This transcript of a 2016 PRC Ministry of Science and Technology press conference announces the creation of China’s overarching “National Key R&D Program.” Notably, the National Key R&D Program absorbs the former 973 and 863 Programs, two major PRC technology development plans that had been in place for decades.
The Chinese text of the summary transcript is available online at: http://www.most.gov.cn/xwzx/twzb/gjzdyfjh/twzbwzzy/201602/t20160216_124128.html
A Chinese-language notice providing context for the press conference is available online at: http://www.most.gov.cn/xwzx/twzb/gjzdyfjh/index.html
Archived versions of these two documents are available online, respectively, at:
[Director of the General Office (办公厅) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and MOST Spokesperson] Wu Yuanbin (吴远彬): Good morning to our friends in the press, and welcome everyone to MOST’s first regular press conference of 2016. We thank all our friends in the media for their concern and support for science and technology (S&T) endeavors. Since fully launching management reform of the central government fiscal [budget-funded] S&T programs (special projects, funds, etc.) at the end of 2014, under the correct leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, and under the kind care and guidance of Vice Premier [Liu] Yandong, MOST, the Ministry of Finance, the [National] Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and relevant departments, reform tasks have been actively assigned and implementation of reform has been promoted, a number of breakthroughs have been made, and the work is beginning to show results. Today [February 16, 2016], with the first batch of guidelines for key special projects of the National Key Research and Development (R&D) Program (国家重点研发计划) beginning to be issued, the reform work has taken an important step forward. In the following, we asked Vice Minister of Science and Technology Hou Jianguo (侯建国) to brief us on the relevant progress of the National Key R&D Program.
Hou Jianguo: The core tasks of national program management reform are—in accordance with the requirement to fully implement the innovation-driven development strategy—to improve the efficiency of S&T programs, enhance innovation capacity, establish an open and unified national S&T management platform, build a new framework and layout for the S&T program system, and focus on solving the major deep-seated problems that constrain the innovation and development led by China’s S&T programs. While following the objective laws of S&T development, and giving full rein to the enthusiasm and creativity of S&T personnel, we shall better promote S&T innovation as the core of comprehensive innovation.
In terms of building a new framework and layout for the S&T program system, among the five types of programs, the National Key R&D Program was one of the earliest for which reforms were launched, and it is also the most integrated, with the former 973 Program, 863 Program, National S&T Support Program, and special research programs for industries that contribute to the public good (公益性产业) all within it. From a functional positioning perspective, the National Key R&D Program is to provide S&T support for all major industries for national economic and social development. It involves a wide range of areas and is of great concern to all sectors of society. Its reform has a benchmarking function, and also shoulders the important mission for the other four types of plans of “building bridges and paving roads” for optimization-integration and management reform. We must exploit the more efficient innovation supply capabilities of the reformed new mechanism, and fully verify the scientificity (科学性) and feasibility of reform measures.
To this end, one year after the launch of the reform, government departments and experts from all sides having collaborated and put in much painstaking attention and effort, the National Key R&D Program has finally been officially launched and implemented. This is a concentrated manifestation of the substantive progress made in various reform tasks thus far, and it also lays a solid foundation for the ultimate success of the reform.
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