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Is China on track to become the world’s next science superpower? At the same time as it benefits from this dizzying momentum, China faces economic, social and environmental challenges on an unprecedented scale. To overcome these, investment in the hardware of innovation will need to be accompanied by a stronger focus on the ‘software’ of creativity, ethics and research cultures. And China’s drive for ‘independent innovation’ will need to go hand-in-hand with more open and plural forms of ‘cosmopolitan innovation’. The UK must do more to strengthen its collaboration with China, and encourage the possibilities of cosmopolitan innovation to take root and grow.

This pamphlet forms part of The Atlas of Ideas, an 18-month study of science and innovation in Asia, with a focus on opportunities for collaboration with the UK and Europe. The project is funded by the UK government and a consortium of public and private sector partners.

The Atlas of Ideas is a set of four reports edited by Charles Leadbeater and James Wilsdon. Download the other three reports:

The Atlas of Ideas: How Asian innovation can benefit us all
India: The uneven innovator
Korea: Mass innovation comes of age