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2017 Think 20 Innovation Forum Held by CSTEC

Under the support of the G20 members, China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC) held the 2017 Think 20 Innovation Forum in Hangzhou on May 6, 2017 to deliver the 2016 G20 Innovation Action Plan and the Statement of the G20 Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministers Meeting. The meeting was held to facilitate exchanges and cooperation in innovation, increase dialogues on STI, share best practices and provide innovation policy recommendations for the G20.

Over 100 scholars attended the Forum. They came from 18 G20 members, i.e. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, ROK, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, the UK, the US, the EU and China, and 9 non-G20 members, i.e. Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, DR Congo, Cameroon, and Guinea. The participants had enthusiastic discussion around the theme of “New Supply, New Driver & New Cooperation: Shaping the Future through STI” and Sub-Track topics like “Sustainable Development and Best Practices Sharing”, “Digital Economy” and “Innovation Capability Building and People-to-people Exchanges”.

Dr. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of Science and Technology sent a letter of congratulation. Rolf Johannes Langhammer, Representative of the Chair of the 2017 T20 Summit, Elias Micha Zaga, Chief Science and Technology Advisor of the President of Mexico, Essam Khamis Ibrahim Al-Hanash, Deputy Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research of Egypt, and Mr. Zhou Guohui, Director-General of Zhejiang Department of Science and Technology addressed the opening ceremony. Director General Chen Jiachang of CSTEC was the moderator of the opening ceremony.

Dr. Zhao Xinli, Deputy Director-General (DG-level) of CSTEC, Head of the Chinese Senior Expert Group for the G20 Innovation Taskforce and Academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences was the Chair of the Forum. Dr. Zhao also chaired the afternoon session of the Main Track. The morning session of the Main Track was chaired by Professor Xue Lan, Dean of School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University and Co-Chair of Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, who also delivered a keynote speech. The keynote speakers in the Main Tracks included Feride Gulsen Inan, Representative of Dr. Güven Sak, Managing Director, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Mr. Li Minrong, Director-General of China Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation, Mr. Rolf Johannes Langhammer, former Deputy Director of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Representative of the Chair of the 2017 T20 Summit, Professor Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University and Assistant Secretary-General of United Nations, Dr. Laurent Bochereau, Minister Counsellor, Head of Science, Technology and Environment Section, Delegation of the European Union to China and Mongolia, Professor Wang Kedi, Director of Philosophy of Science and Technology of the Philosophy Department, Central Party School of the Communist Party of China

Professor Taikan Oki and Mr. Chen Hongbing, Representative of WIPO‘s Director-General, Director of China Office of WIPO co-chaired the Sub-Track on “Sustainable Development and Best Practices Sharing”. Professor Rolf J. Langhammer and Mr. Li Minrong co-chaired the Sub-Track on “Digital Economy”, Professor Hu Jianfeng of Zhejiang Sci-tech University and Mr. Rungroge Kamondetdacha, Director of Industry 4.0, National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office, Thailand co-chaired the Sub-Track on “Innovation Capacity Building and People-to-people Exchanges”. 

The delegates agreed that innovation is a key driver of long-term economic growth, and the source of progresses in human well-beings. Efforts shall be made to strengthen intellectual property protection, knowledge dissemination and technology transfer, encourage businesses to work closely with universities and research institutes, and speed up transformation of S&T outcomes. The principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability (FAIR) shall be followed to encourage the opening and sharing of major research infrastructures and deepen cooperation in mega science programs and projects. It was also agreed that innovation should become one of the key items on the G20 policy agenda. The G20 should take the lead in planning and implementing the youth exchange and cooperation program in the field of STI, strengthen cooperation in innovation programs, support makerspaces and tech-based SMEs, pursue open and inclusive innovation, strengthen multilateral exchanges, and increase investment in STI. The G20 members should could fully harness the T20 framework to discuss scientific innovation policies and related major scientific innovation issues, and make Think 20 Innovation Forum a regular mechanism. It is necessary to continue the convening of the G20 STI Ministers Meeting.

Chen Wenxing, Vice President of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University chaired the closing ceremony of the Forum, at which the co-chairs of the three Sub-Tracks summarized each session. Dr. Zhao Xinli announced the Outcome Document and extended gratitude to participants.

To sum up, the Forum had five features, i.e. high-level, diverse ways of discussion, wide representation, pooling wisdom of Chinese and foreign think tanks, echoing the theme of the 2017 T20 Germany Summit---Digital Economy.

To deliver the initiative to set up International STI Think Tanks Alliance at the 2016 Think 20 Innovation Forum and facilitate collaboration among think tanks, representatives of over 10 think tanks had discussion and agreed upon relevant issues of the Alliance in the following closed-door meeting. They also discussed preparation for the 2018 Think 20 Innovation Forum.

The Hangzhou Municipal Government was very supportive of the Forum. Vice Mayor Chen Xinhua met with distinguished overseas delegates prior to the Forum.

The Forum was widely covered by Guangming Daily, Science and Technology Daily, Takungpao, huanqiu.com, ifeng.com, Zhejiang Daily, and Zhejiang TV.

The Forum was co-organized by Zhejiang Sci-Tech University and Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Area, and supported by Kiel Institute for the World Economy, German Development Institute, CIIC Center for Science and Technology Evaluation, Department of Philosophy, Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, Institute for International Strategic Studies of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Institute of Quantitative & Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), School of Economics, Fujian Normal University, and International College, Zhejiang University.