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Structures and strategies of Chinese companies in key enabling and advanced manufacturing technologies

: Frietsch, Rainer; Neuhäusler, Peter


Clarke, T.:
Innovation in the Asia Pacific : From manufacturing to the knowledge economy
Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore, 2018
ISBN: 978-981-10-5893-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-10-5895-0 (Online)
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer ISI ()
key enabling technology; KET; advanced manufacturing technologies; AMT; China; competitiveness; Patent

While at the EU-level there are many programmes and efforts to increase the interaction and collaboration with China, policies have also been set up and (partially) implemented to keep Europe’s competitive edge over China, but also other competitors. A number of technological fields are nominated by the European Commission as an important input or precondition for Europe’s future competitiveness, among them the so called Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). This chapter examines where Chinese companies stand in terms of national and international competitiveness in these Key Enabling Technologies. A more general question is whether Europe is not taking a realistic view of its current and future position with regard to the KETs. Our empirical analysis shows that Europe’s current position in AMT seems to be good—mainly due to a high performance of Germany, but also France and the UK—while it is rather poor in KETs. Concerning the potential threat from Chinese companies, it seems that they are shortening the gap. Recently, the vast majority of patent applications, both in KETs and in AMT, at SIPO stem from Chinese applicants. The answer to the question “How does China perform?” is quite clear at the moment. It does not yet perform very well on the international stage, but the national market for technologies is mostly dominated by Chinese inventors/companies. The answer to the second research question whether Europe is daydreaming about its current and especially its future positioning in KETs and AMT is: “Most probably yes”. The good news for Europe is that it still holds strong positions in Societal Grand Challenges, which will contribute even more to jobs and growth in Europe than KETs and AMT alone. The idea that KETs and AMT not only provide direct input to this goal of growth, but also indirectly help to keep the competitive edge in the Grand Challenges, is a reasonable one.