Guizhou called the FAST (Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope) project which was completed last year. Similar to
the 300-meter radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico—which
was battered but survived Hurricane Maria in August 2017—the
FAST project has an active reflecting surface that can help change
the focus of the telescope to different areas of the sky.
China also has a Pandex dark matter detector located in the
world’s deepest underground laboratory. It has a neutrino
detector, several synchrotron radiation facilities, and a new
neutrino observatory under
construction that is scheduled to
be completed by 2020. The CAS
has 1,224 institutions operating
directly under it, 104 research
institutes, five universities and
supporting organizations, 12
management organizations, along with 25 affiliated legal
entities and 22 invested holding enterprises.
In September, China had its’ once every five years party
congress with plans to continue growing its economy and
research infrastructure. Earlier, China announced plans to
reconfigure its science research funding bureaucracy. Projects
that proliferated under the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015)
are being streamlined into a new simpler funding arrange-
ment. To accomplish this the Ministry of Science and
Technology (MoST) upgraded and consolidated the National
Key Technologies R&D Program. Larger, horizontal, inter-
ministerial science and technology programs are now being
implemented in the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020). The
clean-up and abolition of the old funding channels are being
enacted into five new categories of projects and funds.
The MoST also announced in November the creation of six
new national research centers being built in Beijing, Wuhan,
Shenyang and Hefei. The centers will be based on current pilot
national labs and discipline clusters. They will target frontier
science and technology as well as China’s major economic
concerns, including basic research.
China’s industrial firms are also modifying their R&D plans.
Alibaba, China’s large e-commerce firm, recently announced
aggressive plans to invest $15
billion in new R&D projects. The
plan will include the opening of
seven new research labs—two in
China, with others in Singapore,
Moscow, Seattle and Silicon
Valley. The scope of the research
being performed in these labs will be focused on foundational
and disruptive technologies including the Internet of Things,
data analysis, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
The goal for the work being performed in these labs is to
serve two billion customers and create 100 million new jobs
by 2036. Alibaba uses Amazon as a target to shoot for.
Currently, Alibaba’s cloud services has revenues of about $250
million/quarter during which time Amazon’s Web Services
makes 16 times as much or $4 billion.
China’s increasingly strong emphasis on R&D is working. It
was noted earlier this year that China already leads the U.S. by a
large margin in government funding for food and agricultural
R&D. China currently invests more than twice as much as the
U.S. in these areas.
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
US R&D China R&D Euro R&D
China’s industrial firms are also
modifying their R&D plans.
Source: R&D Magazine Survey 2017