China is pursuing an aggressive strategy to remake itself as a global high-tech center. The country’s ambitious “indigenous innovation” strategy prioritizes high-tech, improves IP protection, emphasizes creativity and problem-solving in the classroom, and outbound investment into advanced economies in the West to access new technology and best practices. Chinese entities are both upgrading partnerships with leading international firms and striving to move beyond them to generate homegrown, world-class technology.
Closely related, China’s leadership is encouraging entrepreneurship and the development of the private sector, where so much of China’s innovation is taking place. China now has a higher rate of entrepreneurship than the U.S.
The path to innovation, however, is not easy and both the U.S. and China are facing many barriers as they strive to build their innovation-driven economies, including how to deepen domestic R&D capacity, support the training the next generation of innovation-savvy entrepreneurs, overcoming political barriers, and ensuring the private sector has greater maneuvering room and access to capital.
What lessons can China draw from innovative firms and policies in the West, and from Silicon Valley in particular? In turn, what lessons does China offer the rest of the world, including the Valley? What opportunities exist for collaboration, between firms and across sectors, in both the US and China? How can China replicate Silicon Valley’s unique “ecosystem for innovation”?
Innovation 2015: From China to Silicon Valley brought together leading entrepreneurs, business executives, and policymakers from both China and the West for dialogue and exchange to obtain expert analysis, explore best practices, and get the latest business intelligence on the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in China, the U.S., and beyond. Building on the theme of partnerships, the event was organized by the Asia Society in collaboration with the Tianjin Binhai Hi-Tech Industrial Development Area (THT). Guests also participated in site visits to Facebook and DFJ DragonFund.