The State Council released a guideline concerning sharing scientific facilities and equipment on Jan 26, in a bid to avoid redundant construction and purchase.
There has been sustained growth in quantity and quality of research facilities and equipment in recent years, but the phenomenon of redundant construction and purchase involving various research departments — and a low utilization rate of high-tech resources — is quite serious, according to the guideline.
China has thus decided to build a professional management system for sharing scientific facilities and equipment over the next three years, aiming to improve the utilization of high-tech resources.
The unified, powerful and professional system which covers almost all areas of research facilities and equipment will be introduced to manage large-scale high-tech facilities as well as equipment worth more than 500,000 yuan ($80,285) per unit — in universities, research institutes, and major laboratories based in some state-owned enterprises and experimental bases.
The Ministry of Science and Technology and relevant departments at the central and local levels will establish a nationwide Internet management system.
The system will also be open to the public — allowing people to access information about the operation and sharing of scientific facilities.
The sharing system will be categorized to facilitate public use — according to the capabilities of the scientific facilities and equipment.
Departments which provide equipment sharing services can charge operating and service fees — without seeking profits.
A third party evaluation mechanism will be introduced to assess management, service quality, service charges and the degree of openness of scientific facilities and equipment in institutions — and rewards and penalties will be partially based on their report.
Intellectual property rights, research data and technical secrets acquired when using scientific facilities and equipment must be protected by the institution providing the services and amenities.