Alberto Di Minin博士是比萨圣安娜高等研究大学的管理学教授，教授创新管理和创新政策课程。他也是伯克利国际经济圆桌会议(BRIE)的研究员。他于2021年被任命为经合组织（OECD)创新和技术政策工作组的意大利代表。Di Minin教授还是《研发管理》杂志的联合主编，以及《加州管理评论》的国际顾问委员会成员。
Dr. Alberto Di Minin is a Full Professor of Management at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa. He teaches innovation management and innovation policy. He is also a Research Fellow with the Berkeley Round table on the International Economy (BRIE), University of California – Berkeley. He was appointed in 2021 as the Italian Delegate with the OECD – Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy. Professor Di Minin is also Co-Editor in Chief of the R&D Management Journal, and on the International Advisory Board of “California Management Review”.
When it comes to China, Professor Di Minin is the Co-Director of the Confucius Institute of Pisa, and the Director of the Galileo Galilei Italian Institute in Chongqing University. Both projects are the result of the cooperation agreement between Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and Chongqing University.
Galilei Institute represents the longest continuative cooperation presence in China (Galilei’s headquarters are located inside the main campus of Chongqing University) of an Italian academic Institution.
Should you pick up a topic, among the several which characterize your impressive experience that you feel more closely related to the decarbonization mission, which one you could say?
Since 2014 I have had the pleasure and honor to direct the Galilei Institute in Chongqing and co-direct the Confucius Institute in Pisa. We dealt with many topics but primarily my main interest of research is the one of innovation. I would be very interested in developing activities investigating the role of innovation related to the decarbonization mission trying to build a bridge of academic cooperation and knowledge between Europe and China.
Based on your academic and professional background, what is the main contribution you feel to provide to the worldwide urgency to reduce greenhouse gasses emission?
I would love to contribute to Massimo’s wonderful project by creating the right connections between my research team, Chinese colleagues and friends in Western China in order to develop a shared interest in the topic and to promote cooperation between the parties.
According to your experience which one are the main challenges China has to face to reach its “dual carbon goal”?
最后，能源资源使用的效率，（同时，正如 Spigarelli 教授之前在仲欧脱碳科技系列采访中强调的），可再生能源和低碳转型的代表产品，将在未来发挥重要作用。这些挑战是历史性的，但我相信中国能够实现自己的目标。
For sure, the “Modernization” of China will need to see a shift from quantity to quality in its economic development. This is already happening in many parts of the country, many sectors, with many stakeholders acting and taking impressive innovative steps forward. In general, this is a very big challenge for the whole country to be faced in the next few years. This can be achieved in my opinion on different levels.
From one side, cities can be at the center of this process, and urban development can play a very important role. The dozens of Chinese megalopolis can represent the core of a process of change in the decades to come, firstly to 2030 and then to 2060.
At the same time, China should possibly look for a more balanced development path, tackling inequality not only at a national level, but also leveling the differences between regions in its territory.
Finally, the efficiency in energy resources use, but also, as underlined previously in the China Europe Carbon Neutral （CNEUCN） interviews series by Professor Spigarelli, the importance of renewables and products representative of the low-carbon transition, will play a fundamental role in the future. The challenges are historical, but I am confident China can reach its goals.
Professor Di Minin in Chongqing celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Galilei Institute.
Connected was the former Rector of Sant’Anna, Domenico Perata, while on the right Professor Di Minin is giving Professor Massimo Bergamasco an award for his brilliant achievements.
左图连线的是圣安娜前校长 Domenico Perata，图右的Di Minin 教授正在给Massimo Bergamasco教授颁发奖项，以表彰他的杰出成就。
China and Europe have a long history of close and fruitful cooperation about climate change and environmental protection issues. Which are the more peculiar strengths of China and Europe in the path towards decarbonization?
I think that in Europe, citizens’ awareness of the strong need for decarbonization has grown steadily in the past years. At each level of society, from CEOs to politicians to housewives, the problem is considered important and strong answers are demanded. I see this as a point of strength regarding the decarbonization process. I see how the need for it is well spread all over countries and societies, not only in some parts of the Union, but basically everywhere in the continent. A greener, smarter and innovative future is needed.
From China’s side, I see how innovation in tech and its daily life impact is impressive. When I went to Chongqing for the first time many years ago, the digitalization of many services and daily activities was light years away from the situation I found during my last mission in December 2019. That is impressive, and its speed can also impact the decarbonization plan for sure.
Finally, the most important strength in the path towards decarbonization I think is the willingness to keep a door open for cooperation. There can be many innovations and singular advancements, but a true shared and fruitful improvement is made when strengths and weaknesses are compared with other actors to learn and build on differences and reciprocal advantages.
