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Shanghai to implement new law promoting R&D

By XING YI in Shanghai | | Updated: 2020-04-21 19:12
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High-rise buildings and skyscrapers dominate the skyline of the Huangpu River and the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. [Photo/Sipa]

A municipal legislation aimed at promoting Shanghai's science and technology innovation will take effect on May 1.

Consisting of 59 articles, the legislation gives more flexibility to research entities and talents, encourages social capital investment in basic research, loosens administrative approvals and improves intellectual property protection.

"The legislation has made it clear that the municipal and district-level governments shall increase their fiscal investment to support science and technology innovation annually," said Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai science and technology commission, during a news conference on the legislation on Tuesday.

Shanghai's fiscal expenditure in science and technology grew from 34.17 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) in 2016 to 42.64 billion in 2018, said Zhang.

The 2019 municipal budget for science and technology was 39.82 billion yuan, according to the standing committee of the municipal people's congress.

Wu Qing, vice mayor of Shanghai, said the government supports basic scientific research in higher education institutions and also encourages companies to invest in this field.

"Now, Shanghai's overall investment in research and development accounts for 4 percent of the total GDP of the city. This is 0.35 percentage points higher than five years ago," he said.

The legislation will hand down more administrative approvals to research institutions and strengthen intellectual property protection, according to Luo Peixin, deputy director of the municipal bureau of justice.

Luo added that the legislation will also provide more autonomy to public research and development institutions when it comes to hiring and promoting talents.

With the consent of the institution, researchers are allowed to set up companies in this field, according to the legislation.

The legislation has devoted a chapter to the protection of intellection property, which orders government departments and agencies to improve related evaluation systems, hasten law enforcement and mete out harsher punishments.

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