The number of China’s national key laboratories will triple to around 700 by 2020 as a major part of its national innovation system, according to the latest guidelines posted online by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The guidelines, jointly issued by MOST and the Ministry of Finance, sets the target to strengthen the systematic development of the country’s national key laboratories.
China has built 220 national key laboratories since 1984, which serve as key bases for the country’s advanced basic research and frontier scientific research.
The country will see a steady rise in the amount of these key laboratories by establishing new ones and optimizing and adjusting the existing ones, mostly in universities, research institutions and enterprises.
China will further motivate these labs to focus on major basic research and sci-tech frontiers, according to the guidelines.
Major efforts will be made in research fields, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, geoscience, biology and medical science.
Cutting-edge fields, such as stem cells, synthetic biology, and brain science, are also on the list to receive priority support.
China will focus on optimizing the layout of these laboratories and strengthening their cohesion with the country’s key tasks.
World-class leading key laboratories will receive more and steady support from the government, while those lagging behind or lacking major innovative outcomes for many years will face readjustment, according to the guidelines.
By 2025, China will have completed its national key laboratory system, and remarkably boosted its scientific research level and international influence, said the guidelines.
The Chinese Government announced in March it will set up a special fund for national key laboratories to get access to “stable financial support.”