The IPL newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 286

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.


OCE-CDQM Life Sciences R&D Challenge

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) in partnership with Life Sciences Ontario and BiopolisQuébec are working together to support collaborative R&D across the Ontario-Québec Life Sciences Corridor by deploying an R&D Challenge in the biopharmaceutical sector. This Challenge will target industry-academic projects that facilitate the development of innovative tools and technologies that accelerate the drug discovery process and lead to safer and more effective compounds. This initiative will help build a competitive advantage for the sector by combining resources and strengths across the Corridor.

Business to Get Greater Intellectual Property Support

Department for Business Innovation and SkillsUK
The Intellectual Property Office launched ‘IP for Business’ – a suite of five business tools which make sure firms can tap into up-to-date guidance to help manage their IP. It will also help firms get more relevant advice from their accountants and other business advisers. The tools respond to the challenge of making sure businesses can generate value from ideas against a backdrop of poor understanding of IP rights and how they can exploit them. At the centre of the toolkit is IP Equip – a new, free interactive online training tool that helps businesses and their advisors to identify assets which may be protected by IP rights and think through the strategy for protecting them.

New Brunswick Invests $5 Million in New Start-Up Investment Fund

Office of the Premier, Economic Development 
The provincial government is investing $5 million in a new start-up investment fund to assist entrepreneurs to develop innovation-based growth companies in New Brunswick. The investment will be used to create and administer the Startup Investment Fund through the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. The fund will be used solely to start-up and develop a business in New Brunswick focused on the development, refinement and commercialization of an innovative product, service, technology or process.

Editor's Pick

Constructing Regional Advantage and Smart Specialization: Comparison of Two European Policy Concepts

Ron Boschma, Utrecht University
This paper discusses two influential policy concepts at the European level that aim to promote economic diversification of regions, that is the Constructing Regional Advantage concept (CRA) and the Smart Specialization concept (SS). Both approaches are in favour of policy intervention but defy ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies as well as ‘stand-alone’ policies that create new activities in regions from scratch. Although ‘picking-the-winner’ policies are rejected, both policy frameworks identify and prioritise ‘promising’ targets for policy intervention, but they do so differently. The SS concept organizes this identification process through entrepreneurial discovery in which entrepreneurs select the domains of future specialization. The CRA concept focuses on identifying related variety and bottlenecks that prevent related industries in regions to connect and interact. Crucial in both frameworks is the strong involvement of local stakeholders. However, both approaches also agree that rent-seeking behavior, corruption and lock-in are potential threats to effective policy making. To avoid this, both are in favor of an open and inclusive approach and a policy implementation process that is closely monitored. The paper argues that the two policy concepts can provide useful inputs to develop a smart and comprehensive policy design that focuses on true economic renewal in regions and that avoids rent-seeking behaviour of vested players.

Innovation Policy

The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University: Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

U.S. Department of Commerce
In 2011, 142 major research universities and associations submitted a letter to the Secretary of Commerce renewing their commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in their communities, and asked the federal government to continue to work with them in these areas. This report is the next step in a two-year effort by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) to understand exactly what America’s colleges and universities are doing programmatically and strategically to nurture innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship among students, faculty, alumni, and within their communities.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Towards DUI Regional Innovation Systems

Phil Cooke, Ox ford Institute for Sustainable Development and Cardiff University
This paper marks a departure in seeking to develop the conceptual and practical apparatus of a regional innovation system (RIS) for science & technology-disadvantaged regions. It is empirically based and builds on insights about the limitations of STI (The Science-Technology-Innovation Approach, which is Linear, Specialist, Exclusive, Explicit/Codified, Global) and the strengths of DUI (The Doing-Using-Interacting Approach, which is Interactive, Diversified, Inclusive, Implicit, Regional/Local). DUI is highly compatible with Schumpeterian understanding that the core process of innovation is ‘knowledge recombination’. Assistance with identification of ‘modular’ policy elements is only one of the services required for DUI product, process and policy innovation. The complexity theory notion of ‘transversality’ has been advanced to capture the ’emergence’ of novelty out of contexts of difference, unifying a solution to the three conceptual problem-issues raised in the paper.

