Science is a major plank in China’s new spending plan | Science | AAAS:

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    China will invest heavily in S&T over the next 5 years and cut red tape hampering science spending with the hope that innovation will help the country weather its economic slowdown.

    Major elements include boosting science spending, which will rise 9.1% this year to 271 billion yuans ($41 billion), reducing bureaucratic barriers for scientists, and improving environmental protection while curbing carbon emissions and other pollutants.

    “Innovation is the primary driving force for development and must occupy a central place in China’s development strategy,” Li told delegates

    …it contains a long list of priorities, from building national science centers and space programs to expansion of major infrastructure with thousands of kilometers of new high-speed rail and roadways. China’s new plan promises that by 2020, R&D investment will account for 2.5% of gross domestic product, compared with 2.05% in 2014.

    Themes in the new 5-year plan include the domestic production of gas-turbine engines and planes, and increased focus on neuroscience and genetic research, national cyberspace security, and deep space exploration. Chinese aerospace officials told state media last week they hope to launch a Mars probe by 2020. Big data, high-tech medical devices, and cloud computing also earned mention as priority projects. Li spoke of tax breaks for companies that invest in high-priority endeavors and promised a reduction of bureaucratic hurdles to promote R&D.

    “We will implement the strategy of innovation-driven development, see that science and technology become more deeply embedded in the economy, and improve the overall quality and competitiveness of the real economy,” Li said.

    By 2020, the government wants to reduce energy consumption by 15% and carbon emissions by 18%. In a news conference yesterday, Xu Shaoshi, the head of the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing, said China will remove 500 million tons of coal production capacity in the next 3 to 5 years. Meanwhile, nuclear power capacity is slated to double to 58 gigawatts installed by 2020.

    China is reorganizing its environment ministry to create separate departments focused on water, air, and soil. Scientists applaud what they view as a concerted government effort to tackle soil pollution.


    Science is a major plank in China’s new spending plan | Science | AAAS:

    Sounds like they’re walking in the same shoes as the other Asian economic miracles and moving up the value chain. How do you think the aster race™ will react to all this?

    What advice would you give China in its pursuit of innovation?

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