Challenges to Science and Technology and Innovation Policy in the Adjustment of Development Goals in China


Shulin Gu, Tsinghua University, China

China has made bold decision recently, towards innovation-based and “harmonious” development. This determination is reflected in the Medium- and Long-term S&T Development Plan (2006-2020), and in Guiding Vision for the 11th National Economic and Social Development Program (2006-2010).

The first part of the presentation will provide the views from the Chinese policy circle about why coming to such decision and what would such decision mean. Participation in the global economy based on low wage manufacturing and exports has proved far from adequate and effective in sustaining the development. The decision was in effect come out from fierce debates lasted a few years, and the result in the determination on innovation-based development may have far-reaching implications, probably and it is wished, compatible to the important debates and determinations in the history of Japan like that happened immediately after WWII.

In the second part, the speaker will concentrate on what challenges to S&T and innovation policies that China is faced, if China to put into practice the decision in coming years. In terms of policy capacity, it has to become capable in dealing with a greater diversity of policy themes and sensitively open to dynamics, for the subject matters change rapidly now. In terms of policy institutions, a top-down approach is to be incorporated with bottom-up and wide participation of the society, and the coordination among policy agencies to be largely improved. The speaker will develop a checklist for the policy landscape, which is subject to profound expansion and specification.

The challenges to policies appeared in China might have broad implications. The notion and contents of policies, and the means and instruments for policy implementation, may be understood as a consequence from previous development trajectory, in which technological and institutional changes were relatively simple and simple-minded. To embark on innovation and learning based trajectories of development, which currently are considered or already decided in an increasingly large number of developing countries, entails profound transformation of policy regime. The speaker would like to exchange in the seminar as how could we contribute to the demanding transformation.


About the speaker
Professor Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Research Center of Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University, China Former Senior Research Fellow of UNU/INTECH (1992-2000)

Venue: Conference Room, 4th Floor, UNU-MERIT, Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 12 February 2008

Time: 16:00 - 17:30


UNU-MERIT