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An Overview of Major S &T Development Programs and Undertaking
The National Program for Key S & T Project

      First started in 1982, the "National Program for Key S&T Projects" is a critical component of the five-year plans for the national economic and social development. It is updated every five years and submitted for approval by the National People's Congress --the Chinese Parliament.

      The objective of the Program is to find solutions to the scientific and technological bottlenecks in the national economic and social development.

      The Program is funded by both the central and local governments, and supplemented by financial inputs from different industrial sectors and institutions. The government investment is in three types: completely free support, partially free support, and loans. The government investment on the Program during the Eighth Five-year Plan period (199 l-1995) was about 3.5 billion yuan.

The Spark Program

      Approved by the Chinese Government in 1986, the Spark program is the nation's first guided development program designed to develop the rural economy through science and technology.


      To bring advanced and appropriate scientific and technological achievements to the rural areas; to guide the 800 million Chinese farmers onto the path towards modern, science and technology-driven agricultural production; to guide scientific and technological progress in township enterprises; to improve productivity; and to ensure a sustainable, fast and healthy development of the rural economy.

Financial Resources

      Mainly raised from the public with some seed money from the state. Projects listed in the program are entitled to favorable bank loans and preferential taxation policies.

Future Focus

      To develop regional pillar industries in rural areas; To establish Spark-intensive Areas in conjunction with the construction of small cities and towns.

The National High Technology R&D Program

      In March of 1986, four eminent Chinese scientists urged the initiation of a new national high technology program. Thoroughly assessed by expertise and approved by the Chinese Government, the National High Technology Research and Development Program (also referred to as 863 Program) was launched.

Guiding Principles

      Limited targets, clearly-defined priorities, vigorous monitoring of global technological advances, striving for breakthroughs wherever possible, and combining the military with the civilian while focusing attention on the civilian.


      The Program is designed to pool the best technological resources in China for the purpose of keeping up with the world's high technology advances in certain fields, to close the gap between China and other countries in several critical areas; and to strive for breakthroughs wherever possible. The Program also devotes attention to providing technological backup for the nation's economic development, national defence, and the  commercialization of high technology.


      The financial support required for the Program comes from special government appropriations.

The Torch Program

      Approved by the Chinese Government, the Torch Program (high and emerging technology industry development program) was initiated in 1988.


      To promote the commercialization, industrialization and globalization of the results of key high technology projects(including those from the 863Program) through market mechanisms.

Financial Resources

      Mainly raised from the public with support of start-up funds from the state. New product projects listed in the Program are entitled to priority in getting bank loans and to preferential taxation policies over a specified period of time.

      The creation of the High and Emerging Technology Industry Development Zones
represent a major thrust of the "Torch Program". Thus far, the central government has approved 52 such zones at the national level, resulting in clusters of burgeoning high and new technology industries in the coastal, frontier, boarder and inland cities all over the country. Preferential policies have been put into effect in these zones.

The National S&T Achievement Dissemination Program

      The National S & T Achievements Dissemination Program was initiated in 1990.


      To inject advanced, appreciate, mature S&T achievements into the nation's economic and social development in a well organized and planned fashion; to mobilize large numbers of scientists and engineers for the implementation of massive popularization efforts in the rural areas, in enterprises, and in a wide range of economic and social activities, so as to enhance the overall performance level of the national economy.


      Meeting the technological requirements of enterprises, the countryside, and the traditional industries;

      Aiming at higher economic returns with less investment, short investment cycle, good demonstration role and spin-off effect.


      Loans, investments, and funds are raised by enterprises and the public as well as start-up money provided by the government. The projects listed in the program are entitled to preferential treatment during implementation.

The National Program for Key Basic Research Projects

      Approved by the Chinese Government, National Program for Key Basic Research Projects (the Scaling the Height Program) was initiated in 1991.


      The Program is designed to conduct high quality research on major scientific issues that have an important bearing on the nation's science and technology as well as economic and social development, so as to make great contributions to the world's scientific advances and our country's social progress, vigorously train young talents for basic research, and strengthen the buildup of a high quality research contingent.


      The funding required for the program is provided by the government.

      The National Program for Key Basic Research Projects covers seven branches of basic research and eight branches of applied basic research fields: mathematics, physics, chemistry, mechanics, astronomy, geography, biology; energy, materials, information and computer, basic agronomy, basic medical sciences, resource and environment science, space science, and engineering science.

