The IPL newsletter: Volume 13, Issue 270

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.


Building British Columbia’s Creative Economy

BC Newsroom
The B.C. government is launching BC Creative Futures, a three-part strategy to support sustainable, long-term success for the province’s creative sector. BC Creative Futures supports the provincial economy by helping to foster a creative workforce through more arts opportunities for young British Columbians, by building a comprehensive, sector-wide vision to support the development and growth of B.C.’s creative industries and by expanding capacity at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Glasgow Selected to be City of the Future

Technology Strategy Board 
Glasgow has been given a boost today after it was chosen to receive £24 million of government investment to demonstrate how a city of the future will work. Glasgow beat off competition from 30 other UK cities to host the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’. The city will demonstrate how providing new integrated services across health, transport, energy and public safety can improve the local economy and increase the quality of life of Glasgow’s citizens, and will allow UK businesses to test new solutions that can be exported around the globe.

To Spur Regional Economic Growth, Community Colleges Look Beyond National Graduation Goals

SSTI Weekly Digest
In July 2009, President Obama challenged community colleges to graduate an additional five million students by 2020. According to the president’s speech, community colleges uniquely are positioned to fuel the future of U.S. competiveness by developing an educated, skilled workforce to address the needs of a 21st century workplace. However, community colleges across the country are going beyond the president’s challenge and establishing new initiatives to help support regional innovation ecosystems focused on encouraging entrepreneurship and nurturing tech-based startups. This short article details various strategies that are being implemented and tested by community colleges, and consortia, around the country.

Washington, D.C. Invests in Innovation Hub

The Washingon Post
Washington, D.C. economic development officials have extended a $200,000 grant to the creators behind 1776, a gathering place for entrepreneurs in the District that will provide rooms for start-up offices, community events and educational sessions. The 15,000-square-foot venue at 1133 15th St. NW also will house, an early-stage investment group and start-up incubator that established an office in the District last year after receiving a $100,000 grant of its own from city officials. The 1776 facility is the brainchild of entre­pre­neur­ship enthusiasts Donna Harris and Evan Burfield and comes at a time when the Washington region is giving rise to a creative class of technologists looking to start new companies. As a result, the District’s entrepreneurial community has sought in recent years to shake up the city’s staid image as the home of the federal government while also capi­tal­izing on the perks that come from such close proximity to policy wonks and regulators.

Editor's Pick

Financing Innovation by Established Businesses in Canada

Michael Grant, The Conference Board of Canada
This report focuses on innovation finance for established businesses, from the distinct perspectives of investors and innovative businesses. In capital markets—where the appetite for risk is currently small—company managers must tell potential investors a compelling story of growth through innovation. Demonstrating spending on R&D is not enough. Innovators need practical tools to help them explain to investors both their innovative activity (e.g., innovation metrics) and the way it makes money (e.g., the business model and financial projections). Canadian companies also have to do a better job of getting their products into the hands of paying customers. The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Business Innovation is developing tools and metrics to help Canadian companies improve their capabilities and address these challenges.

Innovation Policy

Building Blocks for Smart Networks

This report examines the development of smart networks and services with particular attention to the implications for communication policy and regulation. The word “smart” has become a term that is frequently affixed to an area where the introduction of networked information and communication technologies (ICTs) is expected to have significant implications for economic and social development. In this document it is defined as: an application or service that is able to learn from previous situations and to communicate the results of these situations to other devices and users. Collection of data will be enabled by the expansion of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Large scale processing will be delivered by “cloud computing” services. Analysis of these data will be undertaken around a process frequently called “big data”. These phenomenona together form the “building blocks of smart networks”. Each distinguishes itself from previous similar developments because the size of numbers of devices, data and elements is orders of magnitude larger than that of previous periods.

Beyond the Business Cycle: THe Need for a Technology-Based Growth Strategy

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
This article suggests that a major overhaul of U.S. economic policy is needed to ensure the country’s long-term economic growth. The current policy paradigm of monetary and fiscal growth policies have demonstrated diminishing returns over the past few decades as the U.S.’ post-World War II economic structural advantages dissipated. Instead, a set of policies based on strategic investment in technology development and commercialization could boost the nation’s productivity and help reverse the trend of falling incomes. These investments should not focus simply on short- and middle-term research missions, such as national defense or renewable energy, but on a wide variety of technology areas with the potential for long-term growth.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

The Buffalo Billion: Investment Development Plan

NY Works
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council met this week and for the first time released its full report on the “Buffalo Billion” investment development plan. This plan serves as a roadmap for implementation and details the market analysis, stakeholder interviews and best practices that led to the the council’s six signature investable initiatives.

