The IPL newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 353

News from the IPL


OneEleven Expands into a New Innovation Hub

Ontario Centres of Excellence
OneEleven has taken another step on its journey as one of Canada’s largest scale-up hubs and communities for high-growth tech start-ups. In early January, the post-seed tech accelerator moved into its new space at 325 Front St. W., having outgrown its original space at 111 Richmond St. W., in Toronto’s financial district. Co-founded by OMERS Ventures, Ontario Centres of Excellence and academic partner Ryerson University, OneEleven launched in November 2013 with a vision to help the next generation of Canadian tech companies compete and win on the global stage. OneEleven brings together venture capitalists, corporates, government, academia and ambitious tech founders to build a community focused on the successful scale-up of its portfolio companies.

Government of Ontario Delivers CA$20 Million Boost to College Innovation through OCE, Colleges Ontario Partnership

Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario’s 24 colleges will now play an even stronger role in fueling innovation through their applied research activities and strategic collaborations with industry thanks to an exciting new, $20-million commitment by the provincial government for applied research and development. At an event at Conestoga College in Kitchener this month, Premier Kathleen Wynne introduced the Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF), a college-based innovation and collaboration fund that will drive competitiveness and the creation of high-quality jobs in Ontario’s key industry sectors by supporting industry/post-secondary applied research projects. The fund is in partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Colleges Ontario on behalf of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) as a part of the province’s Business Growth Initiative.

Supporting Advanced Computing to Accelerate Discovery and Innovation in Ontario

Government of Ontario
Ontario has launched a new strategy that will support leading researchers and help transform their discoveries into innovations that companies and entrepreneurs can bring to global markets. The Advanced Research Computing and Big Data Strategy will support researchers by providing the technology to analyze data more comprehensively, which would help accelerate the process of discovery. Interpreting big data using advanced computing capabilities can help researchers determine a person’s risk for developing certain diseases, improve healthcare outcomes for premature babies and boost farm operations to create positive environmental impacts.

US$80 Million Awarded for Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute in Pittsburgh

SSTI Weekly Digest
Pittsburgh will be home to the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub, the newest member of the Manufacturing USA network. The U.S. Department of Defense announced that American Robotics, Inc., an independent nonprofit spun out of Carnegie Mellon University will receive roughly $80 million in federal funding to launch the institute, matched with $173 million in support from the university and a consortium representing approximately 120 industry partners, 40 academic institutions and 60 non-profit and government entities. The mission of ARM focuses on the creation and deployment of robotic technologies that integrate a variety of disciplines around manufacturing, including: sensor technologies, end-effector development, software and artificial intelligence, materials science, human and machine behavior modeling, and quality assurance. In order to achieve a high level of precision, the defense and manufacturing sectors are increasingly using robotics.

Editor's Pick

Measuring the Economy: Region by Region

Statistics Canada
On January 27, 2017, Statistics Canada released economic data on Canadian cities. Canadians now have access to data on gross domestic product (GDP) for 33 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), as well as 9 non-CMA regions within the country. Going forward, the agency plans on releasing these data each year. How important are cities to the country’s economic health? According to the recent GDP release, Canada’s 33 CMAs generated more than 70% of Canada’s national GDP in 2013. That’s a big piece of the economic pie. An even closer look reveals that nearly one-fifth of the country’s entire economic output comes from Toronto alone. Clearly, Canada’s cities play an important role in the country’s economy and warrant specific attention. With local GDP data, analysts, policy-makers and municipalities can now identify where economic growth is actually happening, and which cities are driving the economy at the provincial and national levels. This can help them develop and adopt meaningful policies to foster growth where it is flourishing, and help ignite it where it is languishing.

