The IPL newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 289

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.


European Union Opens $20.5B Fund for Horizon2020

SSTI Weekly Digest
The European Union is investing € 15 billion ($20.5 billion) over the next two years toward the Horizon2020 project, an initiative designed to boost Europe’s knowledge-driven economy, increase global competitiveness, and address key societal challenges. The European Commission has declared funding priorities for the project and opened submissions for the 2014 budget. The project features three pillars: (1) Base Science investments in fellowships for top scientists and young researchers; (2) Industrial Leadership investments in leadership infrastructure in key sectors including advanced manufacturing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, aerospace, robotics and IT; and (3) Addressing Societal Challenges projects that advance innovations in areas including health, security, agriculture, transportation, energy and climate change. Horizon2020 is the largest EU innovation program to date, with a projected investment of € 80 billion ($109.3 billion) over the next seven years. The project is expected to also attract significant private investment and, in concert with the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation, drive the breakdown of barriers toward creating a single European market for research, knowledge, and innovation. The rollout of Horizon2020 is being complemented by a program of EU outreach to potential stakeholders in hopes of mitigating the public perception of stifling bureaucracy that has plagued prior attempts at engaging the private sector.

Tech Projects Funded Through Third Round of NY Regional Councils

SSTI Weekly Digest
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than $715 million in funding for 824 projects across the state as part of the third round of funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils initiative. Established in 2011 to improve the business climate statewide, the 10 regional councils support projects tailored to maximize resources and competitive advantages. Many of the new projects to receive funding are tech-focused, including $5 million for the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to establish a digital data training center and $1 million for SUNY Buffalo to expand its high-performance computing and data analytics center.

NYC Announces $100M Biotech Venture Fund and the Creation of a Medical Technology Institute

SSTI Weekly Digest
New York City recently announced that it will establish a new $100 million venture fund for life sciences research. The city will invest an initial $10 million to establish the new biotech venture fund. The city already has an additional $40 million pledged from private-sector partners — Celgene, GE Ventures and Eli Lilly & Co. The city currently is seeking to partner with a venture-capital firm to manage the fund and invest at least $50 million to the fund. The proposed fund would help launch between 15 to 20 life sciences companies by 2020. The city also unveiled plans for the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology, a new technological institute focusing on medical technology. With $5 million in assistance from the city, Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine will partner with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to construct the lab space focused on biomedical discovery and development of technology-based healthcare solutions. By 2018, the proposed institute will house 40 faculty members and 140 students and researchers.

Editor's Pick

Big Ideas 2014: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities

Bruce Katz via LinkedIn
Don’t look to Silicon Valley, with its isolated corporate campuses, as the model for urban economic innovation. Instead, look to a new model, one Katz calls the “Innovation District.” Katz, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, says innovation districts have sprouted in Atlanta, Boston, Cambridge, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis. These districts cluster “leading-edge anchor institutions and cutting-edge innovative firms, connecting them with supporting and spin-off companies, business incubators, mixed-use housing, office, retail and 21st century urban amenities,” Katz writes. The trend is fueled in part by young professionals who want access to restaurants, shops and cultural attractions. This demographic, which often starts families later than earlier generations, demands “a vibrant street life, historic neighborhoods, and public transit,” he adds. Science- and technology- companies, meanwhile, are discovering that they benefit from the shared knowledge and entrepreneurial activity fostered by innovation districts.

Innovation Policy

Innovation: A New Guide

Jan Fagerberg, University of Oslo
This paper is an attempt to update the introductory chapter “Innovation: A Guide to the literature” in The Oxford Handbook of Innovation (2004), taking into account lessons from new research on the development of innovation studies – and the knowledge base underpinning it – as well important additions to this knowledge base from the last decade.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Getting to Great Places: How Better Urban Design Strengthens San Jose’s Future

Silicon Valley, the most dynamic and innovative economic engine in the world, is not creating great urban places. Having grown around the automobile, the valley consists largely of low slung office parks, surface parking and suburban tract homes. But the City of San Jose’s ambitious new General Plan imagines a dramatic shift to mixed, walkable “complete neighborhoods” that provide basic services and amenities close to homes, workplaces and transit. Achieving this transformation will be a daunting challenge. To be successful, it will require changes in culture, public policy, professional and technical practices, infrastructure, markets and norms.This report diagnoses the impediments San Jose faces in creating excellent, walkable urban places and recommends changes in policy and practice that will help meet these goals.

Statistics & Indicators

Global Funding Forecast

Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine
This report provides an assessment of global political and economic impacts on worldwide industrial research. The report notes that although global R&D spending by leading countries has remained virtually unchanged since the Great Recession, the flows of innovation research have changed substantially. Research collaboration between countries has increased markedly and the scope of research partnerships, particularly between Southeast Asia and the U.S. and European Union, has broadened significantly. The result is a growing global innovation ecosystem that leverages national advantages in tech commercialization and industry engagement to increase the economic return on public and private R&D investments. The globalization of R&D has been driven by R&D spending growth in the developing world, the offshoring and out-sourcing of portions of Western R&D, and the growing need for large-scale scientific collaboration to address major challenges. The report also notes that while national budget constraints in the West will most likely continue to stifle investments in innovation, China is investing in technology on an unprecedented scale that utilizes global research assets to drive their national ascendancy.

