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CDA and Zhejiang University sign Cooperation Agreement

Vienna/Hangzhou, 6 March 2024  Against the backdrop of China’s successful achievements in building a globally competitive National Innovation System since its reform and opening-up in 1978 CDA President Alexander G. Welzl and Professor Wu Xiaobo, Dean of Zhejiang University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Director of National Institute for Innovation Management (NIIM) at Zhejiang University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a signature ceremony at the CDA headquarters office in Vienna. Part of C9 universities – the Ivy League of China’s university system – Zhejiang University is one of the three oldest Chinese universities and constantly ranks among the top three leading universities in China in global university rankings like the Shanghai Ranking (ARWU). Called ‘the Cambridge of the East’ by famous Western 20ies century Sinologist Joseph Needham, Zhejiang University’s todays weight within the Chinese higher education system is underlined by the fact that the computer scientist and then President of the University, Professor Wu Zhaohui, was inaugurated as Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Peoples Republic of China in 2022. After the end of his service as Vice Minister of MOST in April 2024 China's State Council announced that Wu Zhaohui was named Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing. Also against this backdrop the cooperation agreement between CDA and NIIM/Zhejiang University is the starting point for a long-term bilateral and high-level collaboration between the two academic institutions in Europe and China.

From left to right: Dean Prof. WU Xiaobo (Zhejiang University), President Alexander G. WELZL (CDA) at CDA headquarters in Vienna, Austria

Zhejiang University was the place where the terms ‘innovation’ and ‘(corporate) innovation management’ developed and applied in the West were introduced for the first time in China’s academic and corporate worlds in the 80ies of the twentieth century. Born in 1930, Professor Xu Qingrui was the first scholar in China to propose the idea that enterprises lie at the core of technological innovation. He formed the theoretical system of technological innovation management with Chinese characteristics. Professor Xu built the first domestic doctoral section of engineering management in Zhejiang University, and he published ‘Management of Technological Innovation’, the first book on the technological innovation discipline in China. Professor Xu is the doctor father of Professor Wu Xiaobo who founded NIIM around 2003. The National Institute for Innovation Management at Zhejiang University is a leading research base in China's innovation management field, known for its pioneer work in initiating studies in China on technological innovation management and sustainable competitiveness as well as its remarkable achievements and comprehensive cooperation network worldwide. Based on long-term exploration, NIIM has creatively proposed original innovation management theories and paradigms such as ‘Secondary Innovation Management’, ‘Portfolio Innovation Management’, ‘Total Innovation Management’ as well as ‘C Theory’ and has made important contributions to the theories and practices of technological innovation management with Chinese characteristics in academia and corporations.

From left to right: Dean Prof. WU Xiaobo (Zhejiang University), President Alexander G. WELZL (CDA)


NIIM cooperates with world leading universities in Europe and the United States among them University of Cambridge and Stanford University. Since many years NIIM at Zhejiang University and Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge, jointly organize annually the International Symposium on Global Manufacturing and China (GMC).


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