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Public Funding for R&D Effective - Gov't
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In response to condemnation that public money could be wasted on research and development an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology said in Beijing Monday the state financial allocations are effective in stimulating the country's innovators. 

Qin Yong, who's in charge of national science and technology development planning, said the ministry invested 26 billion yuan (US$3.25 billion) in three major state programs between 2001 and 2005 which accounted for 3.2 percent of China's total R&D expenditure over that period.

The three programs included the State Key Basic Research and Development Program, the State Hi-tech Research and Development Program and the State Key Technologies Research and Development Program.

In basic research, Qin said, Chinese scientists published 60,767 papers with 38,210 being listed in either the Science Citation or the Engineering Indexes. Research such as quantum communication, analysis on protein structure and function and cognitive study of the brain displayed that Chinese scientists were among the global leaders in these fields.

In the development of high technologies Qin pointed out that the Suma 4000A high-performance server and the Godson Pentium III-equivalent central processing unit, both of which were developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Computing, assisted the country break the monopoly of developed countries in these strategically important research fields.

"We were previously satisfied with copying and modeling Western technologies," Qin said, "but we're now adopting a national strategy of innovation."

An investigation team from the ministry proved last month that a US-educated researcher, Chen Jin, cheated when he claimed breakthroughs in system-on-chip development. Chen was sacked from his post as dean at Jiaotong University in Shanghai and ordered to refund the money he received to assist with his work. 

After an investigation the ministry announced it was reforming the fund granting mechanism and it would be more transparent in the future. 

In a recent announcement the ministry said it would publish online all applications and appraisals for public R&D funding which would introduce broad awareness of research activities.

(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2006)

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