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Recent Scientific News of China ( II )
2005-11-09 00:00


China-Europe INTEROP Workshop

A China-Europe international workshop on INTEROP was convened on July 25, 2005 in Beijing. More than 30 participants from Europe and China attended the workshop, co-sponsored by an expert panel for the integrated modern manufacturing system under the National 863 Program, a high-tech research and development center, part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and EU's INTEROP-NoE.

INTEROP, a large project financed by the EU's 6th Framework Program, has attracted the participation of some 170 experts, scholars and doctorate students from over 50 institutions in 15 countries. It works on interoperability for enterprise software and applications, and strives to establish a European excellence network in technical fields concerned. European experts briefed the audiences of the INTEROP's general framework, roadmap, and enterprise scale, structures, and platforms suitable for interoperability. They also discussed special issues concerning the applications in small and medium-sized enterprises. Chinese experts talked about the development status and thinking lines of CIMS under the National 863 Program, and other related issues, including enterprise scale, workflow management, industrial software and integrated applications, EAI system and platform, knowledge management for products development, and applications in aeronautics industry.

The workshop makes an in-depth follow-up to the visit of an INTEROP delegation to China last April. In the two-day event, seven European representatives, including Arian ZWEGERS of the EU's ICT for Enterprise Networking, applauded for the accomplishments made by their Chinese colleagues in the field, and expressed their confidence in staging more cooperation in the field of manufacturing information process.


Enhanced MOST and UNDP Cooperation

XU Guanhua, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, and Khalid Malik, resident representative of UNDP in China recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding on the Long Term Cooperation between the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and UNDP. Under the implementation framework of the MOU, both parties will focus cooperation activities in the fields of poverty alleviation with science and technology, promoting rural development with S&T means, and the sustainable development in energy and environment sectors. Both sides will strengthen effective cooperation through projects, seminars, negotiations, and forums, in an effort to raise the level and quality of cooperation. The new cooperation mechanism will secure a long and stable partnership between two entities for win-win outcomes.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has staged four major cooperation projects with UNDP since 1997, including capacity building of China's poverty stricken rural areas with science and technology, poverty alleviation with telecommunication technology, capacity building of China's agrifoods under the WTO framework, and capacity building through making poverty stricken farmers a part of the dairy industry. Other projects, including fuel battery vehicles and clean energy activities, are also launched under the cooperation mechanism. UNDP has so far contributed USD 12.4 million to the cooperation projects. Upon the establishment of a promised long-term partnership between the two organizations, MOST and UNDP will expect an increasingly widened cooperation domain.

China-US for Low NOx and SOx Control

A second China-US seminar on low NOx combustion and SOx control was recently closed in Dalian. The meeting was convened to respond to a cooperation agreement signed in 2001 between the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the US Department of Energy on the development and utilization of fossil fuel energy technologies.

With a theme of "clean energy and protecting environment", the meeting is held to promote exchanges and cooperation between the two nations in the fields of low NOx and SOx control technology, and establish a technical platform for such exchanges. Both nations will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in power plant related environmental protection, in a move to bridge connections between industries in two nations, and increase governmental influence on enterprises.

Some 200 representatives from government agencies, industries and research institutes of two countries attended the meeting. XU Jing, Deputy Director, Department of High and New Technology and Industrialization, part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and LI Xinmin, Deputy Director, Department of Pollution Control under the State Environmental Protection Administration, made their respective keynote speeches at the meeting.


Shuguang Dawns on High Performance Computers

Not long ago, Shuguang Corp. officially kicked off a nationwide campaign for diffusing high performance computers. The computer maker also proposed ten standardized technologies, in a move to facilitate the spread and application of high performance servers.

Shuguang, in collaboration with a line of hardware and software makers including AMD, will run road-shows in more than 30 cities, covering technology diffusions, channel training, and users gathering. Aiming at promoting the diffusion and application of Shuguang 4000 series servers and associated industrial solutions, the campaign will allow the public to know more about high performance computer products. While focusing on both traditional science and engineering computation and commercial computations, the campaign talks to a range of information centers serving for e-government, education, campus network, universities and research institutes, petroleum, weather service, taxation, public security, online services, social security, and major industrial sectors. The entire mileage of the roadshow expects to reach 17,000 km.

