The IPL newsletter: Volume 13, Issue 258

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.


Mayor Lee Launches U.S. Mayors Open Government Innovation Parntership

Recently Mayor Edwin M. Lee, as Chair of the first U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Technology and Innovation Task Force, announced the Open Government Innovation Partnership – a call to action to help cities advance and prioritize innovation to drive job growth, economic development, improved efficiency and collaboration. The USCM Technology and Innovation Task Force will be asking Mayors to join the partnership as active and committed partners to help build an ecosystem that will help cities advance and prioritize innovation to improve government.

SBA Awards Will Support Regional Innovation Clusters Initiative

The Small Business Administration (SBA) plans to make seven awards to support organizations helping to build strong regional innovation clusters. The awards will support public-private partnerships that bring together businesses, academic institutions, economic development organizations and other local actors to lay the foundations of sustainable growth and economic competitiveness. Three of the awards will go to small businesses that provide cluster-related services.

41 State Bioscience Organizations Announce Coalition to Coordinate Life Science Programs

During the 2012 BIO International Convention, 41 state bioscience organizations announced the formation of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI), a coordinated national effort to deliver industry-led life science education, workforce development and entrepreneurship programs. The coalition is intended to allow state bioscience organizations to share knowledge with the goal of improving bioscience education and innovation, while maximizing industry support. CSBI’s first task is to identify leading state programs for national consideration.

Editor's Pick

Taking Flight: Making an Ontario Aerospace Cluster a Reality – Conference Final Report and Findings

Canada 2020 & PROGRIS

On June 7th, 2012, Canada 2020, in partnership with the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems (PROGRIS), Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, hosted a conference on the Ontario aerospace industry. The conference was based on the following assumptions:

• Ontario has a unique, large, world class aerospace industry that has done relatively well through the recession and the period of exchange rate appreciation, in sharp distinction with other elements of the Ontario manufacturing base;
• The Ontario aerospace industry has some of the conventional attributes associated with industrial clusters, but the sector also has significant gaps, particularly in regards to institutionalized structures and policy support/co-ordination. It is at best a nascent cluster.
• With the right combination of leadership and vision – from industry, governments and the academic sector – Ontario aerospace could easily move from sector to cluster;
• This move would significantly enhance the growth, competitiveness and resilience of the Ontario aerospace industry, and thereby improve the productivity and innovation potential of the Ontario economy.

This report summarizes the findings of the conference and keynote presentation.

Innovation Policy

Beyond Borders: Global Biotechnology Report 2012

Ernst & Young
This analysis of trends across the leading centers of biotech activity reveals both signs of hope and causes for concern. The financial performance of publicly traded companies is more robust than at any time since the onset of the global financial crisis, with the industry returning to double-digit revenue growth. Companies that had made drastic cuts in R&D spending in the aftermath of the crisis are now making substantial increases in their pipeline development efforts. As such, a core question is: how can biotech innovation be sustained during a time of serious resource constraints? This report offers a perspective that addresses not just the challenges in the changing health care ecosystem but also the latent opportunities.

OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2012

Canada has weathered the global economic crisis comparatively well but will have to become more productive to sustain its high standard of living, according to this economic survey. The OECD identifies two key priorities for meeting this long-term challenge. First, Canada needs to boost innovation. Second, Canada should invest further to improve both quality and access to tertiary education, to maintain the supply of highly skilled workers as the population ages.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Urban World: Cities and the Rise of the Consuming Class

McKinsey Global Institute
Cities have long been the world’s economic dynamos, but today the speed and scale of their expansion are unprecedented. Through a combination of consumption and investment in physical capital, growing cities could inject up to $30 trillion a year into the world economy by 2025. Understanding cities and their shifting demographics is critical to reaching urban consumers and to preparing for the challenges that will arise from increasing demand for natural resources (such as water and energy) and for capital to invest in new housing, office buildings, and port capacity. This report finds that the 600 cities making the largest contribution to a higher global GDP—the City 600—will generate nearly 65 percent of world economic growth by 2025. However, the most dramatic story within the City 600 involves just over 440 cities in emerging economies; by 2025, the Emerging 440 will account for close to half of overall growth. One billion people will enter the global consuming class by 2025. They will have incomes high enough to classify them as significant consumers of goods and services, and around 600 million of them will live in the Emerging 440. The world’s center of economic gravity has changed over past centuries. But since the mid-1980s, the pace of that shift—from the United States and Europe toward Asia— has been increasing dramatically (exhibit). We expect this trend to continue, so executives and policy makers must be prepared to respond.

