From the 1950s to the 1980s, the state organized scientists to conduct scientific surveys of the Tibet Plateau. In the period from 1980 to 1986, the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted comprehensive and specific surveys of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Tibet Plateau in particular, concerning its geological structure, evolution and main deposits of mineral ores. These surveys resulted in lifting the veil on some of the mysteries of the plateau, the establishment of a theory on the formation and evolution of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and revelation of the enormous potential and prospects for development of natural resources. Such a theoretical system is in the forefront in the world.
In applied technology, special efforts were made to study technology and techniques related to highways, agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, meteorology, hydraulic power generation, construction and energy, as well as traditional textiles, silver ware and other handicrafts.
In 2004, scientists in Tibet undertook 46 research projects at the national level, and 75 specially arranged projects. In addition, Tibet handled 62 patent applications and authorized 23 patents. Researchers in Tibet have join hands with their counterparts in Nepal, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in the development of solar, wind and geothermal energy and salt lake resources. They have also started academic exchanges and technological cooperation with their overseas counterparts in agriculture, animal husbandry, astronomy, geology, meteorology, glacier formation, mud-rock flows, landslides, and technological transformation of enterprises.
Today, Tibet boasts 39 weather monitoring stations, seven radar observation stations, one satellite cloud picture receiving station, seven earthquake observation stations, and 32 water monitoring stations.