Social Attentions to S&T Awards
21 S&T awards such as Wang Daheng Optics Award and Zhongchuang Software Awards have recently been allowed as the awards created by social forces in the second round approval check. Up to date, there have been 47 science and technology awards established by social forces in the country.
When announcing the names of the said 21 awards, the spokesman of the Ministry of Science and Technology expressed that creating S&T awards by social forces is a component part of China’s S&T awarding system as the State Regulations on Science and Technology Awards has clear provisions stating that“when creating science and technology awards serving the whole society, social forces shall have such awards registered at administrative authorities responsible for S&T activities. The administrative authorities responsible for S&T activities under the State Council shall work out concrete methods for doing so.”As is requested by the Regulations, the State S&T Award Office started from February, 2000 to accept applications for establishing S&T awards by social forces. In 2001, 26 such awards got approval for their registration. In addition to 47 S&T awards run by social forces so far approved for their existence, more other applications are now flowing in for approval. Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology will review and approve the applications in line with the Regulations and publish the results in a timely manner.
The so-called S&T awards founded by social forces are defined as conventional public S&T awards created by industrial or institutional organizations, social groups or other social organizations and individuals through using non-governmental financial appropriations or self raised funds to reward excellent results or individuals or organizations who have rendered outstanding contributions in the fields of scientific research, technical innovation and development, which aims to realize high tech results industrialization and S&T results diffusions and applications.
It is reported that such awards and associated organizations and evaluation bodies approved for registration are entitled according to law to organize S&T awarding activities and cover related events through publications and new media and shall not be interfered with by any other organizations or individuals. In the meanwhile, such awards are requested to organize their activities strictly within the scopes under registration and shall not seek for any payments in their awarding activities. Confidential projects and accomplishers related to national defense or security are not allowed to apply or be recommended as candidates for S&T awards founded by social forces.
World Bank Loan for Tuberculosis Control
On the basis of two-year preparation, the World Bank and the British Government have on March 24, 2002 in Beijing inked the agreement with the Chinese party to provide their respective loans and contributions for tuberculosis control project in China.
The said project will support China's tuberculosis control efforts by using the World Bank loans whose interest will be reduced as the result of British contributions. It is briefed that by taking advantage of such a new financing approach for supporting social development activities, the World Bank will provide USD 104 million loans for the project while the British Government is complimenting China with USD 37.4 million contributions for the purpose of reducing the World Bank loans' interest to about 2%. As planned, the three undersigned parties will continue the same cooperation mode in the fields of education and poverty alleviation.
Officially started from March 24, 2002 China's tuberculosis control project will last for 7 years and end in December, 2009. Designed for a coverage of 16 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the underdeveloped middle and western sections of the country containing a population of 680 million, the project will be composed of sub-projects at both central and local levels. Target provinces are requested to implement national tuberculosis control and prevention plan, improve the accessibility to and quality of tuberculosis prevention and control efforts and strengthen institutional construction and financial support. It is believed that the project will play an important role in tuberculosis prevention and control campaign in the country.
Hundreds Million RMB for Agronomist
The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has recently launched its first human resources campaign for talented researchers to be employed in the next five years. The said recruitment is opened up for the first time before overseas talents. It is reported that the newly recruited staff will enjoy annual salary package rated differently as RMB 100, 000 for class 1 post with a settlement down payment of RMB half a million and research budget of RMB 4 million. Of the said 4 million research budget, RMB 2.5 million will be used to purchase instruments and equipment with the rest of the money for experiments. Major fields covered by this recruitment are basic studies, applied basic studies, key technologies and cutting edge fields. The candidates shall be the ones working for higher learning institutions and research institutions both at home and abroad.
The so-called excellent talent posts are mobile in nature, termed for five years. The disciplines desired for these posts involve 25 frontier fields covering genetic engineering, bioinformation science, rural economy and agricultural policies, biological security and etc. It is planned to recruit 500 and odd modern agronomists for 25 class 1 posts, 100 class 2 posts and 400 class 3 posts.
In addition, the said posts can be divided into two major categories in terms of disciplines: major disciplines for priority development that are of great importance to China’s economic and social development and reach or may most probably reach internationally advanced level, and other newly emerging disciplines sitting at cutting edges and expecting major breakthroughs.
