Tuesday, 2 July 2013

China prepares to spend billions on science and technology

Unlike Canada which is continuing to cut funding to basic science, other countries are spending billions on science, this is a write up for China's grand plan for investing in science: http://www.physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad/v66/i5/p20_s1?bypassSSO=1 "The projects are part of China’s “mid- to long-term perspectives for the development of major national infrastructures in science and technology” stretching out to 2030. Through the end of the current five-year planning period in 2015, the total investment is expected to be about CNY19 billion (about $3 billion), more than three times the amount in the previous five-year plan. Individual facilities will get up to CNY2 billion. The construction money comes from the National Development and Reform Commission. Ongoing research is covered by other sources, says Lu Yu, a senior scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics, so the new large projects do not threaten funding for laboratory-scale science.
Zhen Cao, the chief scientist for a new cosmic-ray observatory that made the cut, says that with the economy strong, “people are thinking this is the time for China to take responsibility for the development of basic science and technology.” The US and Europe, he notes, are both home to many large scientific experiments. “China is making major contributions to science too,” he says. “That is why China thinks we should have this concrete plan to build and grow as many big facilities as possible.”
Among the 16 selected projects, some are ready to go forward pending various permits, but others will be put up for bid. That’s the case, for example, for a user facility to study materials under extreme conditions. Proposals for such projects are due soon, and decisions are likely before the end of the year, says Yu."

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