BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday it has approved a plan to build an innovation center for the research and development of new rare earths materials.
The innovation center will focus on the R&D and manufacturing of new rare earths materials and high-tech rare earths functional materials, MIIT said in a statement on its website.
MIIT did not say where the innovation center will be headquartered but said it will be operated by the Guorui Sci-tech Rare-earth Functional Materials Co., which was jointly formed by 16 entities, including the country's two rare earths giants, universities and scientific research institutes.
The company, with a registered capital of 100 million yuan (about 14.08 million U.S. dollars), was registered in the city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, one of the country's rare earths mining bases, according to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.
China is one of the world's major suppliers of rare earths, a group of 17 elements that are widely used in high-tech products ranging from flat-screen TVs to lasers and hybrid cars. The country has been striving to develop its downstream rare earths industries and boost the high-quality development of the rare earths sector.