Nine newly elected female members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences take a group photo at a symposium held on Dec 7 in Beijing.[Photo by Cheng Yingqi/China Daily]
Scientists from innovative enterprises have been awarded the highest honor of the Chinese science community, representing new research directions in 3D printing, big data and next-generation Internet.
On Dec 7, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering announced their new membership election. Sixty-one scientists were elected members of the science academy, and 70 were elected to the engineering academy.
The biennial election of academy members is the highest accolade for scientists in China.
Of the 70 new CAE members, 13 work for innovative enterprises, while the others are from universities, research institutes and hospitals.
For the first time, experts specializing in emerging industrial technologies such as 3D printing, big data and next-generation Internet won the honor.
Wang Endong, chief scientist at Inspur Group, a leading IT company in China, is one of them.
“Wang being selected was quite predicable as it indicates that we entrepreneurs are gradually becoming a main part of engineering projects,” said Zuo Baichen, vice-president of the company.
“This is a recognition of the work we have done, and we now can have more resources to conduct our ongoing research.”
Zuo also believes that the basic research currently based in academic institutions is being transferred to industrial research centers, most of which are headed by entrepreneurs or the private sector and are focused on applied science.
Han Jiecai, vice-president of the Harbin Institute of Technology, and a new member of CAS, said the academic system should embrace more scientific research elites from the business sector.
“Scientific exploration, starting businesses and expanding the industrial scale are three links on the chain of innovation. In the past, we have done well in the lab, but performed poorly in transferring the technology into industrial products,” Han said.
“Strengthening research capacity inside innovative enterprises can shorten the process of technology transfer because it joins all the links together, so that the production department can communicate with the R&D department at the laboratory stage,” he said.