Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • US$425 million to boost Chinese innovation

Shares

The National Natural Science Foundation of China will provide 3.4 billion yuan (US$425 million) in funding for basic science, it announced last week (25 May).

"The boost has shown the government's determination for China to become an innovative country by 2020," said the foundation's vice-president Zhu Zuoyan. He added that the foundation's research funding is set to grow by about 20 per cent a year for the next five years.

"By 2010, our current level of support from the government will have doubled."

Zhu said the funds would be used in a wide range of disciplines, including physics, mathematics, chemistry, life sciences, earth science, information science, and material and engineering sciences.

China's total investment in research and development has grown rapidly in recent years. But the proportion of funding allocated to basic research fell from around 7.5 per cent in the 1990s to five per cent in 2003.

In 2005 and 2004, the foundation received US$337 million and US$300 million, respectively, from the government. The sums accounted for nearly a fifth of the government's total investment in basic research.

"China has entered a stage in its history where it must increase its reliance on scientific advances and technological innovation to drive social and economic development," said Zhu.

According to government plans, China's total investment in science and technology should reach 2.5 per cent of its gross domestic product by 2020 — a share similar to that spent by industrialised nations.

By that time, China aims to be spending about US$112 billion annually on research and development (see China announces 58-point plan to boost science).

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.