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Xi Jinping: 'Strive to Become the World’s Primary Center for Science and High Ground for Innovation'

In newly released speech, China's top leader emphasizes independent advancement in S&T

Translation by Ben Murphy, Rogier Creemers, Elsa Kania, Paul Triolo, and Kevin Neville. Edited with an introduction by Graham Webster.

As the Chinese government released the 14th Five-Year Plan, covering the years 2021–26, its emphasis on advancement in science and technology (S&T) took center stage. For China's top leader Xi Jinping, however, the importance of innovation and S&T advancement has been a major emphasis for several years.

The publication this week of a previously unreleased 2018 speech by Xi on reforms aimed at shaping China into the world's primary science and innovation center, therefore, underlines for the audience of the Communist Party's top theory journal Qiushi that the 14th Five-Year Plan builds on work that is already underway. DigiChina has translated the full speech below.

The speech, given on May 28, 2018, was part of a series of public statements and media events that signaled the Chinese government's resolve to build "independent innovation" (also translated as "indigenous innovation") in "core technologies" at a time when the Trump administration in the United States signaled an increasing willingness to interfere with Chinese access to key components.

Xi had given a speech on cybersecurity and digital economy policy the month before (coverage of which was translated by DigiChina) that reportedly framed "core technologies" as "important instruments of the state." In a tour of high-tech facilities following that group, Xi had reportedly invoked "self-reliance"—now a watchword of Chinese S&T and industrial policy.

Xi has also spoken at length to more senior audiences of Chinese leaders and sectoral experts about emerging technologies and critical technology sectors such as semiconductors, quantum computing, artificial intelligence. AI is at the top of the new five-year plan's list of strategic areas, and Xi has frequently hailed the emerging technology as a primary driver of the next industrial revolution.

The speech translated below provides important insight into the way Xi has framed Chinese strategy around technology to internal audiences for three years and signals continuity with initiatives pursued since that time.

[Corrections: 19 March 2021: Due to an editing error, this translation was originally published without co-translator Elsa Kania's byline. 5 April 2021: The introduction to this translation originally misstated the date of the speech as May 5; the original source indicates it was May 28. We regret the errors.]

Original source: http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2021-03/15/c_1127209130.htm

TRANSLATION

Strive to Become the World’s Primary Center for Science and High Ground for Innovation

By Xi Jinping

With the advent of the 21st century, global science and technology (S&T) innovation has entered a period of unprecedented intensity and vitality. The new round of S&T revolution and industrial revolution is reconstructing the global innovation domain and reshaping the global economic structure. New-generation information technologies, represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information science, mobile telecommunications, the Internet of Things, and blockchain are accelerating breakthrough applications. The realm of life sciences, represented by synthetic biology, gene editing, brain science, and regenerative medicine, is giving birth to new changes. The new manufacturing technologies of integrated robotics, digitalization, and new materials are accelerating the manufacturing industry's shift toward intelligent systems, focusing on services, and eco-friendliness. The development of clean, high-efficiency, and sustainable energy technologies is accelerating and will usher in a global energy revolution. Space and maritime technologies are expanding the frontiers of where humans can live and work. In sum, creative breakthroughs in areas such as information technology, life sciences, manufacturing, energy, space, and maritime are supplying ever more wellsprings of innovation for cutting-edge and disruptive technologies; the trend of cross-cutting fusion between disciplines, between disciplines and technologies, between technologies, and between the natural sciences and the humanities and social sciences, is becoming more pronounced by the day; and S&T have never before so profoundly influenced the future and fate of nations, and have never before so profoundly influenced the lives and welfare of the people, as they do today.

At present, some significant problems urgently in need of solutions still exist in China's S&T domain. In particular, relative to the new missions and new requirements laid down by the 19th Party Congress, there exist a great many deficiencies in China's S&T, in areas such as the structure of our vision, our capacity for innovation, our resource allocation, and our structure and policies. The shortcomings of China's basic scientific research are still obvious. Industry gives short shrift to basic research. We lack major original achievements. We have weak low-level basic technology and basic industrial capabilities. There are still prominent bottlenecks in industrial machine tools, high-end microchips, basic software and hardware, development platforms, basic algorithms, basic components, basic materials, and so on. Our situation, in which key and core technologies are controlled by others, has not fundamentally changed. China's technical R&D is focused on bottlenecks in industrial development and is insufficient to meet demand. We need still more open S&T cooperation plans with global vision. Our capacity to convert S&T achievements [into practical applications] is weak. China's talent development structures and mechanisms are in need of further improvement; our incentive mechanisms to arouse the innovation and creative vitality of talent are weak, and we lack top individual and team talent. China's S&T administrative structure still fails to fully meet the requirements for building a world S&T superpower (世界科技强国).[1] The implementation of many major decisions in S&T structural reform has not yet formed strong cooperation. Overall planning and linkages between S&T innovation policy on the one hand and economic and industrial policy on the other are still insufficient. The whole society's mechanism and environment for encouraging innovation and welcoming innovation are in need of improvement.