Credible Actions to Key Regions’ Future Innovation Performance

European Commission
Building upon the findings of the first two RIM Annual Reports, this report – which is a third and final in its series deliverable – presents an updated analysis of innovation policies across EU regions, incorporates the results of the recently published Regional Innovation Scoreboard – 2012, and provides an account of benefits which have arisen from improved regional innovation practices. One of the emerging findings is that there is a pattern in forms of support which seems to indicate that many world-class performing regions have indeed implemented a policy mix that is comparatively well-adapted to their innovation performance and well-suited to improve their economic situation in the long run.  Comparatively, the results of appraisal of innovation policies in regions with strong focus on industrial employment and ‘sciences & services’ regions point to positive aspects but are also used to question some of the policy responses.  Overall, the availability of robust evidence-based assessments leaves room for improvement across the three groups of regions. Without independent assessments of what actually worked and what did not, even more focused policies will suffer from an inherent lack of relatedness to the actual challenges that regions are facing.

Urban Productivity: Who Benefits from Agglomeration Economies?

Mark Brown and David Rigby, Statistics Canada
There is abundant evidence that many firms cluster together in space and that there is an association between clustering and productivity. This paper moves beyond identifying the broad effects of clustering and explores how different types of firms benefit from agglomeration. It advances research on agglomeration by showing, first, that not all firms gain to the same degree from co-location and, second, that businesses with different internal capabilities capture different forms of geographical externalities. The empirical analysis focuses on Canadian manufacturing establishments operating over the period from 1989 to 1999. It finds young, small, domestic, and single-plant businesses, which typically cannot draw upon the internal resources available to older, larger, foreign-controlled, and multi-plant firms, benefit more from clustering in most but not all respects. These smaller and younger firms experience stronger productivity gains stemming from the localized pooling of workers with skills that match their needs and from knowledge spillovers, but weaker productivity gains from the presence of upstream input suppliers.

State and Metropolitan Innovation to Watch 2013

Bruce Katz and Owen Washburn, The Brookings Institution
For the second year in a row, the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation identified the Top 10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch—actions undertaken by states and metropolitan areas in 2012 that seem ripe for meaningful impact in 2013 and beyond, as well as for replication by other communities. Looking across the country, the survey finds a nation teeming with smart, pragmatic solutions to national economic challenges: meeting a national goal of doubling exports, bolstering innovative industries, cracking the code on low carbon, growing a skilled workforce and increasing opportunity, and strengthening collaborative governance. These innovations in policy and practices show that American problem solving does not rely exclusively on the machinations of the federal government. More than any other nation, we devolve ample powers and responsibilities to states and metropolitan areas that, in turn, smartly share governing with leaders in the corporate, civic, university and environmental sectors.

Statistics & Indicators

The Whole Picture: Where America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand

This report analyzes broadband in OECD nations to create a more accurate and meaningful picture of where America stands in broadband deployment, adoption, performance, and price. The U.S. is near the top of the rankings in terms of the deployment and adoption of high-speed, wired networks and leads the OECD in adoption of advanced wireless LTE broadband networks. In addition, U.S. broadband speeds, while behind nations such as Korea and Japan, where government has subsidized deployment of fiber optic networks, also rank in the top 10 in the world.

2013 Silicon Valley Index

Joint Venture Silicon Valley
The Silicon Valley Index has been telling the Silicon Valley story since 1995. Released early every year, the Index is based on indicators that measure the strength of the economy and the health of the community – highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for leadership and decision making. This year’s index shows that Silicon Valley has been adding jobs and expanding its talent pool. There have also been some improvements in environmental management and regional transit. However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed: income growth remains uneven, as does the housing recovery. Financing and innnovation assets are mixed.

