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Recent Scientific News of China ( I )
2005-11-07 00:00


S&T Infrastructures Accelerated

Not long ago, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, State Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Education jointly issued "Comments on Construction of National S&T Infrastructure Platforms in the 11th Five-Year Period(2006-2010)", in a move to provide effective support for S&T advancement and proprietary innovations in the country.

According to the document, China will, by 2010, work out policies, regulations, and standards to match the construction and management of the platforms that will become the core system and framework for resources sharing. China will also establish major S&T resources information platforms, allowing the public to share the rich resources. A regional large scientific instruments coordinating network will be established and perfected, in an effort to promote the efficient utilization of nationwide instrument and facility resources. China will establish a number of large S&T infrastructures, and consolidate and optimize the existing key laboratories, in a move to form up national research and experiment bases. In addition, scientific data sharing platform will be constructed to accommodate the needs of dozens of fields, including resources and environment for observation data, survey data, and scientific data. The effort will make 50% of major international S&T journals available on online platforms. The purported real-time service system will be extended to the county and township level.  Great enhancement will be seen in preserving and utilizing natural S&T resources, including crops, forests, and microbes. A unified nationwide S&T findings and technology trade platform will be established, along with several common technology service platforms dedicated to energy, materials, and manufacturing. These platforms will provide technology support for the innovations and development of national mainstay industries.

In addition, the "Comments" has come up with concrete requirements, including formulating a management mode and system, introducing the regulated governance in the entire process of platform construction and operation, establishing an accomplishment based incentive system, posting public notifications for platform projects and associated operation, and strengthening monitoring and management.


Loans to Small and Medium Enterprises

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and China Development Bank (CDB) have recently intensified their cooperation, in an attempt to facilitate fund raising efforts of small and medium-sized S&T enterprises. The efforts are made to explore new fund raising modes for these enterprises, enhance the support for their fund raising, and establish a credit system for them.

On April 2005, MOST and CDB jointly issued a circular to further promote fund raising activities for small and medium-sized S&T enterprises. The initiatives have received positive response of CDB's local branches as well as from local S&T authorities. To implement the Circular, the Torch Center, part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the Assets Restructuring Bureau affiliated to the China Development Bank, is preparing to hold a working seminar on fund raising activities for small and medium-sized S&T enterprises. The Center is also working on a guide for creating a loan platform for these enterprises.

Since June 2004, MOST and CDB have sown experimental seeds in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Chongqing, in an extended effort to help small and medium-sized enterprises to obtain loans. Statistics show that during the period of January-June 2005, the China Development Bank has secured a loan amounting to RMB 420 million for small and medium-sized S&T enterprises in national high tech parks, and in four pilot cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Xi'an. The efforts have been made to support 15 national high tech parks in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Shenyang, Taiyuan, Baotou, Changchun, Daqing, Weihai, Yantai, Weifang, Luoyang, and Dalian.

On March 2005, the Torch Center made a survey to the DENGLING Program of the Zhongguancun High Tech Park, and the credit system of the existing fund raising platforms. Based on the survey results, the Center plans to run a pilot project in 2 to 3 qualified national high tech parks, in an attempt to promote the establishment of a credit system for small and medium-sized S&T enterprises, and play its key roles in securing loans for these enterprises. 

To further cooperation, MOST and CDB have decided to hold a working seminar on fund raising for small and medium-sized S&T enterprises, so as to facilitate high tech parks to accommodate credit needs of these enterprises on an extended basis.


World Congress on Intelligent Transport System

The first plenary meeting of the 14th World Congress on Intelligent Transport System was recently convened at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing. Some 30 participants, including MA Songde, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the event, and Vice Minister of Science and Technology, JI Lin, Deputy Mayor of the Beijing Municipality, and representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Construction, and Beijing Municipality, attended the meeting.

