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Tech innovation efforts to lift Tibet's economy

Liu Yukun and Palden Nyima | Updated: 2020-03-28 08:13

Elementary school students visit a planetarium in Lhasa, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, Dec 14, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Tibet autonomous region will step up support for local technology companies and tech innovation as part of its efforts to shore up the local economy, officials said.

As part of this, it has set up a "science and technology innovation voucher" mechanism under its Science and Technology Department to encourage the development of enterprises.

Companies can apply for a voucher at the science and technology entrepreneurship service center of the department multiple times in a year. The annual limit of issued vouchers for science and technology for small and medium-sized enterprises is 100,000 yuan ($14,077), while the limit for startups was set at 50,000 yuan. The innovation voucher must be used in the same year of application and will be invalid if it has expired.

Companies can use the voucher to purchase services from universities and research institutes, such as services related to research and development, startup incubation, technology consultation, and many other aspects.

The vouchers can also be used for expenses such as awarding performance bonuses to laboratory personnel and management, training, laboratory construction and operation, research and development of science and technology equipment and testing methods.

Bao Hanwen, director of the science and technology entrepreneurship service center at the Science and Technology Department of Tibet, said the voucher will help relieve financial pressure associated with research and development for tech firms, promote cooperation among companies, universities, and research institutes, and facilitate transformation of scientific and technological achievements into real productive forces.

The center organized expert evaluations in May and August last year. It forwarded the innovation voucher recipients to Tibet's Science and Technology Department for review, and the results were published on the department's website in November.

Bao said the evaluation was mainly based on company's product research and development process with criterion relating to research content, research methods, and many other aspects.

Innovation vouchers totaling 5.43 million yuan pertaining to science and technology innovation were issued till March. Tibet's Science and Technology Department has also selected 38 technology innovation service providers, including universities and research institutes, where companies can redeem the vouchers.

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