A Sketch of Wuhan National Laboratory of Optoelectronics

March 28, 2018

Recently, approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO) was upgraded to be the state research center for optoelectronics in China.

Since the establishment in 2003, WNLO presently owns 104 national laboratories covering research fields like Biomedical Photonics, Optoelectronic Devices and Integration, Information Storage and Optical Display, Photonics for Energy, Laser and Tera-Hertz Technology, and Optoelectronic Detection and Radiation. In the past few years, WNLO has created a number of edge-cutting achievements and made itself an important part of the National Science and Technology Innovation System.

We will offer you a sketch of the research of the national lab.

Intellectual Vitality in Technology Innovation

By using a high-tech device named MOST, the neural structure and vessels in a mouse brain is clearly visible. In 2010, the research team led by Prof. Luo Qingming, the vice president of HUST and the executive deputy director of WNLO, announced that they obtained the world’s first 3D structural dataset of a Golgi-stained whole mouse brain at the neurite level, and the research result was published in Science. The team continued to make breakthroughs in the following seven years and produced a series of outcomes which were published in world’s top journals, such as Science, Nature Methods, Nature Communications and PNAS, receiving high attention from the circle of brain science at home and abroad.

At WNLO, there are many such cutting-edge technologies. Prof. Han Hongwei’s group developed a new type of printable solar cells, with the research result published in Science. Prof. Xu Tonghui’s group provided new clues about the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, with the research result published in Nature Neuroscience. Associate Prof. Hu Bin and Prof. Zhou Yinhua successfully developed a flexible film which is expected to solve the energy-supply issue of wearable devices, with the research result published in Nano Energy.  

In the past ten years, WNLO has developed itself into an innovation and exchanges center with international influence in the field of optoelectronics. Up to now, 3123 projects including 973 Program and other national research projiects have been conducted, among which 73 are at the ten-million-yuan level. From 2004 to the present, over 5,900 scholarly papers have been published in journals indexed by SCI, including 4 in Science and 20 in Nature Research. Since 2011, the total number of yearly SCI papers has ranked. The total number of the SCI papers published from 2008 to 2016 as well as the total number of the citations are also among the top. In addition, WNLO owns 1438 issued patents for innovations, including 26 international ones. WNLO has also distinguished itself by winning 172 awards of various kinds, including 18 national awards (three National Awards for Natural Sciences [second class], seven National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology [one grand prize, one first class and five second class], seven National Prize for Technical Invention [second class], and one National Prize for International Science and Technology Cooperation) and 37 provincial awards of first class. Three achievements of WNLO were invited to be on display in the National “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” Exhibition of Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation.

Gathering Place for Brilliant Minds

Luo Yilin, one of the thirty students who were selected as the first batch of IDS’ training students, is under the 1 versus 1 tutoring provided by her school since her sophomore year. Under the guidance of Prof. Yuan Jing, she entered the Low-temperature MOST project team to conduct scientific research. Luo Yilin said, “The careful guidance of the tutors and the outstanding research environment prompted me to grow rapidly and make current achievements.”

From September 16th to 18th, the 3rd China College Students’ “Internet Plus” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition was held. Four teams from HUST won the outstanding achievements of three gold awards and one silver award and HUST won the Advanced Organization Award, with the number of gold awards topping the list for the second time. Two of the three gold awards were credited to WNLO. The team Huicui once again achieved a good grade after winning a gold award in 2016 “Internet Plus” Competition.

The elite training is inseparable from high-level teaching staff. By introducing high-level teachers to cultivate top-notch talents, WNLO enjoys a distinct advantage of talent cluster. Under the banner of “Openness, Mobility, Cooperation and Competition”, WNLO actively explores and forms an innovative management model in which “fixed personnel”, “mobile workers” and “overseas intellectual members” cooperate with each other. WNLO attaches great importance to talent training as well as talent introduction, gathering a group of brilliant minds.  

WNLO employs 8 academicians of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAF), 1 overseas academician, 11 chief scientists of the 973 Program, 13 experts recruited in the One-thousand Talents Program by the Department of Organization of the Communist Party of China, 8 leading talents listed in the “Ten Thousand Talents Project”, 2 winners of the Science and Technology Award for Chinese Youth, 24 Cheung Kong Scholars appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE), 21 winners of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 21 recruited in the CAS “Hundred Talents Program”, 2 listed in the 511 Talents Program of Defence Technology, 25 recruited in the Youth One-thousand Talents Program, 6 listed in the Top-notch Young Talents Program, and 12 winners of the Outstanding Youth Science Fund. One member of WNLO won HHMI’s International Early Career Award and twelve were listed in the fellow of international associations such as OSA. In addition, WNLO owns two innovative teams funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, one listed in the “Ten Thousand Talents Project”, and three supported by the MoE.

Fruitful Outcomes in Technology Transfers

In November 2011, the AI project proposed by Coherent AI (Wuhan) Co., Ltd. stood out from 1598 domestic and overseas high-tech entrepreneurial programs and won the 1,000,000-yuan prize at the finals of the Optics Valley of China 3551 International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. Wuhan Silicon Intergrated Co., Ltd. was the runner-up and won the 200,000-yuan prize. Coherent AI and Silicon are both the companies invested and incubated by Wuhan Industrial Institute for Optoelectronics (WIIO). The competition which puts the two start-ups in the spotlight also makes WIIO, an innovation platform that integrated with functions of research and development, technology service, and technology transfers, walk onto the stage.

WIIO is only a microcosm of the companies incubated from WNLO. In recent years,WNLO has led the industrial development trends and provided multi-faceted supports and services to the “Wuhan•Optics Valley of China” in the fields of technology innovations and transfers.

Since 2012, a number of organizations focusing on technology transfer have been established on the basis of WNLO, such as WIIO, HUST-Ezhou Industrial Institute, and HUST-Suzhou Institute of Brainmatics.

WNLO has successfully transferred numerous results and technologies. The patent of MOST technology transferred at the price of 10,000,000 yuan, ranking top 1 among the domestic universities. Since 2013, WNLO has successfully transferred 118 patents and intellectual property, with a net value exceeding 120 million yuan, and has incubated over 100 companies and enterprises, with a total valuation surpassing 600 million yuan.

Furthermore, WNLO has provided a large number of testing and technical services to thousands of optoelectronic companies in the “Wuhan•Optics Valley of China”, with an average annual number of testing services surpassing 4,000. WNLO has also jointly set up some technology research and development centers with dozens of world-renowned companies at home and abroad, including Citroen, Huawei, Inspur, BAT, CSOT, Shanghai Electric, XMC, FiberHome, and Accelink, to tackle major technical problems.

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