“Hope” article: Why half of scientific and technological achievements become “exhibits”
A considerable part of the technical achievements originally intended for application, because they were “divorced from reality” when the scientific research project was approved, can only be shelved after the results are appreciated
Chen Gang Cai Yugao Zhang Duo Sun Tiexian
In recent years, my country’s investment in science and technology has grown at an annual rate of about 20%, and the annual investment has reached more than 460 billion yuan. There are more than 30,000 scientific and technological achievements made every year, rate and industrialization rate of scientific and technological achievements are “two low”. The situation has not changed significantly.
During the Third Session of the Eleventh National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March this year, Wang Zhizhen, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out in his speech that the current conversion rate of scientific and technological achievements in my country is about 25%, and less than 5% of them have truly realized industrialization. The country’s 80% conversion rate is a far cry.
A few years ago, the survey of “Exploration of the Transformation of University Scientific and Technological Achievements” completed by 20 domestic universities also showed that the number of scientific and technological achievements achieved by Chinese universities is between 6,000 and 8,000 each. 1/10.
”About half of the scientific and technological achievements made by our country every year are ‘false achievements’ that cannot be transformed, which naturally leads to a low conversion rate.” Peng Zongren, a professor at the School of Electrical Engineering of Xi’an Jiaotong University, said that some of the “false achievements” belong to basic research. There is no need for transformation, but a considerable part of the technical achievements originally intended for application, because they are “divorced from reality” when the scientific research project is established, and after the results are appreciated, they can only be shelfed and become “exhibits”.
Neglected Market Value
The person in charge of a company engaged in the promotion of green plant protection technology in Beijing reported that domestic companies have mastered relatively mature technologies for the control of tropical fruit pest fruit flies, and government departments are planning to set up projects with an investment of 20 million yuan for research. All universities have submitted a joint declaration, even if such a project can produce results, isn’t it a waste of money? “
Xi Baofeng, director of the Technology Transfer Center of Xi’an Jiaotong University, said that at present, many scientific research activities in my country are mainly carried out by declaring projects, conducting research, reporting awards, and appraising. It is difficult to promote scientific research activities to better connect with reality when products and commodities are finally formed for identification and evaluation. This evaluation system attaches great importance to the “technical value” of scientific and technological achievements, while ignoring the “market value”.
Zhou Zhiping, a professor at the School of Information Science and Technology of Peking University, said: “The primary goal of some applied technology research in my country is to be domestically first-class and world-leading, but not to pay attention to practical value. It has been decided from the beginning of the project that it can only be an ‘exhibit’. For example, 32nm Intel has launched chip processor manufacturing technology, and my country’s scientific research departments are also preparing to invest in research. However, According to the current project approval requirements, even if we develop the cutting-edge 32-nanometer technology, the supporting lithography, film deposition, chemical polishing, ion It is also difficult to have production processes such as injection,And it is very unlikely that the technology will become fruitful.
The “National Medium and Long-Term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020)” proposes “to establish a technological innovation system with enterprises as the main body and a combination of production, education and research”. Xi Baofeng said that for a long time, scientific research activities in the science and technology and education systems have been completed through project declaration, research, award reporting, and appraisal. Enterprises have expanded their scale through simple reproduction. The self-circulation of the two different systems has not been completely broken, and it is often difficult to combine them organically.If the cooperation between enterprises and scientific researchers cannot unify the academic goals and market goals, it is easy to fail the cooperation and blame each other.
The “pretentious” technology of scientific researchers, from laboratory results to products, often requires a lot of investment and a series of market-oriented research and development, and enterprises are not necessarily optimistic. “For example, a scientific research institution has developed a Biological pesticide formula, which is good in theory, but if its production cost and ease of use cannot be solved well, enterprises will look down on it.” Du Jinping, chairman of Beijing Ecoman Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Say.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the proportion of my country’s enterprises undertaking science and technology planning projects is increasing year by year, and more than 95% of the projects of the national science and technology support plan have enterprises to among the 863 project supporting units, enterprises account for 30%; the national major special projects Among them, more than 50% are led by enterprises . The “academic thinking” mode of scientific research project approval.
Some researchers believe that the establishment of many scientific research projects has formally gone through market research, solicited suggestions from relevant enterprises, and may also involve enterprises, but this has not changed the academic thinking and expert linesitial thinking of scientific research project. To the later review of scientific research projects, experts are still leading, and it is difficult to truly reflect “market awareness”.