If China is to grow strong, prosperous, and rejuvenated, we most certainly need to develop S&T in a big way. We must strive to become the world's main center of science and the high ground of innovation. We are closer than any time in history to the objective of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we need more than any time in history to build [China into] a world S&T superpower!

At present, we have arrived at a historical crossroads, where the new round of the world S&T revolution and industrial revolution meets China's transformation of its mode of development. We face both a unique historical opportunity and a mounting, severe challenge. We must clearly recognize that, while some historical crossroads can occur again and again, other historical crossroads can be fleeting.

The circumstances are pressing, the challenge is pressing, and the mission is pressing. China's S&T workers must grasp the big picture, seize this decisive opportunity, confront issues head-on, tackle difficulties and surmount them, set sights on the world S&T cutting edge, guide the direction of S&T development, shoulder the heavy responsibility history has bestowed on you, and boldly serve as the pacesetters for S&T innovation in the new era.

First, it is necessary to fully understand that innovation is the first driving force, to provide high-quality S&T inputs, and to focus on supporting the construction of a modern economic system. It is written in the Mohist canon that "strength (力) is that by which the body exerts itself."[2] That is to say, the impetus (动力) is the cause of the movement of objects. It is necessary to focus on improving the quality and efficiency of development, to support supply-side structural reform (供给侧结构性改革) as the main line, and to improve the quality of the supply system as the main direction. This will make it possible to promote the qualitative transformation, efficiency transformation, and impetus transformation of economic development, and significantly enhance China’s economic quality advantages. By making up for shortcomings, tapping potential, and increasing advantages, we must promote the efficient flow of resource elements and the optimal allocation of resources, and promote the reengineering of industrial supply chains and the upgrading of value chains, while satisfying effective demand and potential demand, achieving the matching of supply and demand, and dynamically balancing development, while improving market development expectations, and boosting confidence in the development of the real economy.

The world is entering a period of economic development dominated by the information industry. We must grasp the opportunity of the integration and development of digitization and  networked and intelligent systems, and use informatization and intelligent systems deployment as levers to cultivate new kinetic energy. It is necessary to highlight their leading nature and pillar nature, as we give priority to cultivating and vigorously developing a number of strategic emerging industrial clusters and build the new pillars of the industrial system. It is necessary to promote the deep integration of the Internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real economy, in order to make the digital economy bigger and stronger. It is necessary to focus on intelligent manufacturing to promote industrial technological transformation and optimization and upgrading, to promote the fundamental transformation of manufacturing industry models and corporate models, and to promote “bringing forth the new” to drive "weeding out the old," creating new technology to upgrade capacity, and propelling China’s industries toward the high-end of global value chains.

Second, we must stay the course of  independent innovation (自主创新), strengthen our confidence in innovation, and exert efforts to enhance our ability to innovate independently. Only a confident country and nation can move forward steadily on the road to the future. When trees are tall and leafy, they are tied to deep roots. Self-reliance is the foundation for the Chinese nation to strive and stand on its own among the nations of the world, and independent innovation is the only way for us to scale the world's technological peaks. "If I will have confidence about my ability to accomplish something, even if it is as difficult as moving mountains and filling the sea, I will have a successful day. If I believe that it is not feasible, even if it is as easy as turning the palm of your hand or snapping a twig, I will not be effective."[3] Innovation will always have a high failure rate, like 9 out of 10, but we must have the pride to be "more than what we are good at; even though we die, we should still have no regrets."[4] The vast number of scientific and technological workers in China must have strong confidence and determination to innovate, neither groundlessly underestimating themselves nor arrogantly overestimating themselves. They must have the courage to overcome difficulties, pursue excellence, win victories, and actively seize the commanding heights of technological competition and future development.

Practice has repeatedly told us that [it is possible] with core technologies that they may not be available when needed, cannot be purchased when needed, and are not always available on demand. Only by grasping key and core technologies within our own hands can we fundamentally guarantee national economic security, national defense security, and other securities. It is necessary to strengthen the "four self-confidences,"[5] taking key common technologies, frontier leading technologies, modern engineering technologies, and disruptive technological innovations as breakthrough points, daring to take the road that no one has traveled, striving to realize independent control of key and core technologies, and taking the initiative to innovate and the initiative in development firmly within our own hands.