Metro North America: Metros as Hubs of Advanced Industries and Integrated Goods Trade

Joseph Parilla and Alan Berube, The Brookings Institution
Twenty years after the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, advanced manufacturing sectors today extend their supply chains across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, anchored by productive metropolitan hubs in all three countries. With new opportunities emerging to boost North America’s competitiveness for investment and jobs in advanced industries, this first-ever analysis of production and trade among North America’s cities and metropolitan areas reveals some interesting trends in trade between metro areas.

Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places and Communities

Placemaking should be about more than the physical realm. The focus should instead be on “creating positive change for people and communities through the transformation of a physical place,” MIT researchers conclude in this report. The analysis highlights successful placemaking efforts, such as in Houston, where a public-private partnership led to creation of a vibrant downtown park for the sprawling, car-dependent city.

Statistics & Indicators

State Government Spending on R&D: 2010 to 2011

Christopher Pece, National Science Foundation (NSF)
State government agency expenditures for research and development totaled $1.404 billion in FY 2011, an 11.3% increase over the $1.261 billion reported in FY 2010. Expenditures for R&D facilities (construction projects, major building renovations, and land and building acquisitions intended primarily for R&D use) totaled $109 million in FY 2011, a 1.7% increase over the $107 million reported in FY 2010. This InfoBrief presents summary statistics from the FY 2010 and FY 2011 Survey of State Government Research and Development.

European Knowledge Transfer Report 2013

European Commission
The objective of the European KT Policy Surveys in 2010 and 2012 was monitoring the status of implementation of the European Commission’s “Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and Code of Practice for universities and other public research organizations” from 2008. Responding to the survey fulfilled the Recommendation’s requirement that Member States should “inform the Commission by 15 July 2010 and every two years thereafter of measures taken on the basis of this Recommendation, as well as their impact”. Associated States were also kindly requested to fill in the questionnaire. The following findings are based on answers from the countries, mostly by representatives of the European Research AreaCommittee’s working group on knowledge transfer.

Input Indicators of the British Columbia High Tecnology Sector: 2013 Edition

BC Stats
This report highlights some conditions affecting British Columbia’s high technology sector from a supply-side perspective. The report tracks the evolution of 41 business and economic climate indicators necessary for the development of the high technology sector in B.C. and provides comparisons to other provinces and Canada as a whole. With this edition, a new section comprised of indicators relating to the experience and labour outcomes of students graduating from high tech disciplines in B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions has been added. A total of 14 new indicators were added from the BC Student Outcomes survey data.

Policy Digest

The Future of Manufacturing: A New Era of Opportunity and Challenge for the UK. Project Report

Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
The manufacturing sector accounts for over 10% of UK GDP, more than half of UK exports, around three quarters of business expenditure on research and development, and employs around 2.5 million people. In addition, economies with strong, export led manufacturing sectors typically recover from recessions more quickly than those countries without equivalent sectors. In addition to examining important changes facing manufacturing, the report puts forward a framework for Government and industry action to ensure that the UK manufacturing sector is able to compete and thrive in this new world.

Three Systemic Areas for Future Government Focus

Taking a more integrated view of value creation in the manufacturing sector

Manufacturing is no longer just about ‘production’ – making a product and then selling it. Manufacturers are increasingly using a wider ‘value chain’ to generate new and additional revenue from pre- and post- production activities, with production playing a critical role in allowing these other activities to occur. New metrics are needed to capture the new ways in which manufacturers are creating value, and to assess the scale and location of important changes within the sector. One way forward would be to pilot the development of new metrics focussed on the value chain. These will be critical in revealing key interconnections in the economy, understanding the important role of production in the manufacturing value chain, and helping to identify where in the value chain future policy intervention should focus to support manufacturers as they create and capture new and additional revenue streams. New metrics will also help in developing an understanding of how policies in other areas affect manufacturing.

