The next wave of disruptive fashion Tech for Metropolises and metropolitan living – from China

A short report on China Data Analysis & Research Hub (CDA) and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences’ (UCAS) conference session on ‘Metropolitan Innovation Systems on the Eurasian Continent in the 21st Century’ and the contributions on September 22nd and September 23rd 2020.

‘Metropolitan Innovation Systems on the Eurasian Continent in the 21st Century ‘was the title of an online conference centered around the issues of digital transformation, innovation management, and innovation policy in a perspective from Europe and China on each other.

In this conference leading scholars, representatives from the United Nations, and the European Commission, and experts from industry with a track record in collaboration with China from China and Europe gathered to discuss lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities of future metropolises. The distinguished international speakers gave insights on the new academic silk road (Prof. Sachsenmaier, University of Goettingen), progress and advances of the Chinese healthcare systems (Prof. Terenius, Karolinska Institutet and The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences), on recent developments and functions of the Chinese innovation system (Prof. Liu Xielin, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Prof. Yu Jiang, Chinese Academy of Sciences), on smart manufacturing in a Sino-Italian context (Prof. Cavalieri, University of Bergamo) and observations on digital transformation in Chinese companies (Prof. Gao Xudong, Tsinghua University) as well as corporate innovation activities also along the lines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (experts from companies like Bayer AG and Novozymes).

Prof. Rollwagen’s contribution centered on the developments of disruptive innovation in the field of fashion tech, which also holds grand relevance on life in future metropolises. He gave a talk on: ‘Disruptive Innovation in the 21st Century – Creative Metropolitan Clusters as Centers of Gravity for Design-Driven Digital Transformation – first evidence from fashion tech and theorizing on future innovation policy to unleash necessary innovation potentials.’

Based on his applied research together with Christin Jarchow (a former student of fashion and design management and now project Manager at Sqetch for the “Cooperation Network Berlin & China (CN-BC)// 中国柏林合作网”)) and Marte Hentschel (expert on fashion innovation and the CEO of squetch) on local, regional, national innovation ecosystems as regards to fashion tech and fashion and creative industries Prof. Rollwagen concluded that especially on the basis of the Chinese national innovation system approach and the specificity of Chinese innovation policy orchestrating different actors, but also integrating entrepreneurs and consumers, there is a huge potential to bring about total disruptive innovation in the field of fashion tech which is necessary to fuel further against the background of the new normality brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Rollwagen especially built on the applied research Ms. Jarchow did in her Bachelor Thesis at AMD, Hochschule Fresenius in Fashion and design management, which was on ’Luxury Fashion Tech from China: Are we on the verge of a new wave of disruptive, design-based innovation in regard to Fashion Tech from Chinese regions?’, supervised by Prof. Rollwagen.

As Ms. Jarchow states as to the next wave of disruptive fashion tech: ‘Todays and future next-generation luxury consumers in China are with their specific consumption and their impulses catalysts and actively shaping next gen(eration) disruptive fashion tech based on the integration by innovative, Schumpeterian companies who work very well together with research institutes and make use of the local, regional and governments initiatives.’

Altogether Prof. Rollwagen, Ms. Jarchow, and Mrs. Hentschel based on their joint research endeavor on fashion tech state: ’the most interesting facet of Chinese innovation policy is to orchestrate scientific research institute, higher education institutions, local, regional and national governmental innovation policy initiatives and funding schemes together with the Schumpeterian drive of young designers companies and the innovative consumers’ even not yet spired needs and wants as regards to fashion tech and new forms of apparel. Innovation policy built also on innosumers to bring about fashion tech in metropolitan innovation systems also enabling more interaction even with the challenge of living with the COVID-19 and other viruses are working already. To unleash the potential for more disruptive innovation in fashion tech to bring about more sustainable development and favorable living and working conditions for people in future metropolises, the further collaboration of scholars, experts, and entrepreneurs from China and Europe, and all over the world will be very important as the distinguished scholars taking part in the conference concluded and amended in reaction to this contribution.

Next Collage on fashion tech from Christin Jarchow’s bachelor thesis
Next wave of disruptive fashion tech innovation (Christin Jarchow- waves)

Prof. Dr. Ingo Rollwagen
(Professor for General Management in
knowledge-intensive and creative industries)

Marte Hentschel (CEO at Sqetch by Sourcebook GmbH)

Christin Jarchow, Project Manager at Sqetch by Sourcebook GmbH of the internationalisation project “Cooperation Network Berlin & China (CN-BC)// 中国柏林合作网”), alumna and one of the Best graduates of AMD Fashion and Design management bachelor course