Author: Jian-Jiang Zhong
In recent years, biotechnology research and development (R&D) in China has been receiving increasing attention from the world. With the open-door policy of the Chinese government, many international publications (for academia) and large market potential (for industry) constitute the two big reasons for the above phen- enon. Biotechnology has become one of the priorities in Mainland China for so- ing many important problems, such as food supply, health care, environment protection, and even energy. The central government has been implementing a c- ple of programs which cover a wide spectrum in basic research, high-tech devel- ment and industrialization, such as Basic Research Program (973 Plan), Hi-Tech R&D Program (863 Plan), Key Science & Technology Problem Solving Program (Gong-guan Plan), as well as the establishment of centers of excellence - Key Laboratories and Engineering Centers, etc. The funding from various local gove- ments and industry for R&D has also been increasing continuously. Biotechnology centers in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing have been established. There are more than 400 universities, research institutes and companies and a total of over 20,000 researchers involved in biotechnology in the Mainland. The number of research papers published internationally and patent applications is also increasing rapidly. In addition, the huge market potential with about 1. 4 billion population, which is already open to the outside world, has provided numerous opportunities for int- national and domestic companies to invest in biotechnology, which pushes forward the biotechnology industrialization in China.