China’s New Bureaus Aim to Boost Frontier Research and Drive Economic Growth

Top Chinese science institute undergoes restructuring to prioritize cutting-edge research

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has recently undergone a significant organizational overhaul, with a focus on strengthening frontier and basic research capabilities. New bureaus have been established for frontier sciences and basic research, sustainable development research, and basic science and technology capacity, replacing previous departments responsible for education, science promotion, and dissemination.

In response to the growing competition from advanced economies, China has increased its efforts in innovation and technological breakthroughs to counter hi-tech containment by the US and drive economic growth through technology and high value-added manufacturing. The new bureaus will conduct research in fields such as life science, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and interdisciplinary studies, while leading major scientific research programs.

The frontier sciences and basic research bureau will oversee disciplines including mathematics, astronomy, life sciences, and fundamental interdisciplinary frontiers. As leaders emphasize the need for original and disruptive innovation that can transform industries and human life, efforts are being made at the national and local levels to develop sectors such as artificial intelligence and the drone-driven “low-altitude economy.” Quantum and life sciences have also been identified as emerging industries for future growth.

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