The IPL newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 279

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.


New Collaboration Voucher Program Connects Business with Academic Researchers to Give Ontario a Competitive Edge

The Collaboration Voucher Program, launched June 26 and run by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), allows companies quick and easy access to the expertise and knowledge at Ontario universities, colleges and research hospitals to help their businesses succeed while making Ontario and Canada more prosperous. OCE’s Business Development Managers will work closely with applicant companies to find the academic experts to best meet their needs and guide them through the process. Two of the vouchers also offer applicants access to federal funding through a convenient one-stop application process.

Government of Canada and Genome Canada Announce a New Program to Accelerate Genomics Discovery to Market

Genome Canada
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently announced the launch of a new Genome Canada program designed to move genomics-based solutions from laboratories to the marketplace. The Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) is also intended to stimulate investment from private and public partners to fund projects that address real world challenges and opportunities in the field of genomics. The GAPP is Genome Canada’s newest flagship partnership program that will increase collaboration between genomics scientists and “users” of genomics research (industry, government, non-profit or other organizations). The Harper Government, through Genome Canada, is committing $30 million to the program, and through regional Genome Centres, will leverage additional funding from partners and industry, rendering this a $90 million investment in made-in-Canada genomics research and development.

Editor's Pick

Global Innovation Index 2013

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
This Innovation Index is a recognition of the key role that innovation serves as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. It is also an acknowledgement of the need for a broad horizontal vision of innovation that is applicable to both developed and emerging economies, with the inclusion of indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation (such as the level of research and development in a given country). The GII is a valuable benchmarking tool to facilitate public-private dialogue, whereby policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders can evaluate progress on a continual basis.

Innovation Policy

Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Plan

National Science and Technology Council
The President’s FY 2014 budget request includes a 6.7 percent increase for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education while reducing the number of federal STEM education programs from 226 to 110. Fourteen federal agencies have STEM education programs and the President’s proposal consolidates those education programs into three agencies, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. These changes are outlined in a 5-year Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan that is aimed at defining the Administration’s path forward for the restructuring of federal STEM education programs.  The Strategic Plan was a requirement set by the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010 and was prepared by the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) of the National Science and Technology Council.

The Goals of Smart Specialization

European Commission
Smart specialization is an innovative policy concept which emphasizes the principle of prioritization in a vertical logic (to favour some technologies, fields, population of firms) and defines a method to identify such desirable areas for innovation policy intervention. Its rationale involves both the factthat, even in the information age, the logic of specialization is intact, particularly for small entities such as regional economies in Europe and the argument that the task of identification (of what should be prioritized) is very difficult and therefore needs a sophisticated policy design. Smart specialization is not a planning doctrine that requires a region to specialize in a particular set of industries. Instead, it seeks robust and transparent means for nominating those new activities, at regional level, that aim at exploring and discovering new technological and market opportunities and at opening thereby new domains for constructing regional competitive advantages. Thus, rather than offering a method for determining if a hypothetical region has a “strength” in a particular set of activities, e.g., tourism and fisheries, the crucial question is whether that region would benefit from and should specialize in certain R&D and innovation projects in some lead activities such as tourism or fisheries. The aim of this policy brief isto set out a coherent vision of the goals of the policy approach that is evoked by the term smart specialization.

Models and Methods of University Technology Transfer

Samantha R. Bradley, Christopher S. Hayter, and Albert N. Link
This paper argues that a linear model of technology transfer is no longer sufficient, or perhaps even no longer relevant, to account for the nuances and complexities of the technology transfer process that characterizesthe ongoing commercialization activities of universities. Shortcomings of the traditional linear model of technology transfer include inaccuracies—such as its strict linearity and oversimplification of the process, composition, a one-size-fits-all approach, and an overemphasis on patents—and inadequacies—such as failing to account for informal mechanisms of technology transfer, failing to acknowledge the impact of organizational culture, and failing to represent university reward systems within the model. As such, alternative views of technology transfer are presented here that better capture the progression of the university towards an entrepreneurial and dynamic institution, and that advance the body of knowledge about this important academic endeavor.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy

Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, The Brookings Institution
This book describes the importance of metropolitan regions and their governance in the economic recovery of cities and regions in the United States. The Metropolitan Revolution is a national movement, and the book describes how it is taking root in New York City, where efforts are under way to diversify the city’s vast economy; in Portland, Oregon, which is selling the  “sustainability” solutions it has perfected to other cities around the world; in Northeast Ohio, where groups are using industrial-age skills to invent new twenty-first-century materials, tools, and processes; in Houston, where a modern settlement house helps immigrants climb the employment ladder; in Miami, where innovators are forging strong ties with Brazil and other nations; in Denver and Los Angeles, where leaders are breaking political barriers and building world-class metropolises; and in Boston and Detroit, where innovation districts are hatching ideas to power these economies for the next century.  A website accompanies the book and includes links to an iPad app and video of events related to the book’s themes.

