Edited and translated by People's Daily Online
On May 7, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance held a work arrangement video conference in Beijing for a plan to promote the universities' innovation ability.
On April 24 of 2011, President Hu Jintao gave an important speech in the conference for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Tsinghua University, indicating that China would actively promote the collaborative innovation, and by depending on innovations of systems and mechanisms and policy projects, China would encourage universities, scientific research institutes and enterprises to carry out in-depth cooperation, establish strategic alliances of collaborative innovation, promote the sharing of resources, jointly carry out major scientific research projects, and make practical achievements in key realms.
Taking the speech as the basis, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance decided to launch the "Plan 2011." The "Plan 2011" will be open to universities of various kinds, take universities as major objects of its implementation, actively attract participations of scientific research institutes, industrial enterprises, local governments and international innovation forces, greatly encourage universities to cooperate with universities, scientific research institutes, industrial enterprises, local governments and foreign scientific research organizations, and explore collaborative innovation ways to meet different requirements.
Yuan Guiren, the minister of education, said in order to successfully implement the "Plan 2011," people must fully and clearly understand the new ideas, concepts and requirements in the plan.
First, people must clearly understand the important goal of comprehensively improving the innovation ability. The old assessment method emphasizing the amount of projects and theses must be changed into a method emphasizing the quality of original innovations. Second, people must clearly understand the key point of establishing and perfecting the collaborative innovation mechanism. Third, people must clearly understand the essential requirement of keeping deepening the structural reform. In-depth reforms of universities must be greatly promoted and shortcomings of universities' internal and external systems and mechanisms must be eliminated. Fourth, people must clearly understand the important character of promoting and guiding the innovation at the same time.
The cycle of the "Plan 2011" is four years and is divided into three phases of the fostering and organizing, the examining and approving and the performance assessment. China carries out an examination every year and selects best candidates of various kinds to be collaborative innovation centers. For the approved "collaborative innovation centers 2011," the central financial department will establish special funds to guide and financially support them.
The "Plan 2011" is an extension and development of the "Project 211" and "Project 985." The three projects complement each other and emphasize different areas according to different requirements of China's higher education in different development periods. The "Project 211" and "Project 985" focus on the development of such innovation elements as the subject, talent and platform and focus on internal constructions of universities. The "Plan 2011" focuses on the reforms of universities' systems and mechanisms, focuses on promoting the collaborative development of universities' internal and external innovation forces, and focuses on establishing collaborative modes so that it could promote implementations of the "Project 211" and "Project 985."