On 17 September 2020, MOST issued the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Development of New Type R&D Organisations (Guo Ke Fa Zheng  No. 313). ‘New type R&D organisations’ are entities with independent legal personality engaged in scientific research, technology development, and/or R&D services; they have diversified investors, modern management mechanisms, market-oriented operations, and flexible talent mechanisms.
Specifically, new type R&D organisations must generally meet the following requirements:
- Independent legal personality, with optimised internal control mechanisms;
- Mainly operates in basic research, applied basic research, R&D of key technologies, technology transfer and conversion, and/or R&D services;
- Possesses the necessary conditions and facilities to conduct R&D, experiments and services;
- Possesses a structurally rational and stable talent team with strong R&D capacities;
- Has relatively stable income sources, including from shareholders investments, technology development, technology transfer, technology services and consulting, as well as revenue from government procurement and government-funded projects.
New type R&D organisations meeting the above requirements may receive the following benefits:
- Eligibility to apply to national government-funded STI programmes, including Megaprojects, NKPs, NSFC, talent programmes, as well as the National Fund for Technology Transfer and Commercialisation;
- Eligibility to organise or participate in the evaluation of academic titles;
- Relaxed restrictions to incentive technology transfer and conversion;
- Support in establishing industrial and technology strategic alliances, as well as stable industry-university-research mechanisms, to launch R&D, innovation, and to formulate industry standards;
- Support in participating in and expanding international cooperation activities, especially in establishing talent attraction and growth basis, as well as joint R&D with foreign renowned universities, research structures and multinational corporations.
New type R&D organisations may also receive additional benefits depending on the type of entity they are registered as, e.g. tax exemptions or reductions for non-commercial or not-for-profit organisations.
Finally, they will also receive administrative and financial support from local administrations, especially in terms of priority or support in participating in local funding programmes and government procurement, in the allocation of land and facilities, in housing for talents, in becoming service providers for enterprises through Innovation Vouchers, etc. In fact, several local administrations (e.g. Pudong New District and Minhang District in Shanghai, Guangdong provincial government, Wuxi in Jiangsu province, etc.) have established ad hoc programmes exclusively for new type R&D organisations.