China pours millions into solid-state lighting program

Aug. 1, 2006
SHENZHEN, CHINA-The third annual China International Forum on Solid-State Lighting (CIFSSL) was held in Shenzhen on July 12-14.

SHENZHEN, CHINA-The third annual China International Forum on Solid-State Lighting (CIFSSL) was held in Shenzhen on July 12-14. This year the attendance grew to over 520 delegates, mostly from mainland China, with approximately 40 attendees from other regions, including the United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Although there are several other regional LED and solid-state lighting conferences held in China each year, CIFSSL has been established as the “official” international conference on this subject, and is sponsored by the highest levels of the Chinese government (including the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry for Information Industries), as well as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Governing Committee for Solid-State Lighting.

The conference was accompanied by an exhibition featuring approximately 150 companies. Most of these were Chinese companies exhibiting a variety of LED lighting, display, and component level products, as well as test and measurement instruments, optics and materials.

This year’s CIFSSL was of particular interest since China formally inaugurated its national solid-state lighting program in February 2006 as part of its 11th Five Year Plan. The conference keynote speaker was Dr. Ma Songde, Vice Minister of Science and Technology. Dr. Ma has been a key supporter of China’s SSL program, and is also Chairman of the Governing Committee for China Solid-State Lighting.

Dr. Ma noted that the growth of the high tech sector is key to China’s future development, and that LEDs are seen as and indispensable part of that sector. Only 10% of China’s GDP comes from high-tech today, and 88% of that results from foreign companies located in China or from joint ventures with Chinese companies. Therefore, one goal of the national SSL program is to stimulate domestic production through the use of public-private partnerships.

Of course, another key goal of China’s SSL program is energy savings. China is the second largest energy-consuming country after the US, and its energy consumption per dollar of GDP is much higher than Japan, Europe or the US. The country has ambitious plans to quadruple its total GDP by 2015, but to only increase energy consumption by a factor of two. Lighting is a key element of energy demand growth, especially as 14 million rural Chinese move to cities each year. The adoption of SSL will be an important element in reducing the growth of energy demand. -Robert Steele, Strategies Unlimited

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