China's domestic "Nobel Prize" to open to expats

Updated: 2018-07-04

China is looking to open its award for innovation to expats, in a change proposed to the country's regulations for its national science and technology prizes, reports South China Morning Post.

If the draft amendments are approved, expats will be able to compete for the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award, which is the domestic equivalent to the Nobel Prize. As well as public recognition, the award comes with a five million yuan cash prize (around 760,000 U.S. dollars).

The revisions to the national award regulations also seek to crack down on plagiarism and fraud.

According to SCMP, the changes are occurring against the backdrop of Beijing's work to attract highly-skilled expats to work in the country. This is part of its broader efforts to strengthen investment in research and development, and drive economic growth through innovation.

The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs said that around one million expats are currently working in China, a figure that has increased by 100-fold since the 1980s, reports SCMP. "The change to the award is just part of the government's big plan to increase openness and attract talent from around the globe," an administration official told the paper.

The proposed changes to the regulations governing the awards will be reviewed by the State Council after a period of public consultation that will last until the end of July.