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N0.653

CHINA  SCIENCE  AND  TECHNOLOGY
NEWSLETTER
The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China

 

 

N0.653

April 30, 2012

 

 

 

 

 
IN THIS ISSUE


 

* China’s Marine Islands Protection Plan

*Smart City Strategy

*China-Europe Supercomputing Cooperation

* Dual Navigation Satellites Launched

*Fastest Supercomputer with Broad Applications

* Space Nurtured Pine Seeds

*Domestic Surpass Foreign in Invention Patents

* Chinese Made Locomotives into Europe


 

 

 

SPECIAL ISSUES

 

China’s Marine Islands Protection Plan

 

The Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) recently released a marine islands protection plan. According to the plan, China will by 2020 achieve an enhanced ecological protection of its marine islands in an orderly and steady manner, with noticeably improved human habitation environment and enhanced protection of the islands reserved for special purpose.

 

To achieve the goals set up by the plan and address a range of issues concerning the islands development, construction, and protection, 10 major projects will be staged during the planning period, including island resources and ecological environment survey and assessment, study of typical island ecosystems and associated biodiversity conservation, islands protection in the territorial waters, and island ecological restoration, among others.

 

SOA started to prepare the plan in 2007. It organized experts to survey dozens of marine islands. It took five years for SOA to complete the plan. As a next step, SOA will promote the preparation of corresponding protection plans at the provincial level in line with the outlines defined by the master plan, localizing the thinking lines, principles, objectives and contents of the master plan.

 

Smart City Strategy

 

The Chinese Academy of Engineering recently launched in Beijing a project to study the development of smart cities and associated promotion strategies. The project is initiated to study the major issues concerning the development of smart cities and associated engineering technologies, working on the solutions to address the problems in building smart cities, in line with the urban development and people's needs, and producing the strategic reports that will guide the development of smart cities. The study will be made from the perspectives of management model, policy guidance, industry planning, departmental coordination, personnel training and others, providing scientific support to the major decision making processes in the area.

 

The project will work on 13 topics, or a master topic and 12 sub-topics, covering urban economy, science and technology, culture, management, education, urban space model, smart transportation and logistics, smart grid and energy, smart manufacturing, knowledge center and information processing, smart information network, smart tourism, smart buildings, smart health care, urban safety, urban environment, smart business and finance, smart urban survey and mapping, and geographic information infrastructures.

 

“Energy Triangle” Development Strategy

 

Not long ago, a meeting was held in Beijing by the Chinese Academy of Engineering to launch a consulting project that will study the development of the socalled “golden energy triangle areas”. The project is designed to study the strategic position of the "golden energy triangle" areas and associated strength, industry structures, production scales, resources, and environmental carrying capacity. It will also work on a range of inter-area issues, including the maximized energy performance of the "golden energy triangle" areas, the coordinated distribution of interests between the areas and their social obligations, and the efficient, integrated, and sustainable energy development in the areas. Researchers will propose, based on their findings, some suggestions and measures on the development of "golden energy triangle" areas, providing scientific evidence to policy makers.

 

The "golden energy triangle" areas include the energy and chemical bases in the eastern part of Ningxia, the Ordos City in Inner Mongolia, the Yulin City in Shaanxi, and the eastern part of Gansu. These areas, rich in fossil fuel energy resources, make up a super large energy base that can be developed in an integrated and coordinated manner. Thanks to their position in the heart of inland China that enjoys well established infrastructures, including railways, they also constitute a desirable energy distribution center.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

 

China-Europe Supercomputing Cooperation

 

China and Europe launched a Tianhe-1 supercomputer based supercomputing cooperation on April 24, 2012 in Tianjin. SCC-ComPuting is a project jointly applied by the National Supercomputing Center (Tianjin), Tianjin University, and research institutions in five EU countries, including the UK, Norway, Spain, Bulgaria, and Switzerland, financed by the EU 7PQ. The collaborative partners are the renowned research institutions or teams in Europe, enjoying a high technical and academic level and influence in their respective fields.

