Globalization of Innovation : Manifestation, Determinants and Implications for the Emerging Economies of China and India

China and India are now considered the favored locations for technology outsourcing. But, compared to the amount of literature on the globalization of trade in commodities, services and capital, the globalization of innovation is an under-researched area. This project came out of an IDRC-supported consultation workshop, Innovation in China and India : Linking Innovation to Development (104816). It aims to understand the globalization of innovation by studying research and development (R&D) outsourcing as a key indicator of the phenomenon.

Researchers will assess the magnitude and map out the different types or formats of R&D outsourcing in China and India in the four major industrial sectors in which it is concentrated: pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, information technology and biotechnology. They will then assess the implications of R&D outsourcing for the host countries using the following hypotheses: inflows from R&D outsourcing can improve the technology balance of payments of the host country; the R&D outsourcing sector may drain scientists and engineers from the domestic R&D sector; and, under certain conditions R&D outsourcing can lead to some spillover benefits to the host economies. The project is expected to provide a comparative analysis of the two countries, and policy-relevant resources for the industrial sector.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, March 9, 2009

End Date

Saturday, December 31, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Ravichandran, Ms. Veena

Total funding

CA$ 89,900


China, Far East Asia, India, Central Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Prof. Sunil Mani


Centre for Development Studies

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Dr. Zheng LIANG


Tsinghua University

Institution Country


Institution Website