More specifically, in your sector of competence, which mechanisms and actions could be implemented to create virtuous synergies between China and Europe to reach carbon neutrality?
My research deals with open Innovation, appropriation of innovation and science and technology policy. I also work on technology transfer, intellectual property and R&D management.
Certainly the academic collaboration between Chinese and European scholars can create a bridge between the two sides. Investing in commonalities between the parties and common interests can then lead to a spillover of knowledge, innovation and collaboration.
In recent years, among the many activities we made in Chongqing with our Galileo Galilei Italian Institute with my research team, we have investigated the role of innovation along the Belt and Road, for example, by combining different skills and intelligence between Italy and China.
At the research level, a lot can be done. These are some ideas:
- Create seminars, conferences, jointly write scientific papers
- Organize, when it will be possible and easier, exchanges of academic delegations.
- Publish reports, books.
- Getting to know each other, talking, exchanging knowledge and experiences of two systems that are so different but also interested in getting to know each other.
Scientific cooperation is in my opinion extremely important and can act as a “people-to-people” cooperation tool. I am very optimistic in this regard and I am doing my best to improve the dialogue with our Chinese friends.
Carbon neutrality is a target which required holistic approach and integrated actions by all the stakeholders. It should tackle not only technical matters, but also new economic development model and social aspects. China Europe Carbon Neutral initiative by its Scientific Committee & Expert Advisory Board aims to be a platform to gather these expertise then share potential solution. Which advices and proposal you feel to share for its development and operation?
In my opinion, the idea of creating a platform to gather expertises is excellent. In my experience with the Galilei I have learned that only cooperation, cohesion and common intentions can be successful to deal with such a complex, diverse and faceted country as China. As already stated in this interview series, a transdisciplinary approach can be beneficial to the tacklin of challenges, while the involvement of many high level professionals and scholars in the China Europe Carbon Neutral initiative, their expertise, connections and experience in China can play a significant role in proposing effective solutions, sharing innovative ideas, promoting a good change and high quality improvements.
International cooperation and exchange, in the field of research and technological development, plays a fundamental role. Meanwhile, due to COVID pandemic and trade tensions, the world is experiencing a progressive decoupling. What do you think could be done to get back to a deeper constructive cooperation between Europe and China for a common path for innovation related research?
For sure, delegations of Professors and scholars need to be welcomed again in China. People-to-people exchanges and direct interactions on the ground are very important. My experience confirms it: before the pandemic, I visited China and especially Chongqing, basically two, three times every year. I was able to meet with long-time friends and colleagues in Chongqing University, spend quality time with professionals and institutional cadres, visit departments, laboratories, companies, incubators, and so on. In a country where relationships are extremely important for doing everything, the construction of friendships based on trust takes time and investments. Also, I could keep on cementing the relations between Italians in Chinese. In Chongqing I could count on the Italian Consulate, the Italian and European Chamber of Commerce.
Secondly, the sharing of information between the parts is essential. Innovation can be studied in our respective countries, but when it is “open” the results are more fulfilling and enriching. We need openness, brainstorming activities, meetings, joint research activities, well funded and supported by institutions. The role of academia and of scientific diplomacy is one of the vital parts, in my humble opinion, in the building of effective and mutual relations between Italy, Europe, and China.
Finally, students and scholars exchanges need to be, again, fostered by institutions. Research is still the core of innovation cooperation in my opinion. As Sant’Anna we hosted many Chinese researchers in the past: we helped them in developing their research, writing their thesis, papers, and reports. We also developed a joint DBA programme with the help of Chongqing University and Grenoble University, which was a successful journey.
Since the Paris Agreement, countries around the world shaped their policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How does European – China cooperation in Science & Technology positively contribute to the challenging common goal of carbon neutrality?
Europe and China are two research powerhouses. From one side, the quality of European research and researchers is appreciated worldwide. European Universities are in the best positions of international rankings. From the other, China is rapidly climbing the rankings, with first tier universities with immense budget capabilities and investments that are sending a message to the world: Chinese academia is going to become a protagonist of research and innovation even more in the coming future and the shift from quantity to quality will provoke a earthquake of impressive magnitude. I see it as an opportunity, and not as a threat. Only by “opening up” to new ideas and innovations, our scientific and technological cooperation can improve even further. China can learn from European experience, and Europe can vice versa.
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China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology aims to support and substantially contribute to China’s path towards carbon neutrality in a holistic and inclusive way by gathering all the stakeholders and creating solutions for each challenge.
China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology will play an active and innovative role in providing services to conceive, shape, design and accomplish the transitions needed to achieve carbon neutrality.