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China’s Innovation engine: Roaring or Stalling?

February 17, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This seminar will focus on China and innovation. There has been increasing interest in the innovation capabilities of China, and how firms and countries internationally can collaborate with and in China to increase innovation. Building on a major Nesta 2013 report on the state of the Chinese innovation system – ‘China’s Absorptive State’ – this seminar will explore some of the ways Nesta has been researching specific areas of Chinese innovation such as: small firm innovation collaboration between the UK and China; Chinese smart city development, and the development of the makerspace phenomenon in China. It will also touch on elements of the state of international collaboration for innovation between the UK and China.

The speakers are members of Nesta’s international innovation team which examines new global trends and practices in innovation with an emphasis on emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Malaysia. The team aims to build resources and networks for innovation that will help the UK to flourish in a rapidly changing global economy.

Tom Saunders

Tom is a Senior Researcher in the international innovation team. His current work focuses on innovation and cities, with a particular focus on how cities can use digital technologies and data to address the challenges they face. His most recent report is Rethinking smart cities from the ground up – which in 2016 will be followed up with a China smart cities report. He has also been examining the phenomenon of makerspaces in China. He leads on Nesta’s research and engagement with China, and is the author of China’s absorptive state. Prior to Nesta, he worked for a media and policy NGO with a focus on the environment, where he managed fundraising and research and also at Innovation China UK, where he advised UK SMEs, spin-out companies and researchers on how to collaborate with Chinese partners. Tom holds a first-class BA in Chinese studies from the University of Sheffield.

Benjamin Reid

Benjamin Reid is Principal Researcher in International Innovation at Nesta. His primary 2014 project was working with the Malaysian innovation agency, AIM, to develop a toolkit to help Malaysian businesses understand and improve their investments in innovation capacity and capabilities. In 2015 he worked on a project scoping the development needs of innovation agency executives in the Pacific Alliance group of countries for the Innovate UK agency, and looked at how UK SMEs collaborate with Chinese firms for innovation. Prior to Nesta, Benjamin was Head of Open Innovation at the Big Innovation Centre, and a Senior Researcher at think tank The Work Foundation. He holds a PhD from Henley Business School at the University of Reading, which focused on the evaluation of management and leadership development programmes.



February 17, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


King’s College London (Chapel)
Strand Campus, S-1.04 (First basement of the Strand Building)
London, WC2R 2LS United Kingdom

Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.