Triple Helix perspectives
The university activities as well as R&D activities are mainly controlled by the Chinese government through the Ministry of Higher Education. However, after the open door policy to participate in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government has encouraged the university to make a transition into a new role of promoting innovation. Based on the Triple Helix perspective of innovation system, the universities need more interactions with the market to promote university-affiliated enterprises and business spin-offs.
The Torch program has greatly supported high-tech industrial development in China. Nevertheless, the industry including science parks and incubators is largely controlled by the central government. China needs more market incentives (including financial and tax incentives) and supportive policies to compete under the increasing competitive environment after WTO accession. In pursuit of the open door policy, the industry has now increased cooperation with universities and research institutes to exploit technical knowledge and improve knowledge transfer which would thereby enhance the national innovative capabilities.
The analysis based on the Triple Helix model has shown the government-led national innovation system. The Chinese government guides the innovation development through the 12th Five-Year National Economic and Social Development Plan 2011-2015. However, China still needs the policies to support SME cluster development as well as specialized financial institutions to support the development of SMEs. The local government should improve financing platforms to support innovation and private sector development.