Considerable strength has been maintained in the sectors of science and technology. In 2018, the province is home to 5 national major scientific research facilities. There are 26 national key (engineering) laboratories, 152 key provincial laboratories (including key laboratories) and 10 laboratories at the provincial level. The engineering and technology research centers at the provincial level numbered 753, of which, 44 are of national significance. There are 19 new and high technological industrial development zones with provincial significance. Of which, 6 are ones with national recognition. The province has a total amount of 5,403 high-tech enterprises, with 1432 were newly verified in 2018.
The province acquired 8,213 scientific and technological achievements last year. Altogether, 207,428 patent applications were processed and 79,747 patents were authorized throughout the year, with an increase of 17.9 percent and 37.0 percent respectively. At the end of the year, the province held 61,475 valid patents of invention, with an increase of 28.8 percent. In total, the export value of technological contracts of all types totaled 32.313 billion yuan, registering an increase of 28.7 percent over the previous year. The import value of technological contracts of all types reached35.449 billion yuan, increased by 31.0 percent over the previous year.
The province has accelerated the development of its education sector. At the end of 2018, there were 63,464 postgraduate students studying in the graduate schools of the province's 21 universities. There were 110 universities and colleges, with the total number of registered full-time university and junior college students reaching 1.139 million. The immediate college and university enrollment rate was 52.2 percent in 2018. There were 753,000 students enrolled in 344 secondary vocational education institutions of various types (excluding technical schools). The student populations studying in the 661 senior high schools, 2,833 junior high schools and 7,908 primary schools were respectively 1.075 million, 2.092 million and 4.568 million last year. The enrollment rate for students of junior high schools entering senior high schools was 91.7 per cent. The enrollment rate for children entering junior high schools was as high as 99.56 per cent. The enrollment rate for children of school age was 99.98 per cent. The full implementation of free compulsory education benefited almost every child.
Impressive achievements of scientific and technological innovation have been obtained.
For the first time in the world, physicists at the University of Science and Technology have experimentally demonstrated 18-qubit entanglement, which is the largest entangled state achieved so far with individual control of each qubit. Since quantum information can be encoded in these states, the results have potential applications anywhere quantum information processing is used.
The first quantum computer control system with completely independent intellectual property rights in China was developed in Hefei, taking the lead in the innovative utilization and research and development of semi-conductive and superconducting quantum bits.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (East) in Hefei has for the first time achieved a plasma central electron temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius, marking a key step in the future fusion reactor experiment.
The industry's highest performance digital signal processor, Soul Core 2A, has been successfully developed, with software-defined functions moving from an ideal realm to a real space.
The world's only speech synthesis system that enables machines to reach human speech level has been implemented in iFlytek. It is the only system with naturalness index exceeding 4.0 points so far.
For the first time in the world, the whole genome information of Chinese tea plants has been unveiled. The whole genome information of the most widely distributed Chinese tea plants in the world has been cracked for the first time.
The world's thinnest 0.12mm electronic touch glass has been successfully rolled off the production line, setting a new production record for China's ultra-thin electronic glass and filling the domestic gap.
The launch of the comprehensive research facility for the key systems of the fusion reactor main engine marks a new major achievement in the construction of Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center.