China to devote more resources to basic research

China is devoting more resources to basic research and original innovation in the hope of creating a driving force for economic growth. Chinese authorities have recently called for accelerated efforts to build China into a leader in science and technology, and achieve self-reliance and self-improvement in scitech at higher levels. China’s spending on basic research during the 14th Five Year Plan period (2021-2025) will likely reach a record 8% of all research and development (R&D) expenditure, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST). China’s spending on basic research reached CNY133.6 billion in 2019, accounting for over 6% of total R&D expenditure. It is estimated that spending in 2020 exceeded CNY150 billion.

Professor Deng Ning, Vice Director of Tsinghua University’s high-tech laboratory, has been making plans to set up an artificial intelligence research institute to explore the frontiers of AI research and make breakthroughs in key technologies. He also participated in the establishment of the Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences. The Academy aims to be at the global forefront of quantum physics and quantum information science. Its superconducting quantum computing team made a major breakthrough in May, improving the decoherence time of superconducting qubits.

Set up in 2013, Orbbec Technology is a leading company in 3D vision perception technology and has achieved many zero-to-one innovations. Its Founder and Chairman Huang Yuanhao said 3D vision perception is a key and basic technology in the era of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), involving core technologies such as imaging chips, computing chips and micro-nano optics. “We will work with research institutions and enterprises upstream and downstream to strengthen weak parts of our industry chains, and achieve breakthroughs in photosensitive chips, core algorithms, sensors and other key technologies,” said Huang, as reported by the Shanghai Daily.