Program 973

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973 Program (Chinese: 973计划) or also known as National Basic Research Program is a basic research program initiated by the People's Republic of China to achieve technology and strategic edge in various scientific fields and especially the development of the rare earth minerals industry.[1][2]


The program was initiated in 1997 by the Chinese government to develop basic research, innovations and technologies aligned with national priorities in economic development and social development.[1] The program was managed by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.[3] Natural Science Foundation of China is also involved in coordinating the research with the program.[4]

Over the years the program has dedicated funding to areas such as agriculture, health, information, energy, environment, resources, population and materials.[1][4]

Project funding[edit]

The central government has in the past funded projects for a term of no more than five years.[5] Recently, the funding model has changed to 2 + 3 years. Two years after the project has been implemented, it will be assessed by a special panel and allocate funding accordingly.[5]

See also[edit]