The IPL newsletter: Volume 13, Issue 257

News from the IPL


This newsletter is published by The Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and sponsored by the Ministry of Research and Innovation. The views and ideas expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Ontario Government.


NYC Mayor Bloomberg Forms US$9 Millon Mayors’ Challenge

New York City’s billionaire mayor is using his personal fortune to try to spark innovation in the nation’s cities — inviting 1,300 mayors to compete for millions of dollars in funding for new programs meant to solve urban challenges and enhance city life. The mayors of U.S. municipalities with at least 30,000 residents will be asked to join the Mayors Challenge, being launched Wednesday by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which is offering a grand prize of $5 million and four smaller prizes of $1 million. The foundation is asking the mayors to focus on initiatives that could be replicated elsewhere if successful. The program aims to reward the creation of great ideas that can ultimately make a difference in many cities.

Obama Administration Launches US$6 Million i6 Challenge to Promote Innovation, Commercialization, Proof of Concept Centers

The Obama Administration recently announced the third round of the i6 Challenge to promote American innovation, foster entrepreneurship, and increase the commercialization of ideas into viable companies. The $6 million competition funds Proof of Concept Centers and creates a network of experts to support innovators and researchers; spur sustainable startups, small businesses, and new ventures; expand access to capital to fuel growth; connect mentors and advisors to entrepreneurs; and spark job creation.

Editor's Pick

Global Value Chains and Canada’s Trade Policy: Business as Usual or Paradigm Shift?

Ari Van Assche, IRPP
The organization of global production has changed fundamentally in the past few decades. Thanks to reduced costs of communication and transportation and other barriers to trade, many firms have sliced up their supply chains and dispersed their production activities across multiple countries into what are known as global value chains (GVCs). This study describes the structure and extent of GVCs and examines whether they require a fundamental rethinking of trade policy. It maintains that in some ways, they are simply a natural progression from “trade in goods” to “trade in tasks” that embodies specialization and comparative advantage inherent in standard trade theory. Nonetheless, GVCs mean that exports from a given country contain increasing proportions of import content, and this phenomenon challenges conventional wisdom about the links between trade and competitiveness

Innovation Policy

Meeting Global Challenges Through Better Governance: International Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation

In recent years, the need to address social and environmental challenges has grown in urgency. Climate change, global health, food security and many other global challenges cross national borders and affect a wide range of actors. Yet, in most cases, single governments cannot provide effective solutions. Global challenges call for cooperation on a global scale to build capacity in science, technology and innovation (STI) at both national and international levels. How can international cooperation in STI be scaled up and its scope broadened? How do different modes of governance of international cooperation in STI function and which modes lead to effective and efficient collaboration?  Based on case studies, this book presents lessons and good practices on a range of governance mechanisms used for international cooperation in STI to address global challenges. The studies cover organizations that address global challenges including agriculture, food security, health, energy and climate change as well as organisations that bring together various types of actors. It takes a first step towards understanding the complexity of governance of international STI collaboration and provides the basis for future research.

The State of STEM Labour Markets in Canada: Literature Review

Natalia Mishagina
This paper summarizes the recent literature on the state of the Canadian labour market for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals. To a large extent, this market is affected by trends in the global market for high technology products and services. These global trends have been well-studied in the literature but mostly with respect to their effects on the United States, China, and India, whereas the Canadian STEM labour market has received less attention.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Urban Regions in Europe: Preconditions and Strategies for Growth and Development in the Global Economy

Urban Grasjo and Charlie Karlsson
It is well-established fact that urban regions and large ones in particular are crucial for promoting creativity, innovation and subsequent economic growth in the economy. Therefore, it is important to focus policies in Europe on how to improve the existing conditions of urban regions so they can function as engines of economic growth. The purpose of this paper is to discuss policies needed to meet the current urban challenges and to make urban regions in Europe more competitive. A problem with current spatial policies at the EU-level as well as at the national level in most countries is that the policies mainly ignore functional urban regions and instead focus on administrative regions.This paper presents ideas for a new type of spatial policies in Europe focusing on innovation and growth.

The Atlas of Suburbanisms

Markus Moos and Anna Kramer, University of Waterloo
It is well known that Canada is an urban nation. Most people now live in cities. But most growth is occurring in the suburbs of large metropolitan areas and in nearby towns and cities. Yet academic research has often focused on our central cities. Better understanding of suburbs as places, and suburbanization as a process, have less frequently been explicit aims of research. The Atlas of Suburbanisms aims to provide information that can help us move toward such an understanding. It provides analysis and graphics that reveal socio-economic and built form characteristics for metropolitan areas as a whole as well as in relation to traditional measures of suburbanism, such as distance from the central city. It allows us to see characteristics of places in the context of metropolitan wide trends.

