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China Develops Patents, Science & Technology, R&D

China’s move up the value chain continues, with news that patent applications from China rose 44 percent in 2005 to an estimated 2,452 (against international growth of 10 percent to 134,000), according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The US recorded the most applications, but China has overtaken Australia, Canada and Italy

The growth in patent applications is in line with China’s plan for developing into an “innovative nation” in the next 15 years, with up to 2.5 percent of GDP being invested in research and development.

With more R&D being driven by local interests, and as intellectual property (IP) becomes more important in the economy, a national IP strategy will also be developed.

While China has a plan (of course), many big international companies have already got the ball rolling – with the establishment of around 750 foreign-funded R&D centres. They have been set up by the likes of Microsoft, IBM, Motorola, Siemens, Nortel, GE, GM, Volkswagen and Honda.

China is already much more than just a cheap manufacturing base – it is also a cheap and effective place to do R&D. This sort of activity is set to expand as IP protection continues to improve.

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