BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior Chinese official said here Thursday that the state will increase investment in basic research to such a level that the money used for basic sciences accounts for 20 percent of the state's total research and development
At a meeting marking the 20th anniversary of
establishment of state key laboratories and the fifth anniversary of kickoff of
the national basic research and development plan, Cheng Jinpei, vice minister of
science and technology, said that heavy and stable investment into basic
scientific research is an important way for scientific advancement of many
Statistics released by the National Bureau of
Statistics showed that the R&D expenditure in 2003 reached 153.96 billion
yuan (18.6billion US dollars), or 1.31 percent of the gross domestic product.The
expenditure on basic research took up 5.7 percent of the total R&D funds.
The United States spent 20 percent of R&D funds
into basic research in 2003, other statistics said.
While playing the role as the biggest investor in
basic research, Cheng said, the central government should encourage state and
private companies as well as individuals to fund scientific research.
Most basic scientific research tasks are taken by
state key laboratories and research teams who are mandated to undertake projects
under the national basic research and development plan.
Headed by the then State Commission of Planning in
1984, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and the
Chinese Academy of Sciences organized the state key laboratories, a mechanism
copying from that in the US.
By 2003, said Cheng, who is responsible for planning
basic research in the ministry, China had had 161 state key laboratoriesand six
pilot ones, with more than 5,000 researchers and three billion yuan worth of
research equipment. They obtain more than two billion yuan worth of research
funds from ministries, foundations and overseas channels.
In 2003, the researchers working in the laboratories
produced 7,835 papers listed by the Scientific Citation Index, with an average
annual increase of 25 percent from 1999.
The state science and technology leading group, under
the batonof then Premier Li Peng, decided in its third plenary meeting in 1997
to allocate special funds into basic scientific research and launch the national
basic research and development plan, or nicknamed the 973 Plan.
From 1998 to 2003, the state invested 3.3 billion
yuan into 157projects under the 973 Plan.
Scientists and technologists who worked for the 973
projects published 52,000 papers, including 22,000 in foreign science journals,
on human genome, nano technology, brain study, paleontology chemistry and other
Studying on those projects which are vital to the
country's economy, security and social development, Cheng said, more and more
leading scientists appeared. Enditem