The World upside down, China’s R&D and innovation strategy

This texte was presented on the 14th of november 2011, at a seminar about BRICs, which is held collaboratively by the Centre de recherche sur le Brésil contemporain (CRBC-EHESS) and the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme.

R&D and innovation have become much more strategic than ever before for the growth of China as well as for its global societal upgrade. The Chinese authorities have designed an innovation strategy to face new economic and social challenges. The first part of the paper is focused on the emergence of the policy, in the 2006-2020 Plan for S&T, with a historical perspective explaining the legacy of the past in today’s choices. In the second part, we illustrate China’s catching up strategy through four sectors (high-speed trains, aeronautics, clean energy, IT) and discuss its potential impact on the world industry.

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