News&Information

September 28, 2017

Zhangjiang Lab represents big step for science hub ambition

Shanghai's ambition to be a global innovation and science hub took a giant stride yesterday with the unveiling of Zhangjiang Lab.

The lab, co-built by the city government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was unveiled in Pudong’s Zhangjiang Science City.

The lab will serve as a comprehensive national science center to promote basic science, officials said.

“In the beginning of the lab’s development, we will focus on building up major scientific facilities to make breakthroughs in fundamental sciences,” said Wang Xi, director of the lab, who is also the head of Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, which is part of the academy.

“Particularly on photonics (the physical science of light), life science, information technology and brain-inspired intelligence technologies, an interdisciplinary between life science and information technology,” Wang added.

Several national-level major science facilities in Zhangjiang will be integrated into the institute to make the lab better serve the science community.

Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility is part of the set-up. This facility can create super beams hundreds of millions of times brighter than a normal X-ray.

Construction of a hard x-ray facility — an X-ray with high photon energy — will begin this year. The facility is expected to be China’s most expansive science infrastructure project.

Wang added the lab aims to attract top researchers from across the world. Officials have set a target to become a world-class national laboratory by 2030.

Shanghai Party Secretary Han Zheng, Bai Chunli, director of the academy, and the city’s Mayor Ying Yong attended the opening ceremony.

Last year, President Xi Jinping said China will facilitate the setting up of innovation platforms and national laboratories will play a leading role in those platforms.

Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, said at a Pujiang Innovation Forum on Saturday that the country will further develop fundamental science and invest more in scientific infrastructures.

Space ambition

Also yesterday, an innovation and research institute for microsatellites of the academy was inaugurated in Zhangjiang.

Bai said the institute aims to be an innovation engine for satellite science and contribute to the country’s space ambition.

Ying said the institute represents a new phase in the development of Shanghai Engineering Centre for Microsatellites, which was co-built by the academy and the city government in 2003.

The city will continue to support the development and construction of the new institute, Ying added.

Over the past few years, the engineering center successfully developed 19 satellites, including a BeiDou navigation satellite, the world’s first quantum communication satellite, and China’s first observation satellite to monitor carbon dioxide level.