intellectual Property Office to boost protection of intellectual property rights. That plan was also issued on Tuesday.

The office, if approved, would incorporate some of the functions of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The proposed merger aims to solve problems such as separate administrations and overlapping law enforcement tasks involving trademarks and patents, the plan said.

It also aims to strengthen the creation, protection and application of IPR, and represents a major effort to gear up the process of making China a country of innovators.

The proposed new agency would be responsible for facilitating the construction of an IPR protection system and the registration and administrative adjudication of disputes involving trademarks and patents.

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