The IPL newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 338

News from the IPL


Three States Approve Funding for Tech Based Economic Development

SSTI Weekly Digest
In New York State $43.3 million will support the High Technology Program, which funds a number of centers of excellence around the state. The state’s Regional Economic Development Program is allocated $10 million for aid to localities, with another $89.8 million in capital funds.  The High Technology and Development Program is slated to receive $249 million in capital funds, and the Strategic Investment Program is allocated $216.7 million. South Dakota recently approved a budget that budget provides $2.6 million in state funds for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The state’s Science and Technology Authority would receive no general funds, but $2.5 million in other funds. Similarly, the Economic Development Partnership would receive $1.5 million in other funds.  A total of $208 million is provided for the state’s Board of Regents. Finally, Wyoming’s budget $18.9 million for the Wyoming Business Council, and $441.3 million for the University of Wyoming. University funding includes $21.9 million for the School of Energy Research and $8.3 million for the Tier 1 Engineering program. Another $2 million is provided for the university’s NCAR Supercomputing Center.

White House Adds Eighth Manufacturing Innovation Hub

SSTI Weekly Digest
Last week, the Department of Defense announced the launch of the eighth institute in the National Network of Manufacturing and Innovation (NNMI) in Cambridge, MA. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will spearhead the consortium of 89 manufacturers, universities and nonprofits to develop new technologies around fiber and textiles manufacturing. Alongside the launch, the White House released a new report highlighting the administration’s advanced manufacturing priorities and how federal funding is being used to support strategic technologies. The National Science and Technology Council estimates that the administration has invested $2.1 billion in these priorities since 2011, including proposed fiscal year 2017 spending.

Editor's Pick

Growing Urban Economies: Innovation, Creativity and Governance in Canadian City Regions

David A. Wolfe and Meric S. Gertler
Even in a globalizing, knowledge-based economy, cities remain engines of growth, innovation, and diversity. Increasingly, they are also active participants in the creation of the social and political conditions necessary to create a thriving community. The Innovation, Creativity, and Governance in Canadian City-Regions series is a focused analysis of how developments at the local and regional level affect these three key determinants of future prosperity. Growing Urban Economies summarizes its conclusions in a single volume that presents an overview of the evidence and its implications. A rich and nuanced analysis of the interplay of social, political, and economic factors in thirteen Canadian city-regions, large and small, this collection integrates research focusing on innovation, creativity and talent-retention, and governance in order to understand the distinctive experience of each region. A valuable cross-section of city-region development in a variety of circumstances, Growing Urban Economies offers important insights into the way in which local conditions affect urban economies around the world.

Innovation Policy

How National Policies Impact Global Biopharma Innovation: A Worldwide Ranking

John Wu and Stephen Ezell, ITIF
Innovation is not manna from heaven, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow once suggested. Rather, it is the product of intentional human action. And, in the case of life-sciences, innovation requires years of cumulative, painstaking, expensive, and risky research. Despite these challenges, many nations, universities, and companies remain focused on developing new life-saving and life-improving treatments and cures. But these efforts are limited by nations that “free ride” and fail to do their fair part. Some countries do not invest adequately in life-sciences research. Some seek to pay less than their fair share for drugs by enacting weak intellectual property protections or forcing drug companies to sell drugs at artificially low prices. These policies make it harder for life-sciences innovators to capture returns from one generation of biomedical innovation to fund investment in the next, weakening a virtuous cycle of life-sciences innovation. If nations establish the right conditions under which life-sciences innovation can flourish, they contribute to biopharma innovation not only for their own citizens, but for citizens throughout the entire world. This examines the extent to which the public investment, intellectual property, and drug pricing policies of 56 countries proactively contribute to or detract from global life-sciences innovation. Countries with robust life-sciences innovation policies contribute disproportionately to the global stock of innovation in life-sciences fields, as the benefits of this innovation exceed what is captured by the host country, spilling over into the global public commons.