In building a world S&T superpower, it is necessary to have iconic S&T achievements. It is necessary to strengthen strategic orientation and guidance on objectives, strengthen the capabilities of the S&T innovation system, accelerate the construction of first-mover advantages that support high-end leadership, strengthen the research and deployment of fundamental and overall scientific issues, and make great efforts in key domains and bottleneck sectors, mustering elite forces, setting out strategic arrangements, and achieving breakthroughs as rapidly as possible. In addition, it is necessary to strive to realize the strategic transformation of China’s overall technological level from following, to running alongside, to becoming a leader in important S&T domains, becoming a pioneer in emerging frontier inter-disciplinary domains, and creating more competitive advantages. We must take satisfying the people's yearning for a better life as our stance on technological innovation, and take the key direction of technological innovation as favoring the people, benefitting the people, enriching the people, and improving people's livelihood.

Basic research is the fountainhead of the whole scientific system. We must aim at the global S&T frontiers, seize upon the major trends, make a good “first move,” lay a solid foundation, reserve the long-term, be willing to sit on the bench, dare to be a planter and well-digger, and achieve forward-looking basic research and leading original results as major breakthroughs, laying a solid foundation for building China into a world S&T superpower. We must increase the intensity of applied basic research, take the promotion of major S&Tl projects as the starting point, open up the “last kilometer,” remove the blockages that hinder industrialization, and clear the fast lane of applied basic research and industrialization. Promote precise linkage between the innovation chain and the industrial chain, speed up the transformation of scientific research results from samples to products to commodities, and fully apply S&T achievements to modernization.

Engineering and S&T are the engines that promote human progress; they are powerful levers for industrial revolution, economic development, and social progress. The numerous engineering and S&T workers must have a spirit of artisanship, as well as a spirit of unity. They must focus on major national strategic requirements, aim at economic construction and major engineering and S&T issues related to national security, and closely follow the real needs of society and people’s livelihood in the new era, as well as the needs of military-civilian integration. We must accelerate the transformation and application of independent innovation achievements, and take the initiative in forward-looking and strategic areas.

Third, comprehensively deepen reforms of S&T organization, enhance the efficiency of the innovation system, and strive to stimulate vitality in innovation. Innovation will win the future; reform is vital to the nation’s fortunes. The domain of S&T is the domain that is most in need of continuous reform. On June 9, 2014, I emphasized in my speech at the two academies’ Academician Conference, in promoting indigenous innovation, the most urgent thing is to break the barriers of the system and mechanism, maximize the liberation and stimulation of the huge potential of science and technology as the primary productive force. Focusing on these key missions, over these years, we have vigorously promoted the reform of the S&T system. The reform of the science and technology system has made full efforts, made multiple breakthroughs, and in-depth development. The main structure of the reform of the science and technology system has been already established, and substantial breakthroughs have been achieved in reforms in important domains and key links.

In August 2015, the Party Center and the State Council published the “Implementation Plan to Deepen Structural Reform in Science And Technology,” which listed 143 reform tasks to be completed by the year 2020; at present, over 110 reform tasks have been completed. We have achieved substantial breakthroughs in difficult areas in S&T reform that we have wanted to resolve for many years yet had not been able to resolve. At the same time, several prominent problems that remain to be resolved still exist in S&T structural reform. These mainly are: the overall efficiency of the national innovation system is not yet strong; the problem that S&T innovation resources are scattered, duplicated, and low efficiency has not yet been fundamentally resolved; phenomena such as “many projects, many hats, and many plaques” remain relatively prominent; S&T input and output efficiency remains low; capacity to transfer and convert S&T achievements [into practical applications], realize industrialization, and create market value are insufficient; the reform of scientific research institutions, progress in areas such as the establishment and completion of mechanisms to integrate finance with S&T, the training of innovative talent, etc., lags behind overall progress; and the vigour of scientific research personnel in conducting original S&T innovation has not been fully unleashed, etc.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of our country’s reform and opening up. To comprehensively deepen reform in a new era, our resolve cannot waver, and our courage cannot weaken. We must dare to crack hard nuts, dare to ford difficult streams and cross difficult passes in S&T structural reform, and break through all intellectual obstacles and structural barriers constraining S&T innovation. As it is said, “poverty leads to change, change leads to development, development leads to longevity.”

We must: uphold the “dual drivers" of S&T innovation and structural innovation; be guided by problems; be led by necessities; devote efforts in practical subjects, structural arrangements, policy safeguards, and creating environments; sustain efforts in areas such as innovation subjects, innovation bases, innovation resources, innovation environments, etc.; strengthen national strategic S&T; and enhance the overall efficiency of the national innovation system. We must optimize and strengthen top-level design of the technological innovation system, clarify the functions and positions of enterprises, higher education institutions, scientific research institutes and innovative actors in the different segments of the innovation chain, and arouse the innovative enthusiasm and vigor of all kinds of actors. We must accelerate the transformation of government S&T management functions, and give full rein to organizational advantages.  