Targeting specific stages of the manufacturing value chain


Future industrial policies, informed by updated metrics, will need to complement strategic approaches to individual sectors by allowing for a wider variety of types of targeted interventions. This provides an opportunity for developing the current government approach to industrial strategy. New measures, tailored to specific requirements of manufacturing sub-sectors and the technologies upon which successful future business models will be built, should include, for example:

  • Facilitating the emergence of challenger businesses. These exploit new business models and cross cutting approaches in technologies, across sub-sectors, to drive ‘disruptive growth’ in manufacturing. For example, support might focus on businesses with strong design capabilities specializing in additive manufacturing technology, which collaborate with others to work across manufacturing sub-sectors.
  • Enhancing UK capabilities that cannot easily be relocated abroad. This is particularly important given the increasing ease with which manufacturing activities and the different elements of value chains can now be relocated around the world. Further promotion of R&D clusters and their co-location with production and the science base is one possible measure.
  • Supporting the creation of new revenue streams from manufacturing services. For example this includes capitalizing upon knowledge generated by sensors embedded in products.
  • Helping manufacturers to expand their capabilities in remanufacturing and resource efficiency.
  • Meeting these requirements will involve a move towards a coordinated systems based rationale for the design and delivery of the UK’s industrial policy.


Future approaches to policy depend strongly on recognizing that manufacturing is part of an extended system, which requires a response from government that cuts across policy departments.

This requires a ‘systems based’ approach that takes full account of the linkage between science, technology, innovation and industrial policies.

The result is the need for more integrated coordination by government across policy domains and government departments, that makes it easier to anticipate the potential unintended consequences of policies, and to identify where intervention would achieve the greatest impact. Such an approach should help to avoid the adoption of selective policies based on narrow objectives that might inadvertently hold back sustainable growth, and which are more a feature of the current approach which devolves policy-making to different government departments with different roles and agendas.

The evidence collected by this project suggests that the greatest future need will be to remedy ‘systems failures’ that affect the rapid emergence and uptake of new, cross-cutting technologies.

The future policy system must ensure that the most valuable new technologies are not missed, and needs to work with researchers, industry experts and policy-makers so that government initiatives collectively support them. In practice, this will mean developing new ways to support emerging technologies, including sophisticated use of roadmapping to identify what is needed to support technological change.

Enhancing government capability in evaluating and coordinating policy over the long term

It is essential that institutional structures within government respond to changes in the manufacturing sector so that they can deliver the integrated systems approach which is advocated to enable more effective policy delivery and evaluation. This can be helped by promoting a better sharing of understanding and intelligence between the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Technology Strategy Board – in effect a shift in balance from sponsorship towards knowledge transfer.

A new institutional architecture can also help. A particular issue here is developing policy with a longer term perspective independent of the instabilities produced by the electoral cycle. Examples of where this has been achieved in other areas of policy include: an independent Bank of England to implement monetary policy, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to advise the NHS on the take-up of new treatments, and the removal of ministerial discretion with regard to cases investigated by the Competition Commission. However, this has not generally been the case with regard to industrial policy.

In considering future industrial policy towards manufacturing and any related institutional reforms, it is recommended that close attention be paid to developments in other countries. These are consistent with the general arguments advanced in this section. These examples are of the US Advance Manufacturing National Programme Office (AMNPO), the Australian Productivity Commission (APC), and the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).

Building on insights from these examples there is a clear need for future government capability in evaluating and coordinating policy over the long term to be strengthened. The UK government should create an ‘Office for Manufacturing’, which would:

  • regularly evaluate the effectiveness of industrial policies relevant to manufacturing
  • identify relevant international best practice and highlight this to government
  • ensure the collation and effective use of the new best practice metrics for manufacturing, also drawing in intelligence on manufacturing value chains from the wider public sector including Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board
  • advise on where cross government coordination can be strengthened and simplified


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.Creative City Summit 2014: Love Your City – Transforming Communities Through Culture 

Hamilton, Ontario, 11-13 June, 2014
Through interactive sessions, case studies and keynote addresses, experts will share real world projects that are transforming cities across the country. The 2014 Summit theme focuses on communities that are creating conditions in which culture can thrive.  Presenters will explore how leadership, innovative thinking, partnership building, and simply doing things differently can lead to a creative community. Delegates will gain insight into integrating culture within other local planning initiatives; encouraging and stimulating “eventful” cities; planning community wide participatory events; initiating creative placemaking projects; and creating cultural hubs in their community.

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