Lawmakers call for greater incentives for inventors

Lawmakers call for greater incentives for inventors


Chinese lawmakers on Friday asked for greater incentives for inventors in academia to commercially exploit their work.

The draft revision to the Law on Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements is having its first reading at the top legislature's bi-monthly session.

Some lawmakers said the bottom line in the draft of no less than 20 percent of the inventions' worth to contributing scientists is too low.

Though the bill has space for better awards for contributing personnel, the 20 percent minimum remains the same as in the existing 1996 law, said National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee member Lu Hao.

Lu suggested that proportion should be at least 50 percent while China changes its development model and economic structure.

Inventions and awards should allow inventors to become millionaires, said Shi Lianxi, another member of the committee.

Despite huge amounts of money poured into research and development (R&D) and numerous patent applications, few of China's advances make it commercially. Spending on R&D reached 1.33 trillion yuan (217 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 12.4 percent.

The draft is the first attempt to revise the law in nearly two decades and allows research establishments to retain all the income from their ideas instead of turning over gains to the treasury, theoretically allowing them to reward the best scientists and fund future research .

Some lawmakers want the government to play a greater role in fostering a favorable environment for these achievements. Many academic inventions are divorced from commercial needs and frustrate the inventors who see little profit in their ideas on the one hand, while desperate entrepreneurs seek new ideas on the other. Lawmakers argued that the government should bridge the gap.

Yan Junqi, an NPC Standing Committee member, suggested the government helps transform inventions into products, by promoting joint research with enterprises.

(Source: Xinhua)

People watch

It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry.

It was this “Whampoa Military Academy” for IP that educated China’s first batch of corporate IP management personnel. Many of these engineers left Foxconn in the years since.