TMCD Newsletter - APRIL 2017


TMCD Newsletter - April 2017

A newsletter of the Technology & Management Centre for Development at Oxford University

Prof Xiaolan Fu speaks at UN and ILO conferences

Professor Fu spoke at the International Labour Organization’s Future of Work We Want Global Dialogue earlier this month and at a meeting of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism 10-Member Group, of which  she is a member, organised by DESA and the International Council for Sciences in January. Professor Fu's presentations focussed on the impact of emerging technology. She discussed issues relating to the impact of technology on future work, income distribution and the global economy. Prof Fu argues that the wave of disruptive technological progress will have profound impact on society and the global economy. She explains that progress being made in technological advancement is creating opportunities for greater efficiency and innovations in business and public services provision; but crucially it also presents an increasing challenge as it correlates to the reduction of human job opportunities and increase in income inequalities. As a result, she calls for timely multi-stakeholder dialogue and policy response to guide the direction of technical change and to harness the benefits of innovation and technology progress for inclusive and sustainable development.

Prof Xiaolan Fu was also invited to join the Expert Group Meetings to review the forthcoming 2017 United Nations flagship 'Trade and Development Report' and 'World Investment Report'.

TMCD hosts the inaugural Sino-UK Innovation and Development Forum

On 10 November 2016, TMCD in collaboration with the Institute of Science and Development, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) organised a successful meeting of the Oxford SINO-UK Innovation and Development Forum in the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College, Oxford University from 1:30pm to 6pm. 

The welcoming session highlighted the importance of the forum in this era of rapid change when innovation has an increasing impact on social and economic development. Innovation remains at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable  Development Agenda. This is the time to think more about  innovation, technical progress, institutional development, and  global cooperation. What is the impact of technological progress  with respect to genetic technology, ICT, robotic technology, 3D  technology on society and economy, what is the future  direction? These are topics of oncoming debate. Ian Walmsley,  Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Fu and Jiaofeng Pan of CAS called for participation of all for the prosperity and success of the forum.

The distinguished speakers, drawn from academia, government, and business, included Sunan Jiang, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology, the Chinese embassy in the UK, Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy & Research, NESTA, Wen Hai, Dean of Peking University HSBC Business School, Victor Zhang, President of EU Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Ltd, David Baghurst, Managing Director, Oxford University Innovation (Hong Kong) and Biao Ding, CEO, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation UK , Professor Fu and Jiaofeng Pan. They shared successful examples of innovation cooperation and impact on growth and development. Many factors are critical to successful collaboration. Businesses must be organisationally and culturally ready for collaboration and capable of making transparent negotiation with suitable partners. The Forum is a timely initiative and well received by all (business, research and academic communities).


 DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) publishes case studies on diffusion of innovation in low income countries project 

DEGRP publishes DILIC impact Case Study - "Boosting innovation in Ghana" online. Diffusion of Innovation in Low Income Countries (DILIC), seeks to explore determinants and transmission channels for effective innovation creation, diffusion and adoption in LICs under institutional, resource and affordability constraints.
Led by Prof. Xiaolan Fu with the support of partner institutions, the project has had far-reaching impacts, from influencing policy in Ghana, to contributing to the formulation and implementation of Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The case study can be read here.

TMCD successfully concludes MNEmerge project

The three-year international research project funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme identified interesting path-breaking findings:

In Ghana, both European and Chinese MNES transfer managerial knowledge to their local employees and managers. The advanced management practices adopted in the MNEs increased the levels of aspiration of the local workers for future development. 

In Brazil, due to the universal 'Light for All' (LfA) programme of the government with support from the MNEs, people invest more in businesses, education, health, and women reduce their drudgery at household chores. However, remote areas with poor infrastructure do not have access to MNEs. 
  • TMCD researchers disseminated the MNEmerge findings in several high-level meetings and conferences.   
  • Professor Fu presented the MNEmerge research findings at policy engagement events in UNIDO offices in Vienna and the EU offices in Brussels.
  • Dr Shaheen Akter presented some of the project findings at the 2016 AIBSEAR Guangzhou Conference. 

Professor Fu joins the UK China Innovation Cooperation Expert Group

On 6th of December 2016, Professor Fu joined a group of experts at the 4th UK-China People to People Dialogue. The event chaired by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Jeremy Hunt, covered a range of issues including science and innovation, education, health and culture. The meeting presented an opportunity to formalise an agreement to create the first ever UK-China Science and Innovation Strategy, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Vice Minister Huang Wei. The UK is to convene an expert group to respond to the detailed proposals.

