Introduction

Beijing National Research Center for Information Science and Technology gained approval by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China on November 21, 2017. The National Research Center aims to explore future network theory, intelligence science and technology, and other key directions in the information field, which may have an impact upon the future development of humanity and stimulate the change of the structure of the world’s science and technology. The National Research Center will utilize the centralized advantages of the innovation research platform of Tsinghua University’s cross-disciplines of information science group and engineering science, in order to carry out research into the basic theories of information science and research on disruptive technologies.

In the mainstream direction of information science, the National Research Center will strive to make innovation achievements which have global leadership and significant impact. This will provide a solid foundation for the important strategic project of information science related to the overall situation of the country and its long term development. By the middle of this century, the National Research Center endeavors to be the world leader in several frontier science and technology researches in the field of information. The objective is to develop and form into an influential academic innovation center, as well as being a leading discipline center, talent cultivation center and a scientific knowledge dissemination center.

The National Research Center is attached to Tsinghua University and builds upon the foundations of the Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology, which was established in November 2003. For more than a decade, and in accordance with the founding goals and tasks, Tsinghua National Laboratory has centralized its advantage and resources, continued to refine its development goals, and defined key research directions. Some highlights include the construction of dedicated scientific research buildings to ensure the university input of independent scientific research funds, the use of double salary to recruit key researchers and the creation of special academic zones, and the high effort placed into supporting the building of a first-class research team. The numerous accomplishments of the Tsinghua National Laboratory have resulted in the first prize of the State Natural Science Award, the first prize of the State Technological Invention Award, and the first prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Award. Dozens of outstanding talents of various types have been recruited and encouraging progress has been made in several important research directions. This all lays a solid foundation for the construction and development of the National Research Center.

The National Research Center will continue to be attached to Tsinghua’s information science group supported by six first-level disciplines: Electronic Science and Technology, Information and Communication Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, Control Science and Engineering, Software Engineering, and Cyberspace Security. The construction will focus on the following six major research directions through cross-convergence with mathematics, physics, chemistry, geomatics, and aeronautics and astronautics, to carry out forward-looking, strategic, cutting-edge fundamental research:

(1) Future Network Theory and Application
(2) Intelligence Science and Technology
(3) Advanced Electronic and Photoelectronic Science and Technology
(4) Trustworthy Software and Big Data 
(5) Aerospace Information Fundamental
(6) Bioinformatics

The National Research Center implements the director responsibility system. This comprises of a construction and operation management committee, an academic committee, a strategic planning office and a general affairs office. The Center implements an academic management system in line with international standards, a personnel management system with competition and mobility as a core principle, a scientific and reasonable distribution and incentive mechanism, and a post appointment system and tenure contract system. In order to effectively organize the six research directions of innovative research, six corresponding research departments have been established with each supporting several research teams. The research teams implement an autonomous, dynamic adjustment and management mechanism, with regards to personnel and resources, to enable cross-disciplinary innovation research.

To support the construction of a science laboratory platform that is open to society, the National Research Center has set up a platform management department and plans to build a series of significant basic research experiment platforms. This integrates five scientific research platforms: the experiment platform of micro-nano scientific technology; the platform of electromagnetic sensing engineering science; the innovation platform of fusion and cross between information acquisition and big data; the platform of future internet test engineering science; and the platform of high performance computing. This will provide an open and shared experimental environment for outstanding scientists. The National Research Center will also establish an international innovation environment and implement the appointment system for visiting fellows and the open project system, to facilitate academic communication and personnel exchanges at home and abroad.

The National Research Center is located on the campus of Tsinghua University. The main institutions are concentrated in the Information Science and Technology building, with an excellent academic research environment and advanced research facilities. This building covers almost two hectares, with a total construction area of 36,000 square meters.