Patterns of Technology Transfer in Chinese Hotspots of Innovative Development — The Perspective of the Recipient Firms

DOI: 10.4236/chnstd.2014.33012   PDF   HTML   XML   2,492 Downloads   3,108 Views   Citations


In China, as in other countries, pre-competitive research constitutes the basis of techno-economic development beyond imitation and adaptation. While acknowledging the nation’s concerted efforts to improve the situation, most empirical accounts of science-industry linkages in China remain sceptical about local universities’ ability to meaningfully transfer knowledge and technologies. Against this background, we change perspective and analyse the perceptions of selected technology-oriented firms in Beijing. Interestingly, we find that there is a notable core of technology firms with fairly close linkages to universities and research institutions.

Share and Cite:

Kroll, H. and Schnabl, E. (2014) Patterns of Technology Transfer in Chinese Hotspots of Innovative Development — The Perspective of the Recipient Firms. Chinese Studies, 3, 83-95. doi: 10.4236/chnstd.2014.33012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Altenburg, T., Schmitz, H., & Stamm, A. (2008). Breakthrough? China’s and India’s Transition from Production to Innovation. World Development, 36, 325-344.
[2] Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2010). Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century. Metro Manila: Asian Development Bank (ADB).
[3] Bozeman, B. (2000). Technology Transfer and Public Policy: A Review of Research and Theory. Research Policy, 29, 627- 655.
[4] Bozeman, B., Fay, D., & Slade, C. P. (2013). Research Collaboration in Universities and Academic Entrepreneurship: The-State-of-the-Art. Journal of Technology Transfer, 38, 1-67.
[5] Brehm, S., & Lundin, N. (2012). University-Industry Linkages and Absorptive Capacity: An Empirical Analysis of China’s Manufacturing Industry. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 21, 837-852.
[6] Cao, C. (2004). Zhongguancun and China’s High-Tech Parks in Transition: “Growing Pains” or “Premature Senility”? Asian Survey, 44, 647-668.
[7] Cao, C., Suttmeier, R. P., & Simon, D. F. (2006). China’s 15-Year Science and Technology Plan. Physics Today, 54, 38.
[8] Chen, K., & Kenney, M. (2007). Universities/Research Institutes and Regional Innovation Systems: The Cases of Beijing and Shenzhen. World Development, 35, 1056-1074.
[9] Chen, Y.-C. (2007). The Upgrading of Multinational Regional Innovation Networks in China. Asia Pacific Business Review, 13, 373-403.
[10] Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128-152.
[11] D’Este, P., & Patel, P. (2007). University-Industry Linkages in the UK: What Are the Factors Underlying the Variety of Interactions with Industry? Research Policy, 36, 1295-1313.
[12] Dosi, G. (1988). The Nature of the Innovation Process. In G. Dosi, C. Freeman, R. Nelson, G. Silverberg, & L. Soete (Eds.), Technical Change and Economic Theory (pp. 221-238). London: Pinter.
[13] Eun, J.-H., & Lee, K. (2010). An Empirical Inquiry into “Academy-Run Enterprises” in China: Unique Characteristics and Evolutionary Changes. International Journal of Innovation Management, 14, 123-150.
[14] Eun, J.-H., Lee, K., & Wu, G. (2006). Explaining the “University-Run Enterprises” in China: A Theoretical Framework for University-Industry Relationship in Developing Countries and Its Application to China. Research Policy, 35, 1329-1346.
[15] Frietsch, R., & Schüller, M. (2010). Competing for Global Innovation Leadership: Innovation Systems and Policies in the USA, Europe and Asia. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag.
[16] Frietsch, R., Hinze, S., & Tang, L. (2008). Bibliometric Data Study: Assessing the Current Ranking of the People’s Republic of China in a Set of Research Fields. Discussion Papers Innovation System and Policy Analysis No. 15. Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer ISI.
[17] Fu, W., Schiller, D., & Revilla Diez, J. (2012). Strategies of Using Social Proximity and Organizational Proximity in Product Innovation: Empirical Insight from the Pearl River Delta, China. Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, 56, 80-96.
[18] Gu, S. (1999). Implications of National Innovation Systems for Developing Countries: Managing Change and Complexity in Economic Development. UNU/INTECH Discussion Paper 9903. Maastricht: UNU/INTECH.
[19] Guan, J. C., Yam, R. C. M., & Mok, C. K. (2005). Collaboration between Industry and Research Institutes/Universities on Industrial Innovation in Beijing, China. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 17, 339-353.
[20] Intarakumnerd, P., Chairatana, P., & Tangchitpiboon, T. (2002). National Innovation System in Less Successful Developing Countries: The Case of Thailand. Research Policy, 31, 1445-1457.
[21] Jin, F., Lee, K., & Kim, Y.-K. (2008). Changing Engines of Growth in China: From Exports, FDI and Marketization to Innovation and Exports. China and World Economy, 16, 31-49.
[22] Kodama, F., & Branscomb, L. M. (1999). University Research as an Engine for Growth: How Realistic Is the Vision? In L. M. Branscomb, F. Kodama, & R. Florida (Eds.), Industrializing Knowledge: University-Industry Linkages in Japan and the United States (pp. 3-19). London: MIT Press.
