Based on traditional advantages, the “Center” actively inculcates major national strategies, such as “a country with great transportation strength”, “Yangtze River Economic Belt”, “comprehensive three-dimensional transportation network”, and “Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle construction.” It is oriented to the needs of water transport technology innovation, digital economy, and ecological development. Also, it focuses on major national needs, such as constructing the Yangtze River ecological waterway, developing cross-basin shipping, constructing, operating, and maintaining a new generation of smart waterways. In addition, it focuses on basic research and achieving critical breakthroughs in core technologies in crucial areas, such as ecology and intelligence. As a result, it gradually forms three distinctive research directions with peculiar advantages: ecological waterways, intelligent waterways, port and hub navigation.
l Ecological waterway
The ecological waterway mainly involves studying the basic theory of water and sediment movement, such as the interaction between the coherent structure of open channel turbulent flow and sediment movement, the movement law of large-scale and complex navigation-obstructing flow pattern, and the driving mechanism of the adjustment and driving mechanism of alluvial river channel pattern. It is committed to researching the mechanism of fish domestication, identifying fish slow-flow areas, and the law and simulation of organic sediment transport in habituated areas. It also involves the following: conducting research and development on the navigation channel stability technology under the influence of strong human activities, key technologies for constructing high standard artificial new canals, technologies for integrating river and sea shipping, coordinated improvement of transportation capacity of main and tributaries of inland rivers, innovating ecological waterway construction technology, low impact development technology across ecologically sensitive areas, building a long-term monitoring and evaluation system for ecological waterways, and developing technologies to integrate ecological waterways and tourism.
l Intelligent waterway
The intelligent waterway is committed to building a long-term performance scientific observation network of inland waterways, researching and developing comprehensive three-dimensional intelligent perception technology of multi-channel waterways. It also involves researching and applying online monitoring and forecasting technology of waterway infrastructure, construction, update, and efficient service technology for the new generation multi-functional electronic navigation map, critical technologies for multi-functional intelligent navigation aid system, key technologies for waterway operation control and comprehensive information services, green intelligent waterway maintenance ships and equipment technology, building and applying an intelligent waterway system based on a big data center, creating a smart brain for the operation, and maintenance of the Yangtze River Golden Waterway.
l Port and hub navigation
The port and hub navigation is primarily committed to the research and development of port intelligent construction technology, constructing long-term performance scientific observation network of port engineering, assessing and early warning and resilience improvement technology, port green material research and development technology, port energy integration technology, port group optimization layout, and operation guarantee mechanism. Others include focusing on major engineering needs (such as the Yangtze River Golden Waterway and the new western land-sea corridor), conducting research and development of shipping hub construction layout and ecological environment impact and restoration technology, medium and low headship lock ecological fish passing technology, new technologies for hydraulic and green reinforcement of ship lock renovation and expansion, key technologies for large-scale and long-distance tunnel navigation, and intelligent management and maintenance technology for large ship lock facilities.