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China Boosts Innovation with Regulatory Measures

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by in Chemical R&D

Steel mills Smoke and powder dust pollution in large industrial District

While the effects that environmental regulations can have on local economies are often a subject of controversy in Western countries, China has been none too shy about using its regulations to actively influence economic developments. Their regulations aren’t just about restricting particular chemicals, but in some cases promoting or restricting specific production technologies and products to achieve a desired end.

The new white paper “Regulation as a Driver of Innovation in China’s Chemical Industry” explores the many ways that regulations are now being used in China and how these measures are often designed to drive innovation in the industry. Combinations of restrictions, subsidies, and incentives are frequently used for this purpose.

The paper provides a number of examples, including an especially interesting one from 2015, when the province of Jilin banned non-biodegradable plastic bags and food service ware. This quickly drew in companies that produce polylactic-acid based plastics, and also forced local processors to switch to those types of products, thus transforming Jilin into a haven of expertise in the development and production of those materials. In other words, regulations created a thriving biomaterials industry overnight.

Given developments in the nation’s chemical industry and its regulatory activities, China is certainly well-positioned to be a great innovator in chemical production over the coming decades. But Western companies still have a competitive edge because their technology, particularly as it pertains to environmental safety, remains superior – and they are more capable of tackling difficult research problems.

Read the white paper to find out more about how today’s chemical companies can benefit in this landscape.

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