The IPL newsletter: Volume 18, Issue 363

News from the IPL


U.S. House Appropriations Bills Make Major Cuts to Innovation

Jason Rittenburg, SSTI Weekly Digest
The House Appropriations Committee began releasing FY 2018 “markup” budget bills this week, and the proposals would cut billions in non-defense spending. EDA would lose $117 million in program funding, SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs would lose $34 million, NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would lose $30 million, and Energy’s ARPA-E would be eliminated, among other cuts. As SSTI noted for both the administration’s proposed FY 2017 and FY 2018 budgets, congressional statements rejecting the president’s total budget package did not necessarily make innovation safe. Appropriations subcommittees are required to fund programs only up to their assigned spending levels. The mandate from House leadership to cut billions in domestic spending, therefore, accounts for part of the disconnect between members’ largely supportive statements for programs during committee hearings and the significant cuts in these bills. This post describes relevant innovation funding levels.

Michael Bloomberg Announces 3 Year, US $200 Million American Cities Initiative

Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City, has announced the American Cities Initiative, a $200-million investment to be made over the next three years to help city governments to innovate and better serve residents with tech. Bloomberg, who made the announcement at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Annual Meeting in Miami, connected this effort to a rising host of challenges faced by America’s cities, pointing to technological acceleration, a recent distancing from urban issues by the federal government, and the ongoing effects of climate change. As part of this initiative, $17.5 million in grants and technical assistance will go to participating cities, innovation experts will be deployed to assist the first 300 participating cities with one-day city hall training sessions, and much more.

Editor's Pick

Advancing a New Wave of Urban Competitiveness: The Role of Mayors in the Rise of Innovation Districts

Zoe Covello, Brookings
Over the past year, the United States Conference of Mayors and the Brookings Institution, along with the Project for Public Spaces have worked together to capture a new model of growth that is emerging in cities and the particular roles that mayors can play. This handbook offers concrete strategies for mayors and their administrations to facilitate the rise of innovation districts small geographic areas within cities where research universities, medical institutions, and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, accelerators, and incubators. They reflect profound market and demographic dynamics that are revaluing proximity, density, walkability, and accessibility, in other words, the natural strengths of cities.

Innovation Policy

Automation Across the Nation: Understanding the Potential Impacts of Technological Trends Across Canada

Brookfield Institute
Technological trends come with benefits and risks. On the one hand, they should be viewed as a major driver of economic growth and prosperity. On the other, technology poses potential risks – notably for workers responsible for job tasks that can now be automated. As a large, economically diverse country, Canada will experience an uneven distribution of the risks of technological trends. This data insights report begins to identify how susceptible Canada’s different regional economies to automation. It aims to inform the design of policies and programs that seek to mitigate the potential negative impacts associated with rapidly advancing technology. This report is part of a series focused on the tension between innovation driven growth and inclusive economic growth, with a particular focus on the future of work and skills.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016 Canada Report: Driving Wealth Creation and Social Development

GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) is the largest study of entrepreneurship in the world.  THECIS manages the GEM project in Canada. The latest GEM report for Canada has just been issued. It shows that there is a very strong entrepreneurship culture in Canada, and the rate of early stage entrepreneurship (TEA -Total Early stage Activity) is the highest in the developed world. GEM data is widely used as evidence for evidence based policy by such groups as the UN, OECD, World Bank and World Economic Forum.

OECD Review of Innovation Policy: Norway

Following a remarkable transformation in the past century in research and innovation, in particular through the development of new technologies and processes in sectors such as oil and gas, shipbuilding and also fisheries and aquaculture.

Clusters & Regions

Smart Cities: What Do We Need to Know to Plan and Design them Better?

Anthony Townsend, Medium
In this essay, written for a workshop hosted in Brooklyn this month by the Social Science Research Council, Townsend argues that the next generation of smart cities must harness local data to accelerate ideas that improve quality of life. The city has always been a laboratory for figuring out what works, in business, in government, in culture. He argues that what is needed rather is to make cities better laboratories. For Smart Cities 2.0 to succeed, it should create the core conditions for urban innovation and let people build on top.