Enterprises are the subjects of innovation, and are fresh troops in driving innovation and creativity. It is as Engels said: “Whenever society has a technological need, this kind of need will drive science forward more than ten universities will.” We must push enterprises to become actors for technological innovation policy decisions,  research and development input, scientific research organization, and conversion of outcomes, and foster a batch of innovative vanguard enterprises with prominent core technology capabilities that integrate strong innovation capabilities. Let the market play a guiding role in the orientation of technological research and development, choice of pathways, factor pricing, and the allocation of all kinds of innovation factors, and let the market truly play a decisive role in the allocation of innovation resources. We must perfect long-term mechanisms for policy support, factor input, incentives and safeguards, service, supervision and management, etc., to drive forward the flourishing development of new technologies, new products, and new business models. We must accelerate the transformation of achievements into applications, break down and pass through junctures, and eliminate “one dragon” bottlenecks in realizing technological breakthroughs, product manufacture, market scale, and industry development.

We must construct national laboratories with high standards, promote the comprehensive arrangement and optimization of large scientific plans, large scientific projects, large scientific centres, and international S&T innovation bases. We must accelerate the establishment of S&T policy decision mechanisms with S&T consultancy support for administrative policymaking, focus on letting think tanks and specialized research bodies play their role, perfect S&T policy making mechanisms, and raise scientific policy making capabilities. We must accelerate the construction of civil-military fusion development systems; perfect civil-military fusion organization and management systems, work operations systems, policy structures, and systems; and eliminate obstacles for “the people to join the military” and “the military to transfer to the people.” We must strengthen intellectual property protection and law enforcement, and perfect intellectual property service systems.

On May 30, 2016, I stressed in my speech at the National Science and Technology Innovation Conference, the Two Academies Conference and the 9th National Congress of the China Association for Science and Technology that we must strive to reform and innovate scientific research funding use, and management methods; let funding serve people’s creative activities, and not let people’s creative activities serve funding; we must reform S&T valuation structures, establish categorized evaluation systems guided by S&T innovation quality, contributions, and achievements; and truly evaluate the scientific value, technological value, economic value, social value, and cultural value of S&T innovation achievements. We have successively published several important reform plans, including the “Plan Concerning Deepening Management Reform of Central Financial Administration Science and Technology Plans (Projects, Funds, etc.),” “Some Opinions Concerning Further Perfecting Central Financial Administration Science and Technology Project Funding Management and Other Such Policies,” “Some Opinions Concerning Implementing Allocation Policies Guided by Added Knowledge Value,” the “Guiding Opinions Concerning Reform of the Categorized Promotion of Talent Evaluation Mechanism,” and the “Plan Concerning Deepening Reform of the Science and Technology Award and Incentive Structures.” These have received warm welcomes from the numerous science and technology workers. Everyone reflects that these reforms still need to be improved in places. Some have not yet completely been implemented, and relevant departments must earnestly listen to everyone’s opinions and suggestions, continue to determinedly move forward, and liberate people’s creative activities from unreasonable funding management, talent evaluation, and other such structures.

Fourth, deeply participate in global S&T governance, contribute China’s wisdom, and strive to promote the construction of a community of common destiny for humankind. S&T are global and of the times; to develop S&T, we must have a global outlook. Do not refuse a mass of small streams, for they all become rivers and seas. Independent innovation is innovation in an open environment. We can absolutely not go forward with closed doors; we must bring together winds from the four seas, and borrow strengths from the eight directions. We must deepen international S&T exchange and cooperation, advance independent innovation from an ever higher starting point, actively deploy and vigorously use international innovation resources, strive to build cooperative win-win partnerships, collectively respond to the common challenges of humankind such as its future development, food security, energy security, human health, climate change, etc., benefiting many other countries and peoples at the same time as we realize our own development, and promote balanced development at a global level.

We must adhere to a global vision and plan to promote S&T innovation, strengthen widespread international cooperation in S&T innovation, actively integrate into the global network of S&T innovation, improve the level of opening up of national S&T plans, actively participate in and lead international large-scale scientific plans and projects, and encourage China's scientists to initiate and organize international S&T cooperation plans. We must continue the Belt and Road Initiative and create a new technological innovation alliance for the countries along the corridor while creating opportunities and platforms for the common development of all countries. We must maximize the use of global innovation resources, comprehensively enhance China’s position in the global innovation landscape, and enhance China’s influence and rule-making capabilities in global S&T governance.

