Full steam ahead to meet 2020 framework deadline

Construction is being accelerated in the key areas of Zhangjiang to establish a comprehensive national science center.


Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Hospital

Construction is being accelerated in the key areas of Zhangjiang to establish a comprehensive national science center.

The center was designed within the national lab framework and given the green light last February by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Part of the plan is to build a global science and technology innovation center in Shanghai to promote China’s capacity to innovate and its overall research capability by establishing the best infrastructure for big science around the world.

Shanghai government has a framework set out for a comprehensive national science center by 2020 and achieving research outcomes with global influence, which will boost regional socioeconomic development, as well as science and technology innovation.

To achieve these goals, a cluster of research institutions devoted to frontier science will be formed with the support of a state-of-the-art research infrastructure, optimized organizational structure, a management system and an open environment for innovation.

Work is underway to build a national laboratory as the base for scientific innovation, functional research and development platforms for interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, and a network for collaborative innovation that links research with the industrial chain. The national science center will also initiate and coordinate large-scale international research projects and national key projects.

Covering an area of 5.29 square kilometers, the future national lab in the northwest of Zhangjiang will feature a world-leading photonic science center and the core area of scientific and technological innovation.

The surrounding areas are where universities, research institutes of national level, world class research and development facilities and immense scientific instruments will reside.

Those instruments are the major components of the infrastructure being developed for the national science center, such as Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which uses “synchrotron radiation” technology to create super beams that are hundreds of millions of times brighter than a normal X-ray.

Through the facility, a group of domestic scientists has developed a new imaging technology to create high-resolution images of non-crystalline samples, which is applicable in medical diagnosis.

It is just one successful case among the many studies supported by the SSRSSRSSRF which is operated by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics. The facility became operational in 2009, reaching full energy operation in December 2012.

The particle accelerator cost 1.2 billion yuan (USUS$186 million). As China’s biggest light facility, the third-generation synchrotron light source opened to universities, scientific institutes and companies for approved research in May 2009.

More than 15,000 scientists and engineers worldwide have used SSRSSRSSRF for their research since it opened for use in 2009.

Construction has started on the second phase of the SSRSSRSSRF to add 16 more world-class beam lines and 26 experimental stations. At present, it has 14 experimental stations in operation but the demand far exceeds the current capacity.

The Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center also seeks to integrate all the excellent research and educational resources within the city and beyond by attracting top research institutions and universities from around the world to establish innovation platforms on site.

A series of research centers of renowned universities will be established in Zhangjiang.

The Tsung-Dao Lee Research Center, for instance, which is named after the Shanghai-born scientist who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1957, will focus on particle physics, astronomy and cosmology as well as quantum science and technology.

As a test bed for innovation in research management systems, it will adopt best practices from world-renowned institutions to create a supportive environment for world-class scientists.

Other similar facilities include a University of Science and Technology of China innovation center focusing on quantum information science and technology, a stem cell research center associated with Tongji University and a robot research center associated with ShanghaiTech University.

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