The emergence of science-driven entrepreneurship in China : a case study of technological innovation in nano-pigment inks
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
All countries face challenges in commercialising scientific advances in emerging technology domains. As an emerging economy, China is rapidly evolving its innovation system, but still faces many issues in linking scientific development with industrial applications. While research and development (R&D) investment in Chinese science has increased significantly in recent years, there are substantial lags and barriers in the deployment of new technology knowledge by business, including by small and medium-sized enterprises. Yet, there are important signs of change within research organisations and in the policy support structures for research commercialisation in China. To explore these developments, this study examines a specific case within the domain of nanotechnology, an emerging technology domain where China is now among the world's biggest R&D performers. We investigate an example in China of science-driven entrepreneurship in a new technology for producing nano-pigment inks for digital inkjet textile printing. The contextual conditions and the development and commercialisation processes of this focal technology are analysed, as we examine the strategies used by the research team to spin-off their research towards commercialisation. We identify key factors in the Chinese innovation system that respectively facilitated and hindered this research commercialisation example, and consider managerial and policy implications raised by the case.
International journal of entrepreneurship and innovation management