The China Innovation Index, the barometer of the country's innovation capability, rose at a faster pace in 2019, official data showed.
The index, introduced in 2005, increased by 7.8 percent to 228.3 last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Comprising four sub-indices, the index measures the innovation environment, input, output and effects.
The sub-index for the innovation environment jumped 10.5 percent to 249.9. Meanwhile, the country raised fiscal expenditure on science and technology by 12.6 percent year-on-year to 1.07 trillion yuan (about $161.41 billion) last year.
The innovation input index stood at 199.1, up 3 percent from the previous year. The research and development (R&D) intensity, or the R&D expenditure to GDP ratio, reached 2.23 percent, 0.09 percentage points higher than the previous year.
Spending on fundamental research surged 22.5 percent to 133.56 billion yuan in 2019, while the total R&D expenditure of enterprises reached 1.69 trillion yuan, up 11.1 percent year-on-year.
The innovation output saw a robust growth of 11.8 percent to 295.3, with the number of domestic patents granted last year up 6 percent to 2.47 million.
The sub-index for the innovation effects increased 3.1 percent to 168.8 last year.
One indicator of the effects is related to the sales of new products. In 2019, the sales revenue of new products from large and medium-sized industrial enterprises reached 16.6 trillion yuan, accounting for 24.9 percent of their main business income.
Another indicator is energy consumption, as innovation promotes green development. Last year, energy consumption per unit of GDP declined by 2.6 percent. The consumption of coal accounted for 57.7 percent of the total, edging down 1.3 percentage points, while that of clean energy, such as natural gas, hydropower and nuclear power, went up 1.3 percentage points to 23.4 percent.
The index readings reflected the success of China's innovation-driven development strategy, said Li Yin, the chief statistician of NBS, noting that the improvement in the innovation capability plays an increasingly important role in refining the high-quality development.