Chinese Academy of Sciences eyes multiple S&T breakthroughs in next 5 years

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IMAGE: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced its 13th Five-year Plan. view more

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The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced its 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020) this Wednesday in Beijing, outlining breakthrough programs in areas ranging from particle physics and galactic structure, to brain science and artificial intelligence, as well as oceanology, ecology and the environment, among others.

The plan, released by CAS President BAI Chunli, sets the Academy’s goals and strategy for the five-year period ending in 2020.

“We will strive to achieve international prominence in strategically key fields and blaze the trail in cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary scientific areas, achieving a series of major original achievements, technologies and products,” said BAI.

As China’s driving force for exploring and harnessing high technology and the natural sciences, the plan calls for CAS to lead the country’s key S&T projects in such fields as aviation, space and deep-sea exploration, quantum communication and computation, brain science and artificial intelligence, cyberspace security, the seed industry, clean energy, big data, intelligent manufacturing and robotics, new-generation materials development and applications, comprehensive environmental treatment, and public health research.

As part of this effort, CAS will heavily focus on fostering innovation. The five-year plan sets forth 60 major science and technology breakthroughs the Academy aims to achieve as well as 80 key projects it will undertake.

Ongoing projects will also be a major focus of the Academy over the five-year period, including: manned space exploration and lunar probe, high-resolution earth observation, nanotechnology, precision control of protein machinery and life processes, restoration and protection of fragile ecological areas, strategic advanced electronic materials, quantum control and information, and deep sea research.

By the end of the five-year period, CAS plans to spend 40 per cent of its research budget on basic research, 50 per cent on applied research, and 10 per cent on R&D, with the goal of making the Academy a top-ranked, globally influential and competitive research institution. CAS hopes to attain world-class levels in physics, chemistry, material science, mathematics, environment and ecology, and geoscience by 2020.

During the five-year plan period, the Academy will bring together resources from across the country to build 3-5 large-scale international cooperative science projects and more national laboratories in support of China’s development.

Furthermore, CAS aims to further develop independent intellectual property rights (IPR) and industrial technology standards, as well as practical applications for its S&T output in order to enhance social development.

During this period, CAS plans to establish about 10 overseas research institutions. In addition, it aims to set up 5-10 CAS-TWAS Centers of Excellence, as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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