OECD Regions at a Glance

This fifth edition of OECD Regions at a Glance shows how regions and cities contribute to national growth and the well-being of societies.It updates its regular set of region-by-region indicators, examining a wide range of policies and trends and identifying those regions that are outperforming or lagging behind in their country. The report covers all 34 OECD member countries, and, where data are available, Brazil, China,Colombia, India, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

How Should We Measure Higher Education? A Fundamental Review of Performance Indicators

The UK Performance Indicators (UKPIs) for higher education (HE) provide information on the nature and performance of the HE sector in the UK. They are intended as an objective and consistent set of measures of how a higher education provider is performing. The first set of UKPIs was published in 1999, having been developed out of recommendations of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (the Dearing Report) to provide suitable indicators and associated benchmarks of the performance of the HE sector. A fundamental review of the UKPIs was commissioned by UKPISG in early 2013, in the context of large-scale, fast-paced changes in the HE sector, and differing policies for HE between the UK nations. The overarching aim of the research was to review the rationale, purpose and policy drivers of the UKPIs, the usage and the users of the UKPIs; and whether the existing UKPIs were still fit for purpose. The review engaged with a wide range of interested bodies and organizations, through a series of stakeholder interviews, online consultation and deliberative events.

Policy Digest

Let’s Talk: Coordinating Economic Development Spending in Canada

The Mowat Centre

Each year, governments in Canada spend roughly $20 billion combined on a variety of economic development, R&D, and innovation programs. While federal and provincial governments share responsibility for economic development, there is almost no formal coordination on how these programs and incentives are delivered. This Mowat Note takes lessons from other areas of shared responsibility to suggest a path forward for better alignment of these programs.

A Path Forward: Intergovernmental Agreements and the Economic Union

Canadians should be able to get much more out of the $20 billion investment – more competitive firms, better jobs and higher levels of productivity. Greater intergovernmental dialogue and coordination on goals. priorities and outcomes should increase the impact of this spending. Achieving these goals doesn’t require inventing anything fanciful – it merely requires adapting existing intergovernmental processes in the area of economic development/ A new process will not guarantee that every dollar spent will produce improved economic outcomes. In fact, some of the funds currently spent in the economic development area likely have no positive impact at all. But a new process should improve the public value we get for this spending. Examining existing area of federal-provincial jurisdiction and coordinated funding/policy approaches, three notable features emerge as fundamental for real coordination:

Dialogue should be embedded into the function and execution of any economic development funding and planning process. For example, the federal Building Canada Plan process has provinces and municipalities identify potential projects for investments through discussions with the federal government, which then approves eligible projects. Dialogue is necessary to reach a shared understanding of where to invest, and helps to ensure outcomes that are in each government’s interest.

Key Priorities
Key priorities should be articulated and refined by each government – both separately and together – to frame their investment decisions and incentive structures. Give that the incentive structure (i.e. tax credits, available programs) is jointly created by governments, economic development spending should be driven by a clear set of priorities, and those priorities should be aligned within and across governments to ensure that incentive signals are consistent. Each of the major priority areas can contain more granular funding categories, such as promoting investment in productivity-enhancing technology or investing in training.

Cost sharing is built into the fabric of most areas with shared jurisdiction and coordinated funding. This can take a number of forms. In the infrastructure program, the federal contribution to a project is capped at 50%, for federal-provincial projects, and at 33% for federal-provincial-municipal projects. In other cases cost-sharing is calculated to include in-kind contributions. By requiring all parties to have skin in the game there are incentives to minimize cost overruns and maximize collaboration and information sharing to avoid delays. Cost sharing approaches also shed light on potential opportunities for one order of government or another to pull out of a spending area, leaving only one order of government with responsibility for the area. Such “disentangling” should be an additional goal and benefit of bilateral federal-provincial dialogue. For tax expenditures, cost sharing means coordination on shared tax bases.


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.

Budget 2014: Re-balancing Innovation Support Programs

Ottawa, 22-23 April, 2014
he 13th annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference continues our examination of the implications of recent federal budgets for business innovation support. This year, we will look at how Budget 2014 builds on the last two budgets, in particular the extent to which the government is changing the balance between indirect and direct support of firms and the balance between supporting basic and applied research in academia and academic-industrial research collaboration. We’ll also look at implications of the anticipated update to the federal government’s science and technology strategy, should it be released with the 2014 budget or before, and examine progress being made with the federal government’s new VC fund and its support for accelerators and other innovation intermediaries. In smaller breakout sessions we’ll dig deeper into specific opportunities being pursued in Canada in the digital economy, new industries based on genomics and quantum computing and new sources of funding such as crowdfunding, impact investing.

Business Innovation Summit 2014: Accelerating Corporate Innovation and Commercialization

Toronto, 28-29 May, 2014
The objective of this conference is to help companies of all sizes across Canada harness the power of innovation, and accelerate their innovation and commercialization results. The Summit is exploring the real-life challenges and opportunities of innovation within firms, and is featuring tangible solutions that work. We are assembling an outstanding lineup of Canadian and international speakers to share best practices and unique insights on how to implement effective processes and build innovative organizations for the 21st century.

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.