China solicits applications for high-tech R&D grants

China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) has announced a tender for 19 high-technology research and development projects to be funded by the government’s Electronics and Information Industry Development Fund (IT Fund).

Established in 1986 by the State Council, China’s highest administrative body, the IT Fund was set up to foster the development of China’s IT industry and is used to finance research and development in areas that have been identified as strategically important sectors of the IT industry. The fund, which is the primary source of government grants for high-technology research and development projects, is administered by the Ministry of Finance.

Between 1986 and 2002, the IT Fund backed 1,097 projects at a cost of 2.8 billion renminbi (US$337.9 million), according to the fund’s Web site. It did not specify how much it expects to spend for the projects that are currently under tender.

This year, the government is soliciting bids from Chinese companies for 19 projects in eight sectors: software, semiconductors, image processing, digital TV, mobile communications, networking, information security, and components, according to an announcement posted on MII’s Web site.

The 19 projects up for tender include: Linux Internet server software; network game software development platforms; digital cameras and image processing applications; digital-television equipment; third-generation(3G) mobile technology, especially Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA); Linux software for mobile handsets; Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) network equipment; network intrusion detection and management systems; and high-capacity lithium-ion polymer batteries.

Last year, the fund solicited bids for 24 projects. Those projects included development of Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) middleware, Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), Linux software development platforms, Internet content publishing and management platforms, 32-bit microprocessors, flash memory chips and 3G technology.

The IT Fund began accepting bids for this year’s grants on July 12 and will close the tender on August 13, MII said.

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