UK FinTech on the Cutting Edge: An Evaluation of the International FinTech Sector

HM Treasury/EY
The sector is growing globally in terms of investment, employment and the number of FinTechs, but it is far from mature. The UK has an enviable lead today in FinTech. However, it is vital that the UK keeps its pace, particularly as the sector approaches critical mass and starts to deliver a meaningful payback in jobs, innovation and growth. Strong competition from other regions is emerging: some are actively competing to create best-in-class FinTech ecosystems and are increasingly progressive in their use of government and regulatory policy to support FinTechs. Others are beginning to specialize in promising disruptive technologies, and China is scaling up quickly across the sector. Our research suggests that in order to maintain its world-leading position, the UK will need to continue to work hard to deliver. This report proposes a framework for benchmarking the FinTech sector and makes a set of recommendations to enable the UK to retain its market-leading position as a global FinTech capital.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Toronto: The Startup City Guide

Eoghan McNeill, Web Summit
One of Toronto’s favourite sons reckons “it’s hot up in the Six”, the city’s nickname being a reference to the 6s in its two area codes, 416 and 647. Drake isn’t shy about telling the world about what’s going on in Toronto. Its startup founders aren’t as confident though. Although Toronto’s startup ecosystem is one that’s on the up, those involved don’t tend to shout about the scene’s potential. We called in the help of 88 Creative Managing Director Erin Bury, blogger and Founder of ME Consulting Mark Evans and SurePath Capital Partners Founder Mark MacLeod to see if Toronto tech is something we should be excited about.

Recent Research: What Makes Economies Resilient? Economic Diversity, Experienced Workforce

SSTI Weekly Digest
What leading indicators allow a national, state, regional, or local economy to rebound from an exogenous shock (e.g., economic downturn or natural disaster)? What risk factors are common among economies that were not resilient to an exogenous shock?The academic literature defines resilient economies as economies that are able to absorb an exogenous shock with limited negative impact on economic prosperity and their workforce. Several recent studies have identified leading indicators of economic resiliency include age of workforce, diversification of industries, and other key factors. Researchers also have found several risk factors that place economies at high risk of instability in the face of an exogenous shock including household and public fiscal solvency. In this post the SSTI summarizes recent research in this area.

The #BCTech Strategy 2016

Government of British Columbia
B.C.’s comprehensive Technology Strategy will deepen our talent pool, expand markets for B.C. technology and services and ensure access to venture capital for technology start-ups. Everyone in B.C. is touched in some way by technology – and B.C.’s technology strategy will provide economic opportunities for British Columbians in every corner of the province.

Statistics & Indicators

The Digital Economy and Society Index

European Commission
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarizes relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU

European Commission
Research and innovation are key to building a prosperous future for the EU. They therefore figure prominently in the Europe 2020 strategy and the European Semester process and underpin progress towards the 10 priorities of the Juncker Commission, from providing a new boost to jobs, growth and investment, to developing the digital single market and developing the Energy Union. The EU has fantastic strengths. It is open, diverse, and hosts excellent institutions. With Horizon 2020, the Union funds research and innovation on an unprecedented scale. But the Union faces three major challenges. First, it needs to strongly improve its track record in getting research results to market and technologies developed in Europe are often commercialized elsewhere. Second, although Europe generates more scientific output than any other region in the world, it often falls behind on the very best science. Third, Europe punches below its weight in international science cooperation and science diplomacy. This report presents an in-depth indicator based analysis of the EU’s science, research and innovation performance and provides insight into the underpinning factors and drivers. It provides extensive evidence of the EU’s performance in relation to each of these three challenges. The Report shows, first and foremost, that the EU’s productivity gap with the US has widened following the economic and financial crisis and that this is linked to a relative underinvestment in R&D and an inability to re-orient the economy towards activities with a higher knowledge content. While the report shows that the EU continues to be one of the world’s major players in science and technology, it also shows that the EU’s economy needs to become more dynamic and innovation-intensive. 

Policy Digest

Advanced Manufacturing: A Snapshot of Priority Areas Across the U.S Government

Subcommittee for Advanced Manufacturing of the National Science and Technology Council
Advanced manufacturing drives long-term economic prosperity and growth, and supports the missions of the Federal agencies participating in the NSTC Subcommittee for Advanced Manufacturing (SAM). A foundation of priority technology areas is needed to secure U.S. competitiveness in this sector, from which collaborations between government, industry, and academia may be built. This document captures technology areas in advanced manufacturing that are current priorities for the Federal Government, and are strong candidates for focused Federal investment and public-private collaboration. Emerging technology areas include advanced materials manufacturing, engineering biology to advance biomanufacturing, biomanufacturing for regenerative medicine, advanced bioproducts manufacturing, and continuous manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. In addition, the Federal Government has already announced a number of advanced manufacturing technology areas that are either the focus of substantial existing investments or that may be the subject of future programming. These existing technology areas similarly require support across the development pipeline to fully leverage current research and development investments and infrastructure. Finally, Federal education and workforce training programs for manufacturing, which encourage strong industry involvement to ensure that today’s curricula meet tomorrow’s workforce needs, are highlighted.  

