China is among the 20 most innovative economies for the first time

China- EU Summit 2018 Tusk Kequiang

From left to right: Mr Li KEQIANG, Prime Minister of China; Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council. Shoot location: Beijing – CHINA Shoot date: 16/07/2018 Copyright: European Union

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Alex Gray, Formative Content

In the last few decades, China has made huge progress in science and technology. This new age of innovation has seen the birth of ‘unicorn’ tech companies like media giant Tencent, the ‘Uber of China’ Didi Chuxing, and the world’s biggest drone builder, DJI.

Now, for the first time, China has broken into the top 20 of a global list of the most innovative economies.

The latest Global Innovation Index singles out China for its rapid transformation into an innovation powerhouse. It has risen consistently up the rankings, in 2015, it was in 29th place, the following year it rose four places to 25th place and in 2017 up three places to 22nd.

Key drivers behind this upward trend include a high level of spending on research and development and the high number of patent applications made by Chinese companies and institutions.

China’s innovation trajectory has been dynamic, says the report, which is compiled by the INSEAD business school, Cornell University and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

China riding high

Image: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The report finds that China has the highest concentration of researchers, the highest number of patent applications submitted, and the number of scientific and technical publications is well ahead of the US.

Meanwhile, the latest figures (2016) from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics shows China has 1,200 researchers per million inhabitants, and a total of around 1.6 million researchers.

Image: WIPO

China filed over 1.2 million patents in 2016, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation. That’s more than the combined total for the United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Patent Office. China filed most heavily in electrical machinery.

Image: UNESCO Institute of Statistics

China spends around 2.1% of its GDP on research and development. Relative to its economic status, it’s a country punching well above its weight. It is one of the few middle income countries to feature so high up in the index.

Rich returns from innovation

Studies have found that every dollar invested in R&D generates nearly two dollars in return. While the rate will vary, R&D is an important driver of economic growth.

Among China’s other notable achievements is being listed 2nd in the world for its number of innovative clusters. It has 18 clusters including Shenzhen–Hong Kong and Beijing. Most of the world’s leading science and technology clusters are in the U.S., China, and Germany.

In terms of the quality of its innovation, China ranks 17th overall. It performs above the high-income group average in the quality of its scientific publications and its universities.

Investments in energy

The theme of this year’s report is Energizing the World with Innovation, and in this sector, China is also among the global leaders.

Much of China’s innovation has been in the energy sector. In recent years, China has made great efforts to move away from its dependency on coal and has enthusiastically embraced renewables. It now leads the world in solar innovation, with 60,000 photovoltaic-related inventions to its credit.

The report states that India and China are delving deeper into the downstream applications of PV technologies, including PV-hybrid plants and PV-grid integrations, which will help supply electricity to remote areas.

China is also the largest electric carmaker in the world, with home-grown start-ups vying to compete with the likes of Tesla.

“China’s rapid rise reflects a strategic direction set from the top leadership to developing world-class capacity in innovation and to moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that rely on innovation to maintain competitive advantage,” said WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry. “It heralds the arrival of multipolar innovation”.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

Why and How: Advocating for the inclusion of Palliative Care in Universal Health Care

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Charlotte in Ghana

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

The Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Explained

GSMA Mobile 360 – Latin America at Mexico City: Intelligently Connecting to a Better Future, in association with The European Sting

UN Children’s Fund chief condemns ‘horrific’ Kabul bomb attack

4 key steps to support cross-border payments and digital trade growth

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Medical Studies During COVID-19: How the Pandemic Affects this Generation of Doctors-to-be

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

Companies that put employees first perform better

The 4 types of leader who will thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

Is there a drug for every disease?

Mobile Technology Saving Lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

The final countdown towards achieving 2030 Agenda

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

Here’s how China is going green

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

Application of EU Law in 2020: Protecting our agreed rules and shared values during a pandemic

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets

Commission reports on progress in risk reduction in the Banking Union and calls for faster progress on Capital Markets Union ahead of EU Leaders’ meetings

From sun-powered trikes to mind-controlled TV – 10 top gadgets unveiled at CES 2020

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

The future of suicide and depression prevention

Study finds sharks are ‘functionally extinct’ in 20% of reefs observed

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

These are the skills young people will need for the green jobs of the future

Understanding and demystifying the new outbreak of Coronavirus

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Do you dare to go to China?

Libya ‘in race against time’, but dissolving conflict ‘a realistic prospect’, Security Council hears

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

Immigrant integration policies have improved but challenges remain

COVID-19: MEPs call for measures to close the digital gap in education

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

Why practicing medicine privately at home is still a (difficult) option?

Gender gap in medicine: from when, why and until when?

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s