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Innovation and Translational Research as Key Drivers of New Structural Economics




The 28th NSE

International Development Forum


Innovation and Translational Research as Key Drivers of New Structural Economics

– European Perspectives on Chinas Global Development Narrative


Time:   10:30am – 12:00pm, April 3rd, 2019

Venue:  Room 359s, Overseas Exchange Center, Peking University

Speaker:  Mr. Mag. Alexandre G. Welzl  




In the year of the 50th anniversary of mans first landing on the moon European economies and the EU still suffer from the long waves of the global financial crisis. With substantial state interventions adding up to hundreds of billions of Euros in recent years the neoliberal market model is in question. Leading to ongoing renationalisation and systemic imbalances these developments are aggraveted by a fundamental structural change and transformation process. Mainly digitalisation, demographic change, urbanisation and resource depletion are seen as immediate drivers which challenge the effectiveness of European governance systems as well as the collective learning curve. Obviously only innovative approaches – be it on technological, social or governance level – could provide convincing and effective answers to these questions. However with regard to translational research and innovation the pace in Europe currently needs to speed up.


On the other hand China seems to have found a novel macroeconomic model and systemic approach to orchestrate the interaction between players from politics, corporations and financial industry. From a European perspective the sustainability of this model is repeatedly put into question though. A core issue in this regard is the still widely missing understanding of the performance and dynamics of China’s National Innovation System. However given the most recent strategic plans of the Chinese government innovation driven value and wealth creation play a key role in building the Chinese Dream and socialism with Chinese characteristics in the coming decades. And even beyond its borders China cultivates its innovation capacity and strives to capitalize on its innovation power. While the European Union still seeks for a strong narrative to revive its global outreach on the Eurasian continent and its relations to the African countries China effectively coined a novel and global development narrative for the 21st century.


Against this backdrop this lecture tries to take stock of the ongoing developments in China and draws connecting lines to Europe. Special attention is given to China’s Digitial Silk Road (DSR) combining innovation performance in space and on the ground. Its widespread impact amongst others on global logistics, communication and metropolitan development is addressed. In this context China’s considerable investments in quantum research and technology add to the national innovation performance in the coming decades. Correspondingly the European Union has launched its so called‚ Quantum Flagship – a 1 billion Euro investment program - last October in Vienna, Austria. It is focused on translational research and innovation. 


Speaker:Mr. Mag. Alexandre G. Welzl  

As lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (UASTW, Austria/Europe) Alexander G. WELZL started the first lecture on the National Innovation System of P.R. China (and management of innovation in Chinese corporations) at an Austrian university in the winter term 2018/19. He is also Senior Fellow with EUPRO Bureau for European Projects (since 2016), a Vienna based private research institute. In March and April 2019 Alexander stays as a visiting fellow at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.


In previous positions Alexander was senior researcher with Economica (2008 – 2016), a Vienna based macroeconomic think tank, policy officer as well as human resources and performance management expert with Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General I  (2007 – 2008), European Coordinator and Chairman of the Commission on Intellectual Capital (CIC) of the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS, Frankfurt am Main, Germany/Europe, 2006 - 2013), Senior consultant with Munich (Germany) based professional service firm ESPRIT Consulting (2003 – 2007) and head of staff unit‚ Spin-off and Venture Management of the CEO of Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT, 1998 – 2003).


Alexander is a frequently invited speaker contributing to conferences, expert workshops and seminars amongst others at and with OECD, World Bank, Academy of Macroeconomic Research (AMR) of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of P.R. China, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS, Beijing), US National Academy of Sciences (Washington DC/USA), Harvard University (Boston/USA), University of Oxford (Oxford/UK), European University Institute (Florence/Italy), Waseda University (Tokyo/Japan), University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg/Germany), Deutsche Bank AG/Deutsche Bank Research (Berlin, Germany), Swiss Financial Analysts Association (SFAA, Switzerland) and Austrian Institute of Economic Research (Vienna, Austria).


As representative of the European capital market Alexander was invited to give a lecture at Department of Accounting and Finance at Harvard Business School/Harvard University in Boston in 2008 – the year of HBS centennial celebrations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KDAOOX7jLk


On 24th November 2009 – the 150ies anniversary of Charles Darwin’s publication ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ – Alexander was invited to give a lecture in the Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series of Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) at the University of Oxford. In his ODID-lecture‚ On the Origin of Wealth by Means of Adopting a New Value Paradigm he addressed novel approaches to macroeconomic models of wealth generation against the backdrop of the ongoing global financial and economic crises.In 2003 and 2004 Alexander acted as advisor of Prof. Lars Terenius (Karolinska Institute and Head of the Center of Molecular Medicine/CMM in Stockholm) then a Member of the Nobel Assembly and The Nobel Committee on Physiology or Medicine. Last year Alexander founded the boutique economics and policy advisory firm‚ Metropolitan Horizons’ headquartered in Vienna/Austria.


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