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Towards a new model of EU-China innovation cooperation: Bridging missing links between international university collaboration and international industry collaboration

Yuzhuo Cai

Technovation, 2023, vol. 119, issue C

Abstract: This paper theoretically conceptualises and empirically explores the role of international university collaboration in building transnational university–industry co-innovation networks (TUICNs) in the EU–China context, and suggests a new model of international innovation cooperation. The theoretical framework was constructed by synthesising insights from social network theory and institutional theory. The empirical exploration was based on an analysis of interviews with 18 actors engaged in EU–China innovation cooperation. The findings suggest that international university collaboration could contribute to international industry collaboration and, therefore, to the development of TUICNs by 1) matching suitable industrial partners, 2) building trust between them, 3) giving industrial actors access to new resources, (4) enhancing the reputations of international companies in their cooperation countries, and (5) creating innovative business collaboration models. The study also addresses the following paradox in innovation studies: although the vital role of universities in national/regional innovation systems has been widely studied and the global interconnectedness of innovation networks is generally acknowledged, little attention has been given to universities’ engagement in transnational innovation (eco)systems. Based on the findings, recommendations for policymakers, universities and companies are provided in light of the shifting balance of challenges and opportunities presented by China to the EU.

Keywords: International innovation cooperation; Science; Technology and innovation; University–industry collaboration; Innovation ecosystem; Social network theory; Institutional theory; Europe; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:techno:v:119:y:2023:i:c:s0166497222001006

DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2022.102553

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