Keywords: wind turbine manufacturing, collaborative innovation networks, technology accumulation pattern, business ecosystem lifecycle, BELC, complementary assets, interactive learning, China, collaborative networks, wind turbines, wind power, wind energy, technology accumulation, technology localisation, technology catch–up
Evolution of collaborative innovation network in China's wind turbine manufacturing industry
This paper studies the 'catching–up' process of China's emerging wind turbine manufacturing ecosystem, and analyses the dynamics of the shifting collaborative innovation network for the period 1980–2011. We have focused on the leading wind turbine manufacturers [i.e., manufacturers of entire wind turbine system integrators (EWSIs)], as well as manufacturers of the turbines' sub–ecosystems (i.e., four key component provider manufacturers: blade, gearbox, generator and control system). A network analysis method was adopted to depict the evolutionary process of the wind turbine manufacturing ecosystem. In summary, this research explores: 1) the different technology accumulation/localisation patterns in four different phases of the manufacturing ecosystem, and the collaborative innovation network; 2) the different roles and their interactions in the wind turbine manufacturing ecosystem in China; 3) the driving forces of the evolution of the wind turbine manufacturing ecosystem. The findings aim to demonstrate the evolutionary trajectory of China in terms of the 'catching–up' of this industry, and contribute to theories of the business ecosystem lifecycle and complementary assets.