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CHINA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER(2012 NO.5)

New Plan to Boost R&D Infrastructures

Not long ago, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released to the public a special plan for boosting China’s R&D infrastructures during the 12th Five-year period(2011-2015), in a bid to effectively implement the tasks defined by the national mediumand long term scientific and technological development plan (2006-2020), and the national scientific and technological planning for the 12th five-year period, enhancing the support to R&D infrastructures, and to building an innovative country. The plan says by 2015 China will strive to accomplish the following objectives: 1) R&D infrastructures will be further optimized in distribution. Facilitate the development of major scientific and technological infrastructures, research and experiment bases, and R&D infrastructure platforms, making them more consistent with the needs of economic, social, and S&T development. 2) R&D infrastructures will be significantly enhanced for proprietary innovation activities. Develop new principles and new methods for scientific instruments making,  striving to master the core technologies for key components, and to develop 20 or more original scientific equipment and 200 or more proprietary major scientific equipment enjoying the core competitiveness in the industry. Further enhance the R&D capability of reagents, laboratory animal resources, and national metrological standards, and further deepen the development and diffusion of innovative methods and processes. 3) Further enlarge the opening and sharing of scientific research infrastructures. Perfect the opening and sharing mechanism of scientific research resources, optimizing the configuration and raising the utilization of scientific research resources, and further enhancing the service capabilities of S&T infrastructures. 4) R&D infrastructures personnel contingent shall be further strengthened. Perfect the training, motivation, and evaluation system of R&D infrastructures personnel, and foster a stable S&T infrastructure personnel contingent with high quality. 5) S&T infrastructure management system shall be further improved. Boost the role played by the marketplace in optimizing the distribution of S&T resources, creating an agreeable policy environment for the proprietary innovation and opening/sharing of S&T infrastructures, and nurturing 3-5 businesses with proprietary innovations and an annual output exceeding RMB 2 billion.

Enhanced Safety Plan for Nuclear Power

Chinese National Energy Administration recently started a research and development program to enhance nuclear power safety. The program will initially stage 13 projects for passive emergency power supply (high-capacity storage), high-level cooling water sources, severe nuclear power accidents prevention and mitigation, severe nuclear power accidents simulation platform, hydrogen control device among others. The projects are designed to turn the experience of the Fukushima nuclear accident into advanced nuclear power technologies that can be used to enhance nuclear power generating units’ safety and resistance to extreme disasters in China, based on the technologies currently applied at Chinese nuclear power plants and associated site environment, and through studying the major mechanisms, developing the key equipment, and analyzing the typical site and associated core security technologies applied. The projects will be implemented by major domestic nuclear power developers and operators, including China National Nuclear Corporation, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, Tsinghua University Institute of Nuclear and New Energy and others.

RMB 2 Trillion from Advanced Materials

A plan, jointly prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an advanced materials industry during the 12th Five-year period, was recently released to the public. The plan says China will secure RMB 2 trillion worth of advanced materials output in 2015, enjoying an annual growth exceeding 25%. The Plan adds that major advanced materials producers will have a raised R&D expenditure to 5% as a proportion of their total sales revenue. China will establish new platforms for advanced materials R&D and associated public services, fostering 10 leading enterprises with enhanced innovation capability, core competitiveness, and a sales revenue exceeding RMB 15 billion, nurturing 20 backbone enterprises with a sales revenue exceeding RMB 5 billion, and establishing a range of advanced materials industry bases and clusters with clearly defined businesses, supporting facilities, and an annual output worth RMB 30 billion or more. Meanwhile, China will raise the support to advanced material products to a level of 70%, and the support to key advanced materials to 50%, realizing the scale production and commercial application of carbon fiber, titanium alloy, corrosion resistant steel, advanced energy storage materials, semiconductor materials, membrane materials among others. Efforts will also be made to diffuse the application of 30 key advanced materials through a range of demonstration projects.