Fifth, we must firmly establish the strategic position of talent leading development, comprehensively gather talent, and strive to consolidate them in a foundation for innovation and development. Achievements are made by talent, and industries are expanded by talent. In all things in this world, people are the most precious; and all innovative achievements are produced by people. Hard power or soft power, when it comes down to it, it all depends on the power of talent. The entire history of S&T has proven that whoever has first-class innovative talent and scientists can gain the advantage in S&T innovation. At present, China still has a shortage of high-level innovative talents, especially those which lead in S&T. The system for evaluating talent is not rational. The phenomenon of holding professional titles and academic qualifications on paper alone remains a serious problem, the plethora of assessments and evaluations give S&T workers more work than they can handle, "hats" worn by talent proliferate, and the talent management system remains ill-adapted to the demands of innovation and incompatible with the nature of S&T innovation. We must also innovate the talent evaluation mechanism, establish and improve the evaluation system of S&T talent oriented by innovation ability, quality, and contribution, and form and implement the evaluation system that is conducive to the dedicated research and innovation by S&T talent. We must pay attention to the combination of individual evaluation and team evaluation, while respecting and recognizing the actual contribution of all participants in the team. We must also improve the S&T reward system, so that outstanding S&T innovation talent can receive reasonable returns, and release the innovative vitality of all kinds of talent. Through reform, we must change the practice of labeling talent with "permanent cards" based on static evaluation results, and change the one-sided practice of taking the number of papers, patents, and funds as the evaluation criteria for talent. We must not let red tape tie the hands and feet of scientists, and endless reports and approvals delay the energy of scientists!

On the road of innovation, you must have the right people. To find the right people, you must broaden avenues to gather them. It is necessary to: create a sound environment for innovation; accelerate formation of a training mechanism conducive to cultivating talent, a mechanism conducive to the full use of talents, an incentive mechanism conducive to competing for growth, and a competition mechanism conducive to the emergence of all kinds of talent; so as to cultivate a fertile soil for the cultivation of talent, and better develop talent's root systems such that they thrive one after another. We must respect the growth pattern of talent, solve the structural contradictions among talent teams, build a complete talent echelon structure, and train a large number of international-level strategic S&T talent, leading S&T talent, young S&T talent, and innovation teams. We must strengthen investments in talent, optimize talent policies, create a policy environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship, build an effective mechanism for attracting and employing talents, and build an innovation setting where people of extraordinary ability from everywhere assemble in China with all of creation to compete freely!

*This is a portion of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speech at the 19th Conference of Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the 14th Conference of Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

NOTES

[1] Editor's note: The term translated here as "superpower" can also be translated as "powerhouse" or simply "power," and literally means "strong country." We use "superpower" in this context for the same reason we use "cyber superpower" for 网络强国, a decision DigiChina documented here.

[2] Translators' note: 力,刑之所以奮也。From Mozi Book 10, Canon I. https://ctext.org/mozi/book-10#n147 Thanks to Sam Crane for this reference.

[3] Translators' note: from Sun Yat-sen's "Guidelines for the Founding of the Country: Preface"

[4] Translators' note: This is a sentence in Qu Yuan's  well known poem Lament (Li Sao), from the anthology Chuci, dating from the Warring States period (476-221 BC). It expresses the author's loyalty in pursuing the prosperity of the family and the country, adhering to noble conduct and not fearing all kinds of difficulties and dangers, and having no regrets in death. Later, people often quoted this phrase to express their aspirations when expressing their adherence to their ideals and striving to achieve goals.

[5]Translators' note: Four Self-Confidences: Self-confidence in the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, self-confidence in theory, self-confidence in the system, and self-confidence in culture.

ORIGINAL TEXT

努力成为世界主要科学中心和创新高地※

习近平

进入21世纪以来,全球科技创新进入空前密集活跃的时期,新一轮科技革命和产业变革正在重构全球创新版图、重塑全球经济结构。以人工智能、量子信息、移动通信、物联网、区块链为代表的新一代信息技术加速突破应用,以合成生物学、基因编辑、脑科学、再生医学等为代表的生命科学领域孕育新的变革,融合机器人、数字化、新材料的先进制造技术正在加速推进制造业向智能化、服务化、绿色化转型,以清洁高效可持续为目标的能源技术加速发展将引发全球能源变革,空间和海洋技术正在拓展人类生存发展新疆域。总之,信息、生命、制造、能源、空间、海洋等的原创突破为前沿技术、颠覆性技术提供了更多创新源泉,学科之间、科学和技术之间、技术之间、自然科学和人文社会科学之间日益呈现交叉融合趋势,科学技术从来没有像今天这样深刻影响着国家前途命运,从来没有像今天这样深刻影响着人民生活福祉。

