Technological innovation is one of the factors which contributes to economic development, forging ties between science and business in a rapidly changing global environment. My chief research interests lie in understanding how contemporary systems of innovation have been created and developed, focusing in particular on innovation in Hong Kong as this historically important center of trade and financial activity repositions itself in new regional and global alignments of resources and markets. By showing scholars and business leaders how the current system has shaped and been shaped by their past collaborations, I hope to help them see how they can move forward most successfully. My work falls into three main areas of interest:
THE DEVELOPMENT OF HONG KONG’S INNOVATION SYSTEM
My work on Hong Kong's innovation system forms the core of my research agenda. In various publications and projects, I have identified, categorized and traced the lineage of key elements of Hong Kong’s innovation system for analysis and exposition.
I have also participated in leading projects which aim to study innovation and technology development in Hong Kong. From 2006 to 2010, I was a member of a consultancy project for the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), Hong Kong SAR, to develop a framework to assess the economic impact of innovation activities. From 2007 to 2008, I was a member of a cross-sectoral study entitled the "Hong Kong Innovation Project" organized by the Savantas Policy Institute, Hong Kong.
I am currently studying the prospects for the continuing development of Hong Kong's innovation system, particularly in light of strategies for technological advancement within the context of Hong Kong's political and economic integration with Mainland China. Most recently, I have become interested in studying more closely how universities in particular can more forcefully contribute to the development of Hong Kong's innovation system.
EMERGENCE OF THE INNOVATION SYSTEMS APPROACH
In this area I have conducted groundbreaking, in-depth research on the history of the innovation systems concept within the broader framework of Science and Technology Studies (S&TS). I analyze the development of the National Innovation Systems (NIS) concept, revealing how the formal body of codified NIS knowledge was produced, developed and spread, and analyzing the role it now plays in both NIS scholarship and socio-economic policymaking. In order to trace its history, I have interviewed major advocates of the NIS concept in academic and policymaking circles to understand how and why it has propagated so widely across both spheres.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF TECHNOLOGY
My work in the sociology of technology also revolves around the National Innovation Systems (NIS) concept. In order to determine how the new sociology of technology literature-particularly work on social construction of technology (SCOT) methodologies-can contribute to the development and application of the innovation systems conceptual approach, I juxtapose the work of influential sociologists, historians and others who have attempted to provide new insights into the nature of technology.