The Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the world's most innovative governmental research institutions, according to a recent report by Thomson Reuters.
Sitting atop the list of the "Top 25 Global Innovators: Government", unveiled on March 9 in New York, is the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission of France, followed by the Fraunhofer Society in Germany and the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences ranks 16th, while Taiwan's Academica Sinica came in at 22nd.
Nine of the top 25 institutions are from Europe, with eight from Asia and seven from North America. While the United States has the highest number of institutions among the top 25, with six, France has the most in the top 10, with three.
The report said 19 of the innovators on the list are scientific research organizations, while the others are involved in the defense, aerospace, energy and healthcare sectors.
China is mentioned in the report as being "active at innovating and has implemented a number of government incentives and tax breaks as part of its national innovation plans".
Compiled by Reuters News and Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science department, the report studied more than 500 organizations, including universities, nonprofit organizations and government-funded agencies that have written a high number of articles for academic journals from 2008 to 2013.
The list is then cross-referenced against the number of patents filed by each organization during the same period of time.
Each candidate organization was then evaluated using various indicators including how often its patent applications were granted, how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities, and how often the organization's patents were cited by others.
They were also evaluated in terms of how often their research papers were cited by patents, and the percentage of articles that featured a co-author from the industry.
The report suggests government-based innovators "collaborate with the private sector to bring new solutions to life".
"The expertise of the respective teams can contribute to like-minded initiatives, expediting time to market while maximizing efficiency and resources," the report said.
Cooperation between research institutions and companies has long been an encouraged model for innovation in China.
"Companies are the main innovators on the market," said Yang Wu, head of the All-China Patent Agents Association. "Companies, universities and research institutions will solve technical challenges together."
Zheng Huiqiang, vice-president of Tongji University in Shanghai, said universities "hold the high ground of intellectual property creation but should better integrate technology with economy". He called for improved IP assessment systems to help industrialize IP resources generated by universities and research institutions.