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 economic approaches.
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
Technology 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
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 issues.
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.