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Part II Development Tasks and Special Arrangements

Chapter 4 Innovation Research

7. Strengthen Arrangements at Cutting-edge Areas and Encourage Exploratory Innovations. The NSFC will scientifically analyze the human resources and developmental requirements of China’s basic research, follow the unique features and developmental law of basic research, to guide scientists to further distill profound scientific issues and carry out exploratory innovations by focusing on scientific frontiers and national strategic demands. It will extend the execution periods for several categories of projects in the line of research program, properly increase the funding intensity, and try to create a liberal and harmonious research environment and academic atmosphere.

The General Program will emphasize balanced overall layout, focus on scientific frontiers, promote disciplinary development and encourage original innovation. The NSFC will emphasize the important roles of the General Program in stabilizing the human resources for basic research, deepen strategic researches, identify basic research demands, properly handle the relations between funding intensity and funding scale, effectively tap the leverage and regulatory roles of the funding rates, and truly create a good environment for encouraging explorations and tolerating failures.

The Key Program will focus on priority fields, give due consideration to disciplinary development, integrate innovation resources, and cultivate breakthroughs in priority areas. The NSFC will take the Key Program as a major strategic measure to implement the strategic guidance of placing greater emphasis on basic research, frontier research and personnel training. In the disciplines where China enjoys relative advantages or badly needs to develop, the NSFC will give due consideration to the overall disciplinary layout, attract backbone personnel for basic research, and strive for innovation breakthroughs in some fields.

The Major Program will cater to the national demands, promote disciplinary crossing, attract innovation personnel, and focus on difficult scientific issues. The NSFC will take full advantage of the academic accumulations arising from its long funding history, adopt a long-term perspective,, and provide scientific support for optimizing and upgrading China’s industrial structure and developing strategic emerging industries.

The Major Research Plan will emphasize limited targets, steady support, integrated sublimation and leapfrog development. The NSFC will highlight the guidance of major national demands, fully tap the roles of strategic expert groups, strengthen top-level designs, rationally distribute cultivation projects and priority support projects, accurately and timely initiate integration projects, and try to elevate overall innovation capacity in some fields and pursue breakthroughs in several important research directions.

The International (Region) Cooperative Research Program will emphasize international frontiers, utilize international platforms, promote resource sharing, and enhance cooperative researches. The NSFC will promote international strategic cooperation, encourage Chinese scientists to participate in major international research projects and programs, seek breakthroughs in scientific frontiers, and cultivate innovation personnel with international vision, so as to create a better open innovation platform for China’s basic research to go to the world.

The NSFC will support transformative researches and encourage scientists to conceive and practice revolutionary innovations. It will set the funding scale and intensity in light of the conditions of applications and funding, allow the scientific departments to play full roles in academic judgment, and gradually establish a special evaluation and management mechanism for high-risk and exploratory research projects.

Copyright 2007 Bureau of International Cooperation, NSFC