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China’s State Council issues guidelines to boost large-scale international science projects

According to Xinhua
news agency, China’s State Council has issued a set of guidelines to encourage
the launch of “big science” projects. The guidelines aim to establish landmark
scientific projects that have international influence by 2050.

The term “big science projects” refers to large-scale
international science collaboration projects featuring heavy investment, large
number of researchers, advanced and sophisticated equipment and grand research
goals.

Since China is keen to enhance its innovation competence and
impact on a global level, it sees “big science” projects part of its scientific
diplomacy to constructively aggregate resources, address key global scientific
issues and construct a global innovation governance system.

According to the official press
release
by the State Council, China will play an active role in significant
international scientific research projects, with efforts to focus on areas that
"have the interest and attention of the international scientific community
and are of great significance to the development of science and society”.

The short-term goal for the big science project plan is to
cultivate 3 to 5 projects by 2020 and select and initiate 1 to 2 big science
projects, then form a nascent mechanism of organising big science projects.

By 2050, a slew of such projects will be incubated, and
China will play a big role in global scientific innovation governance system
while continuing to make contributions to solving major global scientific
issues.

To accomplish this, a strategic plan will be made to
prioritize several subjects, such as evolution of the universe, climate change,
health, energy, agriculture and information technology. Physical science,
research on the evolution of the universe and the origin of life were
specifically listed as priorities.

The set of guidelines calls on these government bodies and
agencies to take the lead in launching as well as in participating in
international big science research plans and projects, using domestic and
overseas scientific resources.

The science projects will welcome investment from local
governments, enterprises and international organisations. A supervision and
assessment mechanism also will be established.

Also, the process involving project selecting, cultivation,
proposing and implementation should be optimised. There also should be a
management mechanism in compliance with the characteristics of scientific
programs, with special scientific institutions taking charge of the projects’
development.

To build a talent pool, China also will give incentives to
high-level professionals nationwide, and build a global recruitment system to
attract top-level scientists and technical talent.The move will help pool top
talents from across the globe and spawn leading scientists, as well as make
China a country of innovators.

The set of guidelines issued by the State Council is
distributed to ministries, provincial-level governments and other institutions of
the State Council. Organisation tasks will fall in relative ministries and
commissions, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National
Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of
Industry and Information Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The full version of the guidelines can be read here
(Chinese only).

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