Compact City Policies: A Comparative Assessment

This book examines the concept of the compact city and the implication of the current urban context for compact city policies. It explores their potential outcomes, particularly in terms of how it can contribute to Green Growth and looks at developing indicators to monitor compact city and track policy performance. It reviews compact city policies currently being implemented across the OECD in relation to the pursuit of Green Growth objectives and provides ideas to achieve better outcomes. And it assesses the key governance challenges faced by decision-makers as they seek to implement practical compact city strategies. This report is thus intended as “food for thought” for national, sub-national and municipal governments as they seek to address their economic and environmental challenges through the development and implementation of spatial strategies in pursuit of Green Growth objectives. It also illustrates best practices (which present key elements of successful compact city policies) based on empirical evidence that can be shared across OECD member countries.

The Emergence of New Technology-Based Sectors at the Regional Level: A Proximity-Based Analysis of Nanotechnology

Alessandra Colombelli, Jackie Krafft and Fancesco Quatraro 
This paper analyzes the emergence of new technology-based sectors at the regional level. It focuses on the specific case of nanotechnology as representative of an industry based on a technology still in infancy whose evolution can be reliably traced on the basis of filed patent submissions. We implement a methodological framework based on the product-space approach, which allows an investigation of whether the development of new technologies is linked to the structure of the existing local knowledge base. It uses patent data over the period 1986-2006 to carry out the analysis at the NUTS 2 level over the EU 15countries. The results of the descriptive and econometric analysis supports the idea that history matters in the spatial development of a sector, and that the technological competences accumulated at the local level are likely to shape the future patterns of technological diversification.

Statistics & Indicators

Insight – Rise Revisited: Creativity Index

The Martin Prosperity Institute
Ten years ago, Richard Florida, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, released The Rise of the Creative Class. This best-selling book shed light into changing economic, geographical and demographic trends within the United States, shifted by the growing role of creativity. Ten years later, The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited has been released, complete with updated statistics, several new chapters and Florida’s reflections on the impact of creativity over the past ten years. To celebrate the release of the new book, the Martin Prosperity Institute will release a series of four Insights, providing discussion of the new statistics, maps and analysis. The Creativity Index is a measure designed to capture a metropolitan region’s economic potential and embodies a mix of things that allow the city to succeed in the creative economy. As most things change, the top performers as displayed in Rise Revisited are not exactly the same as ten years ago. The city that was found to have the highest Creativity Index in Rise Revisited is Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is a liberal city with a beautiful landscape, great art and a highly successful business and technological economy, which also scored top ten in the 3 T’s. The rest of the top ten are San Francisco, then Boston, a three-way tie for fourth by Seattle, San Diego and Ann Arbor, then Corvallis, Durham, greater Washington DC and then tenth is Trenton. Some other notable scores are San Jose (12th), Austin (16th), and Minneapolis (18th).

The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996-2010

Using an input output “I-O” approach to estimating the economic impact of academic licensing, and summing over the 15 years of available data for academic U.S. AUTM Survey respondents, the total contribution of these academic licensors to gross industry output ranges from $199B to $836B, in 2005 $US Dollars; contributions to GDP range from $86B to $388B, in 2005 $US Dollars. Estimates of the total number of person years of employment supported by U.S. universities’ and hospitals’ and research institutes’ licensed-product sales range from 900,000 to over 3 million over the 15 year period. An explanation of the I-O approach is provided, and the assumptions used and the potential effects of the assumptions on the estimates are discussed. The rationale for including impacts from hospital and research institutes together with those of universities is presented. Better information on i) royalty rates and royalty bases, ii) where in the world the academic licensors produce their products and where the intermediate inputs used to produce their products are produced, iii) whether the royalty generating products are manufactured items or services, and iv) whether the purchaser is the final purchaser will lead to more accurate estimates.

Policy Digest

Enabling Canada’s Technology Future: Building Connections and Fixing the Funding Challenge to Kick-Start Canada’s Technology Sector

Canada’s technology industry has underperformed since the internet bubble burst twelve years ago, more so than the technology industries of some other notable countries such as the US. A case in point: despite Canada’s citizens having a reputation of being highly digitally connected; our “internet economy” as a percentage of GDP is below the G20 average and even forecast to fall behind Saudi Arabia and Mexico by 2016. This report identifies Canada’s strengths and weaknesses and proposes five ways to kick-start the Canadian tech sector.

High growth technology firms are essential to a prosperous future 
High growth firms produce the lion’s share of increases in employment. Countries positioned to take part in the broader technology economy, including the internet economy will reap tremendous benefits, since internet related businesses are forecast to grow faster than the overall global economy. As an example of the opportunity at hand, the size of the internet economy’s consumer class is expected to grow from the current 2.5 billion consumers to 4 billion by 2020.