Statistics & Indicators

Where the College Graduates Are: Degree Attainment in Metropolitan Areas

Alan Berube, The Brookings Institution
As cities try to reinvent themselves after losing large swaths of their manufacturing sectors, they are discovering that one of the most critical ingredients for a successful transformation — college graduates — is in perilously short supply. In this analysis the author examines the share of adults age 25 and over in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas who held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010, versus in 1970. It suggests a centrifugal force that is concentrating the nation’s college graduates into a set of metro areas that, like Bloomberg’s New York, are pulling farther away from the pack.

Spotlight on Science Learning: A Benchmark of Canadian Talent

AMGEN/Let’s Talk Science
Science and technology are increasingly important to Canada’s economic well-being and quality of life. A critical element for our longterm success – as individuals and as a country – is science learning. Many jobs that will be in high demand in the coming decades, from health care to skilled trades, directly require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in its latest 10-year employment growth outlook, forecasts that some of the biggest growth will occur in STEM-related fields. HRSDC says that almost 75 per cent of new jobs between 2009 and 2018 will be in high-skill occupations.Young people need to know this: beyond the traditional career paths that call for a background in STEM, today’s employers are looking for a certain skill set. Jobs in every field call for people who are analytical, curious and critical thinkers, able to make connections – the very qualities that exposure to STEM learning nurtures. People who have a quality STEM education will be highly employable – in STEM-related jobs and sectors, in fields that might not be directly or obviously STEM-related, and in occupations they might not envision or that may not even exist yet. This report is a landmark study on the key indicators of science learning in Canada.

Mode of Public Funding of Research and Development: Towards Internationally Comparable Indicators

Jan van Steen, OECD
This paper presents the results of the data collection across 18 participating countries, demonstrating that it is possible to produce new policy relevant indicators on public funding of R&D in addition to those envisaged in the OECD Frascati Manual. The initial findings of the data collection highlight interesting differences across countries in terms of their approaches to funding R&D. But before conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of the different country funding profiles, further work is needed in order to increase the reliability and comparability of the different indicators.

Policy Digest

Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security

The National Academies Press
American research universities are essential for U.S. prosperity and security, but the institutions are in danger of serious decline unless the federal government, states, and industry take action to ensure adequate, stable funding in the next decade. As trusted stewards of public funds, universities must also meet “bold goals” to contain costs, enhance productivity, and improve educational pathways to careers both within and beyond academia, the report says. Congress requested this report, which was written by a committee that includes industry CEOs, university presidents, a former U.S. senator, and a Nobel laureate. It recommends 10 strategic actions that the nation should take in the next five to 10 years to maintain top-quality U.S. research institutions. The report builds upon Rising Above the Gathering Storm, a landmark Academies’ study on U.S. competitiveness.


Recommendation 1
Within the broader framework of United States innovation and research and development (R&D) strategies, the federal government should adopt stable and effective policies, practices, and funding for universityperformed R&D and graduate education so that the nation will have a stream of new knowledge and educated people to power the future, helping to meet national goals and ensure prosperity and security.

Recommendation 2
Provide greater autonomy for public research universities so that these institutions may leverage local and regional strengths to compete strategically and respond with agility to new opportunities. At the same time, restore state appropriations for higher education, including graduate education and research, to levels that allow public research universities to operate at world-class levels.

Recommendation 3
Strengthen the business role in the research partnership, facilitating the transfer of knowledge, ideas, and technology to society and accelerate “time to innovation” in order to achieve national goals.

Recommendation 4
Increase university cost-effectiveness and productivity in order to provide a greater return on investment for taxpayers, philanthropists, corporations, foundations, and other research sponsors.

Recommendation 5
Create a “Strategic Investment Program” that funds initiatives at research universities critical to advancing education and research in areas of key national priority.

Recommendation 6
The federal government and other research sponsors should strive to cover the full costs of research projects and other activities they procure from research universities in a consistent and transparent manner.

Recommendation 7
Reduce or eliminate regulations that increase administrative costs, impede research productivity, and deflect creative energy without substantially improving the research environment.

Recommendation 8
Improve the capacity of graduate programs to attract talented students by addressing issues such as attrition rates, time to degree, funding, and alignment with both student career opportunities and national interests.

Recommendation 9
Secure for the United States the full benefits of education for all Americans, including women and underrepresented minorities, in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

Recommendation 10
Ensure that the United States will continue to benefit strongly from the participation of international students and scholars in research enterprises.

It is essential as a nation to reaffirm and revitalize the unique partnership that has long existed among the nation’s research universities, federal government, states, and business and industry. The actions recommended will require significant policy changes, productivity enhancement, and investments on the part of each member of the research partnership. Yet they also comprise a fair and balanced program that will generate significant returns to a stronger America.


