making the shift from strategic emerging industries to future industries

context: The Economic Work Conference in December 2022 made clear that building a ‘modern industrial system’ is the key goal of industrial policy. Security, rather than GDP growth, is the cornerstone of this system. Identifying, fostering and securing ‘new growth drivers’, like new energy vehicles, is a priority.

Policymakers should replicate the successful experience of 5G communications technology and new energy vehicles for so-called ‘future industries’, argues a joint research report by Pan Jiaofeng 潘教峰 CASISD (Chinese Academy of Sciences Institutes of Science and Development) dean and Wang Xiaoming 王晓明 CASISD Industrial Science and Technology Innovation Research Department director.

The authors note the eight major strategic emerging industries defined by the State Council in 2009

  • energy conservation and environmental protection technology
  • new generation information technology
  • biotech
  • high-end equipment
  • new materials
  • new energy
  • new energy vehicles
  • innovative digital technologies (added in 2016)

However, they note, the PRC cannot only focus on these. The new round of industrial revolution will lead to the formation of new ‘future industries’, the authors say, including

  • brain-inspired computing and brain-computer interfaces
  • quantum information
  • gene technology
  • future network technology
  • deep sea technology
  • hydrogen and energy storage

The research has been commissioned by the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) High Technology Department, the authors say. The goal of the broader research project, they explain, is to map out concrete pathways to a ‘modern industrial system’.