The Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission and a number of other ministries have jointly formulated the Belt and Road Technology and Innovation Co-operation Plan as a blueprint for the roles technology and innovation are expected to play in delivering the objectives of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Among the priorities identified in the plan is a move to dramatically increase the level of exchange and co-operation among the science and technology personnel working in the Belt and Road countries, while also increasing the number of such staff coming to China on exchange programmes to more than 150,000. It is also hoped that the number of outstanding young scientists offered the chance to come and work in China can be increased to more than 5,000, while work on a number of new joint laboratories and international technology and innovation co-operation platforms can be completed over the next three to five years. Among the more immediate goals, however, is an agreement on an international system of division of labour with regard to technology co-operation across a number of industries as a means of properly coordinating innovation throughout the Belt and Road community.
Overall, five key tasks were identified as essential for advancing the Belt and Road programme:
- Maintaining close communications between technology innovators and deepening people-to-people exchanges.
- Strengthening platform building and promoting technology transfers.
- Supporting the construction of major engineering projects and implementing greater connectivity between technological resources.
- Jointly establishing science parks with particular specialties and encouraging enterprises to prioritise innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Maintaining a focus on generic technology and strengthening co-operation with regard to research.
Among the sectors covered by the plan are agriculture, energy, transportation, information and communications, environmental responsibility, advanced manufacturing and new materials.
Please click here for the full text of the document (in Chinese).