The IPL newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 347

News from the IPL


New Manufacturing USA Website

The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office is pleased to announce the launch of a new industry-facing website, In September, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced Manufacturing USA, the new public name for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The new website will serve as a key resource—a destination for learning about technology innovations, upcoming events, and industry news coming from the Manufacturing USA institutes. The site provides a platform to:

  • Highlight the impact that the institutes and the Manufacturing USA partners are making on U.S. manufacturing.
  • Inform potential new members about how to participate and engage in the program.
  • Highlight the unique offerings of each institute.
  • Continue to educate the manufacturing industry on the opportunities available through Manufacturing USA.

The updated website provides examples of how the Manufacturing USA institutes are working to move promising, early-stage research in their specific technology areas into proven capabilities ready for adoption by U.S. manufacturers.

White House Puts Additional $80 Million Towards Smart Cities

The White House announced in September that it is pouring an additional $80 million into technology and smart city projects to go along with last year’s initial investment of $160 million. The effort involves a cornucopia of new projects and extended initiatives, but the bulk of the funding will be concentrated in just one agency: the National Science Foundation. The NSF will spend $60 million on grants and investments in smart city initiatives in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, including funding specifically for high-risk projects, big data research and health-care technology.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Launches New Accelerator for Energy Tech Entrepreneurs

The nation’s top innovators will soon have the opportunity to advance their promising energy technology ideas at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in a new program called Innovation Crossroads. Up to five entrepreneurs will receive a fellowship that covers living costs, benefits and a travel stipend for up to two years, plus up to $350,000 to use on collaborative research and development at ORNL. The first cohort is expected to start the program in early 2017.

Editor's Pick

Redefining Global Cities

Jesus Leal Trujillo and Joseph Parilla, Brookings
As societies and economies around the world have urbanized, they have upended the classic notion of a global city. No longer is the global economy driven by a select few major financial centers like New York, London, and Tokyo. Today, members of a vast and complex network of cities participate in international flows of goods, services, people, capital, and ideas, and thus make distinctive contributions to global growth and opportunity. And as the global economy continues to suffer from what the IMF terms “too slow growth for too long,” efforts to understand and enhance cities’ contributions to growth and prosperity become even more important. In view of these trends and challenges, this report redefines global cities. It introduces a new typology that builds from a first-of-its-kind database of dozens of indicators, standardized across the world’s 123 largest metro economies, to examine what really defines a global city—its economic characteristics, industrial structure, and key competitiveness factors.The typology reveals that there is no one way to be a global city. Grouped into seven metropolitan clusters, the distinct competitive positions of the world’s largest metro economies become sharper, as do the peers metropolitan areas can look to for common solutions and investments to enhance economic growth.

Innovation Policy

Europe Should Promote Data for Social Good

Alexander Kostura and Daniel Castro, ITIF
Changing demographics in Europe are creating enormous challenges for the European Union (EU) and its member states. The population is getting older, putting strain on the healthcare and welfare systems. Many young people are struggling to find work as economies recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Europe is facing a swell in immigration, increasingly from war-torn Syria, and governments are finding it difficult to integrate refugees and other migrants into society. These pressures have already propelled permanent changes to the EU. This summer, a slim majority of British voters chose to leave the Union, and many of those in favor of Brexit cited immigration as a motive for their vote. Europe needs to find solutions to these challenges. Fortunately, advances in data-driven innovation that have helped businesses boost performance can also create significant social benefits. This report examines how the EU, member-states, and the private sector are using data to support social inclusion and protection. Examples include programs for employment and labour-market inclusion, youth employment and education, care for older adults, and social services for migrants and refugees. It also identifies the barriers that prevent European countries from fully capitalizing on opportunities to use data for social good. Finally, it proposes a number of actions policymakers in the EU should take to enable the public and private sectors to more effectively tackle the social challenges of a changing Europe through data-driven innovation.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Looking Beyond GDP: Measuring Prosperity in Ontario

Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity
This report analyzes the province and its peer jurisdictions across 11 measures of well-being: access to services, community, civic engagement, education, environment, health, housing, income, jobs, life satisfaction, and safety. The results reveal that Ontario is 5th overall among its peer group. Ontario achieves the greatest results in access to services, health, and safety, but the lowest results in jobs and income. 

PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor

via SSTI
While the number of companies receiving venture capital (VC) backing continues to decline, the amount of money invested remains near record levels. As of Q3, the annual investment total for 2016 is approximately $56 billion invested across 6,000 companies. However, with only 1,800 deals made in Q3, this marks the fifth straight quarterly decline in the number of companies receiving venture investment – a 32 percent quarter-over-quarter decline.  Yet, nearly 2,000 investors deployed close to $15 billion in VC financing during Q3 2016, according to the inaugural PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor – a quarterly report on U.S. venture capital activity. If this pace continues, the report finds that 2016 would be the second-highest amount of capital invested during a calendar year – last year’s $78.9 billion is the current highest year for capital invested. 

