The IPL newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 355

News from the IPL


MIT Lab to Participate in US$27 million Initiative on AI Ethics and Governance

MIT News
The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University will serve as the founding anchor institutions for a new initiative aimed at bridging the gap between the humanities, the social sciences, and computing by addressing the global challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) from a multidisciplinary perspective. Initially funded with $27 million from the Knight Foundation; LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman; the Omidyar Network; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and Jim Pallotta, founder of the Raptor Group, the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund’s mission is to catalyze global research that advances AI for the public interest, with an emphasis on applied research and education. The fund will also seek to advance public understanding of AI.

Editor's Pick

Innovation Policy in International Perspective

Toronto, Canada, 21 March, 2017
Professor Mark Zachary Taylor, drawing on his acclaimed book The Politics of Innovation: Why Some Countries Are Better Than Others at Science and Technology? will open the panel with a keynote address  setting the international stage for innovation policy. He will be followed by Dr. Daniel Munro, responding to his arguments and positioning Canada within the global league of innovative nations. Concluding the panel will be Sagi Dagan, reflecting on these arguments from a practitioner’s perspective by sharing the experience of what is arguably the most successful innovation agency in the world since the 1970s. Professor Dan Breznitz will moderate the panel, which will conclude with lessons for Canada as the federal government launches its new Innovation Agenda.

Innovation Policy

ICT: A New Taxonomy Based on the International Patent Classification

Takashi Inaba and Mariagrazia Squicciarin, OECD
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are pervasive and increasingly critical to our economies. But assessing their impact requires a clear understanding of the technological components that make up an ICT bundle. This paper breaks new ground by proposing a new taxonomy that allows identification and mapping of ICT technologies regardless of the products in which they are used.

Startup Nations Atlas of Policies

Startup Nations
The Startup Nations Atlas of Policies (SNAP) is the first-ever global compendium of public sector policies and programs. An initiative of Startup Nations, a collection of startup savvy policymakers representing more than 60 countries, SNAP will help communities, cities and countries around the world capitalize on existing knowledge and current policy experimentation – creating policy environments that empower entrepreneurs, drive innovation and stimulate economic growth. SNAP builds a useful resource for policymakers, policy advisers, opinion leaders and ecosystem builders who wish to learn about previously implemented policy models, articulated entrepreneurship strategies and/or designs of public-sector-supported programs.

State of Entrepreneurship 2017 – Zero Barriers: Three Mega Trends Shaping the Future of Entrepreneurship

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
After a long Great Recession hangover, entrepreneurship is finally rebounding in the United States. Entrepreneurs are driving a resurgence of business activity in America—in new business creation, local small business activity, and the growth of small firms into larger businesses. But underneath this reassuring surface, turbulent shifts are shaping the future of entrepreneurship to be dramatically different than what it is today, or was in the past. The report posits that three mega trends will be defining forces shaping the future of entrepreneurship for decades to come: (1) New demographics; (2) A New Map of Entrepreneurship; and the (3) New Nature of Entrepreneurship. These three trends reflect the changing demographics, map, and nature of American entrepreneurship.

The Role and Performance of Accelerators in the Australian Startup Ecosystem

Dr. Martin Bliemel, et al. University of New South Wales
This report focuses on the role of business accelerators in the Australian startup ecosystem. Due to a lack of clear boundaries across organizational types and interrelationships between organizations, their role and impact must be considered in context and in comparison to other organizations in the ecosystem, including but not limited to incubators, co-working spaces, angel organizations, and mentoring organizations. The report concludes with a series of policy recommendations.

Innovation and Access to Finance

Michele Cincera and Anabela Santos, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management
Promoting Research and Development (R&D) activities is the main goal of the EU 2020 Strategy in order to achieve an R&D spending at least 3% of GDP. The Innovation Union is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the EU 2020 Strategy, which has the aims: to improve access to finance for R&D; to get innovative ideas to market; to ensure growth and jobs. The aim of the present paper is to identify and explain the main mechanisms related to four commitments of Innovation Union: i) Commitment 10 (Put in place EU level financial instruments to attract private finance); ii) Commitment 11 (Ensure cross-border operation of venture capital funds); iii) Commitment 12 (Strengthen cross-border matching of innovative firms with Investors); iv) Commitment 13 (Review State Aid Framework for Research, Development and Innovation). To this purpose, a review of both theoretical and empirical literature about ’Innovation, Access to Finance and SMEs’ based on more than 80 scientific and other articles and analyses is presented. The paper provides an analysis of the main alternative financial instruments to bank loans, namely Risk-Sharing Facility Financing, Venture Capital, Business Angels and public subsidies. The authors find some evidence in the literature that Venture Capital could have a limited impact in enhancing innovation in the longterm and that some public support schemes could be more effective than other, depending on the firm’s maturity state.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Building Smart Cities for Smart Citizens

Effective smart city leadership is not simply a matter of strong, top-down governance. It is much more about ensuring that the smart city is built around the citizen and their needs and aspirations. One of the core requirements of a smart city is the ability to engage citizens in tackling challenges – that includes residents, businesses and other community stakeholders. Achieving this can require cultural and organizational transformation, and there are technical challenges too. However, the rewards for cities that get this right will be huge – they will see the greatest amount of innovation and, ultimately, improved quality of life for citizens. This report contains examples of successful cities’ approaches; a look a common challenges and hurdles; a discussion of what’s next for citizen-centric smart cities; and some tools and best practices that cities can use today.

