The large research infrastructures of the People's Republic of China: An investment for science and technology


  • Augusto Marcelli

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, P.O. Box 13, Frascati, (RM), Italy
    2. University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Science, Hefei, P. R. China
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Research infrastructures are large facilities primarily aimed at basic or fundamental research, built and made available to a wider community of researchers, and characterized by an Open Access policy based on the free competition among proposals/experiments that are ranked only by looking at their scientific content at an international level. These facilities have the extraordinary capability not only to stimulate and support the research of the host country, for which they have been funded and built, but may attract dozens of researchers from abroad, generating wealth in the territory where they are located. What is the situation in China, what research infrastructures are operating and how many of those under construction will be available in the coming years? Since development of science and technology as well as innovation and management system are strategic components to drive changes in a country, understanding the status and the impact of large research facilities is fundamental to estimate how China will grow toward the frontiers of science and innovation, and what will be the role of this country in many key disciplines at mid-century. Research infrastructures increase the prestige of a nation and its technology capabilities. Moreover, in the case of China, they even represent one of the key issues to understand the extraordinary growth of this country.