The limits to university–industry collaboration in Beijing’s science park
Analysis of academic-industry links and their impact on technological innovation has been studied largely inside three theoretical frameworks: national systems of innovation (Nelson, 1993), new production of knowledge (‘Mode 2’), (Gibbons et al., 1994), and the ‘Triple Helix’ (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1997). Although the growing importance of university research for science-related innovation is not in doubt, the usefulness of these theories, particularly in terms of their generalizability across national and institutional spaces has, however, been challenged. On a purely empirical basis it is claimed that it is hard to fit the empirical data on the subject into such overarching models, a difficulty compounded by a relatively sparse empirical literature (Mowery and Sampat, 2004). However, it is also argued that existing theorizing fails to provide a satisfactory explanation of academicindustry relations in developing countries (Eun et al., 2006). This is particularly the case for China, a country that has had a radically different social and historical development path to Western economies.