InfoBrief: Five States Account for Half of U.S. Business R&D in 2013

Brandon Shackelford and Raymond Wolfe, NSF
Five states—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington—accounted for half of the research and development paid for and performed by companies in the United States in 2013, according to estimates from the 2013 Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Companies performed $265 billion of R&D paid for by their own company expenses in the United States in 2013, of which $255 billion could be attributed to one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Not included in these figures but discussed at the end of this InfoBrief is R&D performed by companies but paid for by others, such as the federal government and other customers or business partners.

The State Economic Development Performance Indicators White Paper

Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Developed from the Business Incentives Initiative conducted by CREC and Pew Charitable Trusts, state economic development leaders were asked about performance indicators used to evaluate incentives programs. Based on state feedback, data was categorized by business need and type of performance indicator. Of the states that responded, capital access is the dominant category of business need addressed by programs; jobs and investment are the leading indicator type. Dissatisfied with how common performance indicators – jobs and investment – tell the story of programs’ achievements, state leaders asked for peer advice. All states count jobs, however, this definition varies place to place. A robust jobs indicator should: include a clear definition of (new) jobs; establish a baseline for counting; distinguish between new and existing jobs; include a job quality measurement; explain reporting and verification procedures; and allow for exceptions to the rule. The white paper references two states’ examples including many of these principles, Virginia and California.Three steps states can implemented to better select program performance indicators to develop a clear goal or performance statement; distinguish between indicators that describe outputs and those that describe outcomes; and determine data sources and availability when selecting metrics.

Statistics & Indicators

2016 State Technology and Science Index: Sustaining America’s Innovation Economy

Ross DeVol, Joe Lee, and Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken Institute
The State Technology and Science Index (STSI) endeavors to benchmark states on their science and technology capabilities and broader commercialization ecosystems that contribute to company growth, high-value-added job creation, and overall economic growth. The STSI can be seen as a measure of a state’s innovation pipeline. The index isn’t intended to be a measure of immediate economic impact, but rather to demonstrate that the return on science and technology assets will accrue in future years. Along with deep human capital, individuals who recognize entrepreneurial opportunity and have the knowledge and skills to develop it are among the strongest assets a geographical area can have in today’s innovation-based economy.

Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update

Justin Antonipillai and Michelle K. Lee, Economics and Statistics Administration and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This report provides an update on the impact of IP on our economy and a fresh look at the approach used to measure those results. The update continues to focus on measuring the intensity of IP use, and its persistent relationship to economic indicators such as employment, wages, and value added. While our methodology does not permit us to attribute those differences to IP alone, the results provide a useful benchmark. Furthermore, this and other studies together make clear that IP is a major part of a robust and growing economy.


Big City, Big Ideas: The Bays – Advancing Sydney’s Global Competitiveness through Waterfront Renewal

Toronto, 20 October, 2016
Sydney and Toronto share remarkable similarities in culture, community and global economic status. And in major waterfront and city centre revitalization. Hear a fascinating discussion on the very different ways these cities are achieving similar goals from the leaders of waterfront renewal in both cities. The keynote lecturer is David Pitchford, the Chief Executive UrbanGrowth NSW, charged with the delivery of the largest urban regenerations in Australia – the Bays Precinct and the Central Station to Eveleigh Rail Corridor, projects intended to transform Sydney Harbour and the city overall and drive the international competitiveness of Sydney and the nation.

2016 Barcelona Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics

Barcelona, Spain, 27-28 October, 2016
The workshop will be focused on innovation and the spatial diffusion of knowledge with emphasis in collaboration networks. Its aim is to bring together researchers in urban and regional economics who are working in topics where the broad concept of the geography of innovation plays a fundamental role. Particular attention will be paid to papers dealing with the mechanisms and actors of knowledge diffusion (knowledge spillovers, networks, technological collaboration, and knowledge relatedness). Although the Workshop will focus on empirical papers, theoretical studies are also welcome.

CFP – Regional Studies Association Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy – ‘EU and the CITY’

Delft, Netherlands, 14 October, 2016
More than two thirds of EU citizens live in urban areas and that share is set to grow further. Cities are Europe’s core hubs for economic growth, innovation and employment. However, at the same time cities magnify some of the key challenges that Europe faces, from environment, social deprivation, quality of life, mobility, to integration of migrants and refugees. The importance of cities for Europe’s future is reflected in recent European strategies and agreements such as the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, the Toledo Declaration or the more recent Urban Agenda for the EU, acknowledging the cities as focal points for economic development and as actors with a key responsibility in achieving territorial cohesion and the EU’s strategic goals. This in turn resulted in a pledge for boosting the urban dimension in EU cohesion policy as well as the development of national urban policies across all of the member states. Consequently, there is a growing number of instruments and initiatives as part of EU cohesion policy (e.g. JESSICA, Community-Led Local Development) and other initiatives (Adaptation Strategies for European Cities, European Urban Knowledge Network, URBACT, etc.) that support sustainable urban development and facilitate cooperation across municipal boundaries to promote development in metropolitan areas (e.g. Integrated Territorial Investment). Echoing these developments DG Regio recently changed its name to Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy. But what is behind those changes? What have been the effects of the new instruments? How have cities responded to them and who actually benefits from them? To what extent these new instruments contribute to Europe 2020 goals? To what extent and how has the EU influenced national urban policies and practices of urban practitioners on the ground? Does this new EU urban agenda stimulate new urban governance solutions? Do the EU instruments help to respond to the emerging challenges in the cities? These are some of the questions that this workshop in Delft aims to address. By bringing together scholars and practitioners working on this still under-researched but vitally important topic, the workshop seeks to offer a significant contribution to the scholarly debates and a forum for a critical reflection on the emerging EU urban policy.

