The platform initiative has three goals: take
risks on early stage startups; help foreign and domestic universities
connect to Chinese investment; and fundamentally change the way Chinese
startups are operated so that they can prosper.
mortality rate” for both Chinese and U.S. tech startups is too high,
Chen said. The current focus for VCs is software, not so much on
hardware. A bigger problem is that “nobody is funding projects focused
on improvement of manufacturing process or materials,” he said. By
assigning technologists, entrepreneurs and PKU alumni to “match-making”
tasks, Chen said he envisions the Open Innovation Platform connecting
more pre-IPO companies with Chinese investment.
As more private capital moves to lower-risk investment, university IP remains locked up in school with nowhere to go, Chen said. Meanwhile, universities are seeking Chinese partners or creating research consortia. In June this year, the University of Wisconsin opened the UW–Madison Shanghai Innovation Office designed to “serve as a focal point for the university’s growing engagement in China.”
Indeed, Chen said “innovation offices” are popping up everywhere here. Rather than growing competition, the challenge is whether this model is sustainable with only a few experts running the offices.
A typical problem is finding local talent to help run an innovation office while building vital relationships with government agencies. Despite a variety of local and national funding sources, Chen said, “getting Chinese funding is not that easy.”
Hence, Chen argued that the Open Innovation Platform can help universities and companies attract funding and gain market access – more efficiently and effectively.
Eventually the chinese will discover that when you do not respect other peoples IP, then they will not respect yours. When China reaches a point where they can truely develop new IP, they will face the dilema. To produce products with the IP will jeopardize their control. Yet, failing to profit from their IP will remove the profit and technical advantage they may have created. In short, they will be damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Welcome to the new open society.
Very interesting. With all the Chinese nationals attending and teaching in universities in the West, including in the most prestigious and competitive ones, one almost wonders how come there aren't more outspoken ones like Prof. Chen.
It will be fascinating to see how this evolves. I have to believe that IP issues certainly, but a whole host of other apparent disconnects between our ways of thinking, can't help but come closer together in time. Especially since universtities in the US and other western countries continue to seek, very actively, Chinese and other foreign students and faculty.
Do a web search on the demographic makeup of entering Freshmen in Ivy League and any other prestigious universities, and you can't help but see this trend. I can't help but believe this will bear fruit eventually.
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