The IPL newsletter: Volume 13, Issue 260

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.


Ontario’s Deep Talent and Aggressive Tax Credits Points Gaming Firms to Canada’s Tech Heartland

It isn’t Canadian politeness, the love of hockey or winter weather envy attracting gaming and digital media companies around the world to the Ontario Technology Corridor. They are attracted to the Province of Ontario’s “game on” approach to tax incentives and Canada’s overall financial stability. They also value Ontario’s high concentration of skilled workers – the largest talent pool in Canada – that has attracted studios from global gaming and development firms. Among recent companies making Ontario their new home are Arkadium, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Rockstar Games, Ubisoft, and Zynga. Ontario also fosters an excellent homegrown crop of companies including Christie Digital, Digital Extremes, Nulayer plus numerous more.

Canada and Germany Applaud New Research Agreement

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently joined Her Excellency Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Halifax Marine Research Institute and the Helmholtz Association of Berlin. Made possible by the 1971 German-Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the memorandum will formalize a working relationship between the two institutions and lead to greater collaboration between Canadian and German researchers. The Harper Government has provided $158 million for research related to the agreement. MEOPAR (Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network) and ArcticNet—two Networks of Centres of Excellence—have been awarded $25 million and $113.2 million respectively. Two Canada Excellence Research Chairs will receive $10 million each.

Government of Canada Confirms $62M Investment in CANARIE

CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, recently announced the Government of Canada has confirmed its investment of $62 million for a term of three years. Budget 2012 announced $40 million of the funding over two years. In confirming the $22 million in funding for the third year of the mandate, the Government also reaffirmed a requirement for CANARIE to explore and implement cost-sharing strategies with its user community. CANARIE will be consulting with its users and stakeholders over the coming months to determine the appropriate mechanisms to implement a cost-sharing strategy.

Editor's Pick

Growing Innovation Ecosystems: University-Industry Knowledge Transfer and Regional Economic Development in Canada

Allison Bramwell, Nicola Hepburn and David A. Wolfe, SSHRC
More than ever, governments in Canada and other leading countries are focused on leveraging public investments in higher education research and development to stimulate innovation, enhance competitiveness and bolster economic growth. To realize these goals, initiatives to strengthen existing knowledge flows between universities and firms must be developed, and
policies to encourage new university-industry linkages must be implemented. Because of the iterative and personalized nature of the innovation process, knowledge exchange often occurs on a local basis between firms and institutions located in proximity to each another. Hence it is critical for national and subnational governments to work together to encourage publicly and privately-driven policies, programs and initiatives that support the development of local and regional university-industry linkages, and ultimately reflect an advanced understanding of the significance of geographical proximity for the knowledge transfer process. As such, this paper underscores the value of adopting a localized view of university-industry knowledge flows.

Innovation Policy

University Technology Transfer Through Entrepreneurship: Faculty and Students in Spinoffs

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Spinoffs play a critical role in moving early-stage technologies that are developed in universities to the market. This study offers a thorough analysis of the university spinoff development process, focusing in particular on student involvement in the initial phases of these technology commercialization efforts and on the impact of the larger university ecosystem. This study of university commercialization efforts suggests that graduate and post-doctoral students are critical participants in university spinoffs, and it  offers an in-depth examination of their roles, focusing on the preliminary stages of spinoffs initiated by faculty and students. This report also contains a typology of spinoff development with four pathways, based on the varying functions of faculty, experienced entrepreneurs, PhD/postdoctoral students, and business students. This typology provides insight into the diverse responsibilities of students and faculty in the technology commercialization process, the different relationships between students, faculty, and entrepreneurs that can lead to successful spinoff creation, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each arrangement.

A Technology-Led Climate Change Policy for Canada

Isabel Galiana, Heremy Leonard and Christopher Green, IRPP
As Canada has formally withdrawn from the Kyoto Accord, what can we do to contribute meaningfully to reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Climate policy activists and experts have long argued that adopting emissions-reduction targets and implementing policies to try to meet these targets is the best approach. In this study the authors take a contrarian view. They argue that the policy focus on meeting GHG emissions reduction targets over the past 15 years has been a failure, and that adopting a technology-led policy would be a more effective way for Canada to contribute to global climate change mitigation.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

TACTICS: Where the Cluster Winds are Blowing (in Europe)

Even though cluster policies may be viewed as “mainstream”, there is a constant need to evolve – as the clusters and markets the policies address are in a process of continuous change. And there are a number of areas where cluster policy has evolved – as the trends described in this document will explain. This report concerns the changing concept and use of clusters as a policy tool and describes the current concept of clusters, introduces some key issues for policy, and explains how the cluster tool can be used to address these issues.

Insight: Big Ones Still “Punch Above Their Weight”

Martin Prosperity Institute
Metropolitan areas throughout the United States play a vitally important role in the economic success of the entire country. While this may come as no surprise, the full extent of their individual contribution is less well understood. For example, is it large metropolitan areas that are driving economic gains, or are smaller metros generating larger shares when it comes to GDP? This Insight will take a closer look at the contributions of American metropolitan areas to both the nation’s population and GDP in the year 2010. It will demonstrate that many of America’s largest metros are leading the way in terms of innovation and economic impact. In fact, it finds that the top 25 most highly populated metros generate over half of the nation’s GDP. .

