China’s economy is growing quickly. It will be
innovation-led. Europe can relate to China through R&D programmes, which
offer an alternative vehicle of engagement to the traditional political and
This book promotes an awareness of the dynamics of
innovation in China. It looks at Europe’s cosy, cloistered microcosms of
science and technology, and contends that the ‘rules for survival’ in R&D
and education are changing. We write that S&T in China is gaining quickly
on the West in terms of base R&D parameters such as expenditure, scientists
trained, papers published and patents awarded, and that European R&D is in
the process of stalling.
China is in the process of rapidly developing a
technology based economy; an economy which will be led by innovation and
driven by R&D, and which will take Chinese technology from ‘copy mode to
create mode’ within a decade.
All the base elements of China’s Science and
infrastructure are already in place and functioning, including a powerful
and comprehensive national plan, organised
administrative structures, effective funding mechanisms, internationally
trained scientists, and state-of-the art R&D projects and programmes.
Using energy-flow concepts from
von Bertalanffy (1968) and Chomsky (1965) we trace a narrow sinusoidal-type
pathway across the face of the earth, which picks up the epicentres of most
of the great historical empires of Western Civilisation, and about 90% of
the headquarters or nerves centres of current Fortune 500 companies, where
most big business finance and S&T decisions are taken. The pathway also
collaterally picks up many of the worlds main R&D clusters and centres in
the Triad (Europe, America, Japan) and in
China and India.
Harmony is a key theme of the book; harmony with
nature and harmony among people and between nations. The book suggests
options for R&D connectivity
with China through longitudinal research
projects and ‘carrousel-exchanges’ in environment and health related fields.
The FP7 has scope for new funding instruments and practices relating to
EU-China joint ventures.
The book offers no simple and sovereign solutions to
the myriad of complexities or the involuted socio-economic issues facing the
future of science, technology and innovation, but it does profess that there
can be conceptually simple, elegant approaches to what appear to be complex
Innovation in China will appeal to a wide range of
people interested in global issues, in Asian history, in China today and the
process of innovation. The book is written to be provocative; to challenge
traditional thinking of how Europe S&T fares and how Europe might best
relate to China. It implores engagement, debate and dialogue.