Professor Xiaolan Fu

Xiaolan Fu (晓岚) is the Founding Director of the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), Professor of Technology and International Development, Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (ACSS), Founder of OxValue.AI. She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Ten-Member High Level Advisory Group of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism and to the Governing Council of the UN's Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. She is a member of the UN SDSN Leadership Council led by Jeffrey Sachs and a member of the Adivisory Board of UNU-MERIT.

Research and Professional Interests

Her research interests include innovation, technology and industrialisation; trade, foreign direct investment and economic development; emerging Asian economies; innovation and productivity in UK/US. She has published extensively in leading international journals independently or in collaboration with others. Her recent books include Innovation under the Radar (forthcoming), China's Path to Innovation, China’s Role in Global Economic Recovery and The Rise of Technological Power in the South. She is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Technology Management, and four other international journals.

Prof Fu received large research grants from prestigious funding bodies including the European Commission, ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, DFID, and the Cairncross Foundation. She has also received the European Commission EFMD Gate2Growth 2005 'European Best Paper' Award, Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012 Outstanding Paper Award, and European Association of Management (EURAM) annual conference Innovation Strategic Interest Group 2017 Best Paper Award.

She has been consultant for UNDESA, UNCTAD, UNIDO, the World Bank, OECD, European Commission, ILO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, UKTI and the Chinese government. Prof Fu serves on the Advisory Expert Group of the OECD Global Investment Forum and the DFID/ESRC Economic Growth Directorate (DEGP), and is President of the Chinese Economic Association (Europe) and CEA (UK) in 2010-11. She currently serves on the Management Committee of the University of Oxford China Centre. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and University of Tsinghua, and a Visiting Professor at Fudan University. As a leading China expert, she has participated in various interviews and panel discussions on main stream media including BBC, Sky News, CCTV, CGTN, People's Daily, and China Daily. In 2014 she was invited to address the UN General Assembly on ‘Science, technology and innovation in developing countries’.

Prof Fu came to Oxford from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Senior Research Fellow. Before coming to the UK, she had five years’ work experience in the business sector in China before embarking on her academic career.

Grants awarded

  • ESRC GCRF Grant No. ES/S001336/1, £766,190, “Digital Technology-based New Business Model for Inclusive Development'”. Principal Investigator. 2018-2021
  • EC FP7 Grant No 612889, €2,600,000, MNEmerge”. Co-Investigator. Leader of a work package and responsible for the research methods of the whole project. Own project €623,750. 2014-16
  • ESRC/DFID Grant RES-000-22-2791, £576,890, The diffusion of innovation in low income countries”. Principal Investigator. 2012-15
  • EPSRC Grant, EP/E026052/1, £350,000, “Rural e-Service in India: Participatory Co-design of Software and Business Models”. Own project £102,000, 2006-2009. Principal Investigator.
  • EPSRC Grant EP/D503973/1, £500,000, “The Role of Management Practices in Closing the Productivity Gap”. Own project £116,000, 2005-2008. Principal Investigator.
  • ESRC Grant RES-000-22-2791, £81,200, China and the evolution of global manufactures prices, 1988-2006”. April-Dec, 2008. Co-investigator.
  • British Academy, SG122404, £6,900, ‘The Role of Internationalisation on Technological Capability-Upgrading in Developing Countries‘. Principal Investigator. 2013-15
  • British Academy, £8,890, “China’s role in global economic recovery’, 2010. Principal Investigator.
  • Cairncross Foundation, £5,100, "International innovation collaboration in China", PI, 2012-13.
  • Cairncross Foundation, £6,900, "Inclusive innovation for the Bottom of Pyramid in China", PI, 2012-14.
  • UNIDO Conference Grant, £15,000, “Confronting the challenge of technology for development: experiences from the BRICS” Principal Investigator. 2008
  • UK Trade & Investment Project, £52,170‘The experience of UK mid-corporate companies in accessing and working in emerging Asian economies’. 2006, Principal Investigator.

