Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has thoroughly implemented the guiding principles of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions.
Xi calls on the top Chinese research institute to first make scientific and technological breakthroughs, and to become a national hub of talents and innovation, a national high-level sci-tech think tank and a world-class research institute, and to accelerate the pace of its pioneering role in achieving scientific and technological innovation, make breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields and take over the commanding heights of scientific and technological development. CAS has always bear in mind the role of national academy and people’s academy and the fundamental interests of the state as it fulfills its mission of realizing science and technology self-reliance and self-development, to play a leading role in innovation system and build up the strength of national strategic science and technology.
Achieve leap-frog development in scientific and technological research and produce a number of forward-looking and leading major original achievements.
For example, CAS released a Ten-point for Basic Research Development, clarifying the strategic positioning of implementing mission driven institutional basic research, and selected 32 research institutes to carry out the special pilot. CAS enhances the duty and responsibilities of institutes and research teams to tackle the core technological tasks, following the pre-designed schedules.
Taking the advantage of the systematic institutions, CAS has accomplished important tasks in China's second scientific research survey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, manned spaceflight, manned deep diving, Beidou satellites, lunar exploration project, Mars exploration, scientific research to combat the COVID-19 and other major national tasks. Aiming at the most urgent national needs, CAS has proactively deployed a number of major scientific and technological tasks such as the "black soil granary" scientific and technological campaign, the strategic action plan for scientific and technological support for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, the clean combustion and low-carbon utilization of coal, and rare earth resources research.
Since 2012, CAS has received 125 State Natural Science Awards as the first contributor, accounting for about 32 percent of the total number of such awards in China. Six first prizes of the State Natural Science Awards have been granted to CAS as a leading party or a major contributor, accounting for 60 percent of total. CAS independently accomplished or was a major player in the achievement of 62 out of 100 scientific and technological breakthroughs on an annual list of top 10 scientific advances in China selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology from 2012 to 2021.63 scientific achievements accomplished by CAS independently or in collaboration with others were listed in the top ten sci-tech news in China selected by members of CAS and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in the past ten years.
These award-winning achievements include many original innovations such as the first to synthesize starch from carbon dioxide, the first to discover Majorana bound states in superconductor, the first to prove two core conjectures in Keller Geometry etc., and the world leading mega science facilities such as FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope), EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak), LHAASO (Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory) as well as the key core technologies such as quantum science, high-performance computing, agricultural breeding, and low-temperature refrigeration, etc.
To learn more about the annual list of top ten Chinese scientific and technological achievements selected by the HTRDC and CAS and CAE academicians, please visit the website of https://www.cas.cn/zt/kjzt/cas10years/ or scan the QR code.
Accelerate the building of a national talent center
CAS ranked the 2nd in the list of "Highly Cited Researchers 2021", with 194 scholars selected, about 4.2 times higher as in 2014.
Over the past decade, CAS has attracted and trained through talent programs and innovation practice thousands of leading scientific and technological talents, who has become academic leaders in various disciplines and the backbone of major scientific and technological tasks. CAS has attracted and gathered more than 10,000 young top-notch talents and 20,000 postdoctoral fellows, becoming a new force in the field of scientific and technological innovation. More than 12,000 special research assistants are currently employed, which further expands the pool of outstanding young talents. Over 120,000 students earned their master's degrees or doctoral degrees from CAS during the past ten years, and nearly 20,000 undergraduate students completed their academic studies.
Since the beginning of "14th Five-Year Plan", CAS has formed a new pattern of human resources, focusing on strategic scientists and young scientific talents. CAS has fully implemented and deepened the reform of the academician system. CAS has implemented a distinguished researcher system, and selected 4,200 core researchers for stable support. By implementing the program of excellent young talent teams in the field of stable basic research, CAS has selected the first batch of 30 teams, and will provide stable support for a five-year cycle.
Build a national high-level sci-tech think tank to support national decision-making
Guided by national strategic needs, CAS plays the roles of its Academic Divisions and members in presenting 171 advisory reports and 70 proposals to the central government on major national decisions and strategic issues from 2014 to 2020. CAS has completed major national consultation and evaluation tasks, and greatly supported the national decision making.
Among the journals sponsored by CAS institutions, 100 are listed by the Science Citation Index (SCI) and 41 journals in Q1 zone, constitute respectively about 38 percent of SCI-related journals in China and 42 percent of the total number in China. In addition, notable progress has been made in the internationalization of its academic journals and the enhancement of their professional influence. For instance, the journal Cell Research ranks first in the field of life science in the Asia-Pacific region, with an impact factor of 25.617. Ten CAS journals such as National Science Review (NSR) and Light are now listed among the top five international journals in their disciplines.
CAS has played demonstration roles in the building of high-level exchange platforms for research papers and scientific and technological information. Its self-developed Science Data Bank (ScienceDB) has become the only such resource from China with accreditation and formal recommendation for the storage of multi-discipline and general data from prestigious international publishers such as Spring Nature and Elsevier.
Strengthen the building of the world-class research institution and promote international exchange and cooperation
CAS keeps promoting international exchanges to facilitate its integration with the global innovation network. CAS has actively taken part in and initialized a number of international scientific research programs, such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the Pan-third Pole Environment, and the International Meridian Circle Program. CAS has carried out substantive scientific research cooperation with more than 130 countries, regions and international organizations. 10 CAS overseas scientific and educational cooperation centers have been established. About 6,000 high-level scientific and technological talents have been trained for countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Since 2013, CAS has consecutively ranked first in the Nature Index. As of 2020, 981 scientists from CAS had concurrently assumed positions in international scientific organizations, up by about 50 percent from 2012, among which 331 had acted as chairs, vice chairs and other key positions, a 109 percent increase from 2012.