Regional Industry Cluster Assessment and Development Strategy

Timothy L Faley, Journal of Economic Development in Higher Education
Although there is considerable research that describes the evaluation of specific existing economic clusters, there has been precious little discussion on how to systematically go about assembling a robust regional economic cluster in the first place. This paper will change that outcome by providing qualitative frameworks and assessment aids necessary to identify regional strengths and, more importantly, provide the design tools necessary to build an improved regional economy. Doing so will provide economic developers with actionable information in the management of the regional factors over which they have the greatest influence. The pragmatic challenge for economic development agencies is that the regional studies necessary to evaluate the components of Porter’s Diamond are both expensive and time-consuming to create. This paper describes a set of qualitative frameworks that provide the evaluation of a subset of the Porter’s Diamond structure. As design tools, the frameworks identify the missing elements, and then assess the impact and plausibility of acquiring these missing elements. As a result, the frameworks presented in this paper will allow the regional economic development agency to approach its development from a strategic, systems perspective.

Statistics & Indicators

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

Justin Antonipillai and Michelle K. Lee, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
In 2012, the Department of Commerce issued a report titled Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus. The report identified the industries that rely most heavily on patents, trademarks, or copyrights as IP-intensive and estimated their contribution to the U.S. economy. It generated considerable interest and energized other agencies and organizations to produce similar studies investigating the use and impact of IP across countries, industries, and firms. This report builds on the 2012 version by providing an update on the impact of IP on the 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 the methodology does not permit us to attribute those differences to IP alone, the results provide a useful benchmark. Overall, the report finds that IP-intensive industries continue to be an important and integral part of the U.S. economy and account for more jobs and a larger share of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 compared to what was observed for 2010, the latest figure available for the 2012 report.

Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Caroline Taich et al. Cleveland State University
The goal of this research study is to quantitatively and qualitatively explore the indicators of entrepreneurial ecosystems. This study, with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, focuses on two major questions: 1) what are the indicators of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and which of these best reflect the ecosystem’s vibrancy? And 2) what indicators of entrepreneurial ecosystems are most valuable for entrepreneurs? Overall, through their literature review and interviews, the authors identified 12 measures that relate to entrepreneurial ecosystem vitality. The interviews with entrepreneurs revealed four measures (bachelor’s degree attainment, business environment, entrepreneurial finance, and, patents) as a proxy for innovation. The authors’ research helped to modify three measures from the original framework: connectivity and quality of network, traded industries, and university presence. Finally, five measures carried over from the original framework: immigrants, high-growth firms, high-tech density, population flux, and share of employment in new and young firms.

Policy Digest

OECD Science and Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016

Tomorrow’s world is set to be of another kind. Powerful forces, rising from deep socio‑economic, environmental, technological and political trends – so‑called “megatrends” – are influencing developments in economies and societies, shaping our future, often in unexpected ways. These multidimensional, mutually reinforcing and sometimes opposing megatrends will affect the direction and pace of technological change and scientific discovery and influence future science, technology and innovation (STI) activities and policies.

Megatrends are shaping future STI activities

Ageing societies, climate change, health challenges and growing digitization are, among other factors, expected to shape future R&D agendas and the scope and scale of future innovation demand. Novel markets are likely to emerge, creating new skills needs and new growth and job opportunities. New approaches to sustainable growth, e.g. through the circular economy, are making their way.

The fast pace of economic development in emerging economies, coupled with the cross‑border activities of multinationals and a further fragmentation of global value chains, will also favour a broader distribution of STI activities across the planet. Global competition for talent and resources will most likely intensify, as will the production and diffusion of new knowledge. Existing centres of excellence may benefit from this competition, further concentrating the best talent and resources at the expense of less competitive places.

STI activities could however be confronted with strong resource constraints. Possibly insufficient growth in developed and emerging economies, as well as competing policy priorities and agendas, may limit the financial resources available. This could compromise the role of STI to address future challenges. Similarly, an ageing population, together with changing patterns in migration, will have uncertain consequences for the availability of STI skills.

The megatrends raise urgent issues that demand policy responses, but the capacities of governments to intervene will likely face major constraints, including high public debt, increasing international security threats, a possible erosion of social cohesion, and the rise of influential non‑state actors that challenge their authority and ability to act

Technology is set to disrupt societies, with uncertain outcomes

Future developments in STI could accelerate, intensify or reverse megatrend dynamics. But these developments also have the potential to offer solutions to the challenges we face. For example, globalization will be further enabled by advances in communications and transport technologies; income growth will be increasingly driven by STI developments; reductions in CO2 emissions will depend on the development of new, cleaner energy technology; and improved health outcomes and increasing life expectancy will heavily depend on health technology innovation.