Entrepreneurship and Innovation Networks

Faro, Portugal, 14-16 June, 2012
Following the tradition established by the previous symposia, starting in 1998, the symposium is designed to bring together leading-edge views of senior academic scholars and mix them with the critical and creative views of postdocs and PhD students engaged in their thesis work. We welcome researchers from various fields, such as economic geography, economic history, entrepreneurship, international business, management, political science, regional economics, small business economics, sociology and urban and regional planning. The objectives of the fifteenth Uddevalla Symposium 2012 are: i) to provide a unique opportunity for scholars including senior and junior researchers to discuss path-breaking concepts, ideas, frameworks and theories in plenary key-note sessions and parallel competitive paper sessions, and ii) to facilitate the development and synthesis of important contributions into cohesive and integrated collections for potential publication. Therefore, unpublished complete papers are invited for presentation and feedback from other scholars. A selected list of these papers will be subjected to review and development for publication in scholarly venue.

DRUID Society Conference 2012 – Innovation and Competitiveness: Dynamics of Organizations, Industries, Systems and Regions

Copehagen, Denmark, 19 June, 2012
Conference highlights include keynotes offered by Gautam Ahuja, Melissa Schilling and Joel Baum as well as three plenary debates: 1. Support Paul Stoneman and Otto Toivanen or Giovanni Dosi and Sid Winter wrestling over the merits of neoclassical economy in innovation studies. 2. Join the debate on the value of the exploration/exploitation trade-off with John Cantwell and Ram Mudambi pitched against Marco Giarratana and Lori Rosenkopf3. Enlist in the dispute over the current IPR-regime effects on growth with Eric von Hippel and Georg Von Krogh against Vincenzo Denicolo and Scott Stern.

CALL FOR PAPERS – XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience

Barcelona, Spain, 17- 20 June, 2012
The plea for innovation is universal. Managers and politicians have understood that innovation is needed on an everyday-basis to strengthen the competitiveness of organisations, regions and countries. Innovation, however, requires more than good ideas and intentions. Leadership, foresight, courage, investment, inspiration and perspiration are needed to turn intentions and ideas into effective action. Even with these elements in place, not every initiative is successful. However, every action and each experience provide new insights into the causes of failed and successful innovation. Successful innovators, be they individuals, organisations, intermediaries or policy makers, must therefore overcome the paradox of building on experience, and yet breaking away from the status quo, with a permanent innovation mindset. These challenges of “Action for Innovation” are the core focus of this conference.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Sustaining Regional Futures

Beijing, China, 24-26 June, 2012
The Conference will address some of the biggest issues facing regions and sub-national areas around the world, gateways are being organised on the causes and implications of different patterns of regional development. The gateways are dedicated to assessing the forms and successes of regional policies in managing regional disparities; establishing basic public services; supporting endogenous growth and the comparative advantages of regions; promoting regional competitiveness and sustaining harmony between the economy, society and the environment. Papers on each of these themes are encouraged – on different countries’ and regions’ experiences, and on comparative studies.

Science and Technology Policy in Global Context

Waterville, NH, 5-10 August, 2012
The global context for science and technology policies is changing quickly. Knowledge is flowing around the world ever more freely. International collaboration is growing in every field. Economies that have traditionally grown through innovation face new competition from rising economic powers. Intellectual property regimes are in flux and under attack. Scientists and engineers trained in Europe and North America are returning to their regions of origins more often. Science and technology are embroiled in global regulatory issues like the ground rules for nanotechnology and synthetic biology, renewable and nuclear energy, and access to essential medicines. The 2012 Gordon Research Conference on Science and Technology Policy will delve deeply into this range of issues, asking how the questions and answers of science and technology policy need to change in response to international developments. The program will tap the best recent research on the global dimensions of research, innovation, human resource, and regulatory policies, as well as perspectives from S&T policy practitioners from around the world.

Research Network on Innovation Summer School 2012

Montpellier, France, 29 August – 1 September, 2012
This Summer Schoolaims to update on the works considering the sectoral dimensions of innovation, or using and questioning the concept of Sectoral System of Innovation (SSI). This initiative also proceeds from the perspectives opened by the international symposium held in 2010 in Montpellier on innovation in agriculture and agri-food ( and calling for comparative analyses with research on innovation in other sectors. The aim is to question specificities and convergences of innovations in different sectors and to discuss the relevance of the concept of Sectoral Systems of Innovation (SSI).

