Local Governments as an Integrative Organizer: The Policy Practice of Constructing Innovation Platforms in South China

  • 04 29, 2023
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  • Author:Wei Zhao


Based on an in-depth study of one city district and four new investment projects in South China,this article analyses the implementation practice of innovation policy by Chinese local governments. It is found that at the regional level, innovation policy as practice is a highly mixed-up and integrated process composed of steps from targeting emerging industries, to constructing platforms, and to developing new clusters, during which the most important policy concept of “innovation platform” is used in a distinctive way by local governments to effectively foster regional innovation-oriented development. In general, the local government intervenes heavily in or even “manages” every step of the implementation process with specific policy approach and instrument. Managing regional development as a whole process of innovation, the entrepreneurial Chinese local government indeed plays a role of meso-level organizer equivalent to the innovation project manager in business sector. These new practical approaches of regional innovation development with Chinese characteristics can inspire other emerging and catch-up economies for their policy making in five aspects.


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