Innovation Policy

The Next Production Revolution – OECD Interim Report

The next production revolution (NPR) project focuses on the technologies of future production, with an emphasis on manufacturing. The background is one in which major science and technology-driven changes in the production and distribution of goods and services are occurring and diffusing widely. Other developments – possibly more significant still – are on the horizon. Such changes will have far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, income distribution, human well-being and the environment. The more fully governments understand how industrial production could develop, the better placed they will be to prepare for the risks and reap the benefits. Through judicious policy, the opportunity exists now to shape the next production revolution.

Clusters & Regions

Ten Actions to Implement Big Data Initiatives: A Survey of 65 Cities

Alfred T. Ho and Bo McCall, IBM Center for the Business of Government
The trend toward Big Data initiatives is likely to accelerate in future years. In anticipation of the increased use of Big Data, the authors of this report identified factors that are likely to influence its adoption by governments. They identified three organizational factors that influence adoption: leadership attention, adequate staff capacity, and pursuit of partners. In addition, they identified four organizational strategies that influence adoption: governance structures, team approach, incremental initiatives, and Big Data policies. This report sets forth 10 recommendations for those responsible for implementing cities’ Big Data initiatives—five recommendations are directed to city leaders and five to city executives. A key recommendation is that city leaders should think about a “smart city system,” not just data. Another key recommendation is that city executives should develop a multi-year strategic data plan to enhance the effectiveness of Big Data initiatives.

Regional Talent Pipelines: Collaborating with Industry to Build Opportunities in Texas

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Over the past three decades, the share of middle-skill jobs has been shrinking in the U.S. economy. These are jobs that require workers to perform repetitive and procedural tasks, such as those performed by assembly line workers at a manufacturing company or typists at an accounting office. This form of job polarization has forced millions of American workers to make a choice: either get more education and workforce training to develop the skills and build the knowledge required for new middle- and high-skill occupations, settle for a lower-wage job in a low-skill service or manual labor occupation, or drop out of the labor force. Across the U.S., regional workforce development systems are responding to this pressing issue by building career pathways that create advancement opportunities for lower-skilled workers and help job seekers maximize their value in the changing labor market. To assess how Texas communities are addressing this challenge, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Austin-based nonprofit Center for Public Policy Priorities reviewed national best practices to provide a guiding framework for analysis and then, in partnership with the Texas Association of Workforce Boards, surveyed the 28 regional workforce boards in Texas. This report concludes with a set of recommendations about how some of Texas’ state-level entities can help guide and support world-class career pathways to middle-skill, middle-wage jobs and beyond.

Statistics & Indicators

Impact of the Great Recession on Industry Unemployment: a 1976 to 2011 Comparison

Yelena Takhtamanova and Eva Sierminska, UNU-MERIT
This paper studies the mechanisms driving the persistently high unemployment rate during the last recession and mild recovery. Previous studies have examined the demographic aspect of the recession. This report focuses on specific industries. Consequently, the authors propose a methodology to decompose changes in the unemployment rate into worker inflows and outflows across industry groups and outline the unique characteristics of the latest recession (including examining cyclical and structural forces). They use harmonized-reclassified industry data for 1976-2011 in the United States, which allows them to make comparisons that were previously not possible.

Most Innovative States 2016

Massachusetts stole a second straight victory in Bloomberg’s ranking of the most innovative U.S. states, a testament to how much the economy’s wheels are greased by investment in higher education and research. California again scored just behind Massachusetts, which gained ground by churning out more science and engineering graduates and producing jobs in those industries even though it had less technology company density than in 2015, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg.

Policy Digest

Building Our Industrial Strategy: Green Paper

HM Government
This document sets out a new vision. A vision for a modern British industrial strategy that does not repeat the mistakes of the past, and learns the lessons of British successes and those of overseas competitors. It is a vision to support, strengthen and develop our different industries, and to get all parts of the country firing on all cylinders. The objective of this modern industrial strategy is to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.