Shi Yigong, Dean of the School of Life Sciences of Tsinghua University, and Rao Yi, Dean of the School of Life Sciences of Peking University, recently published an article pointing out that the key to the establishment of scientific research projects of our country’s government departments lies in the application guidelines issued every year for specific research fields and projects. On the surface, the purpose of these guidelines is to outline the “major needs of the country”. However, the application guidelines for projects are often described in a specific and narrow manner. Some “needs” are not really needed by the country, and there is a strong direction for who the funds are scheduled for. .
Difficulties from product to commodity
From product to commodity is the ultimate manifestation of the value of applied scientific and technological achievements. Some achievements have not passed the “hurdle”, which has become another reason for the low conversion rate of scientific and technological achievements.
”Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, after they have achieved technological achievements, lack of funds is the most troublesome thing,” said Zhang Jinghong, general manager of Beijing Xi’anni Technology Development Company, “Our company is engaged in the application of new flame-retardant materials. The investment of 3 million yuan in R&D and promotion is all my own money and the money of relatives and friends. Venture capital institutions think that the company is small and they don’t care about it at all.”
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology, from 2007 to 2009, the reason why my country’s applied technological achievements were not applied or stopped was mainly due to funding issues, and the proportion of each year remained at about 50%, followed by technical issues, market issues, and policy issues , Management issues, and market issues accounted for around 10%.
Greenman Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd., located in Zhongguancun, Beijing, is a small enterprise that develops and produces energy-saving LED lighting. Zhang Hua, the company’s president, said: “For energy-saving products, the promotion should be beneficial to social development, but the production cost is often high, and consumers accept it. The level is low, and the market promotion is difficult, and if there is no support from the government, the risk of failure is very high.”
Mei Yonghong, director of the Policy and Regulation Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology, pointed out that improvement and improvement in market applications are the basic laws of technological progress. For enterprises, continuous improvement in applications is a cumulative learning process and a process Of growing technical capabilities, but our policy orientation has not yet formed a good atmosphere.At present, in my country’s government procurement market, bulk purchases of cars, elevators, computers, communication equipment, printers, and software are basically monopolized by foreign companies. from foreign companies. As high as 90%, forming a market barrier to my country’s independent innovation products.
At present, the establishment of many applied scientific research projects in our country generally goes through four links: soliciting suggestions, publishing project application guidelines, applying for scientific research institutions or enterprises, and expert review. Whether a certain application technology project should be established, whether the timing of the project is appropriate, and how much money should be invested are often clearer to enterprises than experts. People in the business community believe that in the determination of scientific research project guidelines and project approval review, allowing representative representative business in late leaders fields to have more say, can reduce the misunderstanding of project approval caused by “academic thinking” dominance.
Zhang Jianning, marketing director of the Beijing Great Wall Enterprise Strategy Research Institute, said that in my country’s communications industry, Huawei, ZTE, and Datang Telecom participated in and even led many scientific research projects, enabling these projects to be marketed quickly. For example , the development and application of my country’s third-generation mobile communication space interface technology standard TD-SCDMA was led by Datang Telecom and implemented jointly with 17 universities and research institutes, making this technology enter the application field relatively smoothly.
Changing the scientific research topic “single one” is also conductive to the realization of the value of scientific and technological achievements. Sun Dianyi, deputy director of the Bureau of Institutional Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the research of a product often includes multiple scientific and technological achievements. In order to promote the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, the current method that most scientific research projects are approved by a single link and a single technical index should be changed.Wang Tianran, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, believes that establishing a project with the overall goal of improving economic benefits is much more complicated than establishing a single technical indicator. He suggested that relevant national departments conduct research and implement research on this issue into the project.
The interviewed experts believe that the major scientific and technological research projects determined in the “National Medium and Long-Term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020)” are to achieve national goals, through core technology breakthroughs and resource integration, to jor complete strategic products within a certain time limit , key common technologies and major projects. This method has effectively changed the decentralized and fragmented nature of the subject research and should be extended to all applied research projects.
