Today PRC is an innovation leader. Here are just some of the most amazing projects that have emerged from China in recent years
Europe is no investing in innovation. Recently China overtook the EU with R&D expenditure equivalent to 2.1% of GDP. Plus, of the world’s 15 largest digital firms, not one is European. According to a recent National Survey Research Center poll conducted at Renmin University in Beijing, there is no single Silicon Valley in China.
The Chinese tech race is fueled by long-term economic development policies centered on the five-year plan launched in 2015. Internet Plus project and Made in China 2025 are just the tip of the iceberg, and perhaps the best known of these leadership plans. National policymaking is key.
Not only from the Soviet Union model, but also the Manhattan Project, the Apollo Project are proof that, to some extent, innovations or technological progress can be planned. Here are just some of the most amazing projects that have emerged from China in recent years.
1. The dark side of the moon is not a mystery anymore
China has become the first nation to successfully land a discovery probe on the far side of the moon. On January 3, the robotic spacecraft Chang’e 4 made a soft landing in the South Pole-Aitken Basin area of the moon, otherwise known as the “far side” or “dark side” of Earth’s only natural satellite.
Scientists hope that they will learn more about the moon’s mineral composition and its surface, as well as the layer just beneath the surface, the moon’s mantle. The moon has been the object of human fascination—and scientific observation—for centuries. As the dark side of the moon never faces Earth, Chang’e-4 will not be able to beam data directly back to the Earth. Instead, it communicates by bouncing data from the Queqiiao relay satellite which was launched in May 2018.
2. Tianhe-2: the super computer of record
The Tianhe-2, developed as part of the Chinese government’s 863 High Technology Program, is a 33.86-petaflop supercomputer which has topped the world’s most powerful high powered computing lists for years. Developed as part of the Chinese government’s 863 High Technology Program, the monstrous computer was built by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). It boasts 32,000 Intel Xeon E5-2692 12C processors and has more than 1,300 TiB of memory. Although it’s by far the most powerful in terms of calculation capacity, critics say that it’s not as functionally useful as other supercomputers in the US and Japan.
3. Shenzhen il leading green revolution
Diesel buses—and the choking smog they spew—are a common sight in most cities. But not in Shenzhen, China. In 2018 PRC’s main Silicon Valle introduced world’s first ever fully electric bus fleet. The city’s buses are the world’s first 100 percent electrified bus fleet, and its largest—bigger than New York’s, Los Angeles’s, New Jersey’s, Chicago’s and Toronto’s electric bus fleets combined. Switching to electric buses thus offers a vital path towards clean air. But now the city moved forward.
In Jenuary, The Transport Commission of Shenzhen announced on its official site this week that 99 percent of the city’s more than 21,000 cabs are now powered by batteries. Shenzhen’s traffic authority claims that electric cabs are 70 percent more energy-efficient compared to those powered by fossil fuel. The entire fleet of electric cabs is estimated to cut carbon emissions by 856 thousand metric tons a year for Shenzhen.
4. World’s biggest floating solar power plant
The innovative power plant is being developed by the Chinese state-owned Three Gorges Group, and started construction in July. The $150 million project is estimated to be completed in May 2018, and will officially break the record for the largest floating solar farm in the world. Interestingly, the power plant is located in an array of panels affixed to a flotation mechanism atop a lake formed in Panji District, Huainan City, after a former coal mine collapsed and had to be filled with water.
The body of water was seen as an optimal location to implement the floating PV technology, with the Three Gorges company also considering establishing a complimentary fishing model that will stimulate the local economy and enrich the ecosystem services of the site.
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