Shuguang also dished out ten major standardized server technologies, including remote operation and control technology, integrated monitoring technology, intelligent rack technology, integrated technology for platforms with different structures, simplified management technology for sophisticated servers, balanced workload technology, security management technology, fast deployment technology, parallel in-out technology, and industry optimization technology. Shuguang officials told reporters that these technologies are proven feasible, as they have been used and perfected in the course of many-year applications. They will become industry standards, and a guaranteed benchmark for diffusion and application of high performance computers


MBA for S&T Innovations

The Torch Center, part of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University have recently launched their first joint project: MBA degree for science, technology, and innovation management. According to a briefing issued by the Center, the enrollment will be mainly the middle and high ranking management personnel who work for national high tech parks, national pioneering service centers, and major high tech enterprises. In an attempt to meet the new challenges for the high tech business development in an new ear, and to facilitate the socalled "second pioneering initiatives" of national high tech parks,  the effort will raise the industry's proprietary innovation capacity, and produce more high caliber S&T management personnel. The collaborating parties believe that the new MBA project will serve to lift China's management level in science, technology, and innovations, and form a management contingent for existing and future S&T and innovation activities.

Guanghua School of Management has long paid great attention to the training of high caliber S&T management personnel for science, technology, and innovations. The School has for the purpose opened MBA courses involving management science, economics, management in S&T and innovations. These courses, with many of them being the first of their kinds in the nation, are teemed with the knowledge needed by the "second pioneering initiatives" of national high tech parks and S&T and innovation management.


China First Standardized High Tech Park

Not long ago, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Standardization Administration of China inaugurated a standardization role model for high tech industry at Xi'an 's High Tech Town. The development marks the birth of China's first standardization demonstration project for high tech park development.

A few years ago, the Xi'an high tech town established a steering panel to work on standardization matters. The panel produced 19 industrial policies to support standardization activities in the field, and created five platforms for standard catalogues and fast search for information in text format. Up to date, 41% of the businesses in the town have developed their own standard systems, with 404 types of products being produced in line with international standards or latest overseas standards. Statistics show that the high tech town has produced 50 international, national and industry standards since it was established. A dozen of businesses in the town are currently working on 45 new standards. In addition, numerous enterprises have established technically advanced research centers or labs equipped with world-class instruments and facilities. On October 2003, the high tech town was selected as a role model for high tech standards. The town has developed a range of advanced proprietary high-tech standards, internationally or domestically, which constitutes the core competitiveness of the town. The TD-SCDMA standard, for example, prepared with the involvement of Datang Telecom (Xi'an) and others, has been adopted by ITU and 3GPP, and become a third mainstream standard, following the ones developed by the US and Europe.

10-Billion Loan for Environmental Protection

China Development Bank (CDB) and China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation (CECIC) have recently undersigned a fund raising agreement. Under the agreement, CDB will provide a policy loan worth RMB 10 billion to CECIC in the coming five years, in an effort to support a range of key projects demonstrating energy efficiency, environmental protection, and new energy.

According to the agreement, CECIC will made RMB 10 billion available for four pillar industries: 1) wind power generation. CECIC will establish a newly added installed capacity up to a million kilowatts by the end of 2007, and a combined installed capacity up to 4 million kilowatts in 2012, or one fourth of the nation's total wind power generation capacity. CECIC will kick off the localization process of the key equipment in due time; 2) environment friendly utility water treatment. CECIC's waste water treatment capacity will reach 15 million ton/day by 2007, and 50 million ton/day or more in 2012; 3) establishing a resource oriented harm-free and volume-reducing solid wastes processing industry. CECIC will expect a 50,000-ton daily capacity for treating living garbage in 2007. In the meantime, CECIC will, in line with relevant national planning, get fully involved in the hazardous and medical wastes treatment market. It plans to put 40 to 50 medical waste treatment projects into operation in 2006, with a 300-ton daily capacity; 4) enhancing the application of compressed natural gas (CNG). CECIC plans to expand the number of its CNG filling station to 228, with a daily sale of 2.6 million cubic meters. It also plans to add 800 new CNG filling stations during the period of 2008-2012.


Three Gorge Project More Innovations

Statistics show that the construction of the Three Gorge Project had in the past decade produced some ten S&T awards at the national level, more than 200 S&T awards at the provincial level, and over 700 invention patent applications.

During the period, numerous S&T findings and results found applications in the project, including assembly-line like concrete filling, deep-water current blockading and cofferdam construction, computer control system, advanced explosion techniques, metal structures for massive concrete filling, and manufacturing and installation of machinery and equipment.

