This March, China became the seventh country to work with Professor Schot and his team at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) on a Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) exploratory workshop, informed by the work and methodology of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium’s (TIPC), of which Professor Schot is the founder.

Leading the programme in Beijing were a team from the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED). Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) colleagues taking part in the workshop along with Professor Schot included: Senior Lecturer Adrian Ely; Research Fellow, Ralitsa Hiteva and Doctoral Researcher, Kejia Yang. Dr. Sepo Hasigonta from South Africa’s National Research Foundation joined the delegation to provide input on “Transformative innovation policy from a South African perspective”. Co-production and collaboration are central to the TIPC approach. The event featured participation from a distinguished delegation including academics from China’s Tsinghua University. In June 2016, SPRU and Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management signed an important ‘Memorandum of Cooperation’ regarding the ‘Cooperative Center for Innovation Governance (CCIG)’ to facilitate and support academic engagement.  Involvement in the TIPC workshop is a further example of this significant international partnership between Tsinghua University and the University of Sussex.

Further inputs into the TIPC two-day event included Professor Schot, who opened the programme with ‘The Three Frames of Innovation Policy’, based on his soon to be published position paper co-authored with SPRU’s Prof Ed Steinmueller. This Three Frame rationale outlines the central theory at the heart of TIPC. This was followed by the President of CASTED, Zhijian Hu who presented the key findings from the Chinese Science, Technology and Innovation mapping process and country report on the Three Frames of Innovation with a particular focus on Transformative Innovation Policy (Frame 3) activities in the country. The second day focused on a deeper examination of transformative innovation in China, solar and wind in the Inner Mongolia province, using a Transformative Innovation Learning History (TILH) casestudy methodology. Using comparative case studies, for China’s TILH, there will be an examination of the historical development of solar and wind power between 2000 to 2016. The TIPC workshop featured further interventions from Professor Jiahai Yuan on “Low carbon transition of the Chinese electricity system”; Professor Jianchun Li on “Historical development of solar and wind power in Inner Mongolia”; and Professor Ruilin Xu on Historical development of solar and wind power in Jiangsu province”.

Professor Schot said: “With China leading the world in renewable energy and with their vast investment in science, technology and innovation in recent years, it is vital that the Three Frames of Innovation are considered to inform investment, development and progress. The emphasis from Chinese national policy advisors is for a focus on both quality and equality of economic growth. This shares focus with the Transformative Innovation Policy agenda. With this emphasis on transformative growth, it is an opportunity to redefine what economic development may mean. With China previously following a ‘catching-up’ rationale towards the West, we now see the country leading with sustainable growth opportunities and approaches that offer a potential new framing. The Chinese have a tradition of experimentation and this is advantageous in the new era of Second Deep Transition (2DT) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).  As with many countries, there is a need to improve on inclusivity and participation. A Transformative Innovation Policy approach would encapsulate this need and weave in reflexivity and reflection. I am extremely excited by the TIP project in China and about working with our Chinese colleagues on science, technology and innovation for development”.

Professor Schot with Chinese Delegation and SPRU Colleagues

Below is a translation of the event from CASTED’s news pages. 

“On March 6-7, 2018, a two-day “transformation and innovation policy seminar” was held in Conference Room 304 of China Academy of Science and Technology Development Strategy. The seminar was jointly organized by the University of Sussex Science and Technology Policy Research Center (SPRU) and our institute.

The first day of the conference focused on the framework of the theory of transformational innovation policy and an analysis of the historical evolution of China’s innovation policy. Dean Hu Zhijian gave a welcome speech. The morning meeting was chaired by Vice President Wu Yishan. Professor Johan Schot of the University of Sussex, UK, introduced the theory, method and practical experience of transformational innovation policy. Professor Li Zhe of our institute introduced the preliminary findings of combing and analyzing China’s science and technology innovation policies using the three-stage theory. Professor Fred Steward from Institute of Innovation and Sustainable Development Policy, University of Westminster, UK, Professor Liu Dulin, College of Economics and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Cao Cong, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, Associate Professor Liang Zheng of Tsinghua University School of Public Administration and other experts The conference theme was discussed round table. The afternoon session was moderated by Professor Johan Schot. Sepo Hachigonta, Director of International Relations and Co-operation, South African National Research Foundation, described the transformation and innovation policy from the perspective of science and technology policy in South Africa. The researcher Zhao Yandong of our institute introduced responsible research and innovation in the Chinese context. After discussing the opportunities and challenges faced by China’s science and technology innovation policy and the application space for the theory of transformation and innovation policy, Ralitsa Hiteva and senior lecturer Adrian Ely from University of Sussex Science and Technology Policy Research Center, Tsinghua University School of Public Administration Prof. Xue Xue and Associate Researcher Xie Yu of China Management Center for Agenda 21 conducted a round table discussion on related issues.

The second day of the conference focused on the low-carbon transition of the Chinese power system as a case study of the transformational innovation policy. Vice President Wu Yishan gave a welcome speech. The meeting was chaired by Professor Zhao Yandong and Professor Fred Steward. Dr. Yang Kejia, a Ph.D. student at the Science and Technology Policy Research Center at the University of Sussex, analyzed the participants’ interactions in low-carbon power transitions with a case study of wind power and solar energy in China. Professor Yuan Jiahai of School of Economics and Management of North China Electric Power University introduced the low-carbon transition of China’s power system and the future of coal-fired power. Shao Shufeng, Deputy Director of the Strategic Division of the Technology and Economic Consultation Center of the National Energy Investment Corporation, discussed the opportunities and challenges of the power companies in the energy transition. Mr. Li Jianchun, Deputy Secretary-General of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Electric Power Industry Association and Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Wind Power Generation Committee; Secretary-General Lu Ruiqiang of the Solar Energy Association of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region; Dr. Hou Youhua, Director of Production Technology Department of Inner Mongolia Electric Power Company; and former Energy Development Bureau of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Director Liu Dongsheng engineer and other experts introduced the historical development and current status of wind power and photovoltaic solar power generation in Inner Mongolia. Professor Shi Yongyong of the National Science and Technology Assessment Center and Professor Cao Cong of the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, together with the presenters, conducted in-depth discussions on the theory of transformation and innovation policy and the transformation of the Chinese power system through group discussions and roundtable forums.”

Copyright © 2018 Johan Schot