当前,我国科技领域仍然存在一些亟待解决的突出问题,特别是同党的十九大提出的新任务新要求相比,我国科技在视野格局、创新能力、资源配置、体制政策等方面存在诸多不适应的地方。我国基础科学研究短板依然突出,企业对基础研究重视不够,重大原创性成果缺乏,底层基础技术、基础工艺能力不足,工业母机、高端芯片、基础软硬件、开发平台、基本算法、基础元器件、基础材料等瓶颈仍然突出,关键核心技术受制于人的局面没有得到根本性改变。我国技术研发聚焦产业发展瓶颈和需求不够,以全球视野谋划科技开放合作还不够,科技成果转化能力不强。我国人才发展体制机制还不完善,激发人才创新创造活力的激励机制还不健全,顶尖人才和团队比较缺乏。我国科技管理体制还不能完全适应建设世界科技强国的需要,科技体制改革许多重大决策落实还没有形成合力,科技创新政策与经济、产业政策的统筹衔接还不够,全社会鼓励创新、包容创新的机制和环境有待优化。

中国要强盛、要复兴,就一定要大力发展科学技术,努力成为世界主要科学中心和创新高地。我们比历史上任何时期都更接近中华民族伟大复兴的目标,我们比历史上任何时期都更需要建设世界科技强国!

现在,我们迎来了世界新一轮科技革命和产业变革同我国转变发展方式的历史性交汇期,既面临着千载难逢的历史机遇,又面临着差距拉大的严峻挑战。我们必须清醒认识到,有的历史性交汇期可能产生同频共振,有的历史性交汇期也可能擦肩而过。

形势逼人,挑战逼人,使命逼人。我国广大科技工作者要把握大势、抢占先机,直面问题、迎难而上,瞄准世界科技前沿,引领科技发展方向,肩负起历史赋予的重任,勇做新时代科技创新的排头兵。

第一,充分认识创新是第一动力,提供高质量科技供给,着力支撑现代化经济体系建设。《墨经》中写道,“力,形之所以奋也”,就是说动力是使物体运动的原因。要以提高发展质量和效益为中心,以支撑供给侧结构性改革为主线,把提高供给体系质量作为主攻方向,推动经济发展质量变革、效率变革、动力变革,显著增强我国经济质量优势。要通过补短板、挖潜力、增优势,促进资源要素高效流动和资源优化配置,推动产业链再造和价值链提升,满足有效需求和潜在需求,实现供需匹配和动态均衡发展,改善市场发展预期,提振实体经济发展信心。

世界正在进入以信息产业为主导的经济发展时期。我们要把握数字化、网络化、智能化融合发展的契机,以信息化、智能化为杠杆培育新动能。要突出先导性和支柱性,优先培育和大力发展一批战略性新兴产业集群,构建产业体系新支柱。要推进互联网、大数据、人工智能同实体经济深度融合,做大做强数字经济。要以智能制造为主攻方向推动产业技术变革和优化升级,推动制造业产业模式和企业形态根本性转变,以“鼎新”带动“革故”,以增量带动存量,促进我国产业迈向全球价值链中高端。

第二,矢志不移自主创新,坚定创新信心,着力增强自主创新能力。只有自信的国家和民族,才能在通往未来的道路上行稳致远。树高叶茂,系于根深。自力更生是中华民族自立于世界民族之林的奋斗基点,自主创新是我们攀登世界科技高峰的必由之路。“吾心信其可行,则移山填海之难,终有成功之日;吾心信其不可行,则反掌折枝之易,亦无收效之期也。”创新从来都是九死一生,但我们必须有“亦余心之所善兮,虽九死其犹未悔”的豪情。我国广大科技工作者要有强烈的创新信心和决心,既不妄自菲薄,也不妄自尊大,勇于攻坚克难、追求卓越、赢得胜利,积极抢占科技竞争和未来发展制高点。

实践反复告诉我们,关键核心技术是要不来、买不来、讨不来的。只有把关键核心技术掌握在自己手中,才能从根本上保障国家经济安全、国防安全和其他安全。要增强“四个自信”,以关键共性技术、前沿引领技术、现代工程技术、颠覆性技术创新为突破口,敢于走前人没走过的路,努力实现关键核心技术自主可控,把创新主动权、发展主动权牢牢掌握在自己手中。