The Three Gorge Project has worked on the following major R&D endeavors: developing major facilities and equipment needed by the project, reviewing eight individual technologies, studying the key issues concerning water hub projects, and developing set equipment for water hub projects. The research efforts have involved diverse disciplines, including sand and mud, shipping, hydrology, geology, water works, construction, building materials, metal structures, machinery and equipment, ecological environment, and cultures. In addition to the direct involvement of researchers from design, construction and supervision departments, several thousand researchers from some ten research institutes and universities are engaged in the research activities assigned by the project. The project has rolled out more than 2,000 S&T reports.

China-US Agriculture Meeting

A fourth session of the China-US joint working group meeting was recently convened to discuss the cooperation in the field of agricultural science and technology. The meeting reviewed the accomplishments achieved since the third session of the working group meeting held in July 2003, namely 1) finalized the draft agreement on establishing four joint R&D centers (the pastureland ecosystem restoration center under the natural resources management initiative, the soil conservation and environmental protection center, the wheat quality and associated pathology center under the bioagricultural technology initiative, and the agrifoods processing center under the agrifoods processing initiative, in addition to an accord on plant genetic resources; 2) a range of workshops and seminars were held. In July 2004, a China-US high level forum was held in California to discuss agrifoods processing. In September 2005, a China-US high level forum was held in Beijing to discuss agrifoods processing and food safety. In September 2005, a China-US workshop on plant genome was held in US; 3) a series of training events were staged. Two three-week long training courses were offered on natural resources management at the Northwestern Agriculture and Forestry University in Yanglin, China. A number of small technical symposiums in other fields were also arranged; 4) more scientists exchanges between the two countries. Consistent exchanges of visits (60 person/time in total) have been realized in 6 fields, with detailed communications on concrete projects; 5) cooperation projects have achieved substantive progresses. For examples, a project to develop environment friendly technology for soy bean oil extraction, and a project to develop infrared technology for agrifoods processing. A doctorate student has been dispatched to study agrifoods processing in the US. Eight doctorate students have been selected to be the recipients of Cochran Fellowship for 2004, and they will soon head for the US.

LI Xueyong, Chinese Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, and Joseph Jen, Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, inked five annexes to the China-US Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Agricultural Science and Technology. The signed documents involve in the establishment of a range of research centers on agrifoods processing, pastureland ecosystem restoration, soil conservation and environmental protection, and wheat quality and associated pathology.

Better Therapy for Heart Attack

A latest study, jointly conducted by the Chinese and UK scientists, has shown that treatment of heart attack patients with Plavix Clopidogrel, a new anti-platelet drug, can noticeably reduce the mortality and recurrence. The new therapeutic technique is low in cost and simple in application.

The joint project, with the participation of over 1200 hospitals headed by the Oxford University and Fuwai Hospital affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, has involved in clinical treatment of some 46,000 acute heart attack patients in 5 years. Scientists found that an addition of Plavix Clopidogrel at a 75mg dosage to the conventional aspirin and other related therapeutic processes could noticeably reduce the mortality from the disease. Having designed to avoid serious hemorrhage, the therapeutic addition can also bring down the risks of recurrence and stroke occurrence by 15%. With numerous merits including limited side effects, lower costs, and proven effects, the new approach expects to benefit more heart attack patients in the world. Some international medical organizations, including the American Institute of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology, have accepted the finding and listed it in their respective guidebooks for heart attack treatment.

China-UK Build World Largest Telescope

Not long ago, Chinese and UK scientists discussed a project to jointly construct the world largest spherical reflector telescope (FAST), at a recently held symposium on telescope technology and astronomy. Some ten UK astronomers, including directors of UK Astronomy Technology Center (ATC) and Jodrell Bank Observatory, attended the meeting. Scientists of two nations have found a range of research fields embodying their common interests, including a joint observation using a UK made optical telescope in Yunnan, large field space cruising, selecting sites for the future large telescope, China's large reflector telescope construction, and X-ray and ultraviolet ray related space programs. During the meeting, both sides inked a special agreement inviting Chinese astronomers to write programs for UK SPIRE project.

According to a briefing, the FAST telescope will be erected in Guizhou, China. UK side will provide the state-of-the-art technology for making the microwave receiving component of the telescope. With an initial investment of RMB 672 million, the project will produce a large telescope with a diameter of 500m.