Next Generation Internet into Commercial Application

The National Development and Reform Commission will initiate a range of special projects to enhance the development and commercial application of next generation internet technology, in a bid to spur up the deployment of new internet technology in China, achieving the following objectives: 1) Network development and user population: major trunk network and 10% of the metropolitan area network will support the application of IPv6; preparing a plan for the smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6, allowing inter-network web browsing between IPv4 and IPv6, and securing an IPv6 user population exceeding 8 million. 2) Business applications and terminals: 100 major commercial portals will become IPv6 supported, encouraging government agencies, municipal government, enterprises, institutions, and telecom companies to make their websites or new services IPv6 supported. Meanwhile, the new fixed or mobile internet terminals shall be technically IPv6 supported. 3) Technology breakthroughs and associated industrialization: accelerate the smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6, enhancing the study, test, and demonstration of new network architecture and technology, mastering the core and key technologies, and establishing a solid standard system. Network users shall see an annual drop of energy consumption by 8%, and the network equipment manufacturing industry an annual drop of energy consumption for added value per RMB 10,000 output by 3 or more.

More Agricultural Innovations

Not long ago, the Ministry of Science and Technology staged a briefing to elaborate the progresses achieved in agricultural science and technology innovations and associated entrepreneurship. 1) China’s national food science and technology program has introduced farming technology and technique demonstrations in 13 major grain-producing regions, in a bid to support the country’s food security, with a newly increased grain yield of 48 million tons in five years; 2) China launched a range of projects for tree, animal, and plant breeding, animal and plant functional genomics, hybrid crops, marine culture seeds, and new livestock species; 3) As of the end of 2011, China has sent S&T envoys to 90 percent of the counties (townships) in the country, helping farmers to use new farming technologies and techniques. The S&T envoy population has reached 17 million people; 4) China has established a range of modern agricultural demonstration bases, including Beijing Modern Agricultural Town, Yangling National Agricultural Demonstration Park, the Yellow River Delta National Agricultural Science And Technology Park, and a strategic alliance for modern agricultural science and technology demonstration made up of some 100 agricultural science and technology parks; 5) Since 2010, the Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the CPC Central Committee Organization Department and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has made a number of provinces a pilot province for rural information technology demonstration; 6) A range of special actions have been initiated, including S&T advancement assessment, the Spark Program, enriching a county through science and technology, S&T findings transfer fund, and science and technology based poverty alleviation and development in the rural areas, which diffused numerous practical techniques, created a number of pillar industries, and established a novel rural science and technology service system; and 7) China promotes the three-in-one rural scientific and technological service system, designed to promote public good technologies, encourage entrepreneurships, and provide diversified services, making the institute of new rural development the carrier for such services, and promoting the mode of university providing science and technology services to the rural areas.

First City-wide Quantum Communication Network

A quantum banking information verification network, jointly built by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Xinhua News Agency, was put into a trial operation on February 21, 2012. The development marks the trial operation of a city-wide quantum communication network, which makes Hefei the first city in the country and in the world as well enjoying a scale quantum communication network. In the quantum communication network, one sees no difference when working on phone calls, e-mail, and files transfer, but with a reduced worry about information theft. Researchers have to this day established a city-wide quantum communication network made up of 46 nodes.

First Subway Crossing the Yangtze River

Metro Line 2 in the City of Wuhan, the first subway crossing the Yangtze River in China was run through on February 26, 2012, and entered the rail laying and inner decoration phases. With an investment of RMB 14.913 billion for phase I, Metro Line 2, covering a length of 27.98 kilometers with 21 stops, will be put into operation in the year. The new subway will take up 50% of the passengers crossing the river from the city proper, with a planned passenger volume up to 600,000 people in 2015. The river-crossing tunnel subway has recorded a number of firsts in the country: first subway crossing the Yangtze River, the longest tunnel paved through using a single shield, the deepest subway tunnel under the largest water pressure, and the first tunnel built on the river floor equipped with a pumping and communication station, which provides precious experience for building urban subways in the future.

 

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