2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index

The report confirms that the landscape for competitive manufacturing is in the midst of a massive power shift – based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 550 chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world. The 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index once again ranks China as the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world both today, and five years from now. Germany and the United States round out the top three competitive manufacturing nations, but, according to the survey, both fall five years from now, with Germany ranking fourth and the United States ranking fifth, only slightly ahead of the Republic of Korea. The two other developed nations currently in the top 10 are also expected to be less competitive in five years: Canada slides from seventh to eighth place and Japan drops out of the top 10 entirely, falling to 12th place.

Insight: Even Smaller Cities are Growing

The Martin Prosperity Institute
There is much written on the revival (and increased popularity) of city centres, the attraction of dense mixed-use downtowns, the popularity of loft-style offices for start-ups, and the attractions of walkability and street-life. For members of the creative class — artists, those in high-tech, and other professionals and entrepreneurs — downtown-like neighbourhoods are the incubators of the kind of creativity and expression that attracts members of this class. It is important to note that these trends are true of not only large cities, but smaller cities as well, which can serve as important regional hubs for the creative economy — an example in this regard, the Saint John Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)  in New Brunswick which, with a population of 127,761, is one of the smaller metropolitan regions in Canada. This Insight explores the growth of the Saint John CMA to illustrate the resurgence of central cities in smaller metros in North America.

OECD Broadband Statistics Update

This report is an update on broadband penetration rates as of June 2012. It finds that mobile broadband subscriptions have reached nearly 700 million in OECD countries. Switzerland and  Korea continue to top the OECD ranking for fixed and wireless broadband respectively.

Policy Digest

Regional Innovations: Promising Practices from the California Stewardship Network

The California Stewardship Network
In regions throughout California, steward leaders are working across boundaries to create stronger, more prosperous communities. This report highlights key innovations from regions across the state, demonstrating how a stewardship approach can address a wide range of economic, environmental, and social challenges. Regions profiled in this report include: the Butte Region; the Fresno Region; the Inland Empire; Los Angeles County; the Redwood Coast; the Sacramento Region; the San Diego Region; San Luis Obispo; the Sierra Nevada Region; Silicon Valley; and the Sonoma County Region.

While the regional innovations profiled in this report address unique challenges and opportunities, there are several important commonalities:

A stewardship approach. The California Stewardship Network identifies stewardship as the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. For regional stewards, stewardship means caring responsibly for diverse regional assets and working together to achieve the greatest, long-term benefit for California. Each regional innovation demonstrates the stewardship approach, applied to a range of challenges and opportunities.

Investing in strategies with high returns. Recognizing the interconnection between economic, social, and environmental outcomes, regional stewards have developed innovations that increase the long-term returns on investment to the region’s economy, people, and environment.

Using analysis to guide priorities. Integrating data and analysis into stewardship initiatives – whether they are economic development strategies, regional collaborations, or educational initiatives – helps target resources to create the greatest impact.

Preparing youth for success. Several regions spearheaded initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes for youth. By working across institutional boundaries, steward leaders have built a civic infrastructure around school systems, supporting and more effectively preparing young people for success.

Minority advancement. Latinos represent the fastest-growing demographic group in California, yet lag behind the general population in educational attainment. Regional stewards have recognized the imperative of closing this achievement gap while effectively preparing Latino leaders.

Developing industry clusters. Several regions developed and implemented regional economic strategies using a cluster approach, identifying and mobilizing key industry clusters to advance the regional economy.

Each regional profile describes how collaboration across sectors, jurisdictions, and geographic boundaries has led to greater economic, environmental, and social impact. Regional stewards often work through ‘backbone organizations,’ convening, building and sustaining momentum, and driving towards integrated solutions.

The innovations described in this report only begin to scratch the surface. Regional stewards across California are continually developing effective, collaborative, and sustainable solutions to persistent economic, social and environmental challenges.


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 between 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.

Shape and Be Shaped: The Future Dynamics of Regional Development

Tampere, Finland, 5-8 May, 2013
In the many regions and localities of the world, there is an ever-growing need to find new solutions for the future, as they are increasingly confronted with intertwined sets of ecological, social and economic difficulties as well as new opportunities brought to them by the globalising economy. Indeed, there is a need to work for more balanced and sustainable development and cross the many institutional boundaries that prevent new solutions from being created. What makes all of this a demanding set of policy challenges, is that regions and localities need to find ways to manage their own destiny while being manipulated by many forces. The central idea underpinning the RSA 2013 conference in Tampere is that there is now an urgent need to better to understand how regions and localities can adapt to current challenges and deal with the wicked issues of sustainability by developing new multi-actor governance, policy-making and leadership capacities. The conference offers researchers and workers in local and regional development an opportunity to collectively explore and discuss these key issues from a multitude of perspectives and with different theoretical stand points and with empirical observations from different parts of the world.

