Since the 1980s, China has worked to develop the technology commercialization capacity of its universities. Progress has occurred, but university technology commercialization remains on the periphery of Chinese economic development. Because university technology commercialization is predominantly a ‘law-based’ strategy, the authors examine whether China’s legal system adequately supports such efforts. Since the law does not operate in isolation, the authors conduct their analysis through the lens of China’s overall innovation system. This holistic approach enables the authors first to provide a more accurate analysis of the Chinese legal system’s ability to support university technology commercialization and also to generate useful insights on the strengths, weaknesses and future of the country’s commercialization efforts.
One of the problems with analyzing inherently complex systems – like that of China’s innovation system – is the need for expertise from a very broad range of disciplines. In that vein, Shaping China’s Innovation Future employs a thorough analysis of a combination of factors including: the role of law and China’s legal system; economic theory and the development of China’s economy; China’s educational, intellectual property, and financial systems; China’s innovation capacity; and Chinese culture. Though the recommendations on how to improve China’s technology commercialization system are unique for China, the scope of the research makes the conclusions found here applicable to other countries facing similar challenges.
This unique analysis will be of significant interest to policymakers in China and other developing countries who are seeking to increase their level of technology-based economic development; academics studying China, China’s legal system, university technology transfer, national innovation systems, entrepreneurialism, international intellectual property, or international economic development; and Chinese scientists and entrepreneurs and those wishing to work with them.