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Our nation did not own a research institute specially devoted to the acoustic study before the year 1964. So the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) emerged as the times required. With approval signed by the Vice Premier Nie Rongzhen, the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences was formally established on Jul. 1, 1964. 

(1) Growing Stage (1956-1966) 

As early as in 1956, our state has already blueprinted acoustics study for the "Science and technology prospective planning for 12 years". A research group focusing on acoustics was made up in the CAS Institute of Electronics in 1956. Later, the group extended to three labs: underwater acoustics lab, electric acoustics lab and architectural acoustics lab under the leadership of Wang Dezhao, Ma Dayou, Ying Chongfu, respectively. In 1958, the leaders of CAS suggested choosing 100 excellent talents from the senior students as the main strength for the acoustic researches. This idea was greatly supported by Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and Secretary Deng Xiaoping. About in 1960, three research stations were established in Hainan, Shanghai, Qingdao respectively, which all mainly focused on the research of underwater acoustics. Our nation appropriated special funds to establish acoustic labs, acoustic measurement pools and five experimental ships. In 1964, based on the existing labs and stations, Vice Premier Nie approved to set up the CAS Institute of Acoustics. Wang Dezhao was appointed to be the first director; Ma Dayou the deputy director. At that time it had 600 staff members all together. With the guide of the old generation, a large quantity of vigorous and ambitious young researchers combined together and worked hard to set up many labs and developed many equipment and devices. The researchers tried best to meet the demand of scientific development and national defense. They put emphasis on the key subjects and successfully accomplished the China-Russia ocean investigation.

(2) Turbulent Years (1966-1978)

After the Cultural Revolution was broken out in 1966, the institute experienced many disasters and suffered great setbacks.

On May 17, 1967, IOA began to be led under the military control. Zhou Wenqiao was appointed to be the group leader of the military control group.

In Dec. 1967, IOA was transferred to be led by the 7th Institute of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

On Mar. 4, 1968, Commission of Science Technology for National Defense informed that the institute belonged to the 7th Institute and the 8th lab and 9th lab were administrated by the 7th Institute temporarily.

On Apr.14, 1968, IOA was designated as "721 Institute of the Chinese People's Liberation Army".

On Jul. 26, 1968, the institute was named as "Beijing 110 Corps of the Chinese People's Liberation Army".

From Jul.14, 1970, the standing committee of naval party decided to put the 721 Institute under Oceanic Administration.

On Oct. 10th, 1970, the 7th Institute and CAS both publicized the notice that the 8th lab and 9th lab was taken over by the CAS Institute of Physics.

On Jun, 28, 1975, our institute became to use the seal in the name of "the 5th Oceanic Institute". The name "721 Institute of the Chinese People's Liberation Army" and "Beijing 110 Corps of the Chinese People's Liberation Army" were expired.

In August, 1975, Comrade Wang Dezhao (the former director of IOA) wrote to vice-chairman Deng Xiaoping for the reestablishment of IOA. And vice-chairman Deng paid great attention to this matter.

With the great care of our Party and government, on Jun. 28th, 1978, CAS formally issued the documents that the 5th Oceanic Institute was began to be led by CAS and renamed IOA. Form them on, our institute stepped on a new development road.

On Oct. 24, the 8th lab and the 9th lab also returned to the institute.

"The Cultural Revolution" made the institute suffered a lot. The research encountered great frustration, the scientists suffered miserable lives and the technology development experienced badly destruction. Though the social atmosphere was rather severe, many scientists still insisted on working hard on the research forefront and striving for many programs and projects. The colleagues in the 8th lab and the 9th lab also got great success in sound wave technology, piezoelectric single crystal, digital speech decoder, jet noise and so on.

(3) Mature Stage (1979-1983)

IOA got reborn and began a new life since the third session of the 11th Committee of Central Communist Party. On Oct. 29, 1980, Comrade Wang Dezhao was appointed to be the director of the new IOA. From then on, under the leadership of Director Wang Dezhao, the institute step forward greatly. The leaders practiced the Party's policy towards intellectuals, shifted the working focus, adjusted the divisions, redefined the research directions and tasks of every branch, adopted the effective way, wrote down the bylaws, and established the academic committee and so on. All these measurements were beneficial to the research development, scientific management and talents team construction. Through examination, many middle age scientists were appointed to be the director of labs. They were full of vigor, solid academic knowledge and management capacity. Generally, large quantities of young researchers were chosen to take the associate director and Party secretary position, which made the labs more energetic and thriving. In 1979, IOA was awarded by the State Council and was praised by the CAS leaders for many times. During this period, our institute took on many significant tasks in researching shallow water sound field, channel match in shallow water and sonar active distance prediction, deep sea sound channel and convergence region. We also made great breakthrough and got obvious progress in the programs, such as universal signal processor, nonlinear interactions among surface waves, ultrasonic non-destructive testing, ultrasonic emulsification technology, environment noise control, speech vocoder, speech automatic recognition and so on. 

(4) Deepening reform stage (1984-1997)

Since 1984, IOA stepped into the deepen science and technology system reform stage. Under the leadership of Director Guan Dinghua, facing the new situation, the new leaders were determined to insist on forming our own advantage and serve the national economic and defense construction. According to the practical situation in our institute, the leaders made a series of reform measures, including: actively contact with the related departments, broadly propagandize our science and technology ability and advantages, tried our best to apply for projects and programs, set up more labs for the significant and hot projects, enlarge the researchers' decision making power, distributed some outlay for the tackle key problem, strengthened the organization and management. During the "Seventh Five-Year Plan", our institute altogether took on more than 110 national and CAS programs and outlay mounted to more than 40 billion. In the "Eighth Five-Year Plan", we took on 95 programs, which covered the "863 programs", national tackle key programs, national defense programs and so on. The outlay mounted to 30 billion. The tackle key problems included connected speech and single syllabus recognition, Chinese speech synthesis system, the transmission characteristics of underwater information, multi-functional sonar, acoustic Doppler current sonar, acoustic logging system, SAW filter module and so on. The projects affiliated to "863 programs" included: information acquisition and processing micro-array-processor (MAP), High Speed Real-time Signal Processing chip. The key programs of the natural science foundation covered: underwater inverse problem, non-linear acoustics, laser ultrasonic and so on. The CAS programs included man-machine dialogue system, laser ultrasonic imaging and so on. In this period, our institute stepped on a new stage both on the research level and the economic and social influence. The important programs were all finished on time. In 1993, the ministry of science and technology estimate the overall strength of more than 5000 research institutes. Our institute was honored to be one of the three hundred strong research institutes.            

(5) Knowledge Innovation Stage (1998-now)

In 1998, IOA took efforts in applying for the knowledge innovation project. Between 1998 and 1999, our institute made a lot of preparatory work, such as wrote down the "IOA Knowledge Innovation Plan", worked out the "The Collection of the Key Projects of IOA Knowledge Innovation Program" and filled and handed in the "The task requirements of CAS Knowledge Innovation Program". In December, 2007, our application was passed through the CAS examination and got the formal reply. Since then, our institute made its way for Knowledge Innovation Program. 

The aim of this stage can be concluded into "four ones", namely, gathering a set of excellent talents, aiming at the emergent needs, achieving a lot of significant results and promoting a hi-tech industry.

After the adjustment and reconstruction, our institute was consisted of 6 administrative departments and 7 laboratories. In the aspect of reform, we adopted the open, dynamic, fair and strict work system.

The main research areas of IOA are: acoustics and information processing technologies.