Ten Steps to Delivering a Successful Metro Export Plan

The Brookings Institution
Many leaders in states, cities, and metropolitan areas across the country are exploring ways to help their firms tap into expanding markets worldwide to grow jobs at home. This brief serves as a how-to-guide for private, non-profit, and government leaders in metro areas who are interested in developing effective action-oriented metropolitan export plans and initiatives customized to theirregion’s unique assets and capacities. It builds on lessons learned from a one-year pilot (2011–2012) where the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings collaborated with leaders in four metro areas to develop localized export plans.

OECD Territorial Reviews: The Chicago Tri-State Metropolitan Area

This report, the first of its kind conducted by the OECD in the United States, assesses the region’s capacity to contribute effectively to regional and national economic performance and quality of life. The Review focuses on four thematic policy issues: i) the effectiveness and coordination of workforce development programmes in the Chicago Tri-State metro-region; ii) the metro-region’scapacity for innovation; iii) its role as a major centre for logistics in North America; and (iv) its capacity to encourage green growth over the long term. The review also focuses on the state of region-wide institutional collaboration and offers a vision for effective tri-state region-wide stakeholder engagement.

Statistics & Indicators

The Cluster Scoreboard: Measuring the Performance of Local Business Clusters in the Knowledge Economy

Yama Temouri, OECD
This paper shows the performance of eighty leading innovative local clusters on six measures of enterprise performance: share of new and young firms and growth of employment, turnover, profitability, liquidity ratio and solvency ratio. The data show the performance of clusters before and during the global economic crisis and suggest that clusters doing well in the phase of economic expansion had different characteristics from those that were able to grow in a time of economic slowdown. The data permit comparison of performance among the clusters. In the pre-recession period the two top performing clusters were the Madison Research District and Silicon Valley in the United States, while during the recession the two leading clusters were the Coimbra Biotech cluster in Portugal and Daedoek Science Town in Korea.

Lens or Prism? Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows from Public Research

Michael Roach and Wesley M. Cohen, NBER
This paper assesses the validity and accuracy of firms’ backward patent citations as a measure of knowledge flows from public research by employing a newly constructed dataset that matches patents to survey data at the level of the R&D lab. Using survey-based measures of the dimensions of knowledge flows, the paper identifies sources of systematic measurement error associated with backward citations to both patent and nonpatent references. The authors find that patent citations reflect the codified knowledge flows from public research, but they appear to miss knowledge flows that are more private and contract-based in nature, as well as those used in firm basic research. They also find that firms’ patenting and citing strategies affect patent citations, making citations less indicative of knowledge flows. In addition, an illustrative analysis examining the magnitude and direction of measurement error bias suggests that measuring knowledge flows with patent citations can lead to substantial underestimation of the effect of public research on firms’ innovative performance. Throughout the analyses the authors show that nonpatent references (e.g., journals, conferences, etc.), not the more commonly used patent references, are a better measure of knowledge originating from public research.

Collaboration in Academic R&D: A Decade in Pass-Through Funding

Katherine Hale, NSF
This Info Brief from the National Science Foundation discusses the growing trend of research collaborations involving multiple institutions. Contributing to this growth are federal initiatives as well as practical considerations, such as technological advances that facilitate communication and opportunities for division of labor, risk sharing, and increased research credibility.

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

Biotechnology Industry Organization
This report, on measures of economic impact of U.S. academic licensing activity, updates a previous report and model developed by David Roessner, Jennifer Bond, Sumiye Okubo, and Mark Planting, for estimating the economic impact of U.S. university licensing activity.

Policy Digest

Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for the Global Economy

Charles W. Wessner and Alan Wm. Wolff 
America’s position as the source of much of the world’s global innovation has been the foundation of its economic vitality and military power in the post-war. No longer is U.S. pre-eminence assured as a place to turn laboratory discoveries into new commercial products, companies, industries, and high-paying jobs. As the pillars of the U.S. innovation system erode through wavering financial and policy support, the rest of the world is racing to improve its capacity to generate new technologies and products, attract and grow existing industries, and build positions in the high technology industries of tomorrow.This report emphasizes the importance of sustaining global leadership in the commercialization of innovation which is vital to America’s security, its role as a world power, and the welfare of its people. The second decade of the 21st century is witnessing the rise of a global competition that is based on innovative advantage. To this end, both advanced as well as emerging nations are developing and pursuing policies and programs that are in many cases less constrained by ideological limitations on the role of government and the concept of free market economics. The rapid transformation of the global innovation landscape presents tremendous challenges as well as important opportunities for the United States. This report argues that far more vigorous attention be paid to capturing the outputs of innovation – the commercial products, the industries, and particularly high-quality jobs to restore full employment. America’s economic and national security future depends on our succeeding in this endeavor.

Four Core Goals

Monitor and learn from what the rest of the world is doing: 
The United States needs to increase its understanding of the swiftly evolving global innovation environment and learn from the policy successes and failures of other nations. It is generally recognized that there is much to be learned from the resot of the world in science. This is equally true with regard to innovation policy.

Reinforce U.S. innovation leadership:
It is very important that the United States reinforce the policies, programs, and institutions that provide the foundations of knowledge based growth and high value employment. These include measures to strengthen research universities and national laboratories, renew infrastructure, and revive the manufacturing base.

Capture greater value from public investments in research:
The United States should improve its ability to capture greater value from its public investments in research. This includes reinforcing cooperative efforts between the private and public sectors that can be grouped under the rubric of public-private partnerships, as well as expanding support for manufacturing.

Cooperate more actively with other nations:
In an era of rapid growth in new knowledge that is being generated around the world, the United States should cooperate more actively with other nations to advance innovations that address shared global challenges in energy, health, the environment and security.


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.