China-UK Work on Ancient Medical Literatures

Study of ancient literatures of Chinese traditional medicine, a joint project undertaken by Chinese and UK scientists, has recently published its findings online in a form of over a thousand pictures collected from ancient Chinese traditional medicine literatures.

The project, jointly initiated by China Institute of Medical History and Literature and London Medical History Center, is designed to advance the modernization of Chinese traditional medicine. Researchers collected pictures and illustrations from diverse ancient Chinese traditional medicine literatures, and have them screened and consolidated, depicted with accurate scientific languages in both Chinese and English. These pictures and illustrations present a vivid evolution of Chinese traditional medicines. The first batch of releases are mostly the introduction illustrations found in the medical literatures produced in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, with some others pictures on acupuncture, acne and sore operation, bone setting operation, and children's diseases. These pictures have offered great artistic values, in addition to their precious literatures values.

863 Develop More High Techs

During the 10th Five-year period(2001-2005), the National 863 Program has led to the birth of a range of innovative key technologies, narrowing down China's gaps with the internationally advanced level. The program also rolled out a line of strategic products and systems for technology integration and applications, and raised the competitiveness of China's high tech industry. In the meantime, the program nurtured up a number of growth points for the high tech industry. In advancing the sustainable social development, it has landed core technology breakthroughs in energy, resources environment, farming, and biopharmaceuticals.

Well-organized R&D efforts in the field of information technology have made China one of the top ten high performance computer manufacturers in the world. The development of proprietary CPU series have laid a foundation and provided support for developing core technologies for China's information industry. Chinese made Longxin and Zhongzhi chips have been massively produced. China also realized a ground-zero breakthrough in computer operating system and office software, and produced a line of products with some market share.

In the areas of biology and modern farming, China worked out the world first full rice genome chip, following its independent full sequence of indica rice genome and No. 4 chromosome of rice genome. The effort has confirmed China a leader in the area. The research effort has resulted in 22 new drug certificates, with 27 new products in the application process for the new drug certificates. In addition, 115 new products have entered clinical trials, with some 100 other innovative and promising candidates in pre-clinical studies.

China's major full-solid red-green-blue laser products have reached an internationally advanced level. Chinese scientists have developed a man-like robot integrated with mechanisms, controllers, driving parts, sensors, and power source. A dozen sophisticated digital programmed machine tools have provided processing equipment needed by major projects such as west-to-east power transmission project. In the field of energy technology, Chinese scientists have landed technology breakthroughs in clean coal, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and hydrogen energy. Chinese made high temperature air-cooling reactor has been connected to grids in full capacity, which makes a key step towards the establishment of a nuclear power station for commercial demonstration purpose.

973 Brings More Innovations

During the 10th Five-year period, the implementation of the National 973 Program has produced a line of phase results showcasing its strength in advancing the national economic and social development. Also derived from the program are some innovative results that are of international implications.

In the cutting edge fields, China is a leader in the study of non-linear optical crystal, quantum information and telecommunication, and super strong and short laser. Chinese scientists also harvested accomplishments of important international consequences in the fields of nanomaterials and nanoscale structures, protein structures and functions, brain and perception, animal cloning, molecular engineering that creates new matters, paleontology, and marine sciences. All these efforts have noticeably raised China's research capacity.

China's study of quantum information and communication has produced a line of innovative findings of international consequences. Chinese scientists have worked out an experimental scheme for quantum-key distribution of fine orientation and stable transmission. The solution made the 150-km indoor quantum-key distribution possible.

Basic theoretical studies of iron-steel condensing and crystal control have led to the new generation of iron-steel materials made of a number of technical improvements. The new development marks a revolution in iron-steel industrial restructuring, products upgrading, and technical capacity building.

China has established the world first diaspore mine, using anti-flotation theory and process. China also achieved numerous accomplishments in efficient and clean utilization of fossil fuel energy, medium-temperature soot desulfurization, and catalysts for optimized utilization of natural gas and CH4. China enjoys a noticeably lifted basic research capacity in farming, population, and health activities, which resulted in the solutions to key issues in the areas. In the field of infectious diseases research, Chinese scientists have completed the full genome sequence of four typical Shigella.  China also analyzed the 3-D structures of SARS coronavirus proteins, the fist instance in the world, paving a new approach for developing new prevention and treatment drugs.

