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Govt's favorable programs to boost research

Updated: 2012-08-27 07:09
By Cang Wei in Wuxi, Jiangsu and Song Wenwei in Nanjing ( China Daily)

The central government plans to work on policies meant to support the research of leading experts in China, a senior official has said.

Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said a program meant to enroll more than 10,000 researchers will soon be introduced.

Li said China is not home to enough "innovative" researchers, a lack that prevents the country from having a highly skilled workforce.

He made the remarks at the 2012 Recruitment Program of the Global Experts Taihu Lake Summit, which was held in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, from Saturday to Sunday.

The program is primarily meant to support the research of domestic experts, previous reports have said, adding that it has been approved by the central government.

The new program follows in the footsteps of the ambitious Thousand Talents Program, which was introduced by the central government in 2008 and aims to mine the talent of overseas experts, especially Chinese scholars who are working abroad.

The Thousand Talents Program is to last up to 10 years and is designed to encourage overseas experts to play a leading role in China's attempts to achieve innovation in laboratory work, high-tech industries, national programs of importance and financial institutes.

Since 2008, it has enrolled 2,793 leading scientists and professionals globally, including 846 who are in engineering and materials science, 618 in life sciences and biomedicine and 518 in information technology.

More than 600 of the experts and professors who were recruited by the program participated in the summit.

The program gives experts favorable treatment under taxation, insurance, housing, children and spousal settlement and research policies. In addition to money for scientific research, consisting of from 1 million yuan ($157,000) to 3 million yuan, the young experts recruited by the Thousand Talents Program have received allowances of up to 500,000 yuan.

Luo Zhijun, Party chief of Jiangsu, said the province has spent 6 billion yuan to attract more than 6,700 experts, among whom about 200 were recruited through the Thousand Talent Program.

But Carter Tseng, a Chinese-American scientist and founder of Microtek, a maker of image scanners, said the mainland's investment in scientific research has not been sufficient compared with what some regions and countries have put into that activity.

"Some developed countries allocate 3.5 percent of their GDP to scientific research, but the mainland has only put 2 percent into it," Tseng said.

"Successful scientific companies in Silicon Valley generally invest at least 10 percent of their revenues in research, and companies in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park invest an average of 6 percent. Mainland companies are being left far behind."

Contact the writers at cangwei@chinadaily.com.cn and songwenwei@chinadaily.com.cn

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