2016 Regional Innovation Policies Conference

Cardiff Wales, November 3-4, 2016
Welcome to the 11th Regional Innovation Policies Conference 2016.  For more than a decade the Regional Innovation Policies Conference has been an essential date in the diaries of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners with an interest in the field of regional innovation, regional development and innovation policy.  The conference will feature keynote addresses and parallel sessions on a number of key themes arranged around the central topic of regional innovation, regional development and innovation policy.  The role of regions in innovation debates; the role of innovation in promoting the growth of innovation; the spatial distribution of innovation, and the role of regional policies in both stimulating and harnessing innovation are recurrent themes for the Regional Innovation Policies Conference.

The 2016 Technology Transfer Society Annual Conference

Phoenix, Arizona, 3-5 November, 2016
At least two decades of research show that new knowledge is a critical component of economic and social development.  Recent comprehensive reviews of the technology transfer literature conceptualize university technology transfer in terms of a patent-centric linear model—formal technology transfer—including technology disclosure, patent filing, and licensing.  This paradigm not only overlooks a diversity of practices by technology transfer offices, it also neglects other innovative practices or conceptualizations relating to the creation and exchange of new knowledge. To address the aforementioned gaps, the 2016 T2S Annual meeting will focus on alternative practices, policies, and conceptualizations of knowledge exchange that go beyond formal university technology transfer.  We are especially interested in empirical works that utilize frameworks and methodologies from a variety of disciplines and that utilize a variety of perspectives.

Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2016 – New Pressures on Cities and Regions

London, UK, 24-25 November, 2016
This conference provides an intellectual and policy-relevant platform for scholars around the world to address the new and emerging challenges facing cities and regions. The global economic slowdown poses major concerns to many territories – through shortfalls in employment, household incomes, corporate profitability and tax revenues. The steel industry has been one of the hardest hit, forcing massive plant closures and redundancies from China to the UK. Austerity in public finances threatens the infrastructure required to lay the foundation for future growth and development. Economic uncertainties and uneven development also contribute to growing social unrest and new waves of international migration. Heightened regulation of the banks and other financial institutions is bound to have an impact on the funding of house-building and other real estate development, with uncertain consequences. Meanwhile the accelerating pace of technological change in many industries and occupations means different skills and capabilities are required of the workforce, causing painful adjustments for many communities. And looming concerns about climate change and accelerating environmental degradation complicate the task of urban and regional revitalization. The 2016 Winter Conference of the Regional Studies Association presents a timely opportunity to discuss these issues, to clarify the research imperatives, and to consider the challenges facing policymakers and practitioners. The conference organizers are keen to attract papers and sessions that address a broad research and policy agenda, including contributions from any discipline which can offer relevant insights into the urban-regional-global nexus.

European Cluster Conference

Brussels, Belgium, 30 November – 2 December, 2016
The fifth edition of the European Cluster Conference will be an inspiring event not to be missed by policy-makers from national and regional authorities involved or interested in cluster policies and cluster practitioners. The last edition of the European Cluster Conference in 2014 gathered over 340 cluster stakeholders from across Europe. As the 2016 edition is limited to 250 participants, early registration is advised – once possible; the registration platform is expected to be open in September. This year’s conference will focus on Cluster 4.0 – Shaping Smart Industries and include high-level plenary speeches, panel discussions and interactive sessions where participants will have the chance to share their experiences and challenges. Parallel discussions will take place in four priority areas related to industrial modernization, namely smart manufacturing and digital transformation, the circular economy, key enabling technologies, and creative and data-driven services. The parallel discussions will all cover the same key horizontal topics in different sessions. These include the role of clusters in boosting the innovation uptake and growth opportunities through strengthening cross-sectoral value chain linkages, strategic European partnering, international collaboration and skills towards shaping smart industries.

CFP: 4th PhD Workshop in Economic of Innovation, Complexity, and Knowledge

Turin, Italy, 15-16 December, 2016
The Vilfredo Pareto Doctorate program of the University of Turin and the BRICK, Collegio Carlo Alberto, are pleased to announce the 4th Doctoral Workshop in Economics of Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge. The aim of the workshop is to bring together PhD students from all over the world working in the broad fields of Economics of Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge. The Workshop will provide participants with a great opportunity to network with peers researching on similar topics and to receive feedback from both junior and senior scholars.

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.