The initiative of CICALICS, the China Innovation Circles and Academy – Learning, Innovation and Competence Systems, is built upon academia experience in Europe and North America. This experience shows that innovation studies can be strengthened when scholars from national and international networks organise research and training together. The topic of innovation studies has received increasing support from a political level, and from policy makers and business managers. However, it is not always easy to build innovation studies at a single university and sometimes the scale of activity is too limited.
The formations of the network CCC in the US, of EUNETIC-ETIC-DIME in Europe and of DRUID in Denmark has played a crucial role in moving innovation studies into a stronger position in academic studies and, improved the quality of contributions for policy advice. One purpose of these initiatives has been to establish meeting places, but another major purpose has been research training. During research training it is important to have a minimum scale of activity to maintain a high quality output.
The mission of CICALICS includes the following:
1. To invite a limited number of around 25 outstanding international innovation scholars to become CICALICS members which form the outer circle.
2. To create an open national-level network of Chinese innovation scholars – and public administrators / policy makers which form the inner circle.
3. To become a new centre for innovation research at School of Economics and Management (SEM), Tsinghua University, which will be the central node in both the inner and outer circle in alliance with the strong groups at other Chinese Universities.
4. For the network to organise two annual events between late August and early September.
5. To organise an annual CICALICS Workshop, connecting both inner and outer circle around some selected topics within innovation research. The workshop normally invites 10-20 international, 40 Chinese scholars and 20 Chinese Ph.D.s. It is sometimes combined with some public lectures on management and policy issues.