China Innovation Index rises faster in 2018
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The China Innovation Index, the barometer of the country's innovation capability, rose at a faster pace in 2018, official data showed.
The index surged 8.6 percent to 212 points last year, the highest growth rate since the calculation was introduced in 2005, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Comprising four sub-indices, the index measures the innovation environment, input, output and effects.
The sub-index for the innovation environment jumped 10.9 percent to 225.8. The country raised fiscal expenditure on science and technology by 13.5 percent year on year to 951.8 billion yuan (about 134.5 billion U.S. dollars) last year and cut taxes for relevant enterprises.
The innovation input index stood at 194.1, surging 6 percent from the previous year. The research and development (R&D) intensity, or the proportion of R&D expenditure to GDP, reached 2.19 percent, 0.04 percentage points higher than the previous year.
Spending per researcher on fundamental research rose 6.3 percent to 358,000 yuan in 2018, while the total R&D expenditure of enterprises reached 1.52 trillion yuan, up 11.5 percent year on year.
The innovation output saw a robust growth of 11.7 percent to 264.1. The number of domestic patents granted last year surged 37.5 percent to 2.34 million, while 346,000 were invention patents.
The sub-index for the innovation effects increased 4 percent to 164.1 points last year.
One indicator of the effects relates to the sale of high-tech products. In 2018, the export of high-tech products expanded rapidly, with the trade volume up 10.8 percent to 743.04 billion dollars, accounting for 29.9 percent of the total exports of goods.
Another indicator is energy consumption as innovation promotes green development. Last year, energy consumption per unit of GDP declined 3.1 percent. The consumption of coal accounted for 59 percent, edging down 1.4 percentage points, while that of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropower and nuclear power went up 1.3 percentage points to 22.1 percent.
The index readings reflect the success of China's innovation-driven development strategy, said Deng Yongxu, an NBS chief statistician, noting that the continued improvement in the innovation capability and efficiency has refined the quality of the Chinese economy.