Academic awards and Honours

  • Winner, Falling Walls Scientific Breakthrough Award, 2021
  • Winner, Asia-Pacific Research Exchange Award, 2020
  • Governing Council, Technology Bank for LDCs, United Nations, 2016-
  • Leadership Council, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, United Nations, 2016-
  • 10-Member Group, Technology Facilitation Mechanism, United Nations, 2015-
  • European Association of Management (EURAM) Innovation SIG, 2017, Best Paper Award
  • Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012, Outstanding Paper Award.
  • European Commission, EFMD Gate2Growth Academic Network, 2005 ‘European Best Paper Award’.
  • Oxford University Teaching Excellence Award, 2011.
  • Member of Advisory Committee, DFID/ESRC Growth Programme Directorate (DEGRP)
  • Member of Expert Advisory Board, OECD Global Investment Forum
  • President: Chinese Economic Association, CEA(Europe) and CEA(UK), 2010-11.
  • Fellow in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Judge Business School, Cambridge University, 2006-
  • Pierce Visiting Scholar (by invitation), Emory University, USA. 2012-13
  • Editor-in-Chief: Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies 2013

Selected Publications

Books and Monographs

Fu, Xiaolan (with Chen, J. and McKern, B.) (2021) ‘Oxford Handbook of China Innovation’ (eds.) Oxford University Press.

Fu, Xiaolan (2020) ‘Innovation under the radar: The nature and sources of innovation in Africa’, Cambridge University Press. Monograph.

Fu Xiaolan (with G O. Essegby, G K. Frempong) (2019) Multinationals, Local Capacity Building and Development, Edward Elgar

Fu, Xiaolan (with Pervez N Ghauri, Juha Väätänen ) (eds) (2017) 'Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development', Emerald

Fu, Xiaolan (2015) China's Path to Innovation, Cambridge University Press. (Monograph)

Fu, Xiaolan (ed) (2011) China's Role in Global Economic Recovery, Routledge. Translated into Chinese and published by Yilin Press in 2012.

Fu, Xiaolan (with Luc Soete) (eds) (2010) The Rise of Technological Power in the South, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Fu, Xiaolan (with A Cosh, A Hughes, R De Hoyos, A Eisingerich) (2006) Experiences of UK Mid-corporate Companies in Emerging Asian Economies, UK Trade & Investment

Fu, Xiaolan (2004) Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Development in China, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan (Monograph)

Journal Articles

Fu, X., Fu, M.X.,. Ghauri, P. and H. Khan (2023) Tackling exigent grand challenges through corporate social innovation: Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Zeng, S. A. Tanveer, X. Fu, Y. Gu, M. Irfan, (2022) Modeling the influence of critical factors on the adoption of green energy technologies, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, V. 168,

Fu, X., Fu, M. Q., Ghauri, P. and Hou J. (2022) International collaboration and innovation: from a leading Chinese multinational enterprise. Journal of World Business, 57 (4). 

Fu, X., Ghauri, P., Ogbonna, N. and Xing, X. (2022) Platform technology and entrepreneurship in the base of the pyramid. Technovation. 

Ghauri, P, Fu, X. and Minayora, A. (2022) Digital technology-based entrepreneurial pursuit of the marginalised communities. Journal of International Management. 

Hou, J., Fu, X. and Mohnen, P. (2022) The impact of China–Africa Trade on the productivity of African firms: Evidence from Ghana. The European Journal of Development Research 34, 869–896.

Li, J., Van Assche, A. Fu, X., Li, Lee and G. Qian (2022) The Belt and Road Initiative and international business policy: A kaleidoscopic perspective. Journal of International Business Policy.

Fu, X., Avenyo, E. and Ghauri, P. (2021) Digital platforms and development: a survey of the literature. Innovation and Development.

Fu, X., Li, Y., Li, J. and H. Chesbrough (2021) When do latecomer firms undertake international open innovation: Evidence from China. Global Strategy Journal

Chen, J., Yin, X., Fu, X. and B. McKern (2021) Beyond catch-up: could China become the global innovation powerhouse? China’s innovation progress and challenges from a holistic innovation perspective. Industry and Corporate Changehttps://doi:10.1093/icc/dtab032

Lin, Y., Fu, M.X., and Fu, X. (2021) Varieties in state capitalism and corporate innovation: Evidence from an emerging economy, Journal of Corporate Finance, vol 67, 