The technology start-up environment is holding Canada back 
Through a review of academic research and interviews with 22 players in the sector, this report scores Canada’s economy on six functional characteristics. In an ideal system all six elements lead to firm creation, help a technology sector attract capital, and nurture firms through their growth phases to mature employers. Despite strong talent, history of public sector investment and generally enabling regulatory environment, the shallow well of start-up management talent and mentors and poor availability of funding net the Canadian technology ecosystem a lacklustre grade of C.

Funding for technology firms is broken 
Part of the decrease in growth in Canada has been due to a decline in available capital for early stage companies, with total venture capital invested dropping from a high of $5.9 billion in 2000 to just $1.1 billion in 2010. There have been numerous causes including a flight to lower risk investments, poor historical returns and a fundamental lack of trading liquidity in this sector in Canada leading to an absence of investors who are willing to fund larger, later-stage firms.

Lack of funding forces firms to make short-sighted decisions
Many potentially successful Canadian firms are starved for funding. Sometimes this leads those firms to grow much more slowly than they could in a stronger funding environment. But start-up firms also make other less than optimal choices. Firms sometimes sell out to a “strategic buyer” earlier than they otherwise might, potentially robbing Canada of a future large employer. Or they go to IPO too early, sometimes via a reverse take-over, which has negative consequences for them and the market. Reverse takeovers can create an adverse reputational effect. Firms who have undergone a reverse takeover may be seen as more risky and of lower quality than similar IPO firms simply because the private firms’ managers decided to bypass the certification associated with the IPO process. In addition they also miss out on all the visibility and experience that comes with an IPO. Regardless of the process, new issuers are saddled with administration, compliance costs, and quarter-by-quarter “short-termism” associated with public regulation and reporting. The market suffers when the public companies trading on its exchanges perform poorly, damaging the overall attractiveness of the sector for the investment community.

Five ways to kick-start Canada’s technology sector:

1. Connect start-ups to talent and investors
Create structures and support efforts to link companies to experienced mentors and funders;

2. Crowdfunding
Allow all Canadians to participate in equity investments that they can afford by pooling funds from large numbers of investors;

3.A pre-IPO capital market
Create a market where pre-IPO equity can be traded, increasing liquidity thereby drawing in fresh capital with minimal discount;

4. A technology focused exchange
Develop an exchange that is focused on the needs of technology investors and issuers with stricter listing requirements, an innovative market-making program, and technology focused marketing;

5. An angel tax credit
Encourage investment in promising start-ups and activity in the grey market by extending a tax credit to angel investors, similar to the
program in British Columbia.


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).

Universities and Regional Innovation: From Policy to Practice – Building Capacity for Collaborative Partnerships 

Brussels, 20 September, 2012
The positive impact of effective regional innovation on economic growth, employment and social stability is recognised everywhere. Yet many European regions are lagging behind and seem unable to “catch up” or engage in a process of full innovation as a critical success factor for their development. Different regional settings, contextual factors and more (or less) local opportunities undeniably play a role. Yet the ability to build capacity for collaborative partnership and to exercise strong leadership in order to bring together a variety of regional stakeholders behind a common regional strategy is “the” critical step for regional success. This one-day conference will focus on the challenges involved in building and sustaining successful cross-sectoral partnerships between academic, business and public agencies to support regional innovation. The conference will draw on lessons learned from the EU-Drivers for a Regional Innovation Platform project, which involved the development of tri-partite partnerships and an international community of practice to support strategically important and transformational projects in a range of European countries, including Spain, Denmark, Greece, England, Finland, Turkey, Portugal and Belgium.

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.

Triple Helix Workshop: Building the Entrepreneurial University 

Stanford, CA, 12-16 November, 2012
T he Triple Helix Research Group at Stanford University’s Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (H-STAR) announces a new initiative for 2012: the Triple Helix Workshop Series that starts with the five-day intensive workshop “Building the Entrepreneurial University”The event is organized to meet a growing demand for learning about the university’s “third mission”, next to education in research – the involvement in economic development and growth creation at regional and national level. The workshop presents the experience of some of the most successful US entrepreneurial universities, including Stanford, MIT, Utah, Arizona State, Berkeley, CalTech, Boston, University of Southern California. We are also discussing various innovation initiatives at the university-industry-government interface, US federal and state policies and mechanisms to support them, the successful trajectory of some high-tech companies emerging from university research, and the role of venture capital and business angel investments in this effort.

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.

Eu-SPRI Annual Conference 2013 – The Management of Innovation Policies: New Forums of Collaboration in Policy Design, Implementation and Evaluation 

Madrid, Spain, 10-12 April, 2013
The Conference aims to encourage dialogue betweens academics and practitioners to improve innovation policy design, implementation and evaluation. The conference will offer keynote speeches, parallel thematic sessions, roundtable discussions, special activities for young researchers and ample space for all participants to interact. Visits to research and innovation centres both in public and private institutions will be offered after the conference.


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