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CHINA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER (2013 NO.3)
驻休斯敦总领馆

Bioindustry Development Plan Released by China
--By 2020, bioindustry will be developed into a pillar of the economy

   China's recently issued Bioindustry Development Plan made clear the goal of developing the bioindustry into a pillar of the national economy by 2020.
   According to the Plan, by 2015, China aims to double added value generated by the bioindustry as a percentage of GDP compared with 2010, and substantially increase its added value as a ratio of total industrial output value; develop its distinctive capacity, and significantly enhance its contribution to economic and social development, so as to gain an edge in global competition.
   By 2020, China will achieve all-round development in key areas of the bioindustry and sound growth of new industry forms, develop their own features and dislocation of industries. and optimize industrial structure; form world-class industrial technology innovation system, markedly raise major enterprises' ratio of R&D investment in sales volume, dramatically increase the number of core technologies and overseasgranted patents, and ensure wide application of China's self-developed innovative products.
   The Plan also pointed out that the bioindustry, an emerging industry of strategic importance to the nation, achieved a total output value of 2 trillion yuan in 2011, and biomedicine, bioagriculture, and bioenergy industries have already taken shape. In order to tackle increasingly serious aging, food security concerns, energy shortage and environmental degradation, it's urgent for China to develop new drugs, new crop varieties, green planting techniques, biofuel and biomass power generation, green biotech and bio-based products, and put them into widespread use.

12th Five-year Plan for National High-tech Business Incubators

   The Ministry of Science and Technology has compiled the 12th Five-year Plan for National High-tech Business Incubators (the Plan), based upon National Medium- and Long-term Scientific and Technological Development Program (2006-2020), National Mediumand Long-term Talent Development Program, National 12th Five-year Plan for Scientific and Technological Development. The Plan aims to promote sustained, healthy development of high-tech business incubators (including high-tech start-up service centers, overseas returned scholars' business parks and international business incubators), raise their innovativeness and incubating capacity, foster high-tech SMEs and leading entrepreneurs, boost commercialization of research results and nurture strategic, emerging industries.
   During the 12th Five-year Plan period, the incubators aim to improve high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship service system, raise the capacity in incubating high-tech businesses, particularly those engaged in strategic, emerging industries, develop high-level start-up teams.
   The ultimate goal is to create an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish, so as to lay a solid basis for shifting China's economic growth pattern and building an innovative nation. By 2015, China aims to increase the total number of incubators nationwide to 1,500, among which 500 national-level ones, and exercise dynamic management and exit mechanisms over national-level incubators. By then, more than 30% of national-level incubators will have built business nurseries and accelerators; more than 50% can make angel investment and incubate as a stakeholder of the businesses under incubation; over 60% employees will have received training on incubators; 80% will have built public technology service platforms; and 90% will have established start-up mentor system.

S&T Program for Public Wellbeing Rolled out by MOST

   The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has introduced S&T Program for Public Wellbeing (the Program), and proposed Management Regulations on the Program's Special Fund. This aims to implement National Medium- and Long-term Scientific and Technological Development Program (2006-2020), standard the management of the Special Fund and raise the efficiency of the financial resources. The Special Fund, allocated by the central budget to the grassroots level, is designed to channel financial resources to the commercialization of advanced technologies, and integrated demonstration of advanced, applicable technologies, for the benefit of social development. The use of the Special Fund must follow the following principles:
   1. Support key fields on the basis of merit. The Program will focus on its support on social management and development-related fields, such as population and health, eco-environment, public safety, and gives priority to commercial use of advanced technologies, and integration and demonstration of advanced, applicable technologies in key fields, for the purpose of spurring sustainable development.
   2. Diversify funding source with government as a driving force. The Program will be demand-driven, with the government playing a guiding role in its implementation. The role of the government, industry and academia will be brought into play, and diverse sources of funding will be sought.
   3. Adopt hierarchical management and clearly define roles and responsibilities. Three levels of management, namely central, provincial/municipal/administrative region and grassroots (county/city/prefecture) levels, will be adopted.
   4. The Special Fund is dedicated to the Program and must not be used for other purposes.

Chinese Scientists Find Key Genes Conferring Risk of Hepatitis B Virus-related Liver Cancer

   The latest issue of the international influential journal Nature Genetics published a paper by a research team headed by Prof. Yu Long, of the Institute of Genetics and State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering of Fudan University, which identifies STAT4 and HLA-DQ as key genes conferring risk of hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer. This finding paves the way for the screen of the population susceptible to liver cancer in the future, which is expected to cut the risk of liver cancer development.
   It is reported that around 700,000 people worldwide die from liver cancer each year. In China, 350,000 to 400,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer each year, accounting more than half of the world’s total. A survey on medical history of the condition shows that more than 80% of Chinese liver cancer patients have a history of hepatitis B.
   Not all hepatitis B virus carriers develop liver cancer. Why some do and others do not? The Fudan University research team has offered an answer.
   The research team led by Prof. Yu Long, comprising 66 scholars from 30 Chinese and foreign research groups, performed a GWAS analysis on the blood DNA samples of a total of 11,799 hepatitis B patients. They successfully identified genetic susceptibility loci for hepatitis B virus-related liver cancer in STAT4 gene and HLA-DQ gene cluster. This is the first report of its kind in the academic community.
   The STAT4 gene, located at human chromosome 2, may play an important “pre-warning” role in antiviral, anti-tumor and immune response. This gene controls inflammation development and tumor growth in the human body. The HLA-DQ cluster, located at human chromosome 6, comprises such genes as HLA-DQA1,HLA-DQB1, HLA-DQA2 and HLA-DQB2.The proteins encoded by the HLA-DQ gene cluster participate in immunoregulation to keep a well-functioning immune system and maintain human health.

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