 

SCC-ComPuting is designed to allow multiple disciplinary users from both China and Europe to study computing environment and systems, based on the Tianhe-1 supercomputer system that is stationed in Tianjin. It expects to be a dialogue and exchange platform between Chinese and European scientists, allowing Chinese scientists to understand and be part of EU research programs, facilitating the collaborations between China and Europe, including establishing a common fund for computer science and related fields, making new research grants available to both Chinese and European scientists, and financing high-level venture research projects that will produce high impact.

 

 

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Dual Navigation Satellites Launched

 

 

 

 

 

At 0450, April 30, 2012, China blasted off two navigation satellites aboard a CZIIIB launch vehicle, from the Xi’chang Satellite Launch Center. The satellites entered a transfer orbit as scheduled, and positioned in a desired Earth orbit. This is the first instance having two satellites launched aboard a single launch vehicle under China’s Compass navigation system. The launch is made to enhance the coverage and positioning capability of the Compass navigation system. The system has entered the phases of system enhancement and application development, since it was officially announced into a trial operation on December 27, 2011, It has so far provided services to a range of areas, including transportation, meteorology, fisheries, forestry, telecommunications, water resources, mapping among others, and generated noticeable economic and social benefits.

 

China will in the year launch three other Compass satellites, in a bid to further enhance the system performance and expand service areas. The efforts will eventually lead to the establishment of a navigation system made up of more than 30 satellites, enjoying a highly accurate global coverage that provides reliable positioning, navigation and timing services.

 

Fastest Supercomputer with Broad Applications

 

Chinese made supercomputer Tianhe-I is no only the fastest supercomputer system running in the world, but also enjoys broad applications, becoming one of the advanced supercomputing systems that can offer diverse applications, said LIU Guangming, director of National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, at a press conference recently held to brief the applications of Tianhe-1.

 

Tianhe-I supercomputer has created just in a year’s time five high-performance application platforms, providing supercomputing services to oil exploration, biomedicine, aerospace, high-end equipment manufacturing, civil engineering design, weather forecasting, marine environment monitoring, new energy and materials, basic research, animation and film rendering. The supercomputer is registered with an averaged utilization rate up 60-70 percent, the highest in the world.

 

CAS Institute of Software made the numerical simulation of Earth's outer core heat flow on the Tianhe-1 platform, and achieved a supercomputing scale of 60 billion unknowns, an order of magnitude higher than the scale achieved overseas.

 

CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica rolled out a range of top research findings though Tianhe-1’s high-performance application platform, allowing the Institute to have an enhanced innovation capability that ranks second in the world.

 

An array of other scientific researches, including global climate change, Earth system, and 12 sub-degree global ocean dynamics simulation, have achieved major progresses in their respective fields, and ranked in the world's most advanced, through the Tianhe-1’s application platforms.

 

Space Nurtured Pine Seeds

 

The pine seeds that took a 397-hour space journey aboard Chinese spacecraft "Shenzhou-8" have grown well in Yueyang, Hunan. The Institute of Forestry and Paper Making officials in Yueyang said on April 28 that the space nurtured seeds have gown out strong shoots.

 

According to a briefing, the space nurtured pine seeds are 30 grams in weight for two species, including the wetland pine seeds at 26 grams, and Masson pine seeds at 4 grams. This is the first time for a Chinese paper maker to nurture its pine seeds in a spacecraft. The Chinese made unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8 was launched on November 1st, 2011, and made a 16-day Earth circling journey, where the seeds onboard went through five “critical thresholds” of cosmic energetic particle radiation, gravitation loss, vacuuming, large temperature difference, and high cleanness requirement. Experts told reporters that the space nurtured seeds will have 20% to 30% chance to mutate, which would consequentially produce some new species enjoying enhanced properties, such as fast growing, pest-resistance, and high fat content in the future.

