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Entrepreneurship: the missing ingredient in China's STIPs?


  • Lorraine Watkins-Mathys
  • M. John Foster


China is concerned to improve the technical capability of its industry. It has chosen Science and Technology Industry Parks (STIPs) as the model for incubating its R&D capability and driving its hi-tech policy. Against this background, the authors examine two main issues. First, we review assessments of university science parks in the UK and a wider context extracted from the literature before examining specifically China's R&D intensity and hi-tech policy. Second, we examine the performance of hi-tech companies situated on STIPs and those located outside STIPs, comparing their success in commercializing technology. We pay particular attention to the role of entrepreneurship in this activity by those engaged in it. Our findings are based on secondary quantitative data and qualitative data collected by means of interviews and focus groups in the Beijing and Shanghai areas in March 2004. From our research it is clear that China lags behind OECD countries in its R&D capability and the technology transfer rate is low, hampering China's hi-tech potential, although China is achieving some success in hi-tech exports, notably of ICT goods. Furthermore, innovation capability, locational factors such as being located in a regional industry cluster (in or outside STIPs), guanxi and networking opportunities, entrepreneurial skills, including international business experience and access to more financial sources and capital for developing the business, are essential for commercializing technology effectively in China. The role of entrepreneurship is evident. However, it remains still underdeveloped in China's STIPs.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorraine Watkins-Mathys & M. John Foster, 2006. "Entrepreneurship: the missing ingredient in China's STIPs?," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 249-274, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:18:y:2006:i:3:p:249-274
    DOI: 10.1080/08985620600593161

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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Bassani & Cristina Bettinelli & Giovanna Dossena, 2012. "European Science Parks and Job Creation. An Exploratory Study," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 22.
    2. Alexandre Almeida & Cristina Santos & Mário Rui Silva, 2008. "Bridging Science to Economy: The Role of Science and Technologic Parks in Innovation Strategies in “Follower” Regions," FEP Working Papers 302, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. Ferreiro Seoane, Francisco Jesús & Del Campo Villares, Manuel Octavio & Camino Santos, Marta, 2015. "Analysis of business incubators in Galicia through the «Integral Model of economic profitability»," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 33, pages 7-31.
    4. Li, Xiaoying & Wang, Jue & Liu, Xiaming, 2013. "Can locally-recruited R&D personnel significantly contribute to multinational subsidiary innovation in an emerging economy?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 639-651.
    5. Yoon, Hyungseok & Yun, Sunyoung & Lee, Joosung & Phillips, Fred, 2015. "Entrepreneurship in East Asian Regional Innovation Systems: Role of social capital," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 83-95.

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