Help on the Ground in China

by Steve Todd

Help on the Ground in ChinaI’ve been blogging my way through my experiences managing a team of researchers at EMC Labs China. Some of the key activities that this team participates in are local “high-tech” interactions with universities, conferences, corporations, etc. This is a good thing; the main mantra of reverse innovation is for local innovators to discover and solve local problems.

I, on the other hand, am at a bit of a disadvantage in coming up to speed on many of these relationships.

In a fortuitous turn of events, I had the opportunity to meet a group of people in Beijing who have a mission to help Americans establish local business relationships in China: USITO (United States Information Technology Office) and AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) China. The picture below was taken during my talk about global innovation at a recent USITO/AmCham event.

Help on the Ground in China

My contact for the USITO session was Matt Roberts, who pointed me towards a description of the USITO charter:

The United States Information Technology Office (USITO) is an independent, non-profit, membership-based trade association, representing the U.S. information communication technologies (ICT) industry in China.


USITO serves to create effective channels for engagement between our members and the Chinese & U.S. governments, academia and other industry groups focused on improving policy and regulation.

AmCham China also has a mission which essentially is to function as “a non-profit organization which represents US companies and individuals doing business in China“.

Both organizations can benefit me in my attempt to be involved in the Chinese innovation system in the following ways:

  1. Periodic email exchanges with these organizations allow me to ask “what’s going on?”
  2. USITO/AmChan can line up relevant meetings for me when I visit

Matt informed me of some innovation activities going on in my own country.  He let me about an international innovation study conducted by the National Academies (I was previously unaware of this initiative). I studied some of the material he sent me, which brought me up to speed on previous conversations about (a) indigenous innovation practices in China and (b) discussions about innovation frameworks between the U.S. and Chinese governments.

When establishing a global innovation framework for my (or any) corporation, locating and leveraging these points of contacts is a key strategy for success.

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Steve ToddSteve Todd is Director at EMC Innovation Network, and a high-tech inventor and book author “Innovate With Global Influence“. An EMC Intrapreneur with over 180 patent applications and billions in product revenue, he writes about innovation on his personal blog, the Information Playground. Twitter: @SteveTodd

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