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Patents a deciding factor in technology awards
The number of patents owned by scientists is playing a more significant role in determining whether or not they will be awarded China's science and technology prizes, experts say.
For his achievements in the development of safer pesticides, Song Baoan, a professor from Guizhou University, recently won a Science and Technology Innovation Award this year from the Hong Kong-based Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation. It is the most influential non-government prize in China.
He also owns eight related invention patents.
In fact, nearly all the 50 winners of the foundation's prize this year are holders of invention patents, and on average they each own 17.8, which is an increase of about 50 percent compared to the last session.
It is also a common phenomenon in China's other major science and technology awards, experts say.
For example, the gold prize winner of the 2011 National Science and Technology Progress Award had 21 related invention patents.
"Invention patents reflect the level of a country's technological innovation. More importance has been attached to patents in China since the central government implemented a state intellectual property strategy in 2008," said Duan Ruichun, secretary-general of the foundation.