This strategy draws on lessons from other countries and identifies some of the key approaches that have enabled stronger productivity and more balanced growth in other economies. It also draws on British history: what has worked and what has failed; the strengths that must be built on and the weaknesses that must be corrected. These lessons have led to the 10 pillars for the industrial strategy set out in this paper. The report proposes these areas because the evidence shows that they drive growth. Places with higher rates of investment in research and development, more highly skilled people, better infrastructure, more affordable energy and higher rates of capital investment grow faster and have higher levels of productivity. Policies on trade, procurement and sectors are tools that can be used to drive growth by increasing competition and encouraging innovation and investment. Through central government actions and by strengthening the local institutions that support a more productive economy the government can ensure that growth is driven across the whole country.

The pillars

  1. Investing in science, research and innovation – we must become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialize our world leading science base to drive growth across the UK.
  2. Developing skills – we must help people and businesses to thrive by: ensuring everyone has the basic skills needed in a modern economy; building a new system of technical education to benefit the half of young people who do not go to university; boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills, digital skills and numeracy; and by raising skill levels in lagging areas.
  3. Upgrading infrastructure – we must upgrade our standards of performance on digital, energy, transport, water and flood defense infrastructure, and better align central government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities.
  4. Supporting businesses to start and grow – we must ensure that businesses across the UK can access the finance and management skills they need to grow; and we must create the right conditions for companies to invest for the long term.
  5. Improving procurement – we must use strategic government procurement to drive innovation and enable the development of UK supply chains.
  6. Encouraging trade and inward investment – government policy can help boost productivity and growth across our economy, including by increasing competition and helping to bring new ways of doing things to the UK.
  7. Delivering affordable energy and clean growth – we need to keep costs down for businesses, and secure the economic benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  8. Cultivating world-leading sectors – we must build on our areas of competitive advantage, and help new sectors to flourish, in many cases challenging existing institutions and incumbents.
  9. Driving growth across the whole country – we will create a framework to build on the particular strengths of different places and address factors that hold places back – whether it is investing in key infrastructure projects to encourage growth, increasing skill levels, or backing local innovation strengths.
  10. Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places – we will consider the best structures to support people, industries and places. In some places and sectors there may be missing institutions which we could create, or existing ones we could strengthen, be they local civic or educational institutions, trade associations or financial networks.


Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions

Bolzano, Italy, 22-24 March, 2017
This second edition of “Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions” – SSPCR 2017 – faces the challenge of inspiring the transition of urban areas towards smarter and more sustainable places to live. Towards this aim, planners and stakeholders are called to take over – in a multidimensional perspective – both the urgent issues related to climate change and energy efficiency, and the new potential changes introduced by cities’ digitalization and the integration of ICT in infrastructures, mobility, and social interactions. In this scenario, planning requires a global overview and understanding of the past and current state of cities as well as a holistic approach in redirecting their future development and regeneration. Therefore, SSPCR 2017 warmly welcomes contributions coming from different research fields: urban and regional planning, environmental and social sciences, transportation, engineering and energy-related studies, as well as from the professional community. Alongside with oral, poster and virtual dissertations, cooperation and demonstration projects are also warmly invited to join SSPCR 2017, in the spirit of disseminating innovative approaches, implemented activities and achieved results.

CFP: ZEW/MaCCI Conference on the Economics of Innovation and Patenting

Mannheim, Germany, 15-16 May, 2017
The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) and the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI) are pleased to announce their 7th conference on the economics of innovation and patenting. The goal of the conference is to present new research and to stimulate discussion between international researchers conducting related empirical and theoretical analysis. As a novelty, we will organize a special plenary paper speed dating session. Theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented contributions from all areas of the economics of innovation and patenting are welcome.