Innovation and the City

Center for an Urban Future
New York’s next mayor will need to address a number of critical challenges facing the city. This report spotlights 15 innovative policies from cities across the U.S. and around the globe that could serve as a model.

Best Practices in State and Regional Innovation Initiatives

Charles W. Wessner, The National Academies Press
Most of the policy discussion about stimulating innovation has focused on the federal level. This study focuses on the significant activity at the state level, with the goal of improving the public’s understanding of key policy strategies and exemplary practices. Based on a series of workshops and conferences that brought together policymakers along with leaders of industry and academia in a select number of states, the study highlights a rich variety of policy initiatives underway at the state and regional level to foster knowledge based growth and employment. Perhaps what distinguishes this effort at the state level is most of all the high degree of pragmatism. Operating out of necessity, innovation policies at the state level often involve taking advantage of existing resources and recombining them in new ways, forging innovative partnerships among universities, industry and government organizations, growing the skill base, and investing in the infrastructure to develop new technologies and new industries. Many of these initiatives are being guided by leaders from the private sector and universities. This study’s goal is to illustrate the approaches taken by a variety of highly diverse states as they confront the increasing challenges of global competition for the industries and jobs of today and tomorrow.

Insight: London, Brilliant

The Martin Prosperity Institute
This Insight is the fourth in the Martin Prosperity Institute’s continuing Geography of Class and Education Insight series. As the series is focused on understanding the relationship between occupational class and education within the United States, including a global city from outside of the U.S. provides a benchmark to examine how U.S. cities are performing on a world scale. Renowned as one of the creative, financial, innovation, and cultural capitals of the world, London, UK is a great example of a city that is thriving in the knowledge economy arguably better than any other city in the world.

Statistics & Indicators

Growth Trends and Characteristics of Rural OECD Regions

Enrique Garcilaz, OECD
This paper benchmarks the performance of OECD rural regions with other types of OECD regions over the period 1995-2010. OECD regions are classified into three types according to the OECD regional typology and into four types according to the extended OECD typology. The latter classifies rural regions into rural regions close to cities and rural remote regions. The analysis focuses on two time-periods: the first prior to the global financial crisis covering 1995 to 2007 and the second capturing the effects of the crisis from 2007- 2010. Level comparisons reveal important differences between urban and rural regions. The latter are characterised with low density, long distances and lack of critical mass in comparison to other OECD regions. Notable differences are also present within rural regions. In terms of performance, rural regions record the highest average growth in GDP per capita and in productivity but also the highest volatility in growth rates during the pre-crises period. Overall the effects of the crisis will likely have a more lasting effect on rural regions, particularly in remote rural regions, due to their thinner and less diversified economic base. In sum this paper finds stark difference between rural and urban regions and between rural regions close to cities and remote rural regions which suggests the need for a differentiated policy approach capable of addressing the different types of challenge.

2012 State Economic Development Incentives Report

The Council for Community and Economic Research
Economic development incentives remain prevalent and continue to be viewed by economic development practitioners as important tools in the quest for state and regional economic growth. The nearly 1,800 economic development incentive programs currently in use by states are meant to influence the location of business investment and to promote job opportunities. Thisnumber of programs represents an almost doubling of the combined tax and non-tax programs available to businesses since 1999, the year C2ER completed its first survey of incentive programmanagers and also began to track the number and types of state

Policy Digest

The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas

Brad McDearman, Greg Clark and Joseph Parilla, The Brookings Institution
Swift global integration, the expansion of a global consumer class, and the rise of urban areas as the engines of global economic growth have ushered in a new era that demands more global engagement from America’s city and regional leaders. This paper presents 10 traits of globally fluent metro areas and their critical relationship to the competitiveness, productivity, and prosperity of cities and regions in the 21st century.

1. Leadership with a Worldview – Local leadership networks with a global outlook have great potential for impact on the global fluency of a metro area.

2. Legacy of Global Orientation – Due to their location, size, and history, certain cities were naturally oriented toward global interaction at an early stage, giving them a first mover advantage

3. Specializations with Global Reach – Cities often establish their initial global position through a distinct economic specialization, leveraging it as a platform for diversification.

4. Adaptability to Global Dynamics – Cities that sustain their market positions are able to adjust to each new cycle of global change.

5. Culture of Knowledge and Innovation – In an increasingly knowledge-driven world, positive development in the global economy requires high levels of human capital to generate new ideas, methods, products, and technologies.

6. Opportunity and Appeal to the World – Metro areas that are appealing, open, and opportunity-rich serve as magnets for attracting people and firms from around the world.

