Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography Research Research projects
Technological change, innovation, and regional economic development in Shanghai and Beijing

Technological change, innovation, and regional economic development in Shanghai and Beijing

Led by:  Prof. Dr, Ingo Liefner
Team:  Prof. Dr, Ingo Liefner, Stefan Hennemann
Year:  2005
Funding:  German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration:  2003 - 2005
Is Finished:  yes

Since of introduction of economic reforms in 1978 the People’s Republic of China and its coastal cities in particular have witnessed sustained high growth. The research project aimed at understanding the dynamics of regional economic restructuring in Shanghai and Beijing, two leading metropolises. The project focuses on technical upgrading, knowledge and innovation as important determinants of economic change. Goals of the project are


  1. to gather evidence of technological change and innovation of firms in Shanghai and Beijing,
  2. To assess the importance of indigenous R&D activities on technology imports by foreign-invested companies, and
  3. To envisage long-term economic benefits deriving from strategies that emphasize either own R&D activities or technology imports and cooperation.

The research is based on a company survey in Beijing and in Shanghai.

Poster [535 KB]



  • Wang, T.;, Liefner, I.; Zeng, G. (2006): Western Cluster Studies and Cluster Politics and their Implications to China. In: Human Geography 21 (5), S. 74-79 (in chinesischer Sprache).
  • Liefner, I.; Hennemann, S.; Lu, X. (2006): Cooperation in the Innovation Process in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Beijing Zhongguancun. In: Environment and Planning A 38, No. 1, pp. 111-130.
  • Hennemann, S.; Liefner, I. (2006): Kooperations- und Innovationsverhalten von chinesischen Hochtechnologieunternehmen - Empirische Ergebnisse aus Beijing und Shanghai. In: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie 50 (1), S. 58-71.
  • Zeng Gang; Liefner, I.; Fan Jie (2006): Comparison of Regional Innovation Systems of High-tech Enterprise Clusters in Beijing and Shanghai. In: City Planning Review 30 (3), S. 2-8 (in chinesischer Sprache).
  • Liefner, I. (2006): Ausländische Direktinvestitionen und internationaler Wissenstransfer nach China. Untersucht am Beispiel von Hightech-Unternehmen in Shanghai und Beijing. Wirtschaftsgeographie 34. Berlin LIT.

Presentations to Scientific Audiences:

  • Liefner, I.: Cooperation in Chinese Innovation Systems: Key Determinants and Outcomes, Vortrag für den SPRIE and CISTP workshop “Greater China’s Innovative Capacities: Progress and Challenges”, Beijing, 20.-21.05.2006.
  • Liefner, I.: Development of High-tech Enterprises in Shanghai: The Role of External Cooperation and Knowledge Transfer, AAG Annual Meeting, Chicago, 10.03.2006.
  • Liefner, I.: Knowledge sources and regional learning in Shanghai, “Knowledge and Regional Economic Development” COST Open Conference, Barcelona, 09.-11.06.2005.
  • Liefner, I.: Regionale High-Tech Cluster in China: Politische Initiierung und technologische Entwicklung, Rauischholzhausener Symposium zur Wirtschaftsgeographie, 29.04.2005.