“Formulate a special “Technology Transfer Law“
In the United States, at the end of the 1970s, there was a serious problem that scientific research advantages were not transformed into economic advantages. The main reasons were: According to the US law at that time, the ownership of scientific research results funded by the federal government belonged to the federal government, and universities and other scientific research departments had no motivation to transform them. , and technology transfer by the federal government is complex. Until 1980, the US federal government owned 28,000 patents of which 5% were used for production, and colleges and universities obtained less than 250 patents each year.
In order to reverse this situation, the United States introduced a number of bills from 1980 to 1987 to promote the commercialization of scientific research results. The core bill is the “Patent and Trademark Law Amendment” (the “Bay-Dole Act”). This bill stipulates that the federal government will transfer the ownership of intellectual property rights obtained by funding university research to universities, and the government will not enjoy direct returns. This move has contributed to a number of high-tech industrial new cities relying on the resources of universities, such as “Silicon Valley”.In 2001, American colleges and universities signed more than 4,000 technology transfer contracts, with a transfer fee of 1 billion US dollars. Enterprises’ scientific research funding for colleges and universities also increased from US 630 million US dollars in 19285ill.
Over the past decade or so in our country, most of the applied scientific research institutes have transformed from public institutions to enterprises, realizing the connection between scientific research and the market. Zhang Jiangan, deputy general manager of China Heavy Machinery Research Institute Co., Ltd., said: “Since the restructuring, we have become both a scientific research institute and a technology enterprise. Our scientific research activities are all market-oriented, and the conversion rate can be said to be 100%.”
Many scientific research workers believe that, judging from foreign practices and domestic practices, mobilizing the enthusiasm of scientific research institutions to transform results should focus on adjusting the “baton” and implementing policy mechanisms to release vitality for recolleges and ciuniengs search the market.
Jiang Yuxiang, director of the Science and Technology Development Department of Peking University, said that colleges and universities have three major functions: personnel training, scientific research and serving the society. At present, the evaluation mechanism and assessment system for colleges The society has not yet been established.
Zhu Kejiang, director of the Science and Technology Department of Jiangsu Province, said that for the assessment of scientific research activities in universities, the previous evaluation criteria should be changed from the number of papers and authorized invention patents included in important and such indexes as SCI s EI, and the originality and quality of technological innovation achievements should be increased. The weight of its potential and actual economic benefits in the assessment establishes a more scientific evaluation standard.
Some experts pointed out that to promote the transformation of scientific and technological achievements in universities, it is necessary to implement corresponding policies and mechanisms. my country’s 1996 “Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements Promoting Law”, 1999 “Several of Scientific and Technological Achievements”, and 2002 “Several Regulations on the Management of Intellectual Property Rights of Research Results of National Scientific Research Plan Projects”, etc., are committed to encouraging the majority of scientific and technological personnel of Promote the transformation of science Technological achievements, but many policies and regulations are too general, and there are certain obstacles in operation.
The “Several Regulations on the Management of Intellectual Property Rights in the Research Results of National Scientific Research Program Projects” proposes that, except for those involving national security, national interests, and major social and public interests, the state grants the intellectuals property right by the research results of scientific research projects to the project undertaking unit; the undertaking unit can independently decide to implement, authorize others to implement, transfer, purchase shares, etc. in accordance with the law, and obtain corresponding benefits.
Jiang Yuxiang, director of the Science and Technology Development Department of Peking University, said that in the process of implementing this regulation, colleges and universities face obstacles that are too complicated. If researchers or schools want to cooperate with companies in the form of technology shares , from patent technology evaluation to leadership signatures, to It takes a long time and low efficiency to go through a series of procedures such as approval by the financial department and bidding, auction and listing.For example, Peking University once implemented a cochlear implant scientific research project, which was determined by the leaders of China and Cuba. Peking University completed the evaluation, approval, intellectual property transfer and other procedures of this technology, which took nearly half a year.
Hou Yibin, vice president of Beijing University of Technology, and Li Yongjin, secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Academy of Science and Technology, believe that my country should consider formulating a special “Technology Transfer Law” to promote technology transfer in universities, and should also sort out existing relevant laws, and those that cannot effectively promote independent innovation Policies, regulations and administrative procedures of government departments at all levels should be simplified or even eliminated .
