On March 18, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced the publication of its yearly scientific report. This report celebrates the recent advances in the Chinese scientific arena, and defines aims and challenges for future directions. The report consists of 3 books, describing scientific, sustainable and high technology development.
The highlighted landmark achievements of last year include the Chinese contributions to life sciences, physics, material sciences (especially with respect to graphene, which finds applications in the telecommunication, medical and security industries) and the lunar rover Jade Rabbit, which made global headlines last year.
Not surprisingly, pollution is a recurrent theme throughout the report. Whereas the impact of haze on health is carefully formulated, CAS appreciates the ecological impact of pollution and the necessity to reverse it. Scientific approaches for the reduction of air pollutants have been included in the report, as well as a multistep recommendation for legal reforms, increased energy efficiency, a trade market for emission permits and the encouragement of cleantech industry to innovate, develop and test in China.
The apparent focus on this year’s edition is innovation. Following CAS president Bai Chunli, who earlier this year advocated innovation as a driving force for pursuing success, it is expected that CAS will concentrate on optimizing Chinese platforms to attract, develop, and commercialize innovative initiatives.
Last week the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, better known as TNO, and the Beijing Institute of Space Mechanics and Electricity (BISME) signed a groundbreaking agreement to establish a joint laboratory on optical instruments for space science. The joint lab will serve as platform to co-develop optical instruments for scientific remote sensing and deep space exploration missions. The emphasis lies on environmental research such as climate change. TNO has a strong heritage in this field. At the same time, BISME is a leading and active partner in China’s space program. It is a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which is the largest contractor for the Chinese space program. BISME has provided over 100 space optical remote sensors for different satellites.
This milestone builds upon several years of intensive collaboration, including work on the Fengyun-3 (FY-3) meteorological satellite. In a sign of the importance that is attached to this collaboration, the signing was witnessed by high level representatives from China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC), as well as CAST. The Dutch government was represented by deputy ambassador Andre Driessen and the Netherlands Office for Science and Technology.
More information can be found on the website of the CNSA (Chinese only).