7. International Connectivity – Global relevance requires global reach that efficiently connects people and goods to international markets through well-designed, modern infrastructure.

8. Ability to Secure Investment for Strategic Priorities – Attracting investment from a wide variety of domestic and international sources is decisive in enabling metro areas to effectively pursue new growth strategies.

9. Government as Global Enabler – Federal, state, and local governments have unique and complementary roles to play in enabling firms and metro areas to “go global.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​10. Compelling Global Identity – Cities must establish an appealing global identity and relevance in international markets not only to sell the city, but also to shape and build the region around a common purpose.


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.

16th TCI Global Conference – Designing the Future: Innovation Through Strategic Partnerships

Kolding, Denmark, 3-6 September, 2013
Throughout the world, cluster companies are working on turning new ideas into new  products and services that lead to higher turnover and growth. As a consequence we are witnessing new forms of innovation partnerships between companies, research institutions and public authorities in clusters. In designing this year’s conference program, the TCI aims at getting a better understanding of how innovation partnerships work in practice, what can be learned from them, and how they add value to clusters.

Regional Innovation Policy Dynamics: Actor, Agency and Learning

Manchester, UK, 23-24 September, 2013
The network seeks to advance the understanding of regional policy dynamics, the role of agency and leadership in policy change and institutionalisation, and associated challenges for policy evaluation. The workshop in Manchester builds on previous workshops in San Sebastian in 2012 and Tampere in 2013 and seeks to explore new methodologies, concepts and evidence that contribute to the understanding of public policy processes and regional dynamics.

International Benchmarking Forum 2013: Smart Specialization Strategies of Cities and Regions in Europe 

Basel, Switzerland, 26-27 September, 2013
Smart Specialization means identifying the unique characteristics and assets of each country and region and thus highlighting each region’s true competitive advantages and potential. This process enables more effective rallying of regional stakeholders and resources around an excellence-driven vision of the future. It also means strengthening regional innovation systems, maximizing knowledge flows and spreading the benefits of innovation throughout the entire regional economy. In order to find answers to these challenges deeper knowledge about sectors, technological developments, and trends is needed. A better assessment of capabilities, potential, demand, and aspirations of regional and national stakeholders is essential. Smart Specialization is the basis of EU Structural Fund Investments in Research & Innovation (R&I) as part of the future Cohesion Policy of the EU within the Europe 2020 jobs and growth agenda. The conference gathers European and non-European stakeholders dealing with Smart Specialization strategies, coming from National, regional and also municipal levels, including scientists as well as business and governmental representatives.

2nd European Colloquium on Culture, Creativity and the Economy

Berlin, Germany, 10-11 October, 2013
During the past decades myriad links between culture, creativity and economic practice have become major topics of interdisciplinary debates. No longer restricted to a few sectors, there is a growing consensus that the intersections between these spheres and symbolic and culturally embedded values in particular, pervade the global economy. Indeed, the formerly distinct logics of the cultural and the economic have become increasingly indiscernible. Similarly, the notion of creativity, once used to express exceptional talent, activities and outcomes, is now considered a key component to success in all fields of economic activity. At the same time, the Internet has revolutionized the conditions under which cultural production and distribution as well as creative collaboration can be undertaken. Despite the high degree of uncertainty about future developments, policy makers as well as business managers are highly optimistic, if not enthusiastic, about the ability of symbolic values and creativity to drive sustained economic growth and regional development. This colloquium will take up and continue an international and interdisciplinary debate on these topics.

8th International Seminar on Regional Innovation Policies 

Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, 10-11 October, 2013

This will be the latest in the stream of annual seminars that began in Porto in 2006 and have since been hosted in Saltzburg, Santander, Edinburgh, Grimstad, Lund and again in Porto (2012). These seminars have placed strong emphasis on regions as a key unit for policy analysis, highlighting the role that regional innovation policies can play in building sustainable competitive advantages. At a time when regions across Europe are adapting to new realities brought about by a deep and widespread economic downturn, changing environmental constraints and emerging social challenges, it is more critical than ever to analyze the roles and impacts of regional innovation policies. The seminar provides a meeting point for researchers, policy-makers, academics, practitioners and doctoral students interested in issues related to regional innovation policy, regional competitiveness and regional development. You are invited to present and discuss the results of cutting-edge applied research, and to join in learning together how to better understand regional innovation dynamics and how policies can orient these dynamics towards meeting existing and future regional challenges.

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

Atlanta, GA, 26-28 September, 2013
The Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy provides a showcase for the highest quality scholarship addressing the multidimensional challenges and interrelated characteristics of science and innovation policy and processes. This year’s sessions will explore the research front addressing the broad range of issues central to the structure, function, performance and outcomes of the science and innovation enterprises.

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