Priority Emerging Technology Areas

Advanced manufacturing is enabled by a multitude of technologies. In this report, the Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing highlights five technology areas that are focuses of widespread interest and strong support among the Federal agencies involved in advanced manufacturing. These emerging technology areas are strong candidates for future investment and expanded collaboration between government, industry, and academia.

Advanced Materials Manufacturing

Whether they be lightweight automotive components made from new alloys that are stronger than steel and only a fraction of the weight, or materials that have been engineered at the nanoscale to turn waste heat into electricity, advanced materials enable the production of new products with unprecedented functions. To fully capitalize on the emergence of new advanced materials, industry requires new tools and approaches to tailor their design and quickly produce them at scale. Advanced materials manufacturing cuts across a multitude of industries—such as automotive, aircraft, biomedical, and electronics—which are pillars of our national economy and also important to our national defense. This technology area leverages the historic leadership of U.S. industry in high-technology product manufacturing, as well as its significant intellectual leadership in materials simulation and nanofabrication.

Engineering Biology to Advance Biomanufacturing

Engineering biology is the design and wholesale construction of new biological parts and systems, and the re-design of existing biological systems for tailored purposes. The field integrates engineering and computer-assisted design approaches with biological research, to harness the power of biological systems to manufacture products that are of benefit to mankind; for example, the antimalarial drug artemisinin and synthetic spider silk, which may be spun into materials stronger than Kevlar. Engineering biology leverages advances in synthetic biology, along with other novel technologies that enable the predictable design of biological systems. To date, engineering biology to advance biomanufacturing has mostly focused on large-scale processes (up to millions of gallons), where the engineered cells are used to produce a fuel, chemical, protein, or biomaterial. This is different than many biomedical applications of engineered cells in fields such as regenerative medicine, where modest volumes of the cells themselves may be the product (for example, autologous stem cells for tissue engineering applications). It is becoming increasingly clear that advances in engineering biology (and synthetic biology) such as genome editing could be applied broadly for the manufacture of chemicals, materials, and cells. Engineering biology as a field evolved from the existing bioprocessing expertise within the United States (which enabled the production of enzymes and protein therapeutics), and incorporates new organism engineering technologies (including synthetic biology and rapid prototyping), standardization, and interoperability. This field is well positioned to accelerate the rate of introduction of new products manufactured using engineering biology to the market and grow the U.S. bioeconomy.

Biomanufacturing for Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine, and the clinical use of stem cells, has the potential to repair or replace dysfunctional, degenerating, or absent cells, tissues, and organs. Such developments may one day restore the form, function, and appearance to our severely injured service members, dramatically reduce waitlists for organ transplants, increase the availability of essential cell-based therapies, and possibly reduce healthcare cost for treatments. Additionally, engineered cells can be used to redirect immune function and enable the emergence of “immuno-oncology.” Microphysiological systems (“organ-on-a-chip”), a small living and working model of a specific tissue or organ type, can greatly accelerate screening of drug candidates, probe disease mechanisms, and explore novel therapies. To realize the full potential of regenerative medicine, active cells, tissues, and organs (such as cardiovascular, renal, and neurologic) must be bioengineered and manufactured at scale.

Advanced Bioproducts Manufacturing

The United States currently relies on the average use of more than 19 million barrels per day of petroleum for fuels and as a feedstock to make products ranging from chemicals to plastics to many everyday items. Bioproducts—high-value chemicals, bioreagents, materials, fuels, and other biobased intermediates derived from renewable biological resources such as agricultural and forest waste—hold strong promise to reduce this petroleum use and serve as the backbone of an emerging bioeconomy. While the United States has made great strides in promoting the use of sustainably-produced feedstocks to fuel economic activity and growth, the bioeconomy is still in its early stages. Significant work remains to increase the use of bioproducts to replace a variety of petroleum-based fuels and products, make those bioproducts more cost-effective relative to petroleum-based products, and further improve the sustainability and environmental benefits of bioproducts.

Continuous Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals

Continuous manufacturing is the integration of multiple manufacturing process systems into a single system, based on model controls, to enable continuous product flow and recovery as input raw materials are added to the manufacturing process. Pilot studies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries suggest that continuous manufacturing may have a multitude of benefits in these industries, such as: reducing the manufacturing facility footprint by 10 to 100 times; eliminating intermediate product batches and their associated storage and testing; reducing the amount of incoming raw materials and final product waste; streamlining manufacturing processes and shortening manufacturing cycle times; increasing production yields and overall product manufacturing efficiency; improving product quality with advanced control systems; and enabling real-time release testing. Continuous manufacturing may reduce manufacturing costs, which currently consume as much as 27 percent of the revenue for many pharmaceutical companies, by up to 40 to 50 percent.


