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CDA Publication Series

CDA Systemic Country Insights (SCI)

The publication series CDA Systemic Country Insights (SCI) is a novel scholarly platform for discourse between the West and China. In the coming decades we envisage to provide systemic and systematic analyses on a multitude of perspectives analysing the essence as well as details of Sino-European development between European countries, the European Union and EU Member States vis a vis the People’s Republic of China.

The editions of the SCI-series shall be published regularly over time but irregularly during the individual years. As a rule, the analyses are based on the use of European and original Chinese data alike in a synoptic approach combining the expertise of European and Chinese scholars. Taken together over time CDA publications from this series are envisaged to contribute to a more holistic picture of China, its identity and the way of thinking and problem solving when it comes to research, analysis, innovation and the development and implementation of novel technologies in economy and society.


CDA Systemic Country Insights (SCI), Edition 1 / 2021, 11 September 2021

A CASE OF GEO-INNOVATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Italy’s Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership with China

In the year of Italy’s G20 Presidency this CDA report provides initial data and background information on the strategic cooperation of Italy and China to foster global networks of innovation and learning. At the same time the two nations capitalize on the technological and economic opportunities combining their national systems of innovation to form a novel quality of application of research and knowledge – following a history of Sino-European knowledge exchange that already started with the Italian scholar Matteo Ricci living and doing research with scholars in China more than 400 years ago at the turn of the 16th to the 17th century.

It is therefore our pleasure to publish this first edition of CDA’s novel publication series under the aegis of the University of Macerata – a genius loci of China research in Italy and the birthplace of Matteo Ricci – with major contributions of a leading institution of PR China’s National Innovation System, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

The report is structured as follows. Section 1 frames the Sino-Italian STI partnership against the backdrop of geo-innovation and introduces the recent developments of China’s domestic STI scenario following the adoption of two new strategic plans – the Belt and Road Initiative and the Made in China 2025 – under the new presidency of Xi Jinping. Then a brief account of the implications resulting from the two new plans on China’s STI bilateral relations with the West is given, with a focus on the Italy-China STI bilateral relations. Section 2 first illustrates the history of Italy-China STI relations and provides deeper insights on the type of STI initiatives and collaborations between the two countries at the institutional level, involving universities, research institutes as well as start-ups and SMEs. Section 2 then provides an analysis of the trends in FDI flows between Italy and China in the years 2010-2020, and the results are elaborated to give an account on the current state of affairs in the major industries where FDIs are realized. Section 3 illustrates cooperation between Italy and China in the green industries as a case study, first by looking at the new Chinese market for environmental protection as the result of the reform policies introduced by the three most recent Five Year Plans. The Section then discusses business opportunities for Italian firms in the Chinese green industry market and in the context of sustainable development of PR China.

CDA Systemic Country Insights (SCI), Edition 1 / 2021

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