ایجاد یک رابط بین تحقیقات کاربردی بخش دولتی پژوهش و بخش شرکت چینی : آماده سازی برای سال 2020
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8755||2010||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 30, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 117–129
China’s technological capabilities are emerging rapidly. Some argue that the country will become a challenger to established technological leaders in the near future. Currently, however, there is contradictory evidence regarding China’s potential for technological upgrading on a broader scale. By bringing together data on the public research system with evidence from the electronics industry in Guangdong province, this paper will show that many domestic firms continue to depend on foreign technology transfer whereas they have limited access to interest in domestic technologies. It is hence the purpose of this paper to illustrate the current mismatch between solutions supplied by the public sector and the true needs of Chinese firms. Its core argument is that technological development in China is not only suffering from a general lack of innovative capacity, as expectable at this stage of development, but also from an overt dependency on foreign technologies, that, if unaddressed, may impair its future potential for upgrading. We conclude that an increased provision of relevant solutions by domestic applied research institutes is possible in the mid-term but will depend on an improved management as well as on a new funding system that promotes the creation of customer relations with industrial firms.
According to many recent accounts, China is starting to enter the world stage of research and technological development. It has become difficult to survey academic literature on East Asia without encountering case studies concerning either upgrading and learning in China's domestic industries, or R&D investment by foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) (e.g. Li and Yue, 2005). For the time being, however, these activities remain but an iceberg floating in a sea of less innovative activities, which are driving the nation's impressive overall economic growth. Official statistics reveal that, as of today, a large part of R&D expenditure in Chinese industry is spent on the import of foreign technologies (NBS, 2009). While this situation can be interpreted as natural at China's current stage of development, the country has set ambitious goals for long-term technological upgrading that can hardly be reached based on foreign-technology transfer, i.e. the adaptation of the global status quo, alone. If China is to live up to its ambitions to become a major technological player on the global stage by 2020, one of the challenges of the coming decades will thus be to develop an ability to complement foreign technologies with original domestic elements. To enable the desired process of upgrading in the industrial sector to take place, a public applied research sector is needed that can provide a truly relevant offer for the industrial sector. Currently, the Chinese leadership has reacted to this challenge by embarking on an ambitious project, the 15-year Medium- to Long-term Plan for Science & Technology with the proclaimed aim to reduce reliance on foreign technology to a mere 30% by 2020 (Cao et al., 2006; OECD, 2007; Whalley and Zhou, 2007). Simultaneously, however, this long-term plan envisages strengthening China's capacities in basic research, which are considered insufficiently developed as they receive a mere 5% share of national expenditure on R&D. In this paper we aim to highlight that we regard such a double strategy as highly ambitious, particularly as it suggests in some of its wording that a substitution of foreign by domestic technology should be aimed for. As we will demonstrate, this ambition is problematic in itself and secondly inconsistent with a shift towards a stronger emphasis on basic research. We will point out that what is needed instead is an expansion of the domestic research capacities in the applied field. A key problem is that, at the current stage, dependence on international sourcing makes perfect economic sense for many multinational enterprises that are embedded in corporate networks, as well as for the increasingly internationalising Chinese firms. We will therefore illustrate that from the firm side a substitution of technology imports by domestic technology does, in many cases, not appear to be desirable—or at least is factually not aimed at. Moreover, as a result of its transitional legacy, the Chinese innovation system is characterised by fragmentation and an organisational mismatch between its main domestic players. Secondly, we will therefore show that the current public research sector is structurally ill prepared to provide the output that would be needed to satisfy the demands of the industrial firms. Firstly, Chinese universities are continuously moving towards an extended role that includes providing applied R&D. Nonetheless, their key task is to fulfil a major role with regard to the improvement of the human capital base that will limit their possible contribution to the system of domestic technology transfer. Secondly, however, there are a number of public research institutes whose formal role has always been to develop technologies for industry, which in practice they were often unable to. During transition, therefore, the system was substantially downsized, so that those institutes that still exist today can be considered able to survive and—comparatively—open to change. These institutes are currently re-adjusting their strategies and are the key addressees of the policy conclusions in this paper. This paper will therefore illustrate that there are a number of reasons why, other than in technologically leading nations, Chinese enterprises do not source technological solutions from domestic institutes to a relevant extent. Additionally, however, it will point out that we see potential in these institutes if structural changes are realised that encourage them to establish cooperations with industry. In the following, we will thus try to take a mediating position between overly optimistic attempts to establish an endogenous innovation system based on domestic technologies for which we currently see no basis and a rather passive approach that leaves technological upgrading to international technology transfer forever. Taking into account the current framework conditions, the following conceptual section will argue that a domestic nexus of R&D cooperation and knowledge exchange as known from other countries (cf. e.g. Abramo et al., 2009; Hoye and Pries, 2009; Fukugawa, forthcoming) does not evolve automatically and that R&D cooperation can only develop based on the mutual relevance of activities in the public research and the industrial sector. Likewise, it will have to be supported by targeted policy action (Rasmussen, 2008; Shapira and Wang, 2009). As shown for the case of Thailand, this is especially relevant for nascent innovation systems (Schiller, 2006).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
