More joint R&D centres on the way

By Jia Hepeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-15 06:56

Leading international research institutes and universities are expected to establish joint laboratories in China, according to a senior science official.

Shang Yong, vice-minister of science and technology, said yesterday at the two-day International Forum on Globalization of R&D in Beijing, that in the coming five years, his ministry will encourage and jointly fund Sino-foreign labs in China, boosting the nation's research capacity in such areas as physics, mathematics, and high-technology.

"Sino-foreign joint labs will be mainly distributed in areas where the Chinese Government has key co-operation project with foreign countries. Therefore, the funding for the labs will come from both the Chinese Government and the government of the lab's international partners," Shang told China Daily.

So far, China has co-operated with 152 countries in science and technologies, and has signed bilateral science and technology co-operation agreements with 99 governments.

Encouraging the development of the joint labs is part of China's international scientific co-operation plan.

The Chinese Government will also encourage the nation's deeper involvement in big international projects in physics, life science and space science.

So far, China has been a major player in the Galileo Project, a space science programme initiated by the European Union, and the Human Liver Protein Project, which aims to map all human liver proteins.

Earlier this year, China launched a major international science programme to research traditional Chinese medicine.

In the coming year, the nation will also launch and lead a big international co-operation project on clean energy, said Shang, without revealing the date and investment for the project.

In addition, Shang said his ministry is designing a mechanism called "one plus one", which will encourage a Chinese institute and an enterprise to establish foreign R&D centres.

Speaking of the State policy for innovation, Shang said that an innovative nation, which is the primary goal of China's S&T policies, does not simply mean independent innovation. Wide international co-operation, especially in the basic science area, is highly necessary for China and will be promoted by his ministry.

(China Daily 12/15/2006 page2)

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