Taiwan Studies Programme

Innovation Policies in Mainland China and Taiwan: Challenges of the Digital Economy by Prof Erik Baark

B7 Hemsley, University Park
Thursday 27th February 2020 (16:00-18:00)

 If you are interested in attending, please reserve your place with erikbaark.eventbrite.co.uk 

Registration URL

The Taiwan Studies Programme (TSP) is delighted a to announce a public lecture by Prof. Erik Baark who is Professor Emeritus at the Division of Social Science and the Division of Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He will talk on Innovation Policies in Mainland China and Taiwan: Challenges of the Digital Economy.


In East Asia, Taiwan and Mainland China have both made impressive achievements in terms of technological and economic development, driven by innovation policies that combined state-sponsored R&D projects with dynamic public and private business initiatives. In particular, both have been successful in establishing ICT industries and exploiting the access to the know-how and skills offered by the global circulation of advanced human resources. But they have also experienced a slowdown in economic growth that has ignited fears of a “Middle-income Trap”. The solution to this problem would appear to be further intensification of R&D and innovation, and the next stage of innovation policy push is likely to be development and diffusion of the technologies of the digital economy, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robots and so on. But progress of the digital economy involves important challenges, both domestically and globally. There are also significant differences in the ways that Mainland China and Taiwan view such challenges, which I shall discuss in this talk.


Professor Erik Baark, PhD, Dr. phil. is Professor Emeritus at the Division of Social Science and the Division of Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He received a PhD at the University of Lund (1986) and a Dr.phil. degree at the University of Copenhagen (1998). His primary research interests are related to innovation systems and science and technology policy in China and other East Asian countries. His research on China includes analysis of information systems and IT development and high technology entrepreneurship during recent policy reforms. He has also published extensively on innovation in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. He has numerous publications, including Lightning Wires: Telegraphs and China's Technological Modernization 1860-1890 (Greenwood Press, 1997), and articles in leading international area studies journals such as The China Quarterly and innovation research journals such as Research Policy and the International Journal of Technology Management.


Event Reflection

by Choong Yun Ni, School of Politics and International Relations, Year 2

Taiwan Studies Programme’s most recent event on: Innovation policies in mainland China and Taiwan – Challenges of the Digital Economy, was a talk by Professor Emeritus Erik Baark from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. It provided an insight into the major developments in global economy today, namely the middle income trap and how Taiwan’s and China’s continuously innovative digital economy could serve to address that. During the Q&A session, there were heated debates on matters including the contrasting role of the state between the West and the East in relation to Taiwan’s trade market. In summary, the event was a wonderful learning opportunity for those interested in the development of the digital trade market, its trends and why it plays an important role in Taiwan and China today.

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Taiwan Studies Programme

University of Nottingham
University Park
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