Institutions that produce and attract elite academics known as yuanshi, will receive a 100 million yuan award ($16 million) from the government, Liaoning province Information Office announced on Tuesday.
A yuanshi is an elite academic in the fields of science and engineering. To become a yuanshi, a person must be approved by the China Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
"That’s the new method to promote scientific and technological innovation. Talent is the key to innovation," said a staff member at the Liaoning science and technology bureau who refused to be named.
The staff member said the bonus has been increased from 20 million yuan. To prevent fraud, the yuanshi must work and live in Liaoning rather than take a temporary post in the province.
There are currently 51 yuanshi in Liaoning, ranking it seventh in the country for numbers of the elite academics.
"This (number) is suitable with the economic development of our province now. But for the long-term goals of our technology development, it’s not enough," said Zhao Jinghai, vice director of Liaoning science and technology bureau. According to the bureau, the number of yuanshi is expected to increase by 10 and the number of reserve candidates for yuanshi will reach 40 in the next five years.
"This reflects that the government is paying more attention to talent. That’s good. But we should not only attach the importance to the number of talent, but also pay attention to whether that talent can adapt to the economic development. Do not introduce in yuanshi just for the prize," said Liang Qidong, a researcher at Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.