The IPL newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 285

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.


Event: Innovation Policy for Economic Renewal

Bjorn Asheim
Friday, November 8, 2013 at the Munk School of Global Affairs
Innovation is a global challenge. With few exceptions the global economy suffers from lack of economic growth. Innovation is the only sustainable strategy for promoting competitiveness and economic growth. Innovation cannot be left to firms, the market or the public sector alone but requires an organised approach where all important stakeholders (firms, universities and public sector) collaborate. Innovation policy, thus, plays a strategic role in promoting economic growth. Innovation policy has to secure path extension (positive lock-in) as well as stimulating new path development (path renewal and path creation). Swedish regional innovation policy will be used as an illustrative example.

Obama Administration Awards $50.5 Million in Make It In America Challenge Grants to Spur Business Investment and Job Creation in the U.S.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, recently announced the 10 winners of the Make it in America Challenge, an Obama Administration initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States. The 10 grantees will receive a total of $20.5 million for projects supporting regional economic development, advanced skills training, greater supply chain access and other enhancements. The programs are designed to encourage U.S. companies to keep, expand or re-shore their manufacturing operations—and jobs—in America, and to entice foreign companies to build facilities and make their products here.

APLU Announces Inaugural Designation of 16 Institutions as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities(APLU)
In recognition of a strong commitment to economic engagement, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has designated 16 public institutions as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities.  The new designation acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development. The 16 institutions that comprise the inaugural class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities are: Boise State University; California State University, Fresno; Northern Illinois University; The Ohio State University; The State University of New York; University of Central Florida; University of Cincinnati; University of Georgia; University of Idaho; University of Memphis; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; University of Missouri; University of Oklahoma; University of Toledo; and Washington State University.

Editor's Pick

The Global Innovation 1000: Navigating the Digital Future

Barry Jaruzelski, John Loehr and Richard Holman, booz&co.
Year after year, this Global Innovation 1000 study has demonstrated that it is not how much companies spend on research and development that determines success—what really matters is how those R&D funds are invested in capabilities, talent, process, and tools. In addition to this recurring analysis of R&D spending trends, the ninth annual study of the world’s 1,000 largest publicly listed corporate R&D spenders focuses on the digital enablers of the innovation process: how the most successful companies are—and aren’t—using digital tools and processes to improve speed, decrease cost, enhance quality, reduce complexity, and sharpen insight into customer and market needs to improve their innovation efforts.

Innovation Policy

Are Public Research Spin-Offs More Innovative?

Andreas Stephan, The Ratio Institute
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze whether research spin-offs, that is, spinoffs from either public research institutes or universities, have greater innovation capabilities than comparable knowledge-intensive firms created in other ways. Using a sample of about 2,800 firms from highly innovative sectors, propensity score matching is used to create a sample group of control firms that is comparable to the group of spin-offs. The paper provides evidence that the 121 research spin-offs investigated have more patent applications and more radical product innovations, on average, compared to similar firms. The results also show that research spin-offs’ superior innovation performance can be explained by their high level of research cooperation and by location factors. An urban region location and proximity to the parent institution are found to be conducive to innovation productivity. The paper also finds evidence that research spin-offs are more successful in attracting support from public innovation support programs in comparison to their peers.

Universities as Local Knowledge Hubs Under Different Technology Regimes – New Evidence from Academic Patenting

Friedrich Dornbusch and Thomas Brenner
The authors examined German university patenting and publication activity in 2007 to find if similarities between the tech industry orientation of the local economy and the research orientation of universities led to increased cooperative activity. They found clear evidence that a technological fit between a university’s scientific priorities and the needs of local industry led to a greater number of research partnerships. Universities that produced research relevant to local industries were more likely to be able to serve as knowledge factories and contribute to the regional economy.

5th University-Business Forum: Strategic Partnerships for Innovation and Growth – From Dialogue to Partnerships

European Commission
The European Commission established the University-Business Forum to advance and facilitate interactions and exchanges between the worlds of academia and business by providing a European-level Forum for discussion, networking, mutual learning and best practices. The 2013 Forum focused on partnerships for innovation and growth – how partnerships, formed between business, universities, and other key stakeholders, can influence a range of outcomes for the universities, students, businesses and the broader environment in which they operate. This report contains a summary of discussions from the conference on the themes of: entrepreneurship; promoting change and impact; people and innovation; and a spotlight on knowledge alliances and Massive Online Open CourseWare (MOOCs).