The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences expressed that the candidates applying for class 1 posts shall be equipped with not only proven academic record but also have innovative scenarios for the development and associated research activities in the discipline, who as well are supposed to possess the competitiveness for overtaking or maintaining the internationally advanced level in cutting edge fields. Overseas applicants may have access to more detailed information through the website of www.caas.net.cn.
Missing Dinosaur Link Discovered
The British Journal Nature published in its issue of March 21st, 2002 the paper of Dr. Xu Xing, a research fellow with the Institute of Paleovertebrate under the Chinese Academy of Sciences on horned dinosaur unearthed in west Liaoning, China.
Traditionally horned dinosaur can be divided into parrot like dinosaur with a mouth similar to parrot and new horned dinosaur species grown with neck shield. The Liaoning horned dinosaur unearthed by China-US investigation team headed by Dr. Xu Xing has been confirmed as the earliest new horned dinosaur thus far known to the world.
It is briefed that being a walking animal with four limbs fed with plants, the Liaoning horned dinosaur lived in the early Cretaceous Period about 130 million years ago with its size close to that of a large dog. It has the shape indicating transitional traces, which filled up the gaps between two different horned dinosaurs by showing fast changes and differed shape characteristics evidencing the division of the said sub-species. The said discovery has been deemed as an important fill in the so-called missing link in understanding the evolution of horned dinosaur. Scientists involved in the investigation expressed that the discovery has unveiled the so-called “nested evolution”phenomena in the earlier development of horned dinosaur, demonstrating the sophisticated nature of dinosaur evolution, and leading to the changes of horned dinosaur’s evolution tree.
Before the said story, the Nature had reported that the small carnivorous Chinese hunting dinosaur discovered in west Liaoning is also a key missing link and its strong transitional nature has provided firm evidence for the view that part of dinosaur family was turned into birds. Studies have shown that the development of birds’ wings and respiratory system suitable for flying was completed in the earlier stage of the evolution from dinosaur to birds. Both discoveries have further strengthened the position of west Liaoning being the center and a hot spot for international dinosaur studies though they are belonging to different dinosaur species. The development is expecting a more profound study of Liaoxi Dinosaur.
Dr. Xu Xing expressed that his team would soon embark on dinosaur studies in Xinjiang, hoping that they will find more evidences for such missing links so as to fill up the blanks in people’s understanding of the evolution of different dinosaur species.
Non-spherical Optic Components Manufacturing Base
China’s first industrial base for non-spherical optic components has recently announced its completion of construction and gone into industrialized operation. To develop China’s non-spherical technologies, the central authorities concerned and Yunnan Provincial government have jointly made huge investment in the construction of Kunming Industrial Base for Non-spherical Optic Components Manufacturing, which has worked out China’s first proprietary non-spherical VCD optic lens able to read audio and video signals in a short period of time. On the basis of their weathered experience in optic designing and manufacturing techniques, the scientists and engineers of the base have developed different non-spherical optic systems such as CD, VCD and DVD and CCD lens, digital camera lens and large screen projector lens, worked out the production charts, production line layout and performance requirements for equipment and technologies, special requirements and configuration for equipment and indicators, and completed the construction of the domestically most advanced non-spherical optic components manufacturing line. Now the base has reached an annual scale of production for 12 million pieces of non-spherical optic lens, demonstrating broad market perspectives.
Genetic Products Testing Package
Thanks to its 2-and-odd-year painstaking efforts, Shenzhen Piji Bioengineering Co. Ltd. has worked out the so-called real time fluorescent PCR testing techniques and associated reagent package. The said product has recently passed the state-level approval check organized by the State Administration for Quality Control and Quarantine in Shenzhen, which marks China's technical capability for testing genetically modified products.
As is confirmed by the experts who nodded their heads for the verification, the said technology and associated product are able to test genetically modified seeds, roots and leaves of agricultural produce. It takes only 4 hours to obtain results from the testing process with its technical level and product's overall performance reaching the advanced level of its international counterparts. It is briefed that the said product has applied for patent right and will find its first applications in the Custom's quarantine testing of genetically modified products for import and export purposes.
