The eastward innovation shift: China’s triple helix

Wednesday 24 May 2017 -
14:00 to 15:15

As China faces the challenges of an ageing population, slowing economy and the need to escape the middle income trap, the government is banking on innovation to propel it into the next stage of economic growth. Cities are the frontline of this effort, where industry, government and academia are using technology parks, innovation incubators and an array of funding incentives to stoke the country’s R&D fires.

The first part of this session will focus on the infrastructure of China’s national innovation system, looking at initiatives driving the transition from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’. Which policies have performed well and which have faltered? What is the role of higher education? Are China’s successes replicable in other countries?

The second part of this session will look at how China’s R&D partnerships with foreign players have evolved. Which models of cooperation have worked best? Is foreign cooperation shifting from applied R&D to frontier discovery? Our panel of tech industry leaders, pioneers in UK-China education and research collaboration, and seasoned China hands will weigh in on the country’s potential as an innovation leader and the role of international cooperation as China moves up the research value chain.


  • Professor Alice Gast, President, Imperial College London, UK (Chair) 
  • Matt Durnin, Regional Head of Research and Consultancy, British Council, China
  • Michael Hill-King, Collaboration Director, Huawei, UK
  • Patrick Horgan, Regional Director North-East Asia, Rolls Royce, China