China triples spending on nanotechnology over past five years

Updated: 2011-01-12 10:45
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BEIJING - China's spending on developing nanotechnology over the past five years was more than three times that between 2001 and 2005, a national nanotechnology coordination committee announced on Tuesday at its conference in Beijing.

China invested over 5 billion yuan ($760 million) on research and development of nanotechnology between 2006 and 2010, compared to 1.5 billion yuan between 2001 and 2005, according to the committee.

With the funding, three nanotechnology research centers at the national level were established, including the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology.

Moreover, the number of patent applications concerning nanotechnology in China became the second largest in the world by 2009. Nanotechnology patent numbers increased from 4,600 in 2005 to 12,000 in 2009, according to the committee.

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Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, said at the conference that China would design national nanotechnology programs during the next five years in order to seek original breakthroughs.

However, Bai Chunli, acting vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), warned that despite the progress made, China still faces several problems in developing nanotechnology, including insufficient understanding of the industrial need for the technology.

The national nanotechnology coordination committee was co-established in 2001 by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the CAS and the National Natural Science Foundation.