Emerging economies are of growing strategic importance for innovation and economic development in OECD countries. This strategic importance is explained not only by their sheer market size, but also by their growing research and innovation capacities, not least in areas related to sustainable development. Consequently, the fast changing global research and innovation landscape as well as the urgent and tremendous need for a global green and low-carbon transformation call for a more pro-active and creative innovation partnership with the emerging economies. However, in practice, policymakers in most OECD countries lack implementation experience on the ground as well as systematic and strategic thinking in terms of eco-innovation cooperation with emerging economies. The limited presence of relevant public agencies in emerging economies and/or the lack of public-private-partnership-based initiatives from the OECD countries to facilitate eco-innovation on a permanent and professional basis in these emerging countries could be another operational weakness in this kind of innovation cooperation.
For this report we have used a number of different source materials and inputs. Firstly, we have carried out a thorough analysis of two recent calls for proposals launched by Vinnova for funding collaborative projects with China in the field of sustainable development. In addition to examining the call texts, we have studied the applications and the granted projects. Secondly, we have attended several seminars organized by Vinnova, MOST and the Swedish Energy Agency in connection with the calls. Thirdly, we have analysed Chinese policy documents, and other relevant sources to gain an understanding of the context of sustainable development promotion in China.
Our hope is that the report will provide useful insights into how to design policy initiatives in the rapidly changing field of sustainable development cooperation with China.