On the other hand, emerging technologies carry several risks and uncertainties, and many raise important ethical issues, too. STI developments could exacerbate inequalities without wider innovation diffusion and skills acquisition. Developments in artificial intelligence and robotics raise concerns around future jobs; the Internet of Things and big data analytics around privacy; 3D printing around piracy of intellectual property; synthetic biology around biosecurity; and neurosciences around human dignity.

Still, emerging technologies are expected to have wide impacts across several fields of application and will often depend on other “enabling” technologies for their development and exploitation. Technology convergence and combination could be further helped by cross‑disciplinary working arrangements and skills training.

Public science has a central role to play, provided it can manage its own transition

Public sector science will continue to play pivotal roles in developing knowledge and skills for exploitation in the wider economy. But it will also undergo its own transformation. Emerging technologies are opening up a new age for research. Big data and algorithms are generating huge amounts of data, changing scientific methods, instruments and skills requirements and creating new fields of research.

Open science is the next frontier. Open data access practices are increasingly widespread. Encouraging the sharing and re‑use of research data could generate more value for public money. Science is also becoming a less institutionalized endeavor, with citizens conducting their own research alongside the scientific community. However, deep changes in academic culture will be necessary to realize the full potential of a more open science.

Funding issues will evolve. The proportion of public spending that goes to R&D is unlikely to increase, and a decline in the public funding of universities is already noticeable in many countries. Public science will need to find new sources of funding, including from philanthropists and private foundations, and this will have impacts on future public R&D agendas. Research careers will also remain precarious, especially for women, with consequences for attracting future generations of researchers.

Today, policy attention remains focused on immediate economic imperatives and efficiency gains

The recent financial crisis hit STI activities hard, and the subsequent rebound has remained weak. Financial conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship remain difficult, especially for SMEs.

OECD countries and non‑OECD economies have placed considerable emphasis on supporting firms’ capacity to innovate. Many countries have sought to consolidate their business support programs to make them more accessible and more cost‑efficient. Several governments have also adopted a “no‑spending” approach in supporting innovation, e.g. through extensive use of fiscal incentives and public procurement. Many countries have also adjusted their policy portfolios to assist SMEs and start‑ups, especially for accessing global markets. There is emerging evidence of a trade‑off in the allocation of public support between firms on the one hand and public research on the other, with a growing share of the total budget going to the business sector.

The picture nevertheless differs across countries, and the gap between countries on a low‑growth path and those on a high‑growth path is widening. Even within Europe, noticeable cross‑country differences in investment profiles signal a growing threat to the cohesion of the European Union. Governments are seeking to improve the efficiency and impact of their STI policy mix, giving increasing attention to policy evaluation and new data infrastructures to improve the policy evidence base.

Governments will increasingly work with the wider society to shape and exploit STI

Governments are increasingly managing the risks and uncertainties around emerging STI developments by adopting more “responsible research and innovation” (RRI) policies. RRI principles have diffused into policy agendas, funding programs and governance arrangements, integrating ethical and social considerations “upstream” in the innovation process.


Innovation Policy in International Perspective

Toronto, Canada, 21 March, 2017
Professor Mark Zachary Taylor, drawing on his acclaimed book The Politics of Innovation: Why Some Countries Are Better Than Others at Science and Technology? will open the panel with a keynote address  setting the international stage for innovation policy. He will be followed by Dr. Daniel Munro, responding to his arguments and positioning Canada within the global league of innovative nations. Concluding the panel will be Sagi Dagan, reflecting on these arguments from a practitioner’s perspective by sharing the experience of what is arguably the most successful innovation agency in the world since the 1970s. Professor Dan Breznitz will moderate the panel, which will conclude with lessons for Canada as the federal government launches its new Innovation Agenda.

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.

Data Innovation Day 2017: Building Smart Cities for Tomorrow’s Data Economy

Brussels, Belgium, 28 March, 2017
Europe consistently ranks high as having some of the best cities in the world. However, its successes today are the results of past investments and strategic planning. The advent of smart cities has created a new inflection point in the development trajectory of cities. Join ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation to discuss the future of smart cities and steps policymakers should take to lead the way in their development.

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.

CFP: 12th Regional Innovation Policies Conference RIP2017

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 26-27 October, 2017
The 12th Regional Innovation Policies Conference (RIP2017) will be held at the University of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia (Spain). The conference will be organized by the ICEDE Research Group and it will take place on the 26th and 27th of October 2017 at the Faculty of Economics and Business, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of economics studies in Galicia. The conference is a venue for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers with an interest in regional innovation, regional development and innovation policy. Participants are encouraged to submit papers on topics in relation to the conference themes listed in the full call for papers.

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