At the meeting, an organizing Committee and an administrative office was officially established for the event that will be held in 2007. Participants discussed numerous involving issues, including timing, venues, congress logos and slogans, in addition to laying out division of work and terms of reference for the implementing institutions. The Beijing Municipal Government will run the details of organizing the event. MA said the meeting is held to enhance public awareness of intelligent transport system, and raise the S&T capacity of China's transport system. He hoped that the event would spur up the development of intelligent transport industry in China, and the show should be staged with innovative thinking. The accomplishments made by China in intelligent transport will be highlighted at the meeting, demonstrating simulated results of an intelligent transport system in Beijing and a real-time display of intelligent transport system in the city. MA has thought positively of the preparations so far made, and thanked the strong support and coordination offered by the authorities concerned. He wished the organizing team to continue to do a good job, ensuring a complete success of the event in 2007.

The plenary meeting marks an official start to prepare for the world intelligent transport event to be opened in 2007. It will spur up the fast development of China's intelligent transport technology and applications.

China's MES Forum for 2005

Jointly sponsored by the High-Tech Center affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the expert panel for integrated modern manufacturing system, a part of the National 863 Program, a forum on MES industry and associated technology was held on July 23, 2005 in Beijing. More than 200 experts, scholars, and engineers from industrial associations, large enterprises, research institutes, and universities attended the event. FENG Jichun, director of the Department of High Technology, part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, made an opening speech at the scene. Domestically renowned figures, including CAI Tianyou, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. ZHU Jian presented keynote speeches on development demands, current status, and future trends of MES technology, products, and applications both at home and abroad. The research institutes that work on iron-steel and petrochemical issues under the National 863 Program, presented their research and application findings. Representatives from Siemens, HP, IBM, Echelon, and Broner Metals also shared their technologies and experiences in MES research and applications.

Integrated modern manufacturing technology, a major research topic under the National 863 Program in the 10th five-year period, provides guidance and support for MES related studies, development, applications, and demonstration, in an effort to improve the information facet of the process industries. Shanghai based Baosight Software and PCITC, in collaboration with other research institutes of domestic strength, have rolled out MES products comparable with their advanced overseas counterparts. The successful application of these products in some ten enterprises, including BAO Steel, and SINOPEC, has harvested remarkable economic returns. For instance, a 700,000-ton stainless steel production line in Bao Steel expects to reach the designed output target in three years. With the help of a MEC-cored automation system, the same target is reached only in 11 months. The technology has made the simultaneous construction of an automation system along with a project possible. Starting from day one, the operation schedule is delivered by the computer system.

National S&T Library's Birthday

Thanks to its 5-year sustained efforts, China's National S&T Library has become a largest domestic modern service network offering S&T information and literatures, said LIU Yanhua, Chinese Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, at an event to mark the 5th anniversary of the founding of the library.

Built under the principle of "unified procurement, standardized processing, joint networking, and resources sharing", the library works to promote the concept of joint construction and resources sharing, using information technology and network environment. It provides nationwide services for four major areas, including basic sciences, engineering technology, farming technology, and medicine and health.  

Up to date, the library has possessed 21,000 sorts of domestic and international S&T journals, with 60% of imported S&T journals in the country, which makes it an information agency possessing most overseas published S&T journals. The library has established over 30 million entries of data concerning domestic or international S&T journals, magazines, conference proceedings, academic degree papers, S&T reports, and literatures on patents, standards, and metrology.  In the meantime, it adds Japanese and Russian journals to its databases, making itself the first domestic search engine for Japanese and Russian S&T literatures.

China's First Information Development Report

The Information Office, part of China's State Council, recently published a report to show China's information process and associated development in 2005. The report, made up of some 36,000 words, covers 11 areas, including situation and tasks for China's information process, China's information process in 2004, diffusion and application of information technology, e-government, e-commerce, development and utilization of information resources, personnel training, information industry and associated infrastructures, network and information security, information process related laws, regulations, and standardization, and perspectives for China's information process in 2005. The report analyzes the strategic framework and alternatives of China's information process, while listing a summary of new accomplishments and experience achieved in recent years in the field, using abundant charts, data, and examples. The report presents a clear picture of tasks to be accomplished in major economic and social sectors. 

