China's national key laboratories will be more than tripled to around 700 by 2020 as a major part of its national innovation system, according to the latest guidelines posted online by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The guidelines, jointly issued by MOST and Ministry of Finance, sets the target to strengthen the systematic development of the country's national key laboratories.
China has built 220 national key laboratories since 1984, which serve as key bases for the country's advanced basic research as well as frontier scientific research.
The country will see a steady rise of the amount of these key laboratories by establishing new ones as well as optimizing and adjusting the existing ones, mostly in universities, research institutions and enterprises.
China will further motivate these laboratories to focus on major basic research as well as sci-tech frontiers, according to the guidelines.
Major efforts will be made in research fields such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, geoscience, biology and medical science.
Cutting-edge fields such as the stem cells, synthetic biology, and brain science are also on the list to receive priority support.
China will focus on optimizing the layout of these laboratories and strengthening their cohesion with the country's key tasks.
World-class leading key laboratories will receive increased and steady support from the government, while those lagging behind or without any major innovative outcomes for many years will face readjustment, according to the guidelines.
By 2025, China will have completed its national key laboratory system, remarkably boosting its scientific research level and international influence, said the guidelines.
The Chinese government announced in March to set up a special fund for national key laboratories to get access to "stable financial support."