建设世界科技强国,得有标志性科技成就。要强化战略导向和目标引导,强化科技创新体系能力,加快构筑支撑高端引领的先发优势,加强对关系根本和全局的科学问题的研究部署,在关键领域、卡脖子的地方下大功夫,集合精锐力量,作出战略性安排,尽早取得突破,力争实现我国整体科技水平从跟跑向并行、领跑的战略性转变,在重要科技领域成为领跑者,在新兴前沿交叉领域成为开拓者,创造更多竞争优势。要把满足人民对美好生活的向往作为科技创新的落脚点,把惠民、利民、富民、改善民生作为科技创新的重要方向。

基础研究是整个科学体系的源头。要瞄准世界科技前沿,抓住大趋势,下好“先手棋”,打好基础、储备长远,甘于坐冷板凳,勇于做栽树人、挖井人,实现前瞻性基础研究、引领性原创成果重大突破,夯实世界科技强国建设的根基。要加大应用基础研究力度,以推动重大科技项目为抓手,打通“最后一公里”,拆除阻碍产业化的“篱笆墙”,疏通应用基础研究和产业化连接的快车道,促进创新链和产业链精准对接,加快科研成果从样品到产品再到商品的转化,把科技成果充分应用到现代化事业中去。

工程科技是推动人类进步的发动机,是产业革命、经济发展、社会进步的有力杠杆。广大工程科技工作者既要有工匠精神,又要有团结精神,围绕国家重大战略需求,瞄准经济建设和事关国家安全的重大工程科技问题,紧贴新时代社会民生现实需求和军民融合需求,加快自主创新成果转化应用,在前瞻性、战略性领域打好主动仗。

第三,全面深化科技体制改革,提升创新体系效能,着力激发创新活力。创新决胜未来,改革关乎国运。科技领域是最需要不断改革的领域。2014年6月9日,我在两院院士大会讲话中强调,推进自主创新,最紧迫的是要破除体制机制障碍,最大限度解放和激发科技作为第一生产力所蕴藏的巨大潜能。围绕这些重点任务,这些年来,我们大力推进科技体制改革,科技体制改革全面发力、多点突破、纵深发展,科技体制改革主体架构已经确立,重要领域和关键环节改革取得实质性突破。

2015年8月,党中央、国务院出台《深化科技体制改革实施方案》,部署了到2020年要完成的143条改革任务,目前已完成110多条改革任务。在科技领域存在的多年来一直想解决但没有能解决的难题方面,我们都取得了实质性突破。同时,科技体制改革还存在一些有待解决的突出问题,主要是国家创新体系整体效能还不强,科技创新资源分散、重复、低效的问题还没有从根本上得到解决,“项目多、帽子多、牌子多”等现象仍较突出,科技投入的产出效益不高,科技成果转移转化、实现产业化、创造市场价值的能力不足,科研院所改革、建立健全科技和金融结合机制、创新型人才培养等领域的进展滞后于总体进展,科研人员开展原创性科技创新的积极性还没有充分激发出来,等等。

今年是我国改革开放40周年。新时代全面深化改革决心不能动摇、勇气不能减弱。科技体制改革要敢于啃硬骨头,敢于涉险滩、闯难关,破除一切制约科技创新的思想障碍和制度藩篱,正所谓“穷则变,变则通,通则久”。

要坚持科技创新和制度创新“双轮驱动”,以问题为导向,以需求为牵引,在实践载体、制度安排、政策保障、环境营造上下功夫,在创新主体、创新基础、创新资源、创新环境等方面持续用力,强化国家战略科技力量,提升国家创新体系整体效能。要优化和强化技术创新体系顶层设计,明确企业、高校、科研院所创新主体在创新链不同环节的功能定位,激发各类主体创新激情和活力。要加快转变政府科技管理职能,发挥好组织优势。

企业是创新的主体,是推动创新创造的生力军。正如恩格斯所说:“社会一旦有技术上的需要,这种需要就会比十所大学更能把科学推向前进。”要推动企业成为技术创新决策、研发投入、科研组织和成果转化的主体,培育一批核心技术能力突出、集成创新能力强的创新型领军企业。要发挥市场对技术研发方向、路线选择、要素价格、各类创新要素配置的导向作用,让市场真正在创新资源配置中起决定性作用。要完善政策支持、要素投入、激励保障、服务监管等长效机制,带动新技术、新产品、新业态蓬勃发展。要加快创新成果转化应用,彻底打通关卡,破解实现技术突破、产品制造、市场模式、产业发展“一条龙”转化的瓶颈。

要高标准建设国家实验室,推动大科学计划、大科学工程、大科学中心、国际科技创新基地的统筹布局和优化。要加快建立科技咨询支撑行政决策的科技决策机制,注重发挥智库和专业研究机构作用,完善科技决策机制,提高科学决策能力。要加快构建军民融合发展体系,完善军民融合组织管理体系、工作运行体系、政策制度体系,清除“民参军”、“军转民”障碍。要加大知识产权保护执法力度,完善知识产权服务体系。