CFP: 11th Workshop on the Organization, Economics, and Policy of Scientific Research

Torino, Italy, 18-19 May, 2017
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. 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 Conference 2017: The Great Regional Awakening – New Directions

Dublin, Ireland, 4-7 June, 2017
A ‘Great Regional Awakening’ is underway. There is a growing realization that regional inequalities have both contributed to, and amplified, the ‘Great Recession’ that shook advanced and emerging economies alike. It is also becoming apparent that the crisis has been having very different impacts spatially. This will only help to further exacerbate uneven economic development, fueling more trouble down the line. In Europe, major economic fault-lines are re-emerging between and within national economies; between the core and the periphery; between urban and rural areas; between city-regions and within cities themselves. This pattern is replicated elsewhere – in advanced, emerging and developing world. There is an urgent need to re-examine all aspects of local and regional development and how it relates to national and international economic dynamics; and to social, political, cultural, technological and environmental processes. Having spent over 50 years advocating more balanced regional development, the Regional Studies Association is now spearheading a major effort to address these pressing issues in such challenging times.


New York, USA, 12-14 June, 2017
DRUID and NYU Stern School of Business are proud to invite senior and junior scholars to participate and contribute with a paper to DRUID17, hosted by NYU Stern in New York. Presenting distinguished plenary speakers, a range of parallel paper sessions, and a highly attractive social program, the conference aims at mapping theoretical, empirical and methodological advances, contributing novel insights, and help identifying scholarly positions, divisions, and common grounds in current scientific controversies within the field. DRUID17 invites paper submissions on innovation, entrepreneurship and other aspects of structural, institutional and geographic change.

CFP: Creating and Communicating Knowledge, Practices, and Values: Exploring the Dynamics of Local Anchors and Trans-Local Communities

London, UK, 29 August – 1 September, 2017
Economic geographers have long been interested in the links between local-global economic dynamics (e.g. Bathelt et al., 2004). Within this sphere of interest, focus has been given to so-called ‘local anchors’ as the nodes through which regional, national, or global relations and dynamics function and occur. Specific physical places may, for instance, serve as local anchors for social movements (e.g. the maker movement) (Toombs and Bardzell, 2014), trans-local scenes (e.g. in music) (Hauge and Hracs, 2010; Lange, 2007), global knowledge communities (e.g. communities of enthusiasts) (Brinks and Ibert, 2015; Müller and Ibert, 2015) or global processes of value creation (Berthoin Antal et al., 2015; Pike, 2009; Power and Hauge, 2006). We  observe a wide spectrum of local anchors that help to disseminate ideas and knowledge, enable and encourage participation in specific practices (e.g. tinkering, designing, building), serve as (temporary) productions sites (e.g. local workshops for music) and facilitate curation and consumption (e.g. pop-up stores, record stores). Despite this conceptual variety, these anchors are physical spaces through which economic and social activities occur and that actors utilize for creating objects, artifacts and products and to generate and disseminate ideas, brands and values. These local spaces have also drawn the attention of policymakers striving to capitalize upon local-global dynamics. However, very often these spaces are regarded overly optimistically and lack a critical reflection as to how they actually contribute to social, cultural and / or economic value creation. This session aims to nuance our understanding of the interplay between ‘the global’ and ‘the local’ as well as ‘physical’ and ‘virtual’ spaces. We aim to explore the role of local anchors within local neighborhoods and scenes as well as trans-local scenes, communities and virtual networks. More specifically, the session aims to consider the diversity and specificity of local anchors which may comprise craft collectives, performance venues, records stores (Hracs and Jansson, 2016), coworking / maker/ hacker spaces / open creative labs (Merkel, 2015; Schmidt et al., 2014; Schmidt et al., 2016), universities (Cooke, 2011) and knowledge production sites (Power and Malmberg, 2008).

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

Atlanta, USA, 9-11 October, 2017
The Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy provides a showcase for the highest quality scholarship addressing the multidimensional challenges and interrelated characteristics of science and innovation policy and processes. Spanning three days, the conference will include plenary sessions reflecting different facets of the science and innovation system, presentations of well-developed research, and an early career poster session to allow young researchers to present their work. Submissions should address issues relevant to the science and innovation system, and may fall into one or more topic areas related to the STI/research system.

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