The IPL newsletter: Volume 18, Issue 368

News from the IPL


First-Ever UK-US Science and Technology Agreement Paves the Way for Closer Research Collaborations

Science Minister Jo Johnson has recently signed a UK-US Science and Technology Agreement with US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Judith G Garber, marking the first umbrella agreement between the United States and United Kingdom. The treaty outlines a commitment to collaborate on world-class science and innovation, building on existing successful research co-operation in recognition of the value of open data to further scientific research and strengthen our economies.

Québec and Ontario Working Together to Fuel Innovation and Growth

A new step in accelerating the growth of information and communications technology was taken as Premier Philippe Couillard and Premier Kathleen Wynne recently announced a new Memorandum of Understanding that will see Québec and Ontario strengthen their cooperation in the development of Artificial Intelligence. Building on existing investments, the agreement will boost the provinces’ competitive advantage in the field of AI by expanding opportunities for collaboration in research, talent attraction, skills development and business growth. Together, Ontario and Québec will support advancements in the design and commercialization of innovative technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, speech recognition, fraud detection, and medical imaging and diagnosis. Increasing support for the provinces’ already leading-edge advanced technology sector will further attract investments and talent from around the globe while creating highly skilled jobs across Québec and Ontario. The two cabinets discussed the need to deepen understanding of potential social and other impacts of artificial intelligence. Today’s announcement also brings a new dimension to the provinces’ ongoing high-tech collaboration, particularly in the field of digital communication – 5G networks.

Editor's Pick

Decoding City Performance

JLL and The Business of Cities
Comparative city indices are more prevalent than ever. This latest update on the state of the art of city indices by JLL and The Business of Cities, reveals that their number has reached a new threshold – there are now over 300 indices worldwide that score, benchmark and rank cities on almost every aspect of urban life. Increasingly, these indices have a bearing on how we understand city dynamics, guiding investors, businesses and workers as they make location choices and shaping the viewpoints of visitors, students and entrepreneurs. They cover an ever more diverse range of attributes that signal where cities are heading. They point to which cities have the ingredients for future success and help steer the real estate industry in its response to the rapidly changing urban landscape.

Innovation Policy

My Region, My Europe, Our Future: Seventh Report on Economic, Social, and Territorial Cohesion

European Commission
This document reports on how cohesion has evolved in EU regions over the recent past and assesses the impact of this on national policies, cohesion policy and other EU policies as required by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union . The accompanying Staff Working Document (SWD) consists of 6 chapters: on economic development, social inclusion, sustainable development, improving institutions, national policies and cohesion, and the impact of cohesion policy. It also reviews the measures linking the effectiveness of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to sound economic governance, as required by the Regulation on Common Provisions with regard to the Structural Funds.

OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook examines and documents the evolution of and emerging opportunities and challenges in the digital economy. It highlights how OECD countries and partner economies are taking advantage of ICTs and the Internet to meet their public policy objectives. Through comparative evidence, it informs policy makers of regulatory practices and policy options to help maximize the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth.

Clusters & Regions

The Safe Way to Build a Smart City

Corin Faife, CityLab
This article highlights some of the pitfalls that face cities in pursuing open data initiatives focusing on the experiences of the City of Seattle. The author argues that with the open data movement gathering momentum, it’s important that debates around the pros and cons can take place with a transparency appropriate to the topic. Not all city governments will have the financial resources or technical know-how of a city like Seattle, but smaller governments across the country may yet learn from the successes and failures of the bigger players.

New Mobility: Autonomous Vehicles and the Region

Regional Plan Association
Autonomous vehicles are one of the most exciting emerging mobility solutions, but also one with many unknowns. Will AVs be as transformative and as ubiquitous as smartphones have become in shaping how we think about moving around? Or will they be more like telecommuting – a trend that is still yet to seriously alter transportation patterns in the region? As Regional Plan Association embarked on the Fourth Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan area, they asked what role Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) would play in the region’s future, and how this should affect decisions about investments in transit, highways and local streetscapes.

America’s Commuting Choices: 5 Major Takeaways from 2016 Census Data

Adie Tomer, Brookings
While Americans travel for a variety of reasons, there’s arguably no more important trip each day than their commute to work. Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau updates its national statistics on commuting habits. These statistics—which extend down to large cities—enable consistent benchmarks about how the American commute may be changing or simply staying the same. This article highlights the biggest takeaways from the latest 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) data.

