Techno-nationalism and the US-China tech innovation race

August 3, 2020

The US-China tech innovation race is challenging the laissez-faire economic model. State interventionism, techno-nationalism, and US tech funding initiatives are increasing. This paper outlines the implications for markets, academia, research organizations, and governments of the US-China competition to achieve innovation advantage.

 

A US-China tech innovation race has sparked a paradigm shift in global trade and commerce that is challenging the long-standing primacy of the world’s open trading system.

 

Current thinking is tilting towards increased state activism and interventionism, not only in the technology landscape but in many of the industries of the future.

 

Techno-nationalism

Driving this change is techno-nationalism: a mercantilist-like behavior that links tech innovation and enterprise directly to the national security, economic prosperity and social stability of a nation.

In response to decades of Beijing’s innovation-mercantilism, the US has embarked on its own innovation offensive. Washington’s future tech funding initiatives could surpass the scale of the “moonshot” projects last seen during the space race with the former Soviet Union.