University Technology Transfer in Transition
Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Preface Will China be the next technology superpower? ‘Science is the first productive force.’ – Deng Xiaoping’s motto Whenever we explain to anyone that we are working on a project involving China’s innovation capacity, the first question we get back is invariably: will China be the next great science and technology (S&T) superpower? Almost unthinkable a mere 20 years ago (and maybe even 10 years ago), such a proposition is a very real possibility for the China of today. Since the late 1970s, China has gone through an enormous transformative period. The transformation that tends to draw the most attention has been China’s stunning economic growth. Over the last three decades, China’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of close to 10% – which is one of the highest periods of sustained economic growth in human history. During this relatively short period of time, China has grown from one of the poorest countries in the world in the 1970s into the world’s third largest economy in 2009 – trailing only the United States and Japan.1 During this transcendent growth period, China has also experienced a more subtle, but equally important transformation. While the world continues to focus on China’s economic growth and the fact that China has become the world’s preferred destination for labor-intensive, low technology manufacturing, China’s leadership has been laying the groundwork for the country to become a more innovative nation that can grow its economy as much by the strength of its S&T capabilities as it...