The IPL newsletter: Volume 13, Issue 261

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.


Minister Paradis Encourages Toronto Business Leaders to Lead in the Global Digital Economy

This month, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), emphasized investment, adoption of technology, and innovation as the Harper Government’s key priorities during his address to the Economic Club of Canada. In his remarks, Minister Paradis highlighted some of the Harper Government’s recent measures to promote economic growth, modernize Canada’s laws and spur private sector investment in research and development. Economic Action Plan 2012 provides substantial direct support for business innovation and makes available $500 million for venture capital.

The Canadian Bio-Economy Experiences 12% Growth Over the Past Four Years

Canada has a strong and vibrant biotechnology industry contributing great value to our economy and quality of life. As an early leader in the commercial development of biotechnology products, including vaccines and canola, Canada has established international credibility for the ingenuity of this industry. Since 2007 the bio-economy industry has steadily increased. It started at $78 billion. For 2011 is valued at $87.3 billion. This translates to a growth of 12% over the last 4 years. Countries everywhere are eagerly looking to build what Canadian biotechnology has achieved and is continuing to build.

Economic Crisis and Weak Outlook Hit R&D, Says OECD

Business spending on research and development has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with nearly all OECD countries seeing a fall in investment which could impact innovation and long-term growth. The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outloook 2012 says that business spending on R&D fell a record 4.5% in 2009 in the OECD. Only France and Korea bucked the trend. The current weak economic recovery will likely lead to continued sluggish growth in R&D spending by firms, notably in Southern and Eastern Europe, in the foreseeable future. The outlook for France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States is also uncertain, according to the report. Spending by Asian economies, such as China, India and Korea, on the other hand continued to increase during the crisis. Year-on-year growth in R&D investment by firms in 2010 was 29.5% in China and 20.5% in Korea and India.

Editor's Pick

The Global Competitiveness Index 2012-2013

World Economic Forum
This report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide. This year’s report findings show that Switzerland tops the overall rankings for the fourth consecutive year. Singapore remains in second position with Finland, in third position, overtaking Sweden 4th). These and other Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom respectively ranked 5th, 6th and 8th. The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) complete the top 10. The Report emphasizes persisting competitiveness divides across and within regions, as short-termism and political deadlock continue to hold back the economic performance of many countries and regions.Looking forward, productivity improvements and private sector investment will be key to improving global economies at a time of heightened uncertainty about the global economic outlook. The website also includes an interactive map.

Innovation Policy

The Competition that Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese, and Indian Investments in the Next-Generation Workforce

Donna Cooper, Adam Hersh and Ann O’Leary, Center for American Progress
Long-term U.S competitiveness is threatened due to a lack of progress in U.S. child development areas that are the best indicators of human capital development, according this new report. The report found that while U.S. human capital development and economic growth remain practically stagnate, the rest of the world — primarily China and India — have grown significantly in both aspects since 1980. To address this issue, the authors provide several recommendations including adopting best practices from across the globe.

Obama and Romney Tackle Top 14 Science Questions

Scientific American
The magazine Scientific American recently asked each of the presidential candidates to answer a set of questions on some of the most significant scientific and technical challengees facing America in the coming decades. These questions touch on the candidate’s positions on climate change, research and development, energy, space exploration and innovation.

Valuation of Innovation: The Case of the iPhone

Timo Korkeamaki and Tuomas Takalo, Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers
This paper explores the value of innovation in a case study of one of the most visible innovative products in recent years, Apple’s iPhone. The value effects of news announcements, patent publications, and trademarks relating to iPhone are taken into account. These estimate of the lower bound on the value of iPhone are fairly high, 30 billion U.S. (eventday) dollars or 10% to 13% of the firm’s market cap (at the end of 2009). The authors find that patentable technology explains about 25% of the total value, which derives from market reactions to publication of patent applications rather than grants. The authors also observe a weak negative reaction among Apple’s rivals to news about iPhone. Apple appears to capture most of the value within the iPhone supply chain.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Education, Job Openings and Unemployment in Metropolitan America

Jonathan Rothwell, The Brookings Institution
This paper aims to provide metro, state, and national policy makers with a better sense of the specific problems facing metropolitan labor markets. First, the analysis examines trends in the demand for educated labor and how a gap between education supply and demand is related to unemployment. Next, it attempts to distinguish between cyclical and structural effects before turning to an explanation of how an education gap might affect both by limiting job creation. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for public policy. Also included on the website is an interactive application for metro-level data on supply of educatted labor, employer demand for skilled workers, and other economic trends affecting unemployment.

OECD Reviews of Regional Innovation: Central and Southern Denmark

This book examines regional innovation in central and southern Denmark, looking at its role in the economy, its governance and policy context and regional strategies for innovation driven growth.

