The 4th International Symposium on Soft Science "Innovative Nation: Theory and Practice" was held in Beijing from Nov. 28 to 30, 2006. The symposium was sponsored by the Association for Soft Science of China and organized by the Institute of Scientific and Technological Information of China.
Shang Yong, vice minister of Science and Technology and vice chairman of Association for Soft Science, said at the opening ceremony that the rapid development of soft sciences in China has made significant contributions to promoting scientific and democratic decision-making.
The Outline of the National Medium and Long-term S&T Development Plan promulgated this year has absorbed the wisdom of numerous soft science experts.
In addition to making better use of international S&T resources, China will strengthen all-round international cooperation in basic research and hi-tech frontier science research and industrialization.
Cheng Siwei, chairman of the Association for Soft Science of China, delivered a speech titled "Innovative Nation and Learning Organization" at the opening ceremony.
Cheng pointed out that an innovative nation refers to a country motivated mainly by innovation in its development. An innovative country is not necessarily a big S&T country but it must be a great S&T power.
He said innovative ability is the core capacity of countries and enterprises in the contemporary era. Enterprises are the main force in realizing innovations, taking the risk of innovation and enjoying the benefit of innovations. Only when fulfilling the three functions can an enterprise become the main actor of innovation in real terms.
Enjoying extensive participation, the symposium demonstrated a very high academic level. A total of 300 of over 1,500 papers submitted across the world have been included into the proceedings. The keynote speakers are famous experts and scholars with a high reputation in soft science research both in China and the rest of the world. Besides, over 350 attendants come from the political, academic and business communities.