In a bid to boost basic research in the intensifying technology war between China and the U.S., Shenzhen, the southern Chinese technology hub, is making state-funded scientific equipment costing more than RMB 500,000 (USD 71,623) available to individuals and organizations for research purposes. Basic research is high on Shenzhen’s agenda, and the city plans to invest ten percent of total R&D spending on it by 2035.
The goal of the new policy is to use existing technological resources more efficiently and improve the city’s innovation capabilities. Shenzhen has 4,886 pieces of scientific equipment eligible for sharing, with a total value of RMB 7.9 billion. According to a report in the People’s Daily newspaper, China has more than 130,000 pieces of scientific equipment in its universities and research institutions that have an individual value of RMB 500,000 or above.
Activities related to key research projects supported by the national, provincial and municipal governments are prioritized in the award, as is the search for breakthroughs in key technologies such as information technology, artificial intelligence and new energy. Small and medium-sized technology companies and startups will also be given priority in the allocation of equipment. The private sector will be encouraged to invest in large research institutions and establish professional agencies that manage equipment sharing. Institutions that manage government-funded equipment and do not make it available to the public will face disciplinary action.