Local Economies of the Future: How Do Cities Thrive in a Digital Age?

Washington, D.C., 20 April, 2016
Join ITIF for a discussion about how cities can prepare for the future and why local economies should focus on three key enablers of success: (1) attracting and nurturing human capital; (2) fostering collaborative, growth-oriented commercial environments; and (3) building strong foundations of technology, digital telecommunications, and physical infrastructure.

Urban Dialogues: Creating Inclusive Urban Space in Uncertain Global Times

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 3-6 May, 2016
This workshop will explore the construction of inclusive urban spaces in uncertain global times. One of the major impacts of the global economic crisis is the way it has deepened inequalities at a time when the state’s capacity for public intervention to tackle inequality has diminished. These developments raise questions about what forms of governance step in when the state withdraws and how urban policy can be developed to reflect the interests of all. To address these issues further research is needed to evaluate the opportunities and challenges ahead. There is a need to reflect on the usefulness of previous urban development approaches and explore the potential for alternative structures in both established (UK) and emerging (Brazil) economies. This multi-disciplinary workshop will promote scientific excellence and international collaboration in the field of urban governance with a view to informing future policy in a way that will enrich the lives and well being of all those living in cities.

The Organization, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research

Torino, Italy, 9-10 May, 2016
The aim of the workshop is to bring together a small group of scholars interested in the analysis of the production and diffusion of scientific research from an economics, historical, organizational, and policy perspective. As in previous years, we aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars; a minimum number of slots are reserved for junior researchers (PhD students or postdoc scholars who obtained their PhD in 2013 or later). Up to 18 papers will be selected from open submissions on the basis of peer review. The workshop aims at including papers form various streams of research developed in recent years in and around the area of public and private scientific research.

Regional Studies Association 2nd North American Conference: Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change

Atlanta, Georgia, 16-17 June, 2016 
In the wake of the global financial crisis, cities have searched for new policies and practices capable of addressing major shifts in socio-economic relations at the urban and regional scale. These divergent and differentiated efforts have led to the intensification of underlying problems in some cities and a return to growth in others. Regional policies, particularly in the North American context, responded to economic challenges by adopting new technologies and new institutional and organizational forms to manage growth and change at the city scale. The result is a complex and uneven landscape of public and private actors delivering financial services, scaling-up supply chains, coordinating firm networks, diffusing process and material innovations, and organizing new forms of civic representation and participation. This conference provides a platform for researchers to address the effects of these policy, organizational, and institutional innovations and their impact on work, identity, governance, production networks, infrastructure investments, technology diffusion, and ultimately place. The conference will focus on the policy implications of emerging forms of governance and policy delivery relative to uneven development and inequality in a post-crisis era of ongoing market liberalization, financialization, and global competition.

3rd International Workshop on the Sharing Economy

Southampton, England, 15-16 September, 2016
Enabled by digital platform technologies, the sharing economy allows households, individuals, businesses, government and non-government organisations to engage in collaborative production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. It can potentially lead to an increase in employment, economic efficiency, sustainable use of resources, broadened access to highly valuable assets, and enhanced social relationships. The sharing economy can also give rise to innovation driven business models appealing to a different group of customers, normally ignored by mainstream businesses, and based on a novel supply chain and operations model which makes it possible to outsource to platform users a significant portion of business functions. These inevitably challenge conventional business and policy thinking about the role and functions of customers, employees and the organization. To no small degree, the interest in the sharing economy is fueled by ongoing international media stories about the expansion of new and highly successful sharing economy platforms (such as Uber, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Blablacar, etc.). The academic debate is yet to fully catch up with this business media buzz. It has only now started to critically investigate the popular claims about the sharing economy. There is still very little systematic understanding of the antecedents of the sharing economy, its organizational forms and their novelty, the enabling and constraining factors of the sharing economy and its impacts. Hence, the purpose of this workshop is to engage with different strands of academic scholarship on the sharing economy originating across different disciplines (such as management and business studies, economics, geography, legal studies, sociology, political sciences and other disciplines) to help to develop an integrated understanding of the sharing economy phenomenon, its drivers, forms and implications for individuals, businesses and society.  

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.