China's innovation eco-system is set to improve, bringing large opportunities to multinational companies

While the Chinese government stressed 'innovation' and 'entrepreneurship' as the themes to address the economic growth in next decades, solid progresses are expected to improve the country's innovation ecosystem.

​​Innova Research recently won a bidding for a research project sponsored by Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholar’s Association (SORSA). The project, named “How to better integrate multinational companies in Shanghai’s innovation eco-system”, aims to first seek out the major concerns of multinational companies regarding to the innovation-related issues, such as IP protection, government research funding policy, then provide actionable suggestions for  the government  to solve these issues. This project is part of the efforts to help the Shanghai municipal government improve the innovation eco-system in the city.

Shanghai government recently announced an ambitious plan to turn the city into a world-class innovation center. The plan, presenting a series of initial targets to achieve by 2020, is a local resonance to China’s national strategy to change the economic growth pattern, from heavily relying on low-value-added manufacturing, to high-value-added, innovation-driven economic growth in next decades. According to the plan, Shanghai will provide large financial investment along with other policy measures to recruit top research talents and attract multinational companies to set up their regional R&D centers and laboratories in Shanghai. In the meantime, new national policies, such as allowing inventors within public universities and research institutes to hold over  70% of shares of a company to commercialize their technologies (increased from previous 30%), were announced to encourage Chinese academic researchers to commercialize their technologies and set up their own companies. Innova expects these drivers to significantly boost the current low commercialization rates for the IPs generated by leading public Chinese universities and research institutes.

Multinational companies are expected to be largely benefited from these actions when the innovation eco-system is improving. Firstly, as an innovation-driven economic growth will not be achieved unless IPs are strictly protected, the improvement on IP protection is one of the priorities on the government’s agenda, especially in Tier-1 Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.  Secondly, it will become easier for multinational companies to recruit R&D talents with more accessible resident status, as well as  direct financial sponsorships from Shanghai government. Thirdly, technology scouting in China will be more productive as more and more Chinese inventors, encouraged by the new government policies, set up their own companies to commercialize their technologies.  

In turn, this will feed into the rising need to acquire innovative technologies globally. This has been felt by Innova Research, who receives enquiries from leading Chinese companies to seek technology partners. In many cases, it involves directly acquire technologies aboard, from USA, Europe, and other countries, creating ample  opportunities for  technology brokers, as well as  inventors willing to transfer their technologies to Chinese clients.

Richard Jun Li, Vice President of Innova Research commented: “While the Chinese government stressed ‘innovation’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ as the themes to address the economic growth in next decades, solid progresses are expected to improve the country’s innovation ecosystem, especially in Shanghai and other major Chinese cities. Meanwhile, not only the quantity, but also the quality of Chinese innovations are expected to be improved significantly, bringing vast opportunities to multinational companies, investors, technology brokers and other service providers globally. “

About Innova Research

Innova Research is a market research and consulting firm focusing on emerging technologies. With the combination of both technology and market research experts, we offer world-class market and technology intelligences.  Driven by primary research, Innova Research’s market intelligence reports and consulting service help our clients to make right strategic and investment decisions in the fast-changing technology world.  Visit for more information.