“Hope” article: Scientific research investment: changing “emphasis on application” to “emphasis on foundation”
In 2008, the total expenditure on research and experimental development in my country reached 461.6 billion yuan, an increase of 24.4% over the previous year. Some scientific researchers believe that the rapid growth of scientific research investment is a good thing, but the current tendency of the government to “emphasize applied research and neglect basic research” makes the “imperial food” of applied research grow too fast, which is not conductive to mobilizing scientific research institutions to “see The enthusiasm for transforming results under the “down” is not Conductive to making enterprises the main body of technological innovation.
Zhang Wei, director of the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Science and Technology, said that the proportion of basic research funds in American universities is about 2/3. The proportion of research funds invested by the Chinese government in universities is lower than this proportion, and The proportion of applied research funds is higher than that of American universities. .
Shi Wenyong, chief operating officer of Beijing Netqin Tianxia Technology Co., Ltd., participated in the research of scientific and technological projects such as the 863 plan and the 973 plan when he was studying in colleges and universities. After that, it is often time to start busy with the application for the next round of project topics, lacking the pressure and motivation to transfer technology out and strive for scientific research funding for industrialization.”
Our reporter learned that many colleges and universities often organize “strong teams” to run departments and compete for projects, but their external technology transfer work is very weak.
Zhou Zhiping, a professor at the School of Information Science and Technology of Peking University, suggested that while the national scientific research funding increases, more funds should be used for basic research, or increase the investment guidance for enterprise technological innovation, so that enterprises can become the center of application technology research and transformation. main body.
Some people in the business circle believe: “Companies generally do not do technical research without market prospects. If more research institutions are allowed to ‘work for enterprises’, the problem of transforming scientific and technological achievements will be easily solved.” □(Article /《 “T Hope” News Weekly reporter Chen Gang, Cai Yugao, Zhang Duo, Sun Tiexiang)
“Hope” article: Leaping over the transformation of scientific research achievements into the “valley of death”
Valuable scientific research achievements usually have to go through a difficult “death valley” in the process of going to the market. Many achievements will die due to funding bottlenecks, lack of professional services, wrong choice of marketing path or failure to be accepted by the market.
Different from domestic countries, countries that have done a good job in the transformation of scientific and technological achievements generally have a relatively sound operating mechanism for venture capital. In 1978 and 1981, the United States promulgated the “Income Act” and “Economic Recover Act” respectively, which greatly reduced the income tax rate of venture capital enterprises. This directly led to the mushrooming of venture capital companies in the United States.
Miller, director of the Stanford Institute for International Studies in the United States, said that in addition to policy support, there are also a group of experienced venture capital managers active in the United States. They generally have successful entrepreneurial experience and outstanding both the and technology, so they choose to invest Sometimes they are more willing to invest in early projects. “Due to the participation of venture capital in the early stage of the project, the cycle of transforming scientific research results into commercial products has been shortened from 20 years to less than 10 years.” Miller said.
Singapore, the Netherlands and other countries encourage venture capital companies to get involved in the early stages of projects through government risk sharing . be given 50% investment subsidies if it loses money for three consecutive years; the Netherlands supports the development of venture capital through equity guarantees.
Some researchers suggested that my country should learn from the successful experience of foreign countries and formulate a set of policies to encourage venture capital investment in early projects, so as to inject vitality into scientific and technological projects. scale of SME entrepreneurship guidance funds.
In recent years, my country has strengthened the construction of a science and technology intermediary service system and built a number of platforms for the transfer and transformation of achievements.
Industry insiders suggest that the amount of funds and scientific research strength in the market are very sufficient at present, and the key lies in how to integrate these resources to carry out research and development around major achievements. The state can issue policies to encourage private capital to set up relevant research and development institutions, and conduct results incubation completely market-oriented. It can not only undertake the scientific research achievements of colleges and universities, but also integrate scientific research and market forces to focus on the technologies of the country to overcome.
In order to break through the barriers between scientific researchers and enterprises, European and American countries with relatively successful transformation of scientific research results have generally established a complete technology transfer service system. Some scientific and technological workers suggest that the national and local science and technology departments at all levels can also lead or encourage private capital to set up similar technology transfer service agencies, adopt an enterprise-like operation mode, integrate the strength of existing local technology transfer agencies, and provide comprehensive services for the connection mark cient search between the 。 All-round professional services.□(Written by Zhang Duo, Chen Gang, Cai Yugao, Sun Tiexiang, reporter of “Hope” News Weekly)