Statistics & Indicators

Global University Venturing Data Review 2013-2016

Global University Venturing
Over the past four years, 1,668 deals involving university spinout companies from across the globe attracted approximately $35.6 billion from 2013 to 2016. The report, however, highlights that global deals peaked in 2014 with 529 deals and total investments dollars peaked in 2015 with nearly $14 billion invested. As the authors highlighted, these global numbers were unsustainable and 2016 saw significant declines in both deals and dollars.

2017 Talent Attraction Scorecard

To determine the communities where talent is congregating, EMSI launched the Talent Attraction Scorecard last summer, a report that ranked large and small U.S. counties on how well they’re attracting and retaining skilled workers. With the help of some of the top researchers in the economic development field, EMSI established five quantitative components to underpin their analysis. This second edition includes a slightly modified methodology. They’ve kept the same five core metrics, but  expanded net migration to include two time frames, 2011-2015 and 2014-2015, to give a broader view of people’s county-to-county movement and added the 2012-2016 percentage change in the adult population with at least an associate degree to show counties with an increasing share of college-educated residents. Also new this year is a supplementary analysis to show the top cities that are retaining their graduates and the skills embedded in their communities. The report also looks at the strategies that communities can consider as they’re building out short- and long-term talent pipeline approaches.

Policy Digest

How Cloud Computing Enables Modern Manufacturing

Stephen Ezell and Brett Swanson, ITIF
Cloud computing is the provision of infinitely scalable computing resources as a service over the Internet is in the process of transforming virtually every facet of modern manufacturing. Whether it’s how manufacturing enterprises operate, how they integrate into supply chains, or how products are designed, fabricated, and used by customers, cloud computing is helping manufacturers innovate, reduce costs, and increase their competitiveness. Critically, cloud computing allows manufacturers to use many forms of new production systems, from 3D printing and high-performance computing (HPC) to the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial robots. Moreover, cloud computing democratizes access to and use of these technologies by small manufacturers. This report describes how cloud computing enables modern manufacturing, provides real-word case studies of this process in action, and recommends actions policymakers can take to ensure cloud computing continues to transform manufacturing and bolster America’s  manufacturing competitiveness.

Introduction to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has been described as an innovation in computing architecture whose central characteristic is the virtualization of computing resources and services. Cloud computing allows computing resources to be delivered with five central attributes: as an on-demand service; with infinite and rapid elasticity and scalability; on a measured basis (meaning the service can be billed); through pooled (i.e., shared) resources; and with broad network access.

Enterprises tend to implement cloud computing in one of three major formats: software as a service (SAAS), platform as a service (PAAS), or infrastructure as a service (IAAS). Software as a service—think online productivity software such as Google Docs or Salesforce’s online customer relationship management (CRM) software—allows users to access software applications over the Internet using personal computers, mobile devices, or instrumented machines, instead of having to store software locally on in-house devices. Infrastructure as a service gives organizations access to secure, enterprise-class computing infrastructure that can be infinitely managed and scaled to meet different needs, whether for computer processing or data-storage capacity. Finally, platform as a service allows users to rent virtualized software development or production environments to efficiently develop and deploy new applications without having to invest in expensive hardware or software licenses of their own.

Cloud computing is usually deployed in one of three different configurations: a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud. A private cloud is used exclusively by one organization, usually with multiple business units, and may be deployed either on-site or off-site. In contrast to a private cloud, a public cloud environment is available for use by the general public; public clouds are commonly implemented through data centers operated by third-party providers such as Amazon, Google, HP Enterprise, IBM, Microsoft, VMWare, and many others. Lastly, a hybrid cloud refers to deploying an application or service across cloud-computing infrastructure that spans multiple configurations.

How Cloud Computing Enables Modern Manufacturing

Information technology is transforming the global manufacturing economy by digitizing virtually every facet of modern manufacturing processes—a phenomenon called “smart manufacturing” in the United States and “Industry 4.0” in Europe. Cloud-based computing, alongside other foundational technologies such as next-generation wireless, advanced sensors, high-performance computing, and computer-aided design, engineering, and manufacturing (CAD/CAE/CAM) software, represents an essential component of the smart manufacturing revolution.

