IP as Loan Collateral: Another China Innovation Policy

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This is from last week, but I do like me some innovation policy news, so for the record, here is the latest attempt at creating an innovation society/knowledge economy:

China has launched a national pilot project to provide loans to companies that are eligible to put up their intellectual property rights (IPR) like patent as collateral.

At Friday’s launching ceremony in Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong province, six Chinese lenders, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, signed agreements or intent worth 1.308 billion yuan ($186.86 million) in loans with 18 enterprises.

The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) had decided to launch similar projects in cities including Beijing and Shanghai, said Ma Weiye, director of the patent management department under the SIPO.

“In these cities, both banks and enterprises have a strong demand for IRP-backed loans,” said Ma. “This is very good because the purpose of China’s IPR strategy is to increase the application of patent.”

Previously, banks in China offered mortgage loans mainly on tangible assets like plant and equipment, leaving technological innovation-oriented enterprises difficult to get financial support from banks. (China Daily)

Very tough for start-up companies here to get financing, yet the government is pulling out all the stops to get firms to innovate and commercialize. This seems like a good fit.

Pardon my cynicism, but I would like to review the numbers after one year and see how many loan recipients are State-owned enterprises and how many are private SMEs. If a significant percentage are SMEs, then I would call the policy a success.