On December 9 and 10, the Ministry of Education convened the 2020 Plenary Session of the Science and Technology Commission in conjunction with the 2020 National Work Conference on HEIs’ Scientific and Technological Research, mapping out the next steps for HEIs in conducting research. Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education and secretary of the MOE’s Party Leadership Group, attended and addressed the event, while Zhong Denghua, Vice Minister of Education and member of the MOE’s Party Leadership Group, served as moderator and delivered a keynote report.
Minister Chen stated that the Party’s Central Committee gave high priority to the scientific research in HEIs, and that, following the decisions and arrangements by the Party’s Central Committee and the State Council, the MOE’s Party Leadership Group had planned and worked with a big picture in mind to promote scientific and technological research in HEIs. As a result, new breakthroughs had been achieved in key areas, while HEIs had greatly improved their general research capacity, basic research efficiency, originality and innovation, public service required by the country and regions, as well as the fostering of innovative talent.
Chen stressed on the indispensable role of HEIs for China’s growth to a sci-tech superpower. In the new era, HEIs needed to fully sharpen and capitalize on their own strengths to provide higher quality services through scientific and technological innovation and contribute more to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. They also needed to embrace the new development philosophy, addressing the national strategic needs and working at the frontiers of science and technology. Larger efforts will be made to increase the supportive and guiding role of scientific and technological innovation in talent training and build a high-caliber research workforce. Basic research will be further consolidated while critical technology advances will be made. The institutional reform in HEIs will be deepened along with higher-level opening-up, to facilitate the application of research results and related industrial innovation, achieve high quality development of scientific and technological research across the board, and develop an innovation system that best fits China’s new development pattern. Facing the newly rising demands, the MOE’s Science and Technology Commission needed to improve their work by setting “first class” goals, focusing on “strategic” issues and “high standard” communication, and providing “high quality” consultancy and “exemplary” practices.
Vice Minister Zhong talked about detailed arrangements for the work in eight fields—better strategic planning, basic research, breakthroughs in critical technologies, capacity building in service of the socio-economic development, reform and innovation in the institutions and mechanisms of scientific research, high-level sci-tech exchange and cooperation, integration of scientific and technological innovation with talent training, and security for science and technology.
At this plenary session,Chen granted employment certificates to counsels, director and vice director of the Eighth Science and Technology Commission of the MOE. Other attendees to the event included heads of relevant departments under the MOE and educational agencies in provincial or municipal governments and in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, representatives of the MOE’s Eighth Science and Technology Commission, and management of HEIs that are either directly administered by ministries and commissions of the Central Government or jointly established by the MOE and provincial governments.