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China surpasses traditional scientific powers in standardizing nano-tech
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-20 20:08:36

    BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhuanet by Xinhua Science Writer Yu Zheng ) -- After leading the world in promulgating the first batch of nanotechnological standards, China has launched an ambitious plan to develop a whole package of standards which might reshape world nanotech competition.

    The newly-established national nanotechnology standards panel coordinates governmental branches and research institutes to speed up the standards setting process.

    Bai Chunli, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said here Monday in an interview with Xinhua, "Most developed nations are ready to announce their own standards in this field, but we still have no international standards."

    "The country which completes the standardization work first might greatly influence the future international standards in nanotechnology," said the CAS academician who directs China's National Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

    The national nanotechnology standards panel will decide terminology, measurement and manufacturing norms in nanotechnology.

    Since the 1950s, scientists have studied the movement and characteristics of particles at the nanometer scale, which is one billionth of one meter. Resulting discoveries have led to technological breakthroughs in material manufacturing.

    Experts estimate that by 2010 the global market of nanotechnological products will be valued at 1.5 trillion US dollars.

    The Scientist, an American academic journal, said that from January to August 2004 China had presented 3,621 research papers on nanotechnology, more than any other country, as tabulated by the Scientific Citation Index. It published 14 percent more theses than the United States.

    Chinese scientists are not only good at basic research in nanoscience, they are keeping pace with world leaders in manufacturing new nanomaterials.

    With an eye on setting a favorable gambit for future competition in technological development, the United States, Japanand some European nations are enthusiastic about working out nanotechnology standards and persuading the International Standardization Organization to employ their respective standards.

    Li Zhonghai, director of the National Standardization Committee,said, "Our scientists are at the cutting edge in nanotechnology, so we're confident we will bring our national standards to the international regime."

    In 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology listed nanotechnology standardization into the national basic research project. An official with the ministry said an overall standards system has already been drafted. The other 15 new standards will be publicized soon.

    Zhang Xian'en, director of the ministry's basic research department, said, "It's wise for us to preemptively set our standards in nanotechnology, since it might produce big money in the coming two decades." Enditem

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