Having thoroughly prepared itself for the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the whole country has recently gone through a major and fast makeover that has radically changed its global presence. Its traditional street views now share the spotlight with breathtaking skyscrapers and the most fashionable shops and luxury brands. The change, of course, has not only been visible from the surface, but laws and economic development strategies are constantly being changed to accommodate China´s dynamic business scenarios in order to constantly address the growth of the country. And change keeps happening daily.
Education and innovation industries are not exempt of it. China is also forecast to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2020 when it comes to innovation and R&D project implementation. OECD reports show the US is falling far behind in educational standards, while in particularly Shanghai is taking the lead. What’s more, China has recently established a new legal framework to cement the role of universities in the innovation system. However, universities have yet to become key drivers of innovation, particular in comparison with Program Related Investments. But the growth in the absolute volume of R&D personnel in universities has been steady since 2000. Moreover, a comparison with selected developing and industrialized countries shows that the position of China’s higher education and industry in R&D government’s spending is within the usual EU and US rates range and will keep growing consistently.