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Science-led economies

Vol. 537 No. 7618_supp ppS1-S48
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  • There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for building a strong, research-based economy. Many countries are trying to find a balance between public and private investment in research and development. And developing countries often pursue research with more immediate commercial or social promise instead of basic science.

    This Nature Outlook explores the elements that make up a strong science-led economy, the role research-funding policy has, and how the diverse needs of research economies around the globe may be met. It specifically looks at the science funding and policy scenes in Germany, China, Singapore, the Middle East, Rwanda, Russia, Australia and the US state of Massachusetts. Each location has lessons for policymakers as they embark on creating science-led economies.

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    Cover art: David Parkins



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    This Outlook was produced in partnership with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). NSFC retain sole responsibility for the following messages.

    The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) was established on 14 February, 1986. It is an institution directly under the jurisdiction of the State Council, tasked with the administration of the National Natural Science Fund from the Central Government. Since its establishment, the NSFC has comprehensively introduced and implemented a rigorous and objective merit-review system to fulfill its mission of supporting basic research. Throughout the past 30 years, the National Natural Science Fund has become the main source supporting China’s basic research. Based on a diversified funding system, the National Natural Science Fund has attracted and supported basic research talents across the world, and has funded numerous scientific ideas. Research instruments and facilities. The NSFC is open to international partnerships and has signed cooperation agreements, or MoUs, with 85 foreign counterparts or science funding agencies from 40 countries and regions.

    Looking ahead, the 13th Five-Year Development Plan for the National Natural Science Fund will serve as an operational guideline for the development of the National Natural Science Fund of China. The NSFC will focus on forward-looking deployment, scientific breakthroughs and precise management. The NSFC will also develop fundamental science, scientific frontiers, talents, research teams and interdisciplinary research to make effective use of the funds, and in this way will consistently promote excellent basic research.

    Read NSFC's feature.