On Wednesday, Vice Premier Liu He chaired the first meeting of the State Council’s leading small group on technology.
Top of the agenda: Reviewing the country’s Medium- to Long-term Plan for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020), commonly known as the MLP.
Some context: The MLP has provided the overarching framework for China’s technology policy for over a decade, funneling billions into research funding and subsidies for hi-tech industries.
With the MLP set to expire soon, it’s time for a new an update.
According to Liu, the stakes could not be higher:
“Scientific and technological innovation capacity will be the key factor determining comprehensive national strength and international competitiveness.”
Get smart: Because of the fast-moving nature of technological change, fifteen-year plans for science don’t work well. For instance, the MLP failed to anticipate the importance of big data and artificial intelligence.
What to watch: MoST will likely commission think tanks and research institutes to start preliminary research for the next plan soon. The issues that MoST asks them to research will give a sense of how the next plan might be structured.