Determinants of Industrial Innovation in China and the Role of University Research

This dissertation investigates firms’ innovation activities in China, the role of universities in this regard and whether firms’ willingness to engage in academia-industry linkages can be positively affected through relevant policy. It applies a three-step approach for the investigation. Results of the three-step analysis are presented in Chapter 2 to 4. As the first step, Chapter 2 investigates the role of firms’ own R&D engagement and the relevance of knowledge transferred from different sources for their various innovation results. The investigation is based on a firm-level dataset collected by our own PRD (Pearl River Delta) Company Survey in late 2007 in China. Chapter 3 deepens the analysis in Chapter 2 by investigating the role of university research for industrial patenting results in more detail, focusing on the role of geographic proximity and university research quality in this regard. In doing so it extends the analysis of Chapter 2 in the following three aspects: regional and geographic aspect, sectoral aspect and the aspect of university research quality. Based on the concept of national innovation system we may expect that governments through adequate policy can remove (partially) institutional impediments to encourage firms to engage in academia-industry linkages more intensively so that firms’ innovation performance can better profit from the academic research results. Chapter 4 uses Hong Kong (HK) with its specific historical background as an example to investigate whether more active innovation policy may have certain potential to positively affect firms’ innovation intention in general and to encourage innovative firms to engage in academia-industry linkages more intensively in particular. The dissertation ends with a brief summary of findings and some policy implications.


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