“The Human Brain Science Fund led by Shenzhen city and National Natural Science Foundation will be launched before 2017,” said Aaron Xue, coordinator of the fund.
What’s China’s Plan
The strategic positioning of human brain fund is of great importance.
Since 2014, China researchers have constantly urged about launching human brain plan. During the CPPCC and NPC in 2015, Li Yanhong, the CEO and the president of Baidu proposed the proposal of “China Brain” and urged to set up national “China Brain” plan.
China has not issued national brain plan yet, but local government has already started. According to the disclosure of professors participating in the research to the journalist of International Financial News, Beijing has already allocated 10 for research and Shanghai has already allocated 20 million yuan for research. But there is no official news about it.
Chen Xin, the director of the Foundation Agency of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission expressed that that Shanghai has started to constantly organize discussions between experts and enterprises for many times since the later half of 2014. Recently, it has been certified that Shanghai brain plan should be started from four aspects, “wet” (brain fundamental principles), “soft” （smart software algorithm）, “hard” （smart robot, brain-similar chip, smart wearable devices）and “use”.
Some researchers in Beijing issued the Special Implementation Plan of”Human Brain Science Research” of Beijing Science and Technology Commission in the Beijing Science and Technology Commission on September 1st. The two five-year development objectives were proposed in this plan.
Yan Aoshuang, the director of Beijing Science and Technology Commission points out that Beijing “brain science research” will aim at the cutting edge of international brain science research, surround demands on human brain health and brain diseases and the important opportunities of the rapid development of communications and information industry. It layouts from two aspects, “brain recognition and brain medicine” and “brain recognition and brain-similar computation”. When carrying out cutting edge researches, it also pays attention to the actual application so that each progress of science research can better serve people’s daily lives.
Wang Xiaojing, the deputy president of Shanghai Newyork University points out that “brain science needs its own Newton”. He thought that the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence should be based on the breakthroughs in basic researches. Without basic research, there will be no breakthroughs in application.
The Source of the Research Expenditure
Government, enterprise and public profit are the main sources of the research expenditure, 3 billion US dollars in all.
In China, the expenditure almost fully come from the government, while the R&D investment into enterprises’ original innovation is still not high which causes that most of R&D are measured by theses, instead of being measured by market and economic contribution. Meanwhile, the combined technological development between public R&D institutes such as universities and the market-based enterprise application is not deep enough.
The guest professor of Fudan University suggests that, “China rich and enterprises can found public-profit private fund like Bill Gates so as to support the R&D undertaking of China. Additionally, China researches can also broaden their vision and apply for international public-profit fund.”
However, it’s also not wise to move from one extreme to another. The above guest professor of Fudan University reminded the reporter of International Financial News that, “it’s understandable that return is needed from investment, but R&D doesn’t mean that we can become rich on the second year when we invest this year.”
Wang Xiaojing also reminded that, “R&D is a long process, especially the research in fundamental science, which requires compromising environment to the researchers.”
Build Researches Team
The international third party platform partner looks especially important.
Wang Xiaojing also told the reporter that, “ it’s of great importance to cooperate with enterprises as to the research and application of human brain science. We hope to deepen our understanding on market and enterprise. Meanwhile, we’d like enterprises to understand the cutting edge progress of the researches and to promote the development enterprises as a result. Whereas, we should pay attention to that, the cooperation with enterprises on brain science research is still in the early stage. It’s still to be explored and discussed on how to find a good partnership pattern.
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