January 21, 2014, ITP witnessed the launching ceremony of a new CAS Center of Excellence entitled CAS Center for Excellence & Innovation in Tibetan Plateau Earth System Sciences (abbreviated as CEITPES).
Academic focus of the center will be about the key processes and interactions of spheres in the earth systems of the Tibetan Plateau. The key science questions of the CEITPES include:
1) Interactions of spheres in the deeper earth system;
2) Interactions and tele-connections of spheres between deeper earth and land surface;
3) Multi-spheric interactions over the land surface on the Tibetan Plateau and their ecological and environmental impacts; and
4) Formation of mountain hazards and risk assessment to those hazards.
The CEITPES consists of the CAS members, PIs of CAS Strategic Priority Research Programs, PIs of National 973 Program projects, heads of the NSFC Creative Research Group, winners of the NSFC Distinguished Young Scholars and other well-accomplished scientists in China’s Tibetan Plateau research community. It aims to produce noteworthy breakthroughs in the Tibetan Plateau research, to lead in academic frontier science questions in the international earth system sciences, and to provide scientific and technological supports to regional ecological and environmental management and social sustainability.
The launching ceremony was chaired by Dr. XU Ruiming, director of the CAS Bureau of Reontier Sciences and Education. Prof. DING Zhongli, CAS Vice President, announced the formation of the center, and delivered a speech of congratulations, followed by a work report given by Prof. Tandong Yao, the CEITPES director.
The CEITPES will be based in ITP, and involve excellent scientists from a wide range of CAS institutions including Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, and Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research. The operation of the center will be closely monitored by strict periodic assessments that constitute assessments by both the third-party and international academic panels. It will undergo mid-term evaluations every two to three years, and a general assessment every five years.
Such a combination of advantageous research force in China is the first to the Tibetan Plateau research community. The launch of the CEITPES is believed to be conducive to forming a new research platform that has the edge in organizing key national and international research projects, and experimenting with new administrative mechanisms that is innovative, open, and competition-oriented.