Institute of New Economic Thinking Interview: Making Innovation Work for China and other Developing Countries

Along the entire “innovation chain” — from research and development, to production and commercialization — government and private sectors have very different roles to play. On China’s part, providing right incentives to entrepreneurs and investors remains high on the priority list. Join professor Xiaolan Fu of University of Oxford to explore innovation in China, and what scholars need to do to better understand innovation.
Recent Journal Publications
Congratulations to all of our colleagues for their publications:
Fu, X., J Hou, M. Sanfilippo,(2016) ‘Highly skilled returnees and the internationalization of EMNEs: Firm level evidence from China’, International Business Review: The paper examines how Chinese firms acquire knowledge and experience in international markets by attracting returnees using an original firm level survey from Guangdong province. It finds that there is a strong and positive relation between a firm’s choice of hiring returnees and its propensity to embark in FDI.

Fu X, Woo WT, Hou J, (2016) ‘Technological innovation policy in China: the lessons, and the necessary changes ahead’, Economic Change and Restructuring 49(2-3):139-157: China has now moved considerably away from being an imitative latecomer to technology toward to being an innovation-driven economy. The key lessons from China’s experience are that (1) there is synergy between External Knowledge and Indigenous Innovation because the process of learning the tacit knowledge required in using the foreign technology fully is made easier by strong in-house R&D capability; (2) the open innovation approach is very important because it allows multiple driving forces—the state, the private sector and MNEs—with each playing a changing role over time; and (3) the commencement of foreign technology transfer and investment in indigenous innovation should go hand in hand.

Fu, Xiaolan (with S Akter) (2016) ‘The Impact of Mobile Phone Technology on Agricultural Extension Services Delivery: Evidence from India‘, Journal of Development Studies, 2016, DOI:10.1080: This paper examines the impact of mobile phone enhanced intervention in agricultural extension service delivery in India. Findings show that the amount, quality and speed of service delivery have improved significantly because of the intervention.

Fu, Xiaolan  (with J Li)  (2016) “The value of foreign universities: international university-industry collaboration and industrial innovation in emerging economies”, International Journal of Technology Management. 2016 Vol.70, No.2/3, pp.193 - 217: This paper explores the different impacts of domestic and foreign universities on innovation performance in emerging economies using a national firm-level survey database from China. It finds that international innovation collaboration with leading universities in other developing countries, especially with those in the Newly Industrialised Economies and the emerging South, is fruitful in enhancing the creation of ground-breaking innovations in indigenous Chinese firms. 

TMCD and SBS Joint Workshop

The TMCD and Saïd Business School (SBS) workshop convened two times per term, to provide a venue for early career researchers to present their ideas and have conversation, comment on the work in process is now in its fourth year.  The last workshop held on the 1st of March at Said Business School. 

Congratulations to Claudia Contreras Rojas for successfully defending her DPhil thesis 

Congratulations to Claudia Contreras Rojas who recently passed her DPhil viva. Claudia's thesis studies the factors that influence and determine collaboration on innovation between universities and firms and how these are framed by governmental innovation policy. Her thesis also analyses the effects of collaboration on the innovation performance of firms in Chile using a novel panel database elaborated from national surveys of innovation in firms.

Claudia joined the doctoral programme at the International Development Department and TMCD after completing her MSc in Management Research at the Said Business School in 2009, for which she received a distinction. Before coming to England, she worked on innovation policy at the National Development Agency of Chile (CORFO) and at the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research in Chile (CONICYT). I got my BSc in Economics from University of Chile in 2003.

Everyone at TMCD would like to congratulate Claudia on the very impressive achievement, and we would like to wish her all the very best as she takes the next steps in her career. 

Welcomes and goodbyes

TMCD bids goodbye to our visiting scholar, Ms. Jianjian Zheng joined TMCD in September 2016 for a 3 months fellowship. Before arriving at Oxford, She worked in the Ministry of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China (MOST). Whilst at MOST she held the position of deputy director, and facilitated the reform of science and technology programs funded by the central finance department of the Chinese government. We are grateful to have had Jianjian as a part of the centre, and wish her good luck for her future endeavours! 

 We would also like to bid farewell to June Sun, the former  communications officer and project coordinator at TMCD. 


TMCD is delighted to welcome our new visiting fellow,Jianping Pan, from the School of Economics, Xiamen University. 
Plenaries and Conferences
Professor Xiaolan Fu chaired the OI in a Regional or Industrial Context panel at the 2016 World Open Innovation Conference (WOIC). WOIC offers a unique setting to combine the latest in Open Innovation research with the open innovation practices of some of the world’s leading companies. Academic scholars have an opportunity to apply their research to current challenges and areas of development within company settings. Likewise, industry leaders can glean, learn, and apply Open Innovation research to their innovation strategy.

Professor Fu spoke at the Tsinghua Tencent forum on China's path to Innovation. She also spoke at the Sino-UK innovation collaboration round table. 

Dr Shaheen Akter presents MNEmerge paper on Impact of Knowledge Transfer on Aspirations and Welfare: A Comparative Analysis of the Chinese and European MNEs in Ghana at the 2016 AIBSEAR conference in Guangzhou.
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