We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Military-Civil Fusion and Technological Innovation in China

China’s tech innovation strategy employs universities and companies to serve as the foundation for the country’s innovation. When placed in the context of China’s military-civil fusion strategy, however, Beijing’s drive to innovate using its civilian universities and enterprises is in lockstep with its drive to accelerate innovation for its defence sector.

Although focused domestically, the innovation strategy’s interdependence with China’s military-civil fusion system enables it to leverage the global research and development network of the country’s own companies and universities. The intersection of military-civil fusion and China’s innovation strategy puts international commercial and academic research partnerships focused on dual-use technologies at risk of contributing to China’s defence capabilities.

Recent research tracks the global expansion of 27 Chinese technology companies. Many of these companies engage in the research and development of military-civil fusion applications. Due to the global reach of many of these technology companies, they play a pivotal role in achieving China’s innovation goals.

One means for companies to contribute to military-civil fusion development is through providing technologies developed for civilian use to the defence sector. Another means for private enterprises to engage in military-civil fusion is through conducting research and development on dual-use technologies.

A Chinese multinational technology company partnered with a defence conglomerate to establish a joint lab for intelligent command and control technologies to collaborate on military-civil fusion projects in areas such as big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Although these military-civil fusion collaborations are domestic partnerships, they have global implications. Despite innovation dominance and technology independence being key drivers of military-civil fusion, China remains at this stage reliant on access to the international science and technology ecosystem to drive the pursuit of its long-term goals. Chinese companies and universities are well-positioned to utilise their status internationally to meet these domestic innovation goals.

Through research partnerships, joint ventures, surveillance equipment, data centres, and telecommunications infrastructure, among many other forms of overseas presence, enterprises and universities are able to harness international talent, technology, and experience for domestic innovation applications.

To place these examples of companies in context, China’s innovation system can be understood as using a three-tiered framework. First, military-civil fusion creates the innovation ecosystem for modernising the national defence and national economic systems; second, the National Innovation-Driven Development Strategy drives the country’s innovation priorities; and third, universities and the commercial sector serve as the foundation for the science and technology innovation system.

President of China perceives both innovation and military-civil fusion as integral to China’s overall national development. More specifically, China’s development relies on both science and technology innovation and military-civil fusion, where science and technology innovation serves as the key to the success of military-civil fusion.

Due to the foundational role of universities and enterprises in this innovation system, providing these institutions with the resources and prestige necessary to drive the country’s innovation has become a priority. emphasises the need to establish both world-class innovation-orientated companies and world-class universities and curricula to cultivate talent who are then able to lead the country in meeting its ambitious innovation goals.

The collaborations are identified as industry-university-research alliances, which are a means of promoting the two-way transfer of military-civil technology for military-civil fusion. One of China’s universities leverages collaborations by hosting a technology transfer centre that is responsible for facilitating university-industry collaboration and seeks to collaborate with well-known overseas research institutes to support the technology transfer of research outcomes.

China’s companies are increasingly expected to become involved in military scientific and technological research, production, and maintenance, and military-civil fusion. The country’s innovation strategy sheds light on the critical role of universities and the commercial sector in China’s civilian and national defence developments.

Send this to a friend