13th International CINet Conference: Continuous Innovation Across Boundaries

Rome, Italy, 16-18 September, 2012
The Continuous Innovation Network (CINet) is a global network set up to bring together researchers and industrialists working in the field of Continuous Innovation. The mission of CINet is to develop into a school of thought on Continuous Innovation. Consistent with this mission, CINet organises an annual conference. This announcement concerns the 13th CINet conference, which will take place in Rome, Italy, on 16-18 September 2012. Furthermore, CINet promotes a PhD Network to foster research collaboration among PhD students and their institutions on innovation in the widest sense of the word. As part of that initiative, a PhD workshop is organised just prior to the 13th CINet conference, on 14-15 September. Besides that a CIYA Workshop will be organized, aimed at young academics working in the field of continuous innovation.

IP in Motion: Opening up IP?

Leuven, Belgium, 27-28 September, 2012
The EPIP (European Policy for Intellectual Property) association will hold its 7th Annual Conference on September 27-28, 2012 in Leuven (Belgium). Scholars and practitioners interested in the economic, legal, political and managerial aspects of intellectual property (IP) rights are encouraged to attend the conference with or without paper presentation. The conference aims to explore and stimulate debate regarding open innovation and creation, and to examine the interaction between open innovation and proprietary IP mechanisms. Is the IP rationale under pressure in view of these changing innovation dynamics? Are IP strategies ‘in motion’ in response to these emerging trends of increased openness?

The 7th International Seminar on Regional Innovation Policies: How Can Regions Enhance Europe’s Innovation Union Agenda Committments?

Porto, Portugal, 11-13 October, 2012
The Regional Innovation Policies seminars place the emphasis on regions, acknowledging its relevant role for constructing sustainable competitive advantages. Previous seminars held at Porto (University of Porto), Salzburg (University of Salzburg), Santander (University of Cantabria), Edinburgh (Napier Edinburgh University), Grimstad (University of Agder, Norway) and Lund (Lund University – CIRCLE, Sweden) have contributed to the discussion on the role of regional policies to promote innovation and economic development. The 7th edition returns to Porto and will be hosted by INESC Technology and Science – INESC TEC – a Portuguese Associate Laboratory coordinated by INESC Porto and internationally recognized for its commitment to science and technology advance. The conference is directed toward researchers, policy makers, and practitioners interested in issues related to regional innovation policy, regional competitiveness and regional development. Although participants are encouraged to present their work in open or organized sessions, it is also possible to attend without presenting a paper.

The Governance of a Complex World

Nice, France, 1-3 November, 2012
In a period of crisis – according to many commentators the most important one since the Great Depression – the governance of an ever increasingly complex world is a major challenge to economics and social sciences, especially in the current stage where no clear consensus has emerged so far in our scientific communities. The aim of the 2012 International Conference on “The Governance of a Complex World” is the identification of major propositions of political economy for a new society, grounded on structural, technological and institutional change. We encourage submissions dealing with different levels of governance (countries, industries, firms, individuals), where innovation is viewed as a key driver to stir our complex world out of the crisis. We especially welcome analyses in the field of knowledge dynamics, industrial evolution and economic development, dealing with key issues of the emergence and persistence of innovation, entrepreneurship, growth of firms, corporate governance and performance, agglomeration/dispersion of industrial activities, skills dynamics, economics of science and innovation, environment as a driver of innovation.

Regional Studies Association Winter Conference: Smart, Creative, Sustainable, Inclusive: Territorial Development Strategies in the Age of Austerity 

London, UK, 23 November, 2012
One of the major impacts of the current economic crisis is the way it is deepening territorial inequalities at a time when the scope for public intervention to tackle inequality is being diminished as a result of widespread austerity measures. These developments pose many challenges for the analysis and management of territorial development strategies, particularly at the scale of cities and regions. Some of the many challenges centre on which regions and industries will suffer and which will show greater capacity to adapt and thrive in an uncertain political and economic environment. How will extant (and classic) forms of urban and regional development policy be affected? Will the current crises expose the failures of these policies or demonstrate their strengths? What alternative models of territorial development are there? Should any of these alternative models be considered, that is, are they likely to redress some of the structural inequalities reinforced in the current context? To address these issues future research is needed interpreting regional inequality trends, combined with an analysis of their impact in particular places. This should take into account both macro-processes and local dynamics as this will be crucial in deepening our understandings of how an international financial crisis and the politics of ‘expansionary austerity’ affect the prospects of cities and regions. We also need to evaluate the opportunities and challenges ahead, reflect on the usefulness of previous approaches, and explore the potential of alternative territorial development strategies. In vogue concepts such as ‘city regions’ and ‘creative places’ need to be re-evaluated while emerging notions of ‘shrinking cities’ and ‘smart specialization’ must be carefully evaluated. Equally, the notion of managing decline, both economic and environmental, is likely to become more relevant as opportunities for significant public investment are reduced.

Subscriptions & Comments

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will find it of value. We look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative. If you would like to comment on, or contribute to, the content, subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact us at

This newsletter is prepared by Jen Nelles.
Project manager is David A. Wolfe.