Fu, X., Emes, D. and J. Hou, (2021) Multinational enterprises and structural change in developing countries: A survey of literature. International Business Review. vol 30, issue 2,

Fu, X., Zhang, J. and Wang, L. (2020) The impact of Covid-19 and post-pandemic recovery: China and the world economy, Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 18 (4),

Fu, X., Fu, M. X., Remero, C. and Pan, J. (2020) Exploring new opportunities through collaboration within and beyond sectoral systems of innovation: Evidence from China. Industry and Corporate Change

Lema, R., X. Fu and R. Rabellotti (2020) Green windows of opportunity: latecomer development in the age of transformation toward sustainability, Industry and Corporate Change, Volume 29, Issue 5,  Pages 1193–1209,  (published in 2021)

Shi L, Li S, Fu X. (2020) The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Technology Innovation and Firm Wages: Empirical Evidence from OECD Economies. Revue d'économie industrielle. 1 (n° 169), pages 89 -125.

Fu, X. and Ghauri, P. (2020), Trade in Intangibles and the Global Trade ImbalanceThe World Economy.

Fu, X.M., Bao, Q., Xie, H. and Fu, X. (2020) Diffusion of industrial robotics and inclusive growth: Labour market evidence from cross country dataJournal of Business Research.

Corsi, S., Fu, X. and Kulzer-Sacilotto, C. (2020) Boundary spanning roles in cross-border university-industry collaboration: the case of Chinese multinational corporations. R&D management.

Fu, X. (2020) Digital transformation of global value chains and sustainable post-pandemic recovery. Transnational Corporation , 27(2).

Fu, X., Buckley, P.J. and Fu, X.M., (2020) The Growth Impact of Chinese Direct Investment on Host Developing Countries. International Business Review, 29(2), p.101658.

Fu Xiaolan (with Kaihua Chen and Yi Zhang) (2019) 'Scientific effects of Triple Helix interactions among research institutes, industries and universities', Technovation

Fu Xiaolan (with Ann Njoki Kingiri) (2019) 'Understanding the diffusion and adoption of digital finance innovation in emerging economies: M-Pesa money mobile transfer service in Kenya', Innovation and Development

Fu, Xiaolan (with Kaihua Chen and Yi Zhang) ‘International Research Collaboration: An Emerging Domain of Innovation Studies?’, Research Policy. Vol 48, Issue 1, 149-168.

Fu, Xiaolan (with Zhongjuan Sun and Pervez N. Ghauri) 'Reverse knowledge acquisition in emerging markets MNEs: The experiences of Hauwei and ZTE.', Journal of Business Research

Fu, Xiaolan (with Jun Hou, Xiaohui Liu) (2018) 'Unpacking the relationship between outward direct investment and innovation performance: evidence from Chinese firms', World Development, Vol 102, 111-123

Fu, Xiaolan (with Pierre Mohnen, Giacomo Zanello) (2018) 'Innovation and productivity in formal and informal firms in Ghana', Technological Forecasting and Social Change , Vol 131, 315-325.

Fu, Xiaolan (with K Chen and M Kou) (2018) 'Evaluation of multi-period regional R&D efficiency: An application of dynamic DEA to China's regional R&D systems', Omega, Vol 74, 103-114

Fu, Xiaolan (with Lutao Ning, Dylan Sutherland) (2017) 'Local context and innovation in China', Asian Business and Management 16 (3) 117-29

Fu, Xiaolan (with Jun Hou, Marco Sanfilippo) (2017) 'Highly skilled returnees and the internationalization of EMNEs: Firm level evidence from China', International Business Review 26 (3) 579–91

Fu, Xiaolan (with G Zanello, P Mohnen and M Ventresca) (2016) 'The creation and diffusion of innovation in developing countries: A systematic literature review', Journal of Economic Surveys 30 (5) 884-912

Fu, Xiaolan (with S Akter) (2016) 'The Impact of Mobile Phone Technology on Agricultural Extension Services Delivery: Evidence from India', Journal of Development Studies 52 (11) 1561-76

Fu, Xiaolan (with J Li ) (2016) 'Collaboration with foreign universities for innovation: evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms', International Journal of Technology Management 70 (2/3) 193-217