Cluster Academy: Learning from the Clusterland Upper Austria”cluster region”

Linz, Austria, 14-17 May, 2013
The Cluster Academy shows how successful clusters work, using Clusterland Upper Austria Ltd. as an example and gives an input, how these processes could be implemented in your region. An additional benefit is the networking and exchange of experience effect with international participants, sharing the same interests in cluster activities. The cluster management workshop covers the areas of knowledge management, initiation and support of cooperation projects, qualification and event management, marketing & PR, internationalization, financing and evaluation & measuring. This year, more interactive formats of participation such as an ample case-study to complement lectures, field reports and presentations are being designed. Numerous direct visits to cluster companies should spot the motivation of being active in a cluster. Attractive side events give a chance to get to know the participants and the city of Linz.

9th International PhD School on Innovation and Economic Development

Tampere, Finland, 20-31 May, 2013
The aim of the Globelics Academy PhD-School is to support the training of Ph.D. students from different parts of the world and who are writing theses on issues related with innovation and economic development. The Academy brings together frontier researchers in innovation with Ph.D. students from developing countries in order to inspire and qualify their work as well as in order to help them to join high-quality research networks in their field of research.

16th Uddevalla Symposium 2013: Innovation, High-Growth Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

Kansas City, 13-15 June, 2013
The critical role of innovation and entrepreneurship in regional economic development in terms of productivity and employment growth has been well documented theoretically as well as empirically by researchers in recent decades. The specific mechanisms through which innovation stimulates regional economic development are less well established. It is often assumed that entrepreneurship in the form of new firm formation and the growth of newly established firms plays a critical role, but how, why, when and under what conditions is less clear. Empirical studies show that a limited share of new business ventures have the capacity to rapidly up-scale and to generate substantial new jobs in the regions where they are launched. From the perspective of regional policy makers, this implies that it is critical to understand what regional economic milieus are capable of generating innovations that can be the basis of high-growth entrepreneurship as well as provide the right environment for entrepreneurs to launch entrepreneurial initiatives.Against this background, we seek papers that, in particular, topics related to exploring these themes.

Experience the Creative Economy 

Toronto, 18-21 June, 2013
The 6th Annual Experience the Creative Economy conference is a forum for emerging scholars who are engaged in research related to the creative economy. The conference brings together up to 25 individuals from around the world to share and discuss their research. In particular, the small and focused setting provides participants with the opportunity to: present their work; receive feedback; refine and develop research methods; and join an ongoing network of collaboration and exchange.

Knowledge-Based Entrepreneurship, the Triple Helix and Local Economic Development 

London, UK, 10 July, 2013
The creation of innovative new firms and the development of SME innovation are strongly influenced by the extent to which localities offer environments that favour the transfer of knowledge to local business and provide the other resources required for innovative firm development, including skills, finance, advice, and supply chain partners. The concept of the ‘triple helix’ captures the interplay of government, research and industry in the promotion of business innovation and provides a framework for policymakers seeking to understand how to promote local knowledge-based entrepreneurship. The workshop will use this framework to examine the policy actions that governments can take to promote innovative new firm creation and SME innovation in local economies by improving conditions for knowledge transfer and knowledge-based entrepreneurship.

9th European Urban and Regional Studies Conference
Europe and the World: Competing Visions, Changing Spaces, Flows and Politics

Brighton, UK, 10-12 July, 2013
Europe’s relations with the wider world are continuously undergoing change. The urban and regional significance of these changing relations remains surprisingly poorly understood. The global financial and economic crisis, the dramatic events of late 2010 and 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa, the continuing crisis in Europe, and the global rise of ‘new powers’ are each impacting on how Europe, its citizens, and its cities and regions are connected to the wider world. The 9th European Urban and Regional Studies conference aims to consider a wide range of consequences of these changes as well as other themes relating to European urban and regional change.


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