Public-Private Collaboration in China’s Innovative Rise: Effects and Mechanisms

Globally, states are seeking to improve their economies’ innovation capacities in order to close technology gaps with competitors. This is all the more relevant for emerging countries such as China in their attempt to avoid the “middle-income trap”. Indeed, China has recently experienced a significant rise in innovation capacities.

In order to better understand the sources of this rise, the project focuses on the role of a new policy tool: public-private collaboration between state actors and firms. Firstly, the participating scientists (Prof. Dr. Cornelia Storz from Goethe University Frankfurt and Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink from Jacobs University Bremen) evaluate the effects of formal and informal public-private collaboration on innovation output. Secondly, they unpack the main mechanisms that drive public-private networking. Their research is grounded in theoretical insights into the potentially beneficial effects of collaboration from the literature on industrial policy and innovation systems.

The researchers employ a mixed-method design to evaluate the effects and mechanisms of public-private collaboration. A close cooperation with the UNESCO Chair in Science and Technology Policies at Sun Yat-sen University Guangzhou allows extraordinary access to the research field. The researchers’ findings will contribute to a better understanding of how new policy tools may foster innovation, and hereby add to theory development in public policy studies. Moreover, the project will enrich innovation studies on emerging countries and latecomer catch-up strategies.The research project “Public-Private Collaboration in China’s Innovative Rise: Effects and Mechanisms” is jointly organized by the Chair of Chinese Society and Business at Jacobs University Bremen (Prof. Tobias ten Brink) and the Chair of Institutional and Innovation Economics, especially Japan/East Asia at Goethe University Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. Cornelia Storz). The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG (STO 860/8-1 and STO 860/8-2).