Law and innovation between Europe and China

This topic reveals the great attention of the Department not only to the relationship between innovation and law, but also to technological and socio-economic challenges in a global perspective.

The researchers will analyze the themes of innovation also in comparison with China. We leverage on the experience of the China Center, an interdisciplinary research center funded by the Department and which – over the years – has developed numerous lines of study also on the topic of innovation.

China, with the XIII Five-Year Plan, has defined a new path of economic development, focused on three key concepts: “sustainability”, “internal growth” and “innovation”. The country is moving towards a more qualitative “growth model”, with the aim of becoming an innovative country by 2020 and innovation leader by 2050. The China 2025 Plan, drawn up by the Government, identifies the main development lines.

In this scenario, the need for a systematic confrontation between China and Europe becomes even more evident, in the common intent to face the technological and social challenges that involve these two great cultural and economic areas of the world.

In sum, the Department intends to carry out scientific studies, research activities, training and outreach initiatives for the civil society and the business system, connected to the concepts of social challenges and innovation, in the perspective of cooperation and collaboration between Europe and China. Many lines of research are carried on in this perspective.

Among these ones, there is the research focused on the military use of Unmanned maritime systems (UMSs) (which implies unique challenges for existing international law). The aim of this research is to analyse the technological state of the art of UMS in Europe and China and how European States and China justify the legitimate use of such systems in peacetime or in the context of an armed conflict.

In the area of IP and Business Law, there are two principal lines of research. The first one is strictly connected to Intellectual Property Law studies and concerns legal frameworks of databases protection. In Europe, the EC has published, on the 25th of April 2018, its second evaluation of the Database Directive (96/9/EC) and it is discussed what kind of “sui generis right” modifications are required in the digital age and in light of the recently approved Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (2019/790). The second one is related to the ambitious process of digitalization of companies which EU has fostered – in the context of Digital Single Market Strategy – with a Proposal for a Directive on the use of digital tools and processes in company law [COM(2018) 239 final]. European provisions about online registration and filing, disclosure and registers suggest also a connection with a wider discussion – increasingly developing worldwide – about digitalization of companies’ internal structures and decision-making processes. Within both lines, the research will develop the comparison with China, where the development and discussion on such issues is having a substantial expansion.

Finally, the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is studied. The implications for local development, the connections with the Made in China 2025 plan, the opportunities for cooperation with China, as well as the growth model promoted by the Chinese government along the routes of the ancient maritime and land silk road, are explored. We consider both the perspective of institutions (of collaboration between states), and of companies, in light of the influence that the BRI can have on bilateral trade and investment flows.


The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is a leading German think tank and the largest European think tank with an exclusive focus on China. The non-profit organization was founded in 2013 by Stiftung Mercator, one of Germany’s largest private foundations. MERICS conducts research and fosters dialogue on the ascent of China as a key global player. The institute’s focus is on political, economic, social, technological and ecological developments in China and their global impacts.

China’s industrial policy in the quest for
global tech leadership
Max J. Zenglein | Anna Holzmann
No 8 | July 2019
Challenges for Europe
Kristin Shi-Kupfer | Mareike Ohlberg
No 7 | April 2019

Thilo Hanemann, Mikko Huotari, Agatha Kratz
A report by Rhodium Group (RHG)
and the Mercator Institute for
China Studies (MERICS)
March 2019
Innovation and IT in China‘s
social development agenda
Edited by Matthias Stepan | Jane Duckett
No 6 | October 2018
MIT Sloan Management Review is a research-based magazine and digital platform for business executives published at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The print edition of the MIT Sloan Management Review is published quarterly; the digital edition is updated daily. It is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Foreign companies must retool their R&D strategies to keep
pace with newly innovative Chinese enterprises
Vol. 59, No. 4
Summer 2018

Risultati immagini per logo leiden asia center
LeidenAsiaCentre is an independent research centre affiliated with Leiden University and made
possible by a grant from the Vaes Elias Fund. The centre focuses on academic research with direct
application to society. All research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide variety of
partners from Dutch society.

This is an open source publication by LeidenAsiaCentre, 2018.
Assessing Europe-China Collaboration
in Higher Education and Research

Ingrid d’Hooghe, Annemarie Montulet, Marijn de Wolff and Frank N. Pieke
Risultati immagini per commissione europea immagini
Roadmap for EU
China S&T cooperation
year 2018
In China Manufacturing 2025: Putting Industrial Policy Ahead of Market Forces, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China analyses the potential impact of the China Manufacturing 2025 (CM2025) initiative on both European business andChina’s economy.

Made in China 2025
The making of a high-tech superpower
and consequences for industrial countries
Jost Wübbeke | Mirjam Meissner | Max J. Zenglein
Jaqueline Ives | Björn Conrad
No 2 | December 2016
Risultati immagini per relazioni europa cina foto
Mapping Europe-China Relations
A Bottom-Up Approach
Edited by Mikko Huotari, Miguel Otero-Iglesias,
John Seaman and Alice Ekman
A Report by the European
Think-tank Network on China (ETNC)
October 2015
Risultati immagini per commissione europea immagini
Evolution of China’s
Innovation Performance

This study was financed under FP7
(Capacities Programme – Support for the coherent development of
research policies), tender n° 2012/S12.637349
(Study on analysis of China’s performance in science, technology and
Produced and written by
Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação – Consultadoria e Fomento da Inovação S.A (SPI)
UNU-MERIT – (The Netherlands)
AIT- Austrian Institute of Technology – (Austria)
for the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation
2015 Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
Cina: le prospettive di crescita economica cinese
Supporting Report 2
China’s Growth through
Technological Convergence
and Innovation

China 2030

Risultati immagini per tecnologia e innovazione immagini
Founded in 2010 and led by Director Darrell West, the Center for Technology Innovation (CTI) at Brookings focuses on delivering research that affects public debate and policymaking in the arena of U.S. and global technology innovation.

Issues in
Technology Innovation

Becoming a Techno-Industrial Power:
Chinese Science and Technology Policy

Joel R. Campbell
Number 23 – April 2013