The IPL newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 290

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.


Government Seeks the Public’s Input on Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy Renewal

Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology (S&T), announced the launch of a consultation that will seek input from Canadians on a new federal Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. As part of the approach to updating the 2007 S&T Strategy, the government has released a discussion paper that solicits the public’s ideas and recommendations on how best to shape federal policy on science, technology and innovation.

U.S. Trade Deficit Sinks to 4-year Low as American Exports Rise

L.A. Times
Rising American exports and surging energy production at home are narrowing the nation’s typically large trade deficit, lifting the growth prospects for the economy and the job market. For the second straight month, American exports of goods and services climbed to a record high, reaching $194.9 billion in November from $193.1 billion in the previous month. The resulting monthly trade deficit of $34.3 billion, down from $39.3 billion in October, was the lowest in more than four years. And the unexpectedly upbeat report prompted some economists to raise their economic growth projection for the final months of last year as well as offer a more bullish outlook for this year.

Michigan Could Add 100,000 Jobs as Auto Technology Hub

Detroit Free Press
Michigan is poised to gain up to 100,000 new jobs from advanced mobility technologies in the auto industry — but only if the state acts now to meet competitive threats from other U.S. regions and emerging nations, plus established automotive powers Germany and Japan. That’s the thrust of a new report issued recently by Business Leaders for Michigan and to be discussed Thursday in Ann Arbor at a meeting of auto industry, academic and Michigan economic development officials. BLM developed the strategy in partnership with McKinsey and the Center for Automotive Research.

China Tops Europe in R&D Intensity

By pouring cash into science and technology faster than its economy has expanded, China has for the first time overtaken Europe on a key measure of innovation: the share of its economy devoted to research and development (R&D). In 2012, China invested 1.98% of its gross domestic product (GDP) into R&D — just edging out the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), which together managed 1.96%, according to the latest estimates of research intensity, to be released this month by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The reorientation of China’s economy displays its soaring ambition. However, money does not buy innovation. Despite success in some areas, notably high-speed rail, solar energy, supercomputing and space exploration, leaders in China are concerned that innovation is lacking, say science-policy analysts

Editor's Pick

Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action

National Association of Counties
This publication features eight case studies demonstrating how some county leaders are pursuing innovative strategies to create healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities. From crafting economic visions and supporting new business ventures, to training local workers and assisting entrepreneurs, county leaders and their partners are approaching economic development in compelling new ways.

Innovation Policy

Commercializing Public Research: New Trends and Strategies

Policy-makers have high hopes for public research as a new source of growth. This research has been the source of significant scientific and technological breakthroughs that have become major innovations. Well-known examples include the Global Positioning System (GPS), MP3 technology, and Apple’s Siri voice recognition technology. The substantial economic benefits from public research, and demands by governments to reap them, have led to increased efforts toward more direct engagement in downstream commercialization activities. In light of this, institutions and infrastructures that support the networks and markets for transferring and commercializing public research results are being reviewed across many OECD countries, as traditional approaches and models are facing considerable limitations and may be restraining further scientific advance and broader innovation. This report looks closely at this evolution and provides a comprehensive review of government and institutional level policies aimed at enhancing the transfer and exploitation of public research results. The publication also compares performance in OECD countries, universities and public research institutions using both traditional and new indicators.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Detroit: Global Center of Advanced Mobility – Vision for the Future, Competitive Assessment, and Recommended Actions

Business Leaders for Michigan
This report compares the strength of southeast Michigan with competing regions in three key areas related to future mobility jobs and investment: powertrain advances, weight reduction and smart-connected vehicle technologies. The study shows that metro Detroit stacks up well on powertrain and weight-lightening capabilities, compared with established automotive regions such as Tokyo and Germany’s Bavaria. Michigan lags behind California’s Silicon Valley region in venture capital and talent availability, however, in the software-heavy space of connected vehicle technology.

Statistics & Indicators

Virginia’s Innovation Dashboard

Center for Innovation Technology
The IEMS was established by the Virginia General Assembly to further the work of the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap, which links funding for research commercialization projects to Virginia’s strategic technology priorities.  It creates a dashboard and strategic path to new opportunities in the innovation economy using key indicators that can assist lawmakers, industry leaders and other stakeholders with determining public-private investment priorities and policies. Click on category headings and individual performance metrics below to learn more about Virginia’s I&E metrics and outcomes.

Illinois Innovation Index

Illinois Innovation Network
An innovation ecosystem’s ability to assemble, coordinate, and support the necessary components for technology transfer — R&D funding, infrastructure, and capital — has a direct bearing on the success of universities in the development and commercialization of promising research. Since the process for bringing new technologies to market can take more than a decade, progress requires a sustained commitment on the part of many stakeholders. To promote an environment that supports innovation and entrepreneurship at universities, it is crucial to understand the interrelated steps in the university-supported technology transfer process.Over the past decade, Illinois has made significant gains in bringing technologies developed at universities to market. This quarterly edition of the Innovation Index report examines the path that technology takes from inception to commercialization, sheds light on the challenges of technology transfer at academic institutions, and provides insights from new research on university start-ups.

Policy Digest

Featured Initiative:

The Innovation Policy Platform

OECD and the World Bank 
This web-based interactive space, developed jointly by the OECD and the World Bank, provides an online repository of resources to support better innovation policy making and analysis. The platform includes over 300 webpages on topics related to innovation policy, several hundred data series, many searchable through a new data visualisation tool, and links to more than 200 OECD publications. Beyond being a simple repository, efforts have been made to ensure that the content is interconnected throughout the site making it easier for users to find what they are looking for. Further content and functionalities will be added in 2014, but we welcome your feedback in the meantime. A flyer providing an overview of the platform’s functionalities is also available for more information. A live webcast of the launch, starting at 12:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time) will be available here.


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.

CFP – Second International ZEW Conference on the Dynamics of Entrepreneurship (CoDE II) 

Mannheim, Germany, 22-23 May, 2014
The formation, growth and exit of firms are crucial for innovation, employment and structural change in modern economies. The aim of this conference is to discuss recent scientific contributions on the interdependencies between finance, human capital, innovation activities and investment activities of young firms. Papers introducing recent theoretical, econometric and policy-oriented studies from all areas of the entrepreneurship research management are invited.

CFP – Mapping Culture: Communities, Sites and Stories 

Cimbra, Portugal, 28-30 May, 2014
The Centre for Social Studies (Centro de Estudos Sociais – CES), a State Associate Laboratory at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, is calling for the submission of papers and panel/workshop proposals from academics, researchers, public administrators, architects, planners and artists for an international conference and symposium. The CES is committed to questions of public interest, including those involving relationships between scientific knowledge and citizens’ participation.

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.

Subscriptions & Comments

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will find it of value. We look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative. If you would like to comment on, or contribute to, the content, subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact us at

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