Final Report and Recommendations – Encouraging A British Invention Revolution: Sir Andrew Witty’s Review of Universities and Growth

Universities have ‘extraordinary potential’ to enhance economic growth, according to this report. This review, looking into the role of universities and growth, calls for increased incentives for universities to embrace a stronger role in economic growth, and for our universities, businesses and government agencies to collaborate, rather than compete, to be successful in a global race. Sir Andrew Witty also advocates a £1 Billion investment in ‘Arrow Projects’ – these would combine an arrow tip of leading research with an arrowhead of linked economic activity to develop new technologies with significant international markets.

The Research and Innovation Performance of the G20 and its Impact on the Decisions Made by the World’s Most Influential Leaders

Thompson Reuters
As scientific research and innovation activity are predictors of economic growth and prosperity, Thomson Reuters analysts embarked on a project to identify the impact of the G20 in these areas. This report looks across the G20, analyzing each region based on its scholarly output and innovation capacity, providing an unique perspective that informs policymakers of the changing landscape and dynamics influencing G20 decision making.This report answers questions about which regions are leading and in what areas? Which countries are falling behind? Where are there emerging pockets of growth? What is in decline? What technology areas dominate? These and answers to other important questions can be found in each four-page display of the nation/region and its science and innovation impact.

Maximizing the Benefit of R&D Tax Incentives for Innovation

This research note highlights new OECD analysis on the economic consequences of R&D tax incentives to help governments design more effective and efficient policy packages to foster innovation and exploit new sources of growth.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

University of Waterloo Economic Impact Study

The University of Waterloo has established itself as a key driver of Waterloo Region’s economy, according to this report. The University of Waterloo Economic Impact Study, commissioned by the university, says $2.6 billion in spending economic impacts were generated in Ontario in 2011. For every dollar spent in its operating budget, the university is generating an additional $3.70 of spending.

Statistics & Indicators

Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities 2013

Ted Mallett and Simon Gaudreault, Canadian Federation of Indepenent Business (CFIB)
Saskatoon and the communities surrounding Calgary (Greater Calgary) are once again the best large Canadian communities in which to run a business. On the first day of Canada’s Small Business Week, CFIB recognizes those communities that truly embrace entrepreneurship by creating an environment in which businesses can thrive.

OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2013: Innovation for Growth

Young firms play a crucial role in job creation. Improving product, labour and capital markets and bankruptcy laws would help them foster employment growth and support the economic recovery, according to a new OECD report. The Scoreboard tracks trends in science, technology and industry to understand how innovation is evolving and how countries are positioning themselves in the global knowledge economy. It includes more than 260 internationally comparable quality indicators and provides a broad range of statistics for other major economies such as Brazil, China, India, and the Russian Federation.

Policy Digest

Regional Policy for Smart Growth of SMEs

European Commission

The purpose of this guide is to extract policy lessons from the past decades of Structural Fund, national and regional support for SMEs into a comprehensive guide with the aim to help ERDF managing authorities and regional policymakersof any Regional Innovation System (RIS) design a policy mix that supports enterprises in maximising the objectives and opportunities of a RIS. This guide draws not only on SME specific policy experiences, but spans across a wide range of policies, including research, innovation, cluster, state aid, internal market, education and training (the issue of financial instruments will be covered in more detail in separate guidance).

This guide highlights, in particular, that SME competitiveness in Europe relies heavily on innovation and thus the successful implementation of a National/Regional Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS) and the quality of its design and delivery mechanisms for financial and non-financial support services. These support services should enhance R&D+I activities or strengthen enterprise competitiveness. This guide provides thoughts, tips and ideas on how to achieve this.

The Introduction makes the case for better support services to SMEs in order to remove the most commonly identified barriers encountered by enterprises when trying to innovate or to compete in a global environment. It highlights the links between RIS and better SME support services and emphasizes the following elements for successful SME support services to be deployed in all regions:

1) To involve SMEs and their representative organisations in RIS development design as well as identify the different categories of the regional SME population to be able to provide targeted and high value-added services and work on the basis of strategic business portfolios.

2) To adapt support service schemes to a wide typology of enterprises but also to the innovation capability, willingness and readiness of their management teams and focus support not only on R&D but on innovation in the wider sense.

3) To create a policy mix that combines financial support with advice, access to specialist infrastructure as well as a network of professional facilitators, including the support to risk reduction tools, investment readiness and proof-of-concept and the leveraging of public procurement to support SME innovation and growth.

