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A Case of Geo-Innovation in 21st Century

A Case of Geo-InnovationItaly’s Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership with China

September 2021

The report is structured as follows. Section 1 frames the Sino-Italian STI partnership against the backdrop of geo-innovation and introduces the recent developments of China’s domestic STI scenario following the adoption of two new strategic plans – the Belt and Road Initiative and the Made in China 2025 – under the new presidency of Xi Jinping. Then a brief account of the implications resulting from the two new plans on China’s STI bilateral relations with the West is given, with a focus on the Italy-China STI bilateral relations. Section 2 first illustrates the history of Italy-China STI relations and provides deeper insights on the type of STI initiatives and collaborations between the two countries at the institutional level, involving universities, research institutes as well as start-ups and SMEs. Section 2 then provides an analysis of the trends in FDI flows between Italy and China in the years 2010-2020, and the results are elaborated to give an account on the current state of affairs in the major industries where FDIs are realized. Section 3 illustrates cooperation between Italy and China in the green industries as a case study, first by looking at the new Chinese market for environmental protection as the result of the reform policies introduced by the three most recent Five Year Plans. The Section then discusses business opportunities for Italian firms in the Chinese green industry market and in the context of sustainable development of PR China.

Download here the full report