Fu, Xiaolan (with F Wang, J Chen) (2014) 'Differential Forms of Technological Change and Catch-Up: Evidence from China', International Journal of Innovation Technology Management 11 (2)

Fu, Xiaolan (with R Mu) (2014) 'Enhancing China's Innovation Performance: The Policy Choices', China & World Economy 22 (2) 42-60

Fu, Xiaolan (with G Shen) (2014) 'Trade effects of US anti-dumping actions against China', World Economy 37 (1) 86-105

Fu, Xiaolan (with H Xiong, J Li and Henry Chesbrough) (2014) 'Open innovation as a response to constrains and risks and the moderating role of ownership', Asian Economic Papers 13 (3) 30-58

Fu, Xiaolan (with S Zhu) (2013) 'Drivers of Export Upgrading', World Development 51 221-33

Fu, Xiaolan (2013) 'Computerisation and efficiency of rural credit cooperatives: evidence from India', Journal of International Development 25 (3) 412-37

Fu, Xiaolan (with S Heffernan, M X Fu) (2013) 'Financial innovation in the UK', Applied Economics 45 (24) 3400-11

Fu, Xiaolan (with T Li, M Fu) (2013) 'Technology Development Path in an Open Developing Economy: Evidence from China', Applied Economics 45 (11) 1405-18

Fu, Xiaolan (and Zhu) (2013) ‘Drivers of export upgrading’, World Development, v51, 221-233, DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.05.017 

Fu, Xiaolan (2012) 'Foreign Direct Investment and Managerial Knowledge Spillovers Through the Diffusion of Management Practices', Journal of Management Studies 49(5) 970-99

Fu, Xiaolan (with C Helmers, J Zhang) (2012) 'The Two Faces of Foreign Management Capabilities: FDI and Productive Efficiency in the UK Retail Sector', International Business Review 21 (1) 71-88

Fu, Xiaolan (2012) 'How Does Openness Affect the Importance of Incentives for Innovation?', Research Policy 41 (3) 512-23

Fu, Xiaolan (with R Kaplinsky, J Zhang) (2012) 'The Impact of China on Low and Middle Income Countries' Export Prices in Industrial-Country Markets', World Development 40(8) 1483-98

Fu, Xiaolan (2012) ‘Managerial knowledge spillovers from FDI through the diffusion of management practices’, Journal of Management Studies, v49, no 5, 970-999.

Fu, Xiaolan (2012) ‘How does openness affect the importance of incentives for innovation?’ Research Policy, 41 (3), 512-523.

Fu, Xiaolan (with Kaplinsky and Zhang) (2012), ‘The Impact of China on Low and Middle Income Countries’ Export Prices in Industrial-Country Markets’ World Development, v40 (8), 1483-96 (lead paper).

Fu, Xiaolan (with Pietrobelli, and Soete) (2011), ‘The role of foreign technology and indigenous innovation in emerging economies: technological change and catch-up’, World Development, v39, no 7, 1203-1212.

Fu, Xiaolan (2011) ‘Processing-trade, FDI and Exports of Indigenous Firms: Firm-level Evidence from High-technology Industries in China’, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, v73, no 5. 792-817.

Fu, Xiaolan (and Gong) (2011), ‘Indigenous and foreign innovation efforts and drivers of technological upgrading’, World Development, v39, no 7, 1213-1225.

Fu, Xiaolan (and Yang) (2009), ‘Exploring the cross-country gap in patenting: A Stochastic Frontier Approach’, Research Policy, vol38, no 7. 1203-1213.

Fu, Xiaolan (and Balasubramanyam) (2005), ‘Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: the Case of China’, World Economy, vol.28, no. 4, 607-625.

Fu, Xiaolan (2004) ‘Limited Linkages from Growth Engines and Regional Disparities in China’, Journal of Comparative Economics, vol 32, no. 1, 148-164.

Fu, Xiaolan (and Balasubramanyam) (2003), ‘Township and Village Enterprises in China’, Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 39, No. 4, 27-46


ODI: Innovating out of economic crises 

AfricaLICS: Innovation under the radar - African experience and the way forward

R&D today: Innovation under the radar at Wiley Book club 

For a full list of publications please see the page 'Publications of Xiaolan Fu'




Centre Director