This book recalls the history of industrial and innovation policies implemented by China since 1949, especially in the domain of nanotechnologies, which beijing intends to make the launching pad of its future competitivity.
From 1949 to 1978, driven by the desire for national independence, the People's Republic of China began by encouraging the creation of industrial built-up areas and offering steadfast support to the military. Since the turnaround operated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the government has been placing the private sector at the heart of the innovation policy; and firms, especially small and medium-sized, have become the driving force of growth and job creation. At the same time, the science and technology policy has been gradually reshaped into a programme of innovation.
In spite of the success achieved by a few national stars, the policy remains fragile because State-owned firms still receive the majority of investments and public finance, while important regional disparities persist. Innovation in China is also hampered by the heavy burden of heritages, poor domestic demand, an insufficiently reformed higher education system and the waste of resources.