Yifei Sun

Dr. Yifei Sun (lead PI) is a leading scholar on China’s technology and innovation in the west and has published nearly 30 articles on technology, innovation and urban and regional development in China with one co-edited book (Sun, et al, 2008). He has completed two NSF funded projects, one on global R&D in China in 2005 and the other one on technology upgrading in China’s ICT industry. He has worked two NSF-funded projects. The first is entitled “Multinational Cooperation Research and Development Investment in China” (BCS-0214042, 2002-2005, $139,863). The major purpose of the project was to examine the nature and extent of global R&D in China, regarding the activities of foreign R&D centers/labs, their location motivations and interactions with Chinese domestic science and technology communities and enterprises. Dr. Sun interviewed 40 foreign R&D center/lab managers, including those from Intel, Bell-labs China, IBM, Microsoft, GE, Bayer, and Honeywell, among others. Research from this project has resulted in one edited volume (Sun, et al, 2008) and 10 papers in geography and technology journals (e.g. Asian Geography, China Review, Rural Studies, and Asian Pacific Business Review).

The Second NSF-sponsored project is entitled “Collaborative Research: A Comparative Study of ICT Industry Development in Beijing, Shanghai-Suzhou and Shenzhen-Dongguan City Regions in China” (BCS-0552265, 2005-2009, $49,698). The goal of the project is to conduct a systematic comparison of three key regions of China regarding their development of the information and communication industry. It focuses on the global and regional configurations of the local and global linkages and their impacts on innovation at the firm level as well as technology trajectories at the regional level. The nine members of the collaborative team have conducted surveys of 1000 firms in the three regions in total. Dr. Sun is in charge of the research in Shanghai and has conducted interviews with more than 50 firm executives, government officials and industrial association leaders. About a dozen papers based on this project have been published by journals such as Journal of Economic Geography, Environment and Planning A, Technovation, Urban Studies, Applied Geography, International Journal of Technology Management, International Journal of Business System Research, and GeoJournal.


Dr. Sun’s current research focuses on “Chinese Ways of Innovation” and “Returnees Entrepreneurship.”