In DepthChina

Five-year plan boosts basic research funding

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Science  25 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6280, pp. 1382
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6280.1382

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China's economic slowdown could bring a windfall for basic science. Cosmic evolution, the structure of matter, the origins of life, and understanding how the brain works all deserve strengthened support, according to China's latest 5-year development plan, which could triple funding for basic research by 2020. An outline of the plan, which covers 2016 through 2020, received pro forma approval by the National People's Congress on 16 March at its closing session. Though details are still scarce, one expectation is that funding for basic research will rise to 10% of total R&D spending by 2020, up from less than 5% now. If the 10% goal is achieved, investment in basic research could hit 225 billion yuan, or about $34.5 billion, in 2020, compared with last year's $10 billion.

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