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Nation ranks among leading innovators

BY :China Daily

UPDATED :2024-01-15

Li Baodong (R), secretary general of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), speaks at a press conference for the BFA's annual conference in Boao, South China's Hainan province, March 28, 2023. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

China ranked among the world's leaders in terms of the quantity and quality of technological innovations in the fields of life and health, biopharmaceuticals, new energy and low-carbon technologies, new materials, advanced manufacturing and digital intelligence technologies in 2023, according to a global innovation report.

Particularly in areas like large-scale modeling technology, artificial intelligence pharmaceuticals and smart energy, China's patent application volume took a leading position globally, according to the Boao Forum for Asia Innovation Report, which was released in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on January 10.

The report analyzed global trends and challenges in technological innovation in 2023, with a particular focus on the development of cutting-edge technologies worldwide, especially the status and role of Asian technological innovation in the global landscape.

"China attaches great importance to technological innovation by implementing a series of policy measures to form a comprehensive policy framework," said Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia.

The measures, which include increased government investment in research and development, promoting the industrial transformation of scientific and technological achievements, strengthening intellectual property protection and attracting scientific and technological innovation talent, have helped enhance the strategic deployment of technological innovation across the country, according to Li.

"A new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is deepening and profoundly reshaping the global innovation landscape, with the rapid development of AI technology and the increasing digitization and intelligence changing people's lives and work in numerous ways," said Li.

As a strategic core technology, AI is poised to become a pivotal driving force in the global industrial transformation, with applications across various sectors including medical services, intelligent manufacturing, agriculture and transportation, the report said.

Xu Xiangmin, vice-president of South China University of Technology, pointed out that AI contributes to empowering health. "The key to proactive health is the transformative shift toward data-driven healthcare models," said Xu.

After more than 10 years of research and development, the Guangzhou-based university has pioneered intelligent wearable devices, ranging from sensitive new materials to flexible sensors, enabling comprehensive and multidimensional perception of human body data, according to Xu.

Asia is catching up with Europe and the United States in the key technological fields of the new round of technological revolution, with the innovation quantity, quality, and industrialization level of Asian countries and regions experiencing an accelerated increase, according to the report.

Taking the AI pharmaceutical industry as an example, the report said China has shown a remarkable performance in the field, with its domestic market expected to reach 414 million yuan (US$ 57.9 million) in 2023.

China, Japan and South Korea continue to exhibit robust growth in patent applications and approvals, according to the report. As of September last year, China had accumulated 4.8 million valid invention patents and 45.1 million trademarks, maintaining its global top position for international patent applications for four consecutive years.

Benchmarking itself against other global bay areas like New York and Tokyo, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), which focuses on four key patent indicators — invention patents, PCT patents, family patents and patent citation frequency — has surpassed its global counterparts in comprehensive patent capabilities.

In terms of the number of invention patents, the GBA maintains a positive trend in innovation, ranking first among the four major bay areas in the annual average growth of released invention patents, according to the report.

The number of invention patents released in the GBA reached 1.77 million from 2017 to 2021, the report said.

Editor: Annie