In the report, China defines the following major tasks for the future information development: extensively using information technology, and promoting economic restructuring and change of economic growth modes; enhancing the development and utilization of information resources, and raising the overall returns of information process; perfecting information infrastructures, and meeting the increasing needs for applications; making information technology and associated industry the priorities for future development, and providing technical and logistic support for information development; and strengthening information security, and promoting a stable society and healthy information process.

The Information Office will, starting from the year, compile and publish an information development report on an annual basis.

High-Tech Trades More

Along with the deepened implementation of the strategies "rejuvenating trade with science and technology", China applauds for a rapidly increased high tech trade volume, said CHANG Xiaocun, Director, Department of Science and Technology, part of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. CHANG added that China expects a high tech import & export volume to reach USD 400 billion this year. As a possible result, the weight of high tech export in the nation's total export will see an increase up to 30% in the year from 11% registered six years ago.

In the fist half of the year, China's high tech import & export amounted to USD 180.26 billion, with a growth of 26.2%. Of the mixed package, import made USD 86.74 billion, with a growth of 19.9%. Export gained USD 93.52 billion, with a 32.4% growth, or 27.3% of the nation's total export. During the same period of time, China registered 4,696 contracts for technology transfer, or 15.5% up, with an amount of USD 8.14 billion, or 26.4% more against the previous year. Of the said amount, technology fees came to USD 5.6 billion, or 68.8% of the total amount expected in the contracts.

CHNAG disclosed that the Ministry of Commerce is working together with other government agencies to brew new policies for promoting high tech export, and prepare an action plan for rejuvenating trade with science and technology in the 11th Five-year plan period(2006-2010). The Ministry also encourages and supports, with valid measures, the export of proprietary high tech brands, and make expanding such exports an important component of the ongoing efforts.


China-Russia Expedition in Baikal

22 Chinese and Russian scientists plan to launch a 22-day long comprehensive scientific expedition to the Baikal Lake in August 2005. As a first joint scientific expedition between two nations at such a scale, the expedition will embrace three parts:

1)     Comprehensive scientific investigation of the lake's ecological and physical environment, including past and recent climate variations. Scientists will study the climate over the lake area and its impacts on China, especially on north China area, and associated interactions. They will look into the ecosystems of taiga, grasslands, and wetlands, and colony structures of east Asian typical ecosystems. They will study fire genesis mechanism in northeast Asian forests, grasslands, and wetlands, using remote sensing data, survey data, and climate data, and explore economic and social impacts of fires on China and Russia.

2)     Investigation of the lake's aquatic creatures and environment. Obtaining ecological data through collecting specimens of aquatic creatures, suspensions, lake water, and soil for identification and measurement. Comparative study of paleoclimate environment changes and evolution processes between middle and east sections of Asia, using samples collected from the lake floor.

3)     Comprehensive study of the lake area's economy, and application of remote sensing and GIS techniques. This part will include a comparative study of Baikal's industrial enterprises and veteran industrial bases in northeast China, and a comparative study of ecological environment related remote sensing activities and GIS applications in the Baikal area and northeast China.


China-EU Space Cooperation

A seminar under the Dragon Program, co-sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) , the National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC) , and Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), was held June 27-July 1, 2005 in Santorini, Greece. The meeting discussed and exchanged findings achieved in ENVISAT data applications, since the Dragon Program was kicked off a year ago. The meeting also defined concrete actions for future cooperation.

The meeting heard 69 presentations, the phase results derived from the joint program. China has found successful applications of ENVISAT data in monitoring water resources and floods, rice yield, forests, seismologic activities, air pollution, marine environment, droughts, and landslides. The raised remote sensing application capacity and rich first-hand observation and assessment data is practically valuable for guiding China's future activities in disaster prevention and preparedness, sustainable resources utilization, and environmental protection.

During the meeting, officials from both sides exchanged views on strengthening ties with other international cooperation mechanisms, possible cooperation channels, and sharing ground observational data on an extended basis. Both sides decided to add in the program a new project named "space technology and its applications in organizing the Olympic Games, in a move to support organizing the Beijing Olympic Game that will be held in 2008.

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