Special S&T Projects Achieve More

With the concerted efforts of involving government agencies, the Ministry of Science and Technology has organized the implementation of 12 key special projects for technology development and associated demonstration.

In the past five years, agrifoods processing techniques and associated equipment has landed breakthroughs in numerous key areas. The findings derived from the project have found commercial applications. As of the first half of 2005, the project has rolled out 243 new products, with an additional output value of RMB 32.5 billion, taxes and profits RMB 4.4 billion, and export revenue USD 320 million. The project adds RMB 5.43 billion into farmers' wallets.

The effort for modern water efficient farming technology and associated new products has established a preliminary water efficient farming technology system of Chinese characteristics. Part of the system has reached an internationally advanced level. The project narrows down China's gaps with advanced countries by 5 to 10 years, in terms of the overall level of water efficient farming technology.

Special project of functional genome chips and biochips has sorted out 1500 new genes involving major human functions and diseases. Of them, 160 show potential development prospects, and 24 are confirmed of their apparent utilities for new products development.

Water treatment and control project has introduced new implementation mechanism to address major contaminated water control issues in the country, turning the treatment pressure into a dynamic for economic growth.

Food safety project has resulted in 29 new products, covering pesticides, animal drugs, biological toxins, food additives, feed additives, and test kits for forbidden chemicals. The project also worked out 94 fast test techniques and verification methods for food safety, pesticides, animal drugs, biological toxins, and dangerous foods.

Thanks to four-year efforts, the special project of electric automobiles has developed proprietary pure electric, hybrid, and fuel battery sedan cars and buses. Scientists are working hard to find commercial applications of these prototype models.


Enhanced Information Process

During the 11th Five-year period(2006-2010), China will kick off a full fledged information process in five major sectors, said WANG Xudong, Chinese Minister of Information Industry, at a recently held meeting to advance information process in the country. The rural areas and associated applications makes the first priority in the information technology enhancement campaign.

WANG said that the information process and gradual narrowing down digital divide between urban and rural areas can help solve some rural problems. China will further improve and perfect the information infrastructure construction in the rural areas, and accelerate the implementation of the project connecting every village with telephone lines, making information technology part of every household in the rural areas, and establishing a well-functioned rural information service system.

China will facilitate the economic structure optimization and change of growth modes with information technology, said WANG. Authorities concerned shall actively advance industrial information process, raise operation efficiency and management level, develop new businesses including e-commerce, facilitate the change from a traditional service industry to a modern one, nurture new economic growth points, and promote the transformation of high consumption and high pollution sectors with information technology.

WANG added that during the 11th five-year period, information technology shall find an enhanced application in social sectors, advocating for extensive application of information technology in the urban management system, raising information technology capacity of medical institutions at different levels, and building the information technology capacity of the employment sector.

In the field of culture activities, China will relentlessly develop a modern information service industry, digital content industry, and online education industry. In addition, China will strengthen the application of information technology in the government management system, using government information resources as the trunk line, in an effort to allow people to be more aware of government activities, and enhance the applications of e-government and associated services. Information technology shall also find appropriate applications in the development of urban emergency system, emergency response mechanism, and social pre-warning system. China will strengthen its efforts in guarding a safe information infrastructure.


IASP Word Conference

The 22nd World Conference of International Association of Science Parks (IASP) lifted its curtain on September 19, 2005 in Beijing. More than 400 experts of science parks from Europe, America, and Asia attended the meeting.

ZHOU Guangzhao, Chairman of China Association for Science and Technology, made a keynote speech on the innovative development of China's science parks. In his speech, ZHOU briefed the audiences of the development of China's science parks, and thought highly of the science parks' positive role in raising China's proprietary innovation capacity, strengthening international exchanges and cooperation, being part of the global industrial team and innovation network, and advancing the economic development with technology. He added that thanks to more than a decade of construction and development, science parks has become an emerging force supporting China's economic system, playing a weighted role in nurturing proprietary innovations, developing high tech industry, and advancing system reforms and urban development. Science parks has become an original source for proprietary innovations, and a base for spinning off high tech industry, an experimental zone for market oriented system reforms, and a role model for urban modernization.

At the 3-day meeting, some 50 speakers from a dozen countries made their presentations on related topics, including science parks and human resources, development technology and an environment encouraging innovations, supporting the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises in the global competition, and science parks' position in innovative networks.

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