On 31 January 2020, the Ministry of Science and Technology released the Report on the Implementation of National Key R&D Programmes in 2017. The report, the first of its kind to be completed, provides key figures and statistics on aspects related to the implementation of NKPs.
- By the end of 2017, a total of 50 NKPs were launched (note: in 2018 the number rose to 67), divided as follows: (i) Basic frontier research: 8; (ii) High-tech sectors: 15; (iii) people’s livelihood: 17; (iv) agri-tech: 8; and (v) international cooperation: 2
- Applications: a total of 4,718 proposals were submitted in 2017 (excluding the two NKPs targeting international cooperation)
- Evaluations: more than 5,000 experts took part in the last round (video interview) evaluation of NKP proposals, half of which belongs to universities, 30% of which from not-for-profit research organisations, and 15% of which from enterprises (note: data collected from the project team shows that half of evaluators from enterprises are state-owned enterprises)
- Selection: 1,310 NKP projects were approved in 2017, which corresponds to an approval rate of 27.8%, of which:
- 37% of projects were assigned to universities
- 32% of projects were assigned to not-for-profit research organisations
- 25% of projects were assigned to enterprises (note: data collected from the project team shows that more than half of these were state-owned enterprises)
- Around 70% of projects assigned to entities based in Northern China or Eastern China
- Budget: total budget allocated for NKP projects in 2017 is 26.45 billion RMB.
- Human resources: A total of 201,000 individuals were involved in NKPs in 2017, 29% of which were female. The average age of team leaders/PIs is 51 years (only 10% of projects assigned to PIs under 40 years)
There are two categories of NKPs exclusively targeting intergovernmental S&T cooperation and strategic international S&T cooperation. These programmes support joint activities between Chinese actors and partners based in countries which have signed cooperation agreements with MOST, * or officially participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. Another programme specifically support cooperation with BRICS countries, and with Hong Kong and Macao SARs, and Taiwan.
- Joint R&D laboratories were established with Sri Lanka and Pakistan
- Joint programmes launched with multilateral initiatives such as SKA, GIF, and CERN
- 180 China-based foreign-invested enterprises and over 500 foreign researchers have taken part in the implementation of international S&T cooperation programmes.
* Note: These also include 12 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.