Harnessing STI progress for sustainable inclusive development: TMCD hosts inaugural Sino-UK Innovation and Development Forum

30 November, 2016

The Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) at ODID, in collaboration with the Institute of Science and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), this month organised a successful forum that brought together thought leaders and audiences from the UK and China to explore innovation and development.

Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford, outlined the University’s agenda of fostering closer relationships between researchers, technology experts and investors; he also indicated Oxford’s desire to engage new partners from across the world in new emerging enterprises in order to make a real difference in the world.

Leading experts at the forum discussed their views around three themes. Innovation and Development: Strategy and Policies; Sino-UK Innovation Cooperation in a Globalising World; and Transnational Innovation in Practice. The panelists highlighted the importance of technology for development as a global effort, and how such efforts can be strengthened through policy and global partnership. In particular, Professor Xiaolan Fu highlighted the potential impact of disruptive technologies – robots and artificial intelligence for example – on the economy and society in the future, and the need for a timely and multi-stakeholder-based policy response to enable countries to harness the benefits of technical progress for sustainable and inclusive development.

The panelists also emphasised the opportunities for collaboration between the UK and China in the post-Brexit era. Mr Sunan Jiang, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology at the Chinese Embassy in the UK, and Mr Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy & Research, NESTA, spoke about the great opportunities that exist for knowledge exchange between Chinese and UK institutions. Drawing from her research on international collaborative innovation, Professor Fu outlined the main factors that drive Chinese firms to collaborate across borders with foreign partners and explained that such collaboration, with foreign universities in particular, has resulted in impactful and radical innovations.  

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