The commercial value of scientific and technological achievements made by Chinese universities and research institutions reached a record total of 125.6 billion yuan ($18.7 billion) in 2020, a 17 billion yuan increase on 2019, according to a report published on Wednesday.
The report noted that the commercialization of findings has progressed steadily in recent years, but that it was still important to optimize policies and mechanisms, train high-caliber professionals, and improve financial incentives and support.
The 2021 edition of the annual report was compiled by the National Center for Science and Technology Evaluation, the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China and a research council for the management of scientific and technological achievement under the guidance of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
In 2020, 3,554 universities and research institutions reported 466,882 contracts for the commercialization of their research, about 261 of which were valued at over 100 million yuan.
Technology transfers, licensing and investment constituted 20,977 of the contracts, while 445,905 were for technological development, consultation and other services.
Some notable developments in the process include stronger intellectual protection, more efficient management systems, a greater focus on public health, and increased financial support.
However, the report also highlighted several shortfalls, including a lack of policies facilitating interdepartmental collaboration, a shortage of dedicated professionals, and insufficient risk management in terms of financing and the protection of intellectual property.
As a result, the report called for more effective mechanisms for communication and collaboration, training more high-caliber individuals, and increasing financial support for the commercialization of research findings.