BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's investment in research and development (R&D) is expected to reach 1.54 trillion yuan (around 223 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, accounting for 2.1 percent of GDP, according to Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang.
Last year's R&D expenditure was estimated to increase by 9 percent from 2015, with over 78 percent of the spending coming from enterprises, Wan announced at a national work conference on science and technology held Tuesday.
Wan said initial figures showed the value of technology transactions in China was anticipated to amount to more than 1.14 trillion yuan, and the scientific and technological progress contribution to the country's economic growth in 2016 had increased to 56.2 percent.
He said that China was a world leader in invention patent applications, ranking third place, with over one million invention patents.
At the conference, Wan also announced that China had begun working on implementation plans of key projects that involved quantum communication and computers, brain science and brain-like research, deep sea stations, as well as space-ground integrated technology.
Wang said more projects, including ones on deep earth exploration and artificial intelligence, were in the pipeline.