Cloud-computing applications will impact virtually every aspect of modern manufacturing companies. At the enterprise level, cloud computing will impact how companies manage their operations, from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and financial management to data analytics and workforce training. The cloud will also prove integral to how manufacturers integrate themselves into industrial supply chains. At the manufactured-product level, cloud computing will transform everything from how products themselves are researched, designed, and developed, to how they are fabricated and manufactured, to how they are used by customers in the field. Moreover, cloud computing will play a key role toward enabling and democratizing new manufacturing production systems such as 3D printing (i.e., additive manufacturing), generative design, and the Industrial Internet of Things. In fact, digital services such as cloud computing now provide at least 25 percent of the total inputs that go into finished manufactured products.

As this report shows, cloud-based solutions offer manufacturers a wide range of benefits, among the most significant of which are: scalability; operational efficiency; application and partner integration; data storage, management, and analytics; and enhanced security. In particular, cloud computing facilitates research, design, and development of new products, which powers innovation, reduces product development costs, and speeds time to market. Cloud computing helps manufacturers manage their businesses with better intelligence, which is made possible through expanded use of data analytics. In fact, the cloud is fast becoming the central venue for data storage, analytics, and intelligence for most manufacturers. Cloud computing also empowers manufacturing operations, making them more productive, cost- and energy-efficient, safe, and streamlined.

Cloud-based systems can be scaled up or down to manage shifting project workloads, an especially important requirement for manufacturing firms. Moreover, cloud computing gives manufacturers the ability to leverage infinitely scalable computational resources on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go basis, so that manufacturers can readily access the computational resources they require without having to purchase expensive IT equipment up-front when they may only need it intermittently. This dynamic levels the playing field especially for small to medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) that lack the financial wherewithal to purchase expensive IT equipment. This dynamic applies not only to hardware, but also to software. In the past, manufacturers of all sizes have had to purchase expensive enterprise-wide licenses for enterprise resource planning software, CRM software, product-design software, etc. But now that same CRM, ERP, or design software can be flexibly consumed as an on-demand, as-needed service, greatly improving enterprise agility while giving SMEs affordable access to global best-of-breed software.

Another key way cloud computing will impact modern manufacturing is by facilitating integration—whether of widespread supply chains or of the data streaming from IoT-enabled production equipment on the factory floor. Intelligently integrating data streams from myriad partners, platforms, and devices is challenging enough, but is much more difficult to do inside companies’ own data centers as opposed to in well-networked data centers operating in the cloud. Finally, cloud computing can actually make manufacturing IT systems more secure. This is because cloud-computing providers employ best-of-breed cybersecurity practices that are often far more sophisticated than what individual companies can achieve by themselves on a one-off basis.

Noting that “evidence on the productivity effects of adopting cloud applications is scarce,” the economists Haug, Kretschmer, and Strobel have developed a “cloud adaptiveness measure” that captures a firm’s technological and organizational readiness to adapt to cloud computing. The authors find that “cloud-adaptive manufacturing firms generally exhibit higher average labor productivity compared to manufacturing firms that are not cloud adaptive.” Their analysis further finds that the manufacturing sector has thus far lagged the services sector in cloud adoption, but they note that this means cloud’s potential in the manufacturing sector may therefore be even greater going forward.


FinTech Canada Conference

Toronto, 18 August, 2017
Please join us at FinTech Canada, a National FinTech Conference for an engaging event covering FinTech, RegTech, Innovation, AML, Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Startups, Financial Inclusion and Payments.

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).

SSTI Annual Conference: Building Bridges for a Better Future

Washington, D.C., 13-15 September, 2017
“We chose the theme after hearing from our members and others in the field about the importance of reaching outside of our traditional networks and imagining what the future may hold for those in the innovation economy,” said Dan Berglund, SSTI president and CEO. “We’re excited to hold the conference in the nation’s capital, and share the stories of successes, along with the challenges, that stakeholders in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are facing.” Conference attendees will have the opportunity to gather on Capitol Hill, relate stories that are important to them, hear about best practices from SSTI Creating a Better Future award winners, engage with their peers in the field, and make new connections through the many sessions that will be offered. 

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.

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.

GeoInno2018: 4th Geography of Innovation Conference

Barcelona, Spain, January 31st, 2017 – February 2, 2018
The aim of this event is to bring together some of the world’s leading thinkers from a variety of disciplines ranging from economic geography, innovation economics, and regional science, as well as economics and management science, sociology and network theory, and political and planning sciences.

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