• Chinese researchers will now get a sizeable profit from their breakthroughs.

Chinese researchers will now get a sizeable profit from their breakthroughs. (Photo : Getty Images)

China offers scientists and researchers incentives for discoveries and innovations in a bid to tap commercial potential for homegrown talents.

Beijing announced the new scheme on Wednesday stating that researchers in universities and state-linked institutions shall be given half of the total profits from their inventions, per a report from the South China Morning Post.

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According to the announcement from the Ministry of Science and Technology cited by SCMP, the profit-sharing concept is aimed at boosting the research and innovation industry in China to turn it "into a pillar of the economy."

In April, the Straits Times reported about the new status quo in terms of scientists' earnings, which the report pegged to be less than half of their American counterparts six years ago.

The New Incentive Policy

Scientists and researchers in China would get 50 percent of the profit from their breakthroughs as ordered by the Ministry of Science and Technology, a move which can motivate more talent to flow.

Chinese experts believe that scientific research should not be limited to laboratory testing and experimentation alone.

"Science-based innovation should never be just research in a laboratory," MST deputy minister Wang Zhigang stated. "We should transform research achievements into a realistic force that can drive the economy and society."

Because of this, the science ministry, along with 17 other government departments, issued a new policy in April stating that the innovation industry must be driven by the market, with the government acting only as a guide.

According to the Nature Index 2016 cited in a previous report from SCMP, China is the only country to have double-digit growth in three years from 2012 to 2015.

"Of the top 10 countries in the Nature list, only China has shown double-digit growth between 2012 and 2015, with some of its universities growing their contribution to the index as fast as 25 percent annually," Nature said in a statement.

From Institutions to the Corporate World

Aside from the incentive, the government is also encouraging talent to crossover between universities and institutions to the corporate sector, citing that academics and professors who choose to bring their breakthroughs to the market will be allowed to return to their jobs within three years.

Nature conducted a survey all over the world on salaries of scientists and learned that Chinese scientists' earnings have not even reached $40,000 annually, an amount that is less than half of those who work in the U.S.

Fortunately, the gap is gradually fading six years after.

"The gap is vanishing. In major cities, more and more Chinese scientists are making as much as they can for the same position in the U.S.," a senior life scientist from Beijing-based Tsinghua University stated.