Starting in late 2014, the Chinese government launched an "Innovation & Entrepreneurship" initiative for higher education institutions to develop new programs for teaching entrepreneurship. Industry is also taking part. The 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) will determine the distribution of China’s key resources internally over the next five years and its role in the global economy. A challenge for China under the plan is “strengthening ‘indigenous innovation’ in China” and intensify the advancement of technological innovation.
Rainforest Strategies, LLP, partner Dr. Alistair Brett was invited to address a Workshop on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for teachers of entrepreneurship and their students at Nanjing University’s Global Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the topic: University Innovation Ecosystems to Support Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. Nanjing University is ranked in the top 10 Chinese universities.
The idea of an innovation ecosystem as necessary to support innovation entrepreneurship was new to most of the audience. Alistair answered many questions during the 3-day event. The most interesting questions revolved around what the RFS team has learned from their experience in moving technologies from idea to market such as “What are the basic building blocks for an effective innovation ecosystem?” Alistair discussed with the teachers and students that these are more than just having, say, an incubator or accelerator, or a seed capital fund. In addition to ‘organizations,’ a growing culture of innovation, role models and mentors, leadership, and other factors as measured by the Rainforest Scorecard are vital.
In order to benefit both economies, we believe it is important for the USA to cooperate with China as the country de-emphasizes heavy manufacturing and puts the focus on early stage innovative companies.
We look forward to continuing our work with the Global Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China and doing our part to improve the capacity, sustainability, and velocity of innovation Rainforests around the world.