Yicai Global: Shanghai launches second group of pilot basic research zones to provide steady funding for researchers
Chinese article by 爱集微
English Editor 张未名
03-30 11:30

(JW Insights) Mar 30 --Shanghai has launched the second batch of its basic research special zones after its first pilot program two years ago, to provide long-term and stable financial support for more researchers, Yicai Global reported on March 27.

Tongji University, East China Normal University, and East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) were unveiled as the pilot zones, Yicai Global learned from Shanghai’s Science and Technology Commission.

Each will receive an annual grant of RMB10 million ($1.5 million) from the city government to focus on carbon neutrality, artificial intelligence, quantum science, and marine science.

Wu Yongzhen, a professor at ECUST’s School of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, is one of the researchers in the second batch. He told Yicai Global that the best benefit of being part of the program is the stable funding, which will allow him to devote more time and energy to research.

Shanghai launched China’s first basic research special zone program in 2021, with the first group including Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Shanghai Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The plan is to invest RMB20 million ($2.9 million) annually in each unit for five years.

So far, Fudan University has supported about 30 projects through the program. The average age of the project leaders is 37, with the youngest only 29. Without the program, it is hard for young researchers to receive such strong funding, Wang Hao, a person in charge from the Institute of Science and Technology, told Yicai Global.

In the past decade, China’s investment in basic research has grown from RMB49.9 billion ($7.25 billion) in 2012 to RMB195.1 billion ($28.3 billion) last year, increasing its share of all research and development spending from 4.8 percent to 6.3 percent, according to a recent report published by Dalian University of Technology.

However, this ratio is far behind that of the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea, Yicai Global said.

(Yuan XY)

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