A sustainable economic development of China depends on innovation. Moving from an unsustainable export- and investment-led growth towards sustainable economic development based on domestic consumption requires catching up in terms of productivity and living conditions. The Chinese government is well aware of the fact that the ecosystem for innovation in China is still immature and in need of significant changes. Well before the Communist Party’s Third Plenum in November 2013, the “National medium- and long-term plan for the development of science and technology (2006-2020)”, issued by the State Council, outlined China’s broad ambition to enhance innovation with around 100 supporting policies and the goal to increase R&D spending to $113 billion by 2020. The Third Plenum addressed the issues around creating a favorable environment for innovation in four main ways.
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