When High Tech Ceases to be High Growth: The Loss of Dynamism of the Cambridgeshire Region

Erik Stam and Ron Martin, Utrecht School of Economics
This paper analyzes mechanisms of decline and renewal in high-tech regions, illustrated with empirical evidence on the Cambridgeshire high-tech region in the UK. The paper contributes to ecological (‘carrying capacity’) and evolutionary (path dependence) theories of regional development. It provides a longitudinal, multilevel analysis of invention, firm, and industry dynamics and change in the supply and costs of resources in order to explain the decline of high-tech regions. While expansion of the Cambridgeshire high-tech region has been sustained over time, recently forces of decline have been stronger than those of renewal. Decline in employment has been most marked in the local telecommunications and biotech sectors, while the creation of variety by new firms has fallen off most strongly in the local IT software & services industry. Increasing diseconomies of agglomeration are in evidence, together with a contraction of finance that may have been a harbinger of financial stringency to come.

Statistics & Indicators

AUTM Licensing Activity Survey, FY2011

University licensing and commercialization activity remained steady in 2011, with modest increases in most areas of technology transfer activity, according to the most recent edition of the Association of University Technology Managers’ (AUTM) U.S. Licensing Activity Survey. Deals with existing small companies increased 24 percent and the number of licenses executed grew by 14 percent. Participating universities and colleges (including affiliated hospitals and research institutions) reported 671 startup companies were formed based on their institution’s research in 2011, up 3 percent from the previous year.

OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook

The STI Outlook reviews the key policy trends and performance of OECD countries and major emerging economies in a number of areas related to science and innovation based on the latest information and indicators. The policy and country profiles in the 2012 edition highlight the expected contributions of science, technology and innovation to a sustainable and lasting recovery from the economic crisis.

Policy Digest

Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage

Robert Atkinson and Stephen Ezell, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
In the run up to the current economic crisis, the erosion of the U.S. manufacturing sector and declining investment in research set the stage for a massive collapse. Atkinson and Ezell posit that sustainable economic recovery will require a focused innovation strategy, similar to those already embraced in competitive nations around the world, but long rejected by U.S. leaders. Such a policy would make innovation a clear national priority by setting ambitious goals, backing them up with investment in research, and creating incentives for the private sector to invest in research.

The Eight “I’s” Needed to Win the Race

Inspiration: Setting Ambitious Goals
Inspiration can come from “stretch” goals, such as President Kennedy’s 1962 declaration that the U.S. would send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. Restoring U.S. innovation leadership is far more complex and less tangible task than going to the moon, but the U.S. can and should set a similarly audacious goal.

Intention: Make Innovation-Based Competitiveness a National Priority
When the U.S. feels its national security interests are threatened, there is bipartisan support for a massive response. The same should be true for our economic interests. We need our economic policy elites to abandon the time-worn “Washington consensus” and adopt the “Innovation Consensus” that focuses the U.S. on winning the race for global advantage with the pragmatism and ingenuity that led to success in the past.

Insight: Improving Understanding of Innovation Performance
Political leaders and policymakers need to better understandthe nature of the challenges the U.S. faces and how to maximize our capabilities. We need better information on our strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities on the global innovation stage.

Incentives: Encouraging Innovation, Production, and Jobs in the United States
Non-democratic nations can dictate private sector actions to spur innovation, but democratic countries cannot and should not. Instead, they should provide incentives such as lowering the effective corporate tax rate, and expanding tax incentives to encourage R&D, training and capital investment.

Investment: More Public Funding for Innovation and Productivity
Federal investment in the building blocks of innovation has been slipping for decades. The U.S. needs to provide significantly more support for research, commercialization, technology adoption and education and training. Part of the increase should go to supporting scientific research, but a portion should also be earmarked for programs explicitly supporting industrial innovation and getting ideas from lab to market.

Institutional Innovation: Doing Things in New Ways
To win the race, nations cannot be content with high rates of technical innovation alone. They also need high rates of organizational innovation. The U.S. must move beyond partisan gridlock and approach the task of institutional innovation (e.g., new ways of schooling) with the same urgency a corporation does when threatened by a competitor.

Information Technology Transformation
One of the defining features of many of today’s innovations is their basis in information technologies–computers, software, and telecommunications. The U.S. does well in adopting IT within some fields, but not in others. Why create a smart washing machine that turns on when power use is low if the electrical grid isn’t smart? Why create an online health information application if all the needed data is on paper forms?

International Framework for Innovation
While the U.S. needs to step up its domestic innovation game, it also needs to fight more vigorously against foreign “innovation mercantilism.”  The U.S. must stop turning a blind eye to countries’ policies and practices that violate global trade commitments and lead in insisting that the benefits of trade are accompanied by obligations to trading partners.


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.


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.