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Defense Capability Gets Research Boost
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The country is planning to build national-level laboratories as part of a major effort to boost defense capabilities, a senior official revealed yesterday.

"We're kick-starting the appraisal work. The labs will focus on the research of major basic sciences, strategic high technologies and system integration technologies," said Sun Laiyan, vice-minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

He made the remarks in an interview on, the official website of the central government.

"We'll build them into a first-class integrated national-level research base. The labs will not be in a large number, but we'll pilot new management and operation models to achieve big breakthroughs in major science-tech fields."

The vice-minister noted that the defense sector has more than 400,000 scientific research staff, 300 research institutes and a large number of enterprise research centers and advanced research facilities.

He acknowledged that the country needs to take advantage of all the leading research facilities including civilian research institutes, high-tech firms and prestigious universities to build an innovative defense industry.

"We welcome civilian sectors, especially in materials, information and biology, to participate in defense research."

A great deal of attention has been paid to intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the defense industry over the past couple of years, according to Sun.

He said the industry has registered more than 10,000 patents during almost the past three years, with patents growing at an annual rate of 46 percent.

"We have a great number of IPRs in core defense fields and a competitive edge after using the IPRs to develop new weapons," Sun said, underscoring the importance of innovation in the defense industry.

(China Daily September 17, 2007)

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