Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
The Chinese Academy of Sciences is the linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world. Comprising a comprehensive research and development network, a merit-based learned society and a system of higher education, CAS brings together scientists and engineers from China and around the world to address both theoretical and applied problems using world-class scientific and management approaches.
Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide S&T development, a think tank delivering S&T advice and a community for training young S&T talent.
Now, as it responds to a nationwide call to put innovation at the heart of China’s development, CAS has further defined its development strategy by emphasizing greater reliance on democratic management, openness and talent in the promotion of innovative research. With the adoption of its Innovation 2020 programme in 2011, the academy has committed to delivering breakthrough science and technology, higher caliber talent and superior scientific advice. As part of the programme, CAS has also requested that each of its institutes define its“strategic niche” — based on an overall analysis of the scientific progress and trends in their own fields both in China and abroad — in order to deploy resources more efficiently and innovate more collectively.
As it builds on its proud record, CAS aims for a bright future as one of the world’s top S&T research and development organizations.
CAS scientists conduct research in most areas of basic science and technology as well as strategic advanced technologies and areas related to the public welfare and the development of emerging industries. CAS comprises 104 research institutes, 12 branch academies, three universities and 11 supporting organizations in 23 provincial-level areas throughout the country. These institutions are home to more than 100 national key labs and engineering centres as well as nearly 200 CAS key labs and engineering centres. Altogether, CAS comprises 1,000 sites and stations across the country.
CAS is home to over 80 percent of China’s large-scale science facilities. Eleven of them are currently in operation, including the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPCII), the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokomak (EAST), the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF), and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), among others. CAS is also developing the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) and the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), as well as other facilities. The academy also hosts the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), which has about 50 core field stations and 100 other stations across the country. CERN conducts monitoring and research involving ecological systems and the environment. CAS is also home to 13 botanical gardens and 26 herbaria, as well as a 150-TB scientific data storage facility. Environmental research is one of CAS’s traditional strengths. In addition, CAS publishes 267 academic journals.
CAS has a staff of 67,900, including about 56,000 professional researchers. Of these, approximately 22,800 are research professors or associate professors. By 2020, CAS hopes to have a few thousand leading scientists working for the organization. It has long been a CAS strategy to emphasize the combination of research and education and interdisciplinary and cross-sector cooperation in innovation.
Academy scientists now implement about 30 percent of China’s Key Basic Science Projects under the nation’s 973 Program. In addition, CAS researchers have won 19 first-class National Natural Sciences Prizes of the 32 awarded. Also, 34.2 percent of all researchers named as National Excellent Young Scholars are affiliated with CAS. Furthermore, 40 percent of the principle investigators for key natural science projects funded under the National Natural Science Foundation of China are affiliated with CAS.
CAS’s most recent achievements include a series of breakthroughs in quantum communication and computing, new progress in the study of re-emerging superconductivity, major breakthroughs in stem cell research and the discovery of a key factor in regulating the development of brain intelligence.
CAS attaches much importance to international cooperation and considers international cooperation as a recipe for its success and an effective means to maximize potentials and resources worldwide to advance science and to address global challenges. It has extensive and diversified forms of cooperation and partnership with scientists all over the world.
For example, CAS has set up 20 collaborative groups with the German Max Planck Society (MPG) in areas including astronomy, life sciences and materials science, and has also established the CAS–MPG Partner Institute of Computational Biology. In addition, CAS and the French Institut Pasteur have jointly established the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai.
CAS scientists have also initiated international science programmes, such as the Third Pole Environment (TPE) Program, the Northwestern Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (NPOCCE) and the International Meridian Project on space weather (IMP). In addition, CAS researchers have taken an active part in global science programmes such as the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Program, as well as various international programmes on climate change, including IGBP, IHDP, WCRP and DIVERSITAS.
CAS has implemented several international talent programmes since 2009 such as the CAS Fellowship Program for Senior International Scientists and the CAS Fellowship Program for Young International Scientists. Through these two programmes alone, CAS has attracted over 1,000 foreign scientists to conduct research at its institutes. Furthering internationalizing research at CAS is a firm policy of the organization
CAS also attaches great importance to promoting scientific progress in the developing world. Through the CAS–TWAS Fellowship, initiated in 2004, CAS annually invites about 50 scientists from developing countries to study and undertake research at CAS institutes. It is scheduled to start a PhD training programme for the developing world in 2013 with an annual enrollment of no less than 150. See more