Improve government procurement policy for independent innovation

Innovation refers to the first commercial application of technology. If the technology is just materialized into the product, but the product is not converted into a commodity, the chain of “research and development- production-consumption” cannot be completely connected, and the technological innovation cannot be successful ultimately. The cooperation between production and research can only link research and development to production, but cannot link production to consumption effectively. To this end, we need to provide risk compensation to those users who take the risk of using new products, and we should effectively mobilize enthusiasm and motivation of the users in supporting independent innovation and purchasing domestic products. For example, we can make use of government procurement and other policy tools to build an application platform for independent innovation products. In fact, many countries in the world have established the government’s first purchase and order system to stimulate enthusiasm of the users to give priority to the use of important technical equipment and products developed by enterprises of their own countries. For example, the Federal Procurement Act of the United States clearly stipulates that the federal government procurement must give priority to the purchase of domestic products. Only when the minimum offer of a domestic product is a certain percentage higher than overseas manufacturers, the procurement can be considered exempted. Therefore, the use of government procurement to support independent innovation of local enterprises should be accepted.

When encouraging technological innovation, market alone is not enough. We must attach great importance to the role of government procurement. Government procurement has a social-oriented and exemplary role, and through the government procurement of independent innovation products, we can greatly improve the awareness and influence of independent innovation products, so as to guide other social procurement behaviors so that the enterprises, individual investors, and consumers will buy independent innovative products, and the market forces promoting of independent innovation activities can be formed.

Clarify objectives of government procurement on independent innovation and establish and improve a related legal system

1 The objectives of government procurement to encourage technological innovation should be legalized, clear, and specific. Fiscal funds are the source of public procurement funds, which are rooted in the social tax and public service charges. The social nature of the source of funds determines the nature of the use of funds and investment, that is, they must be taken from the people, and provided to the people; state organs, public institutions, and groups at all levels are the main body in using and distributing the funds. The right of using and distributing the funds is “granted by the public”. Therefore, the social public interests and the public welfare should be fully taken into account when allocating and realizing the right. The right to purchase should be used by the people, and for the people’s sake. In addition, in the procurement process, state organs, institutions, and groups at all levels should choose and judge on a social policy-oriented basis, rather than on personal preferences. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the propaganda and training of public opinion and raise the awareness of the role of independent innovation in society, especially to improve the understanding of the importance of independent innovation for personnel engaging government procurement management, so as to unify the thinking and promote government procurement department to form a strong environment of concern and support for independent innovation.

It is necessary to clearly establish the goal of promoting independent innovation in our government procurement law. For example, according to Article 9 of the Government Procurement Law, “government procurement should help to achieve the objectives of national economic and social development policy, including the protection of the environment, support of the underdeveloped areas and ethnic minority areas, and promoting the development of small and medium enterprises”. In the enumeration of the “Economic and Social Development Policy Objectives”, the policy objective of “promoting independent innovation” is clearly added in the list. The specific provisions of the Government Procurement Law on procurement methods, procurement procedures, and supervision and management should be combined with the characteristics of independent innovation, and appropriate adjustments be made so that the government procurement methods and procedures can help achieve the goal of promoting technological innovation.

  • 2 The level of the standards should be enhanced and a government procurement legal system of independent innovation products should be built. China’s government procurement legal system on independent innovation products should be elaborated in Government Procurement Law with a certain number of administrative regulations, departmental rules, and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to sum up experience on the basis of the continuous improvement of normative documents, and ultimately form a government procurement legal system on the independent innovation products with clear function, reasonable delineation scope, open and fair procedures, convenient dispute resolution, unified rights and responsibility, which is easy to operate. Of course, in the long run, it is necessary for us to formulate “China Products Act”, which can clearly stipulate that the government must bear the obligation to purchase Chinese products and its responsibility to violate the obligation to achieve the goal of government procurement in promoting independent innovation. In the first half of 2010, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office and the Ministry of Finance, respectively, published the “Implementation Regulations for Government Procurement Law (Draft)” and “Approach of Government Procurement of Domestic Product Management (Draft)” to the public for comments. In the future, we need to further accelerate the pace to promote the development and implementation of laws and regulations that support independent innovation of domestic products.
  • 3 Start the revising process of Government Procurement Law and Law on Tenders and Bids as soon as possible. For China’s accession to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, China must start the revising process of Government Procurement Law and Law on Tenders and Bids as soon as possible. Some provisions of China’s current Government Procurement Law, such as the functions of government procurement, scope, procedures, dispute resolution, and other aspects, are not quite reasonable in themselves, and some do not meet the basic requirements of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, so it is necessary to modify them. At the same time, there are some conflicts between Government Procurement Law and Law on Tenders and Bids,

which need to be resolved. For example, according to the former, the initial purchase and order of independent innovation products is not subject to bidding procedures, while according to the latter, the process of government procurement must go through open bidding procedures.

4 Accurately grasp the connotation of government procurement in promotion of independent innovation and ensure the effectiveness in promotion of independent innovation. The understanding of government procurement policy in promotion of independent innovation includes the following aspects. First, government procurement in promotion of independent innovation should be selective and targeted. The size of government procurement is limited, so we should choose to support those that have development prospects, far-reaching impact on social and economic development, and a significant impact on enhancing comprehensive national strength. Second, government procurement in promotion of independent innovation should be coherent, so the support for an innovative project should be scientific and reasonable that last the early, middle, and late period of the independent innovation project. Third, government procurement in promotion of independent innovation should also introduce competition mechanism, so as to ensure the competition between the main bodies on independent innovation, and cannot support backward bodies.

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