Statistics & Indicators

World Corporate Top R&D Investors: Industrial Property Strategies in the Digital Economy

This report sheds new light on the digital transformation and the strategies pursued by top innovators worldwide to generate knowledge and to appropriate the returns from their knowledge-based investment through industrial property (IP) rights. It uncovers the extent to which information and communication technologies and activities are diffusing and have been adopted by actors operating in other technological and economic domains. It analyzes the use of different IP rights (namely patents, designs and trademarks) by the world top corporate R&D investors to help uncover the innovative, creative and branding strategies of top R&D investors worldwide as well as the way they contribute to shaping the digital transformation.

Policy Digest

Digital Policy Playbook 2017: Approaches to National Digital Governance

World Economic Forum
As the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue, there is a growing need to share pragmatic and practical insights in a more holistic manner to help guide the understanding and actions of digital policy-makers across silos. This White Paper presents case studies that reflect the different approaches countries have used to tackle the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The classes of challenges are:

  1. Innovating in digital governance and access;
  2. Developing a smart society and public services;
  3. Growing the digital economy;
  4. Protecting digital infrastructure, business and fundamental rights.

Prepared by a network of experts from more than a dozen countries in an open, collaborative and consensus-building manner, the report aims to be a playbook for government officials, civil society and business leaders. Envisioned as a living resource, the intention is to add new case studies over time as other countries share their experiences with national digital policies.

Several core themes have emerged from the plays presented in this White Paper:

  • Committed political leadership is vital for implementing digitalization strategies and initiatives;
  • Agility is paramount to the success of digitalization. Countries are rewarded for creating governance solutions which are adaptable, innovative and collaborative in their implementation;
  • The creation and implementation of a comprehensive digital development strategy should transcend the technology sector and embrace different sectors of society and the economy;
  • Adequate government structures are needed to manage the digital transformation and to protect digital infrastructure, services and data;
  • Multistakeholder digital governance models are unique in their ability to address the complexities of networked societies and economies;
  • Partnerships are essential to accelerate positive socioeconomic outcomes and to create enabling policy frameworks, particularly for improving communications infrastructure and creating digital public services.

Above all, agility is paramount. The goal of this work is to show the importance of national and transnational governance approaches which can adapt to changing circumstances – a system that mirrors the architecture of the internet itself.


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.

Canadian Science Policy Conference

Ottawa, 1-3 November, 2017
As the nation celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday, CSPC also invites you get engaged with CSPC 2017 and celebrate the science and innovation policy accomplishments together. We invite you to submit your suggestions and event proposals.

Understanding Smarter Cities: What Happens Next?

Toronto, 2 November, 2017
This panel discussion will showcase U of T expertise and perspectives on smart cities. Questions to be raised at the event include: What are smart or smarter cities or what should they be? How can cities get there? The intended audience includes local and regional stakeholders, government and industry partners that are developing smart cities strategies, researchers and community members. Panelists will highlight previous smart cities work and research including a recent workshop led by U of T on The Future of Smart Cities in India and also connect to the Canadian federal government’s upcoming $300M Smart Cities Challenge.

RBC Conference – The FinTech Revolution: What’s Happening, What to Expect, and Why Is It Important?

Toronto, 6 November, 2017
This conference includes talks on the Canadian FinTech Landscape (Andreas Park, University of Toronto); FinTech and Changes to How We Pay for Stuff (Angelo Melino, University of Toronto); The Evolving FinTech Ecosystem in the Context of the Greater Toronto Region (David Wolfe, University of Toronto); and FinTech – Risks an Opportunities from the Bank of Canada’s Perspective (Grahame Johnson, Bank of Canada).

WICK2017: 5th PhD Workshop Economics of Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge

Turin, Italy, 19-20 December, 2017
The aim of the workshop is to bring together young researchers from different disciplines and provide them a circumstance of discussion of both full and early works. The main topics the workshop will cover are Economics of Science, Firm and Regional Innovation Strategies, HR Analytics and Economic Philosophy. The event will feature keynote contributions from Dr. Frank Neffke and Dr. Torsten Heinrich.

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.

The 12th Workshop on the Organization, Economics, and Policy of Scientific Research

Bath, UK, 27-28 April, 2018
As in previous years 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. We aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars; a minimum number of slots are reserved for junior researchers (PhD students or postdoc scholars who obtained their PhD in 2015 or later).

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