by Alfonso Avila-Robinson

CICALICS Academy 20010 (China’s Innovation Circles and Academy) was held at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China from August 21-28, 2010. Besides the CICALICS Academy, participating students were also able to take part in the CICALICS Workshop focused on 'Structural Transition and Sustainable Development of Developing Countries after the Financial Crisis', which was held on August 24-25, 2010 at the same venue. Both events were organized by the National Institute of Innovation Management of the Zheijiang University and the Research Center for Technological Innovation of the Tsinghua University. Around 30 students attended CICALICS Academy 2010. From those students, only two were non-Chinese; however, three Chinese students came from abroad (Brighton University in England and Bocconi University in Italy). The rest of the students came from different universities and research institutes in China (Beijing, Tsinghua, Zheijiang, among others).

Buildings at Zhejiang University
View of the conference venue

From my experience I could say that the main purposes of the CICALICS Academy were to immerse Ph.D. students into some of the foundational topics of innovation management, particularly emphasizing the application of those concepts in practice, and to train future scholars in innovation management into the use of appropriate research methods and skills. With that purpose in mind, CICALICS Academy makes use of a rich mixture of discussions, presentations, informal talks, etc. conducted in a very friendly and relaxed, but at the same time rigorous and demanding, academical environment. Furthermore, another important aspect was the plenty of opportunities the organizers provide to, formally and informally, interact and network with top-level researchers in the field and fellow students. In particular, I benefited not only from the diversity of topics reviewed, but also from the diversity of perspectives used by the researchers in tackling their research problems. The latter helped me to broaden and enrich my perspective of the field. In conclusion, I regard my time at the CICALICS Academy as an enriching and fruitful experience, not only for learning about my field and interact with people from the ‘innovation community’, but also for getting to know very kind people and a very interesting country, its culture, its people, its way of living, etc.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the people of the Zhejiang University and Tsinghua University for their excellent planning and organization and for allowing me to attend the CICALICS Academy 2010, and in particular to my research supervisor Prof. Miyazaki, for her support and encouragement in making my visit to China possible.

Part of the participants to CICALICS Academy 2010
With Prof. Franco Malerba
Dinner together with some participants
With Prof. Shulin Gu

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