Online State Awards Reviewing
From this year on candidates to win the National Natural Science Award will be subject to public screening at the website www.nosta.gov.cn for extensive collection of experts' views or comments though project's major accomplisher may voluntarily air his or her arguments before corresponding reviewing committee.
As is revealed by the Head of the National Office for S&T Awarding Activities, public screening of candidate projects will change document based reviewing procedures practiced long by the National Natural Science Awards, which will effectively ensure the openness, fairness and justice of reviewing process. It is helpful for the project accomplisher to make their voluntary presentation before corresponding reviewing committee, brief their research results and answer queries so that reviewing committee's members can have direct understanding of the scientific contents and academic contributions of the candidate projects and work out accurate and fair judgement, and improve the quality of such reviewing.
It is reported that the said approach will be extended to other national S&T awards when proven effective.
New Extraction Technique for Xanthophyll
Recently the Department of Botany of Shanghai Jiaotong University has successfully turned out new technologies for extracting Xanthophyll from longevity chrysanthemum and improved longevity chrysanthemum species.Through screening out from different kinds of imported American longevity chrysanthemum plants the species having limited requirements for soil and fertility with tolerance for drought, transplanting, thin soil and strong resistance to pests as well as with high Xanthophyll content, the experts of the research team eventually extracted Xanthophyll of a purity as high as 90% with new techniques. Shanghai Jiaotong University in collaboration with Zhejiang Haining Fengming Chlorophyll Co. Ltd. and Baotou Farming Group has grown longevity chrysanthemum over 1300 mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) and in Baotou and established corresponding preliminary processing base. It is estimated that the output value will reach RMB 1500 per mu.
China's Plasma Physical Lab for Export
Helimak, a plasma physical lab developed by Plasma Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences for FRC of Texas University saw its completion of construction on March 21, 2002, waiting for its final destination to the U.S.. Designed for the applications in developing clean energy such as "making the sun with sea water", the said lab is China's first export of the whole plasma physical experiment system through cooperation.
In July 2000, Plasma Institute signed an agreement with FRC for the design and development of a complete Helimak system. Shanghai Boiler Plant manufactured its vacuum chamber. The successful development of Helimak is the result derived from the cooperation between China and the U.S., which has equally benefited both sides and attracted great attention of U.S. nuclear fusion community. The development has laid a foundation for more cooperation between the two sides in the field of nuclear fusion.
China's Superconductor Materials into World Market
High temperature superconductor line materials manufactured by Beijing Ying'na Superconductor Corp. have recently destined their shipment to Korea, which makes China's first export of its bismuth series high temperature superconductor line materials into international market.
Ying'na Superconductor Corp. established in 2001 the first domestic production line for manufacturing bismuth high temperature superconductor line materials. Up to date, the critical electric current of its high temperature superconductor line materials has been raised by 75% against that recorded in the previous year.
With its individual line length exceeding 1000 meters and integrated performance sitting in the world leading position, the said product is of strong international competitiveness. So far high temperature superconductor research institutions in the U.S., Europe, Korea and Japan have embarked on business talks with the company. As a result, the first export of high temperature superconductor line materials has found their destination in Korea. In the meanwhile, agents from Korea and Holland have inked their respective agreement with Ying'na for being the agents selling high temperature superconductor line materials in Korea and Europe. The said development has demonstrated China's competitive strength for high temperature superconductor line materials supply in the world.
China's Vitamin D3 Production Tops World
Thanks to its painstaking R&D efforts, the Physical and Chemical Technology Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has worked out a new integrated vitamin D3 production approach that is quite different from the one currently available in the world. The said new production technique has fundamentally changed the thermal chemical phase of vitamin D3 production by application of reactors and solvents, which have greatly improved both yield and quality.
In October 1996, the Institute and Zhejiang Garden Group signed a joint operation agreement, under which the Institute successfully turned its expansion efforts into a new vitamin D3 production line with an annual capacity for 3 tons. On the said basis, Garden Group further completed with the technology provided by the Institute the construction of a 60,000ton vitamin D3 production line that may flow out a profit of over RMB 56 million a year. The verification testing has shown that the products manufactured with the new techniques have reached internationally advanced level.
Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:Mr. Cheng Jiayi, Department of International Cooperation, MOST 15B, Fuxing Road Beijing 100862, PR China Tel: (8610)68512650 Fax: (8610) 68512594