So far, Chinese policy-makers do not seem to have fully realised the practical implications of the interactive (Kline and Rosenberg, 1986) and often market-driven nature of innovation (e.g. OECD, 2007; Schwaag-Serger and Breidne, 2007). While there is an increasing rhetoric of systemic approaches, it remains less clear what the implications of such an approach would be in practice. This paper has argued that, if one is to take the innovation system approach seriously, its practical implications have to differ between technologically leading nations and catching-up countries such as China. The main argument we presented for this is that systemic linkages cannot be established between a public research sector and an industrial demand for technological solutions that are too far apart. Nonetheless, we have argued that steps can be taken to close this gap—and thus to enable the establishment of links in the future. As a consequence, we believe that instead of focusing on the set-up of technology transfer intermediaries and the buildup of capacities in the public research sector, policy actions have to be taken to adapt the structural framework. In detail, we recommend action in the following fields: • The overall coordination of the public research system must be improved. As long as capacities remain fragmented, independently organised, and characterised by overlapping responsibilities, it is difficult to take any co-ordinated policy action at all. Evidently, this issue is difficult to address and far from resolved in most countries. Nonetheless, it appears advisable to establish an umbrella organisation for public research institutes and to clarify which public research institutes focus on basic and which on applied research. Likewise, a clarification of the division of tasks between universities and applied public research institutes is needed. While the former have a number of different tasks to fulfil, limiting their ability to contribute to technology transfer, the latter are by their very mission focused on exactly this task. • The incentive system in the public applied research institutes (not necessarily the universities) has to be changed. In the future, they should be financed through industrial revenue to a higher degree than through fixed state support. This would not only force researchers to adapt their output to the existing needs, it would also enable them to gain substantial premiums from doing so, thus raising their motivation. However, the continued allocation of a certain share of public funding will be crucial to ensure the pre-competitive nature of research and to avoid a drift towards mere engineering consultancy. Germany's “Fraunhofer model” with its 30% fixed public to 70% contract research funding could serve as a template to be adapted to the requirements of the Chinese situation. Indeed, this possibility is currently being discussed at some Chinese public research institutes. • To close the gap from the other end, enterprise support policies should be put on a broader basis. All enterprises should be eligible to apply for support for cooperations with the domestic public research sector. This would help to encourage those cooperations for which in principle a technological basis exists—even though certain obstacles may still persist and both sides may hesitate due to a lack of experience. In summary, we would argue that the Chinese government should aim to put the systemic interaction between the different parts of the national innovation system on a broader basis. However, we have pointed out that other than in the current “islands of innovation” such interaction cannot be “made” on a broad scale, but will only be achieved if the respective parts of the innovation system become more relevant for each other through structural changes. While in theory it would be desirable that the existing gap could be closed from both sides, we believe that the first steps have to be taken from the public side. While certain sections of the enterprise sector will gain importance and continue to upgrade their technological capabilities (cf. Fig. 2), for some time to come, they will not develop intrinsic motivation to rely on domestic sources for further technological upgrading.From the public sector perspective, in contrast, such a motivation exists. As pointed out above, China commands substantial resources in public applied research while the allocation thereof remains far from optimal. As long as the output of the public applied research sector remains without any real relevance for the enterprise sector, these resources are essentially wasted. We would argue that leveraging them by increasing the reach of the domestic applied research sector (cf. Fig. 2), may indeed provide an additional source of knowledge which could become conducive to China's further development. We do not argue that this additional source of knowledge would necessarily substitute for foreign knowledge and reduce technological dependency. As practiced in most technologically leading nations, we believe that the domestic research sector and the foreign-owned business sector constitute complementary sources of knowledge for the domestic innovation system rather than as substitutes. We do, however, point out that in all leading economies technological capabilities are based on a mixture of these sources. Consequently, China will have to put considerable effort into structural changes if it is to achieve its own ambitions to catch-up with the leaders in the long run. Fully acknowledging that such structural change will be the matter of the coming decades rather than the coming years, we are convinced that the foundations for such a development can be—and should be—laid today. While the discussed challenges are with particular clarity revealed by the situation in a transforming economy such as China's, they are of more general relevance—even in technologically leading economies. In those countries, certainly, there are always a number of well-functioning channels open for science–industry interaction so that the metaphor of an “island” would clearly be inappropriate. Nonetheless, the debate about an appropriate division of tasks in the public research system is not a stranger at all to European and North American innovation systems. France has launched a new initiative, the ‘Instituts Carnot’ to improve science–industry interaction, Britain and Canada are reflecting on the suitable extent and appropriate measures to improve the transfer knowledge from their government laboratories to the industrial sector while Germany, with its well developed division of tasks among applied and basic research institutions, continues to ponder whether this division has perhaps become too rigid for the overall benefit of its innovation system. Currently, China continues to actively look for inspirations abroad, having taken up models and inspirations from templates as different as the U.S. national science foundation and the German Fraunhofer Society. For now, it is not yet in a position to provide a template of organisational learning for other nations. Given the general similarity of the organisational challenges and the interesting recombination of global models that we witness emerging it may well be in 5–10 years time.