2016年5月30日,我在全国科技创新大会、两院院士大会、中国科协第九次全国代表大会上的讲话中强调,要着力改革和创新科研经费使用和管理方式,让经费为人的创造性活动服务,而不能让人的创造性活动为经费服务;要改革科技评价制度,建立以科技创新质量、贡献、绩效为导向的分类评价体系,正确评价科技创新成果的科学价值、技术价值、经济价值、社会价值、文化价值。我们接连出台了几个重要改革方案,包括《关于深化中央财政科技计划(专项、基金等)管理改革的方案》、《关于进一步完善中央财政科研项目资金管理等政策的若干意见》、《关于实行以增加知识价值为导向分配政策的若干意见》、《关于分类推进人才评价机制改革的指导意见》、《关于深化科技奖励制度改革的方案》,得到广大科技工作者热烈欢迎。大家反映,这些改革还有需要改进的地方,有的还没有完全落地,有关部门要认真听取大家意见和建议,继续坚决推进,把人的创造性活动从不合理的经费管理、人才评价等体制中解放出来。

第四,深度参与全球科技治理,贡献中国智慧,着力推动构建人类命运共同体。科学技术是世界性的、时代性的,发展科学技术必须具有全球视野。不拒众流,方为江海。自主创新是开放环境下的创新,绝不能关起门来搞,而是要聚四海之气、借八方之力。要深化国际科技交流合作,在更高起点上推进自主创新,主动布局和积极利用国际创新资源,努力构建合作共赢的伙伴关系,共同应对未来发展、粮食安全、能源安全、人类健康、气候变化等人类共同挑战,在实现自身发展的同时惠及其他更多国家和人民,推动全球范围平衡发展。

要坚持以全球视野谋划和推动科技创新,全方位加强国际科技创新合作,积极主动融入全球科技创新网络,提高国家科技计划对外开放水平,积极参与和主导国际大科学计划和工程,鼓励我国科学家发起和组织国际科技合作计划。要把“一带一路”建成创新之路,合作建设面向沿线国家的科技创新联盟和科技创新基地,为各国共同发展创造机遇和平台。要最大限度用好全球创新资源,全面提升我国在全球创新格局中的位势,提高我国在全球科技治理中的影响力和规则制定能力。

第五,牢固确立人才引领发展的战略地位,全面聚集人才,着力夯实创新发展人才基础。功以才成,业由才广。世上一切事物中人是最可宝贵的,一切创新成果都是人做出来的。硬实力、软实力,归根到底要靠人才实力。全部科技史都证明,谁拥有了一流创新人才、拥有了一流科学家,谁就能在科技创新中占据优势。当前,我国高水平创新人才仍然不足,特别是科技领军人才匮乏。人才评价制度不合理,唯论文、唯职称、唯学历的现象仍然严重,名目繁多的评审评价让科技工作者应接不暇,人才“帽子”满天飞,人才管理制度还不适应科技创新要求、不符合科技创新规律。要创新人才评价机制,建立健全以创新能力、质量、贡献为导向的科技人才评价体系,形成并实施有利于科技人才潜心研究和创新的评价制度。要注重个人评价和团队评价相结合,尊重和认可团队所有参与者的实际贡献。要完善科技奖励制度,让优秀科技创新人才得到合理回报,释放各类人才创新活力。要通过改革,改变以静态评价结果给人才贴上“永久牌”标签的做法,改变片面将论文、专利、资金数量作为人才评价标准的做法,不能让繁文缛节把科学家的手脚捆死了,不能让无穷的报表和审批把科学家的精力耽误了!

创新之道,唯在得人。得人之要,必广其途以储之。要营造良好创新环境,加快形成有利于人才成长的培养机制、有利于人尽其才的使用机制、有利于竞相成长各展其能的激励机制、有利于各类人才脱颖而出的竞争机制,培植好人才成长的沃土,让人才根系更加发达,一茬接一茬茁壮成长。要尊重人才成长规律,解决人才队伍结构性矛盾,构建完备的人才梯次结构,培养造就一大批具有国际水平的战略科技人才、科技领军人才、青年科技人才和创新团队。要加强人才投入,优化人才政策,营造有利于创新创业的政策环境,构建有效的引才用才机制,形成天下英才聚神州、万类霜天竞自由的创新局面!

※这是习近平总书记2018年5月28日在中国科学院第十九次院士大会、中国工程院第十四次院士大会上讲话的一部分。

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