4) To properly use monitoring and evaluation to measure the desired structural change and to manage the implementation of the strategy, allowing for informed corrections of the policy-mix, not just measuring transactions.

The following chapters examine the topics of designing effective support services; support services strategies and the importance of concentrating on innovation and not just R&D; the variety of different types of support services and their roles in developing SME innovation capacity; and the modernization of support serivces to best enable SME competitiveness.


Bjorn Asheim: Innovation Policy for Economic Renewal 

Toronto, 8 November, 2013
Innovation is a global challenge. With few exceptions the global economy suffers from lack of economic growth. Innovation is the only sustainable strategy for promoting competitiveness and economic growth. Innovation cannot be left to firms, the market or the public sector alone but requires an organised approach where all important stakeholders (firms, universities and public sector) collaborate. Innovation policy, thus, plays a strategic role in promoting economic growth. Innovation policy has to secure path extension (positive lock-in) as well as stimulating new path development (path renewal and path creation). Swedish regional innovation policy will be used as an illustrative example.

5th Canadian Science Policy Conference

Toronto, 20-22 November, 2013
The Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) was founded in 2008 by a diverse group of young and passionate professionals from industry, academia, and science-based governmental departments. CSPC serves as an inclusive, non-partisan and national forum uniting stakeholders, strengthening dialogue, and enabling action with respect to current and emerging issues in national science, technology, and innovation policy. The CPSC is a grassroots initiative that thrives on a dynamic and responsive conference structure focused on best serving the needs of the science policy community. Year after year, it has flourished thanks to the efforts of more than 100 volunteers dedicated to engaging members from research, technology, policy, and the general public in thoughtful discussion to improve governance of issues important to Canadian society. The event has experienced tremendous expansion over the course of its 5 years, growing to more than 1,400 attendees. This would not have been possible without the support of over 200 companies, institutions, and agencies, as well as the Advisory and Honorary Committees comprising of more than 70 field-leading experts.

Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX)

Toronto, 21 November, 2013
The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) is the foremost destination for key leaders in the innovation economy to learn from one another, explore new relationships and accelerate the development of the ground-breaking technologies, products and services propelling the Canadian economy into the future. This forum attracts the people behind innovative new technologies “entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, service providers, government, and media” for an unparalleled program of visionary keynotes and panel discussions, facilitated networking opportunities, and the CIX Top 20 a showcase of Canada’s hottest innovative companies working in Digital Media and Information and Communication Technology.

Aerospace Innovation Forum

Montreal, 2-4 December, 2013
In a highly competitive global market where environmental regulations are tightening, innovation remains a major competitive advantage for companies. However, to position themselves on future aircraft programs and in the supply chains of major OEMs, companies need new approaches. Instead of working in a silo with the sole aim of creating new products, innovation must now be pursued in a global and systematic way. It must be at the very heart of companies’ critical activities, encompassing design, manufacturing and operations, as well as end-of-life product management. Companies must also innovate in the way they finance new projects and manage, organize and train human resources. These complementary challenges will be discussed in more detail during the Aero Financing and Aero Training seminars that will be held on the third day of the Aerospace Innovation Forum 2013.

DRUID Academy Conference 2014

Aalborg, Denmark, 15-17 January, 2014
The conference is open for all PhD students working within the broad field of economics and management of innovation, entrepreneurship and organizations. We invite papers aiming at enhancing our understanding of the dynamics of technological, structural and institutional change at the level of firms, industries, regions and nations. DRUID is the node for an open international network – new partners are most welcome. We encourage all PhD students to submit their research to the conference. Do not hesitate to apply even if you have not been in contact with DRUID previously. The main emphasis is on PhD presentations. Each PhD student paper will be assigned to a “junior” (a fellow PhD student) and to a senior discussant (from DRUID faculty or invited guests). There will also be a series of keynote speakers in the program. The details of the program, titles of keynote presentations etc. will be continuously updated at the DRUID homepage.

The Geography of Innovation

Utrecht, The Netherlands, 23-25 January, 2014
This conference provides a forum for discussion to scholars and practitioners interested in scientific, policy and strategic issues concerning the spatial dimension of innovation activities. The main objective of this event is to bring together reserachers from a variety of disciplines ranging from economic geography, economics, management science, sociology, network theory, regional science and urban studies. The conference invites contributions in a wide range of topics underlying the geography of innovation, such as: global and local dynamics of innovation; science and technology policy; cluster competitiveness; firms R&D strategies; entrepreneurships; innovation systems; sustainable and social innovation; industrial dynamics and innovation networks.

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