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To Promote China’s Innovative Capacity by Incremental Innovation



By Ma Shuping, DRC


Incremental innovation is the foundation which must be highly emphasized.

First, incremental innovation puts stress on internal resources, and does less harm to enterprises’ development and industrial pattern whereas mutant innovation attaches importance to external resources, replies on a minority of the elite and boasts the capacity to subvert industrial structure. In light of global practice, the U.S. is taking the lead in mutant innovation while Germany and Japan mainly adopt an approach toward incremental innovation. By comparing the practice of different countries, it can be found that basic research and development, risk capital, bond market and other regional innovation systems have laid the foundation for various innovation drives; features of enterprises are important basis for them to choose their innovation mode, and incremental and mutant innovations are complementary to and promote each other.

Second, China’s innovation foundation is relatively weak, and more attention should be paid to incremental innovation. By comprehensively analyzing and evaluating relevant factors relating to systems, infrastructure, macro-environment, education and training, market efficiency, financial development, technological preparation, enterprise maturity and other major aspects, China’s innovation capacity is still at the middle rung of global development level on the whole and incremental innovation is needed for further development to consolidate the technological base.

Third, innovation policies need to be improved to encourage enterprises to conduct incremental innovation. 1. Tax incentives need to be further implemented and service capacity needs to be further enhanced in terms of project approval, and accounting management. 2. Science and technology institutional reform needs to be accelerated and market mechanism could be adopted for the construction of a number of applied technology development organizations to provide service to small and medium-sized enterprises. 3. Cooperation among enterprises, universities and research institutes needs to be encouraged to make joint efforts for innovation drive and the cultivation of a new industrial ecology for innovation.


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