 

 

NEWS BRIEFS

 

Domestic Surpass Foreign in Invention Patents

 

According to a press conference held to brief China’s intellectual property affairs in 2011, China has received in 2011 1.633 million patent applications, of which invention applications accounted for 526,000 in number, with valid invention patents at 697,000. The valid domestic invention patents reached 351,000, surpassing for the first time the foreign invention patents applied in China.

 

In 2011, China accepted 17,500 PCT applications, with an increase of 35.3 percent, the fastest growth in the world. Defense applications accounted for 6,900, with 5,038 having been reviewed and concluded, enjoying a 43% growth compared with the same period. In addition, China received 1.4168 million trademark applications in the year, with an increase of 32.14% compared with the same period. As of the end of 2011, China has accepted 9.7115 million trademark applications, 6.6507 million registrations, and 5.5101 million valid registered trademarks on a combined basis, all ranked first in number in the world. In the same year, China registered 109,300 software copyrights, with an increase of 33.4%, and accepted 1,392 new varieties of plants with 255 grants.

 

Rare-Earth Purification Study

 

Not long ago, “Scientific basis for the efficient rare earth resources use and associated green separation", a major project initiated under the National 973 Program, was officially launched at Peking University. The project is designed to study the key issues involving rare earth resources development and purification, including the performance and share-activity relationship of novel extractants, molecular design model, the composition, structure and surface state of typical rare earth ores and their impact on selection and decomposition, clean sorting and decomposition techniques, micro rare earth extraction process, interfacial thermodynamic equilibrium and kinetic mass transfer equations, and the migration of trace impurities in rare earth purification process, among others. One of the missions defined for the project is work out a novel rare-earth extractant that enjoys enhanced indicators, compared with the current P507 model. With a budget of RMB 85 million, the project will work on seven topics: molecular design, synthesis, and performance of efficient rare earth extractants; interfacial molecule/ion interactions in an extraction process; design and simulation of new extraction equipment; complex countercurrent extraction theory and green rare earth separation process; and scientific basis of rare earth anhydrous halides and high purification process.

   

Chinese Made Locomotives into Europe

 

Electric locomotives, developed and manufactured by CNR Datong Electric Locomotive, were recently delivered to Belarus to be part of its rail trunk lines in Europe. The Chinese made electric locomotives, 12 in all under a contract singed between CNR Datong Electric Locomotive and the Belarusian Union of Railways, will be delivered to the buyer in the year.   The locomotive is applied with proprietary technologies, and built on a mature high-power model, in line with the needs of railway operations in Belarus. With a power output up to 9600 kilowatts, and a running speed at 120 km an hour, the locomotive has achieved an internationally advanced performance and reliability.

 

Cloud Industry Alliance

 

China Cloud Industry Alliance was recently inaugurated at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The Alliance, jointly established by 11 institutions, including Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Peking University, CBC-Capital, and YongYou, is the first cloud industry alliance jointly created by universities, businesses, and government. It will promote the innovation and industrialization of cloud computing technologies and products in the country, through publicity, education, data sharing, joint development, diffusion and application, industry standards, personnel training, and policy support.

 

LNG Equipment Manufacturing

 

A 600,000-ton liquefied natural gas equipment localization project, initiated by the National Energy Administration and implemented by China Petroleum, started its construction on April 25, 2012 in Tai'an, Shandong. Designed with the proprietary manufacturing technologies and the largest single-set liquefaction capacity in the country, the newly staged project is physically located at the Fanzhen Industrial Park in Tai'an City, with an investment of RMB 1.52 billion. The project is scheduled to put into production at the end of 2013, with a daily natural gas processing capacity of 2.6 million cubic meters. With fully localized core technologies and key equipment, the project expects to provide 60 tons of liquefied natural gas to the surrounding areas on a yearly basis.

 


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