[23] Kondo, M. (2003). The Chinese Model to Create High-Tech Start-Ups from Universities and Research Institutes. In M. von Zedtwitz, G. Haour, T. M. Khalil, & L. A. Lefebvre (Eds.), Management of Technology: Growth through Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship—The Tenth International Conference on Management of Technology. Oxford: Pergamon.
[24] Kroll, H. (2010). Indicator-Based Reporting on the Chinese Innovation System 2010—The Regional Dimension of Science and Innovation in China. Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer ISI.
[25] Kroll, H. (2011). Exploring the Validity of Patent Applications as an Indicator of Chinese Competitiveness and Market Structure. World Patent Information, 33, 23-33.
[26] Kroll, H., & Liefner, I. (2008). Spin-Off Enterprises as a Means of Technology Commercialisation in a Transforming Economy—Evidence from Three Universities in China. Technovation, 28, 298-313.
[27] Kroll, H., & Schiller, D. (2010). Establishing an Interface between Public Sector Applied Research and the Chinese Enterprise Sector: Preparing for 2020. Technovation, 30, 117-129.
[28] Kroll, H., & Schiller, D. (2012). Upgrading Strategies of Electronics Firms within the Regional Innovation System of the Pearl River Delta, Illustrated by the Example of Two Hong Kong Firms. In C. Petti (Ed.), Technological Entrepreneurship in China (pp. 41-65). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
[29] Lee, K. (2005). Making a Technological Catch-Up: Barriers and Opportunities. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, 13, 97-131.
[30] Lee, K., Jee, M., & Eun, J.-H. (2011). Assessing China’s Economic Catch-Up at the Firm Level and Beyond: Washington Consensus, East Asian Consensus and the Beijing Model. Industry and Innovation, 18, 487-507.
[31] Liefner, I., & Schiller, D. (2008). Academic Capabilities in Developing Countries—A Conceptual Framework with Empirical Illustration from Thailand. Research Policy, 37, 276-293.
[32] Liu, F., & Zheng, G. (2011). Open Innovation in Chinese High-Tech Enterprises: An Empirical Research Based on Zhejiang Province. IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Singapore City, 6-9 December 2011, 1643-1647.
[33] Motohashi, K. (2008). Assessment of Technological Capability in Science Industry Linkage in China by Patent Database. World Patent Information, 30, 225-232.
[34] Motohashi, K., & Yun, X. (2007). China’s Innovation System Reform and Growing Industry and Science Linkages. Research Policy, 36, 1251-1260.
[35] OECD (Ed.) (2008). Reviews of Innovation Policy: China. Paris: OECD Publications.
[36] Quan, X. (2010). Knowledge Diffusion from MNC R & D Labs in Developing Countries: Evidence from Interaction between MNC R & D Labs and Local Universities in Beijing. International Journal of Technology Management, 51, 364- 386.
[37] Schiller, D. (2011). The Role of Foreign and Domestic Firms in Regional Innovation Systems of Latecomer Countries: Empirical Evidence from the Electronics Industry in the Pearl River Delta. Erdkunde, 65, 23-40.
[38] Schiller, D., & Kroll, H. (2013). The Global Economic Crisis as Leverage for Emerging Regional Growth Paths? Differentiated Evidence from China—Three Years Onwards. In S. Eriksson (Ed.), Clusters and Economic Growth in Asia (pp. 85-118). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
[39] Schmoch, U. (2000). Konzepte des Technologietransfers. In U. Schmoch, G. Licht, & M. Reinhard (Eds.), Wissens-und Technologietransfer in Deutschland (pp. 3-13). Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag.
[40] Segal, A. (2003). Digital Dragon. High-Technology Enterprises in China. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press.
[41] Tagscherer, U., Kroll, H., & Luo, X. (2012). Regional Innovation Systems in China—An Analysis of Industry-Science Linkages in Bohai Bay Area. In C. Petti (Ed.), Technological Entrepreneurship in China (pp. 16-40). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
[42] Uyarra, E. (2010). Conceptualizing the Regional Roles of Universities, Implications and Contradictions. European Planning Studies, 18, 1227-1246.
[43] Wang, Y., & Zhou, Z. (2013). The Dual Role of Local Sites in Assisting Firms with Developing Technological Capabilities: Evidence from China. International Business Review, 22, 63-76.
[44] Wu, W. (2010a). Higher Education Innovation in China. Washington DC: The World Bank, East Asia and Pacific Region Human Development Department. EducationInnovation.pdf
[45] Wu, W. (2010b). Managing and Incentivizing Research Commercialization in Chinese Universities. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 35, 203-224.
[46] Wu, W., & Zhou, Y. (2012). The Third Mission Stalled? Universities in China’s Technological Progress. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 37, 812-827.
[47] Yang, R., & Welch, A. (2012). A World-Class University in China? The Case of Tsinghua. Higher Education, 63, 645-666.
[48] Zhao, J., & Richards, J. (2012). Beijing Innovation System: The Perspective of Organisational Structure and Spatial Distribution. International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 9, 413-428.
[49] Zhu, Z., & Chen, J. (2006). Open Innovation and Technological Learning in China. 2006 IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, Salvador, 17-20 September 2006, 483-487.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.