Thus far, 45 basic research projects have been undertaken

1. Fundamental research on high critical temperature superconductivity

2. The computing theory and methods of large-scale scientific engineering

3.    Physics of Semiconductor Super Lattice and exploratory work on new materials

and devices

4. Nonlinear sciences

5. Study and application of proving theorems with the aid of computer programs

6. Nano-size materials science

7. Some important problems on theoretical physics

8. Multi-frequency band observation and research of the activity of celestial bodies

9. Research on the chemical problems in lifetime

10. Research on the molecular engineering of functional materials

11. Research on basic physics problems of condensed polymers

12. Atomic-molecular excited state and state-state reaction dynamics

13. Fundamental research on rare earth materials

14. Fundamental research on utilization of superiority of male sterility

15. Research on the model of effective control of wart in the system

16. Research on acupuncture meridian (special channels and collaterals in human


17. Research of the nascent peptide chain and protein folding

18. Molecular biology research on disease mechanism of malignant tumors,

cardiovascular and cerebral diseases

19. High yield and high efficiency physiology research of Chinese major crops

20. Brain function and it s Cell and Molecule fundamental research

21. Research on structure. property. molecular design and preparing process of photo   electrical materials

22. Research on femtosecond laser technique and ultra-fast process

23. Some problems of cognitive sciences

a. Relationship between the cognition and computing

Neural networks

Thinking and synthesizing knowledge system

24. Non-structure devices and mesoscopic physics

25. High efficiency and low pollution burning Process of coal and oil

26. Study on climate dynamics and climate prediction theory

Research on forecast and countermeasures of changes and trends of China s future

existence environment (20-50 years)

28. Investigation and application of crust motion and geo-dynamics in modem time

29. Research of the formation. environment change in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

30. Fundamental research concerning the searching super-large mineral deposits

Fundamental research on the outbreak regularities and control techniques for 5 key

pests of grain and cotton crops

Nanometer scale information storage using SPM/SNOM technology

33. Fundamental research on Alkali-Surfactant-Polymer co-flooding for enhanced oil


34. New ideas and technology in the search for Giant Ore Deposits

35. Investigation on new theories and technologies for modern Power system

operation and control

36. Fundamental research on improving seed stocks and disease-resistance of

maricultivated organisms

37. Micro Electro Mechanical System

38. Tibetan Plateau field experiment and research

Research on advanced aero-thermodynamics in energy utilization and new design


Fundamental research on safety and durability of major structures in civil and

hydraulic engineering

Fundament research on the immune prevention and control of animal important

infectious disease

Fundament research on the genetic control of human diseases and infectious


43. Fundamental research on key techniques in high-performance computing

44. Fundamental research on smelting reduction technology

Fundamental research on the advanced techniques of nuclear medicine and


The National Program for Science and Technology for Sustainable Development


      To improve the quality of living of the people and to enhance the overall quality of the general public;

      To improve the living and development environment for the people and coordinate the relationship between man and nature;

      To promote scientific and technological progress in social undertakings and related  industries;

      To promote the implementation of the National Program for Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.


      Promoting the implementation China's Agenda 21 through scientific and technological progress;

      Guiding and coordinating the conduct of scientific and technological undertakings in social development;

      Promoting S & T industrial development programs in such fields as medicine, environment, resources, and housing construction;

      Supporting a number of S & T research projects of great significance to the nation's social development;

      Arranging for a batch of key applied basic research and high/new technology development projects;

      Establishing a cluster of S & T industrial parks for social development;

      Establishing a cluster of comprehensive experiment zones for promoting community sustainable development.

Soft Science Research

      Soft science is a complete scientific and technological knowledge system encompassing natural sciences, social sciences and engineering technologies and it is crucial for democratic and scientific decision-making.

      SSTC is in charge of the nation's soft science research. By 1992, some 960 soft science research organizations had been established nationwide with some 29,000 researchers. Over 16,000 research topics of soft science had been completed, with 4,341 having won national, ministerial, or provincial level awards for scientific and technological progress.

Main Mission of Soft Science Research in the New Era

      To strengthen research on soft science theories and methodologies;

      To conduct research on important and critical issues in reform and development and provide services to a democratic and scientific decision- making process; and To foster the commercialization and industrialization of soft science research results and cultivate and develop a consultancy industry.


      Provided by the central government agencies and local governments.

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