Chapter 8: Regional Innovation Systems in China
REGIONAL DIVERSITY IN CHINA In any country, and particularly in a country like China with its extraordinary size and diversity, technological innovation will take place in a number of its regions that are likely to become spatial (or regional) innovation systems. Huge amounts of innovation of a gradual and incremental nature are taking place in manufacturing ﬁrms all over China, although primarily in the dynamically evolving coastal areas. These ﬁrms have often agglomerated into geographical clusters and are found in many industrial sectors. A number of such clusters are evolving into centres of strong innovative capability. They are still weakly linked and inadequately supported by actors within the state-level innovation systems. However, a natural formation of three major regions in China has prompted provinces and cities within them to act as midwives to create an environment that can deliver not only incremental innovations but also breakthrough innovations in future-oriented industries. A number of regional development programmes and projects play an important role in this process and have the potential to enhance necessary and strong links between clusters, foreign technology sources and national programmes. Three regions in China, where policies and structures reﬂect an ongoing regionalization, emphasize science and technology as essential components. They are the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and a third region – the BoHai Rim (BHR). This is also along China’s coastal line towards the north, and although less clearly deﬁned it is nevertheless very important. A very large number of units...
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