The IPL newsletter: Volume 19, Issue 378

News from the IPL


Final FY2018 U.S. Budget Increases Regional Innovation, MEP, NSF

SSTI Weekly Digest
With final passage and signage pending at the time of publication, the federal budget for FY 2018 provides relatively strong support for innovation economies. The Regional Innovation Strategies program is funded at $21 million, MEP at $140 million and the National Science Foundation at $7.8 billion, increases for all organizations. Other notable innovation programs receiving at least level funding are SBA’s cluster and accelerator programs, DOE’s ARPA-E, NASA science and the National Institutes of Health. Numerous stakeholders weighed in with Congress to preserve these priorities over the administration’s FY 2018 request — and FY 2019 faces the same challenges.

Editor's Pick

How G7 Nations Can Support and Prepare for the Next Technology Wave

Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF
In a report prepared for the Canadian government for the G7 Ministerial on Innovation and Employment, ITIF discusses how the coming technology wave is a progressive force G7 nations should embrace. The report describes the key technologies, how policies should support their development and adoption, how the technologies may impact employment and finally, how G7 nations should work to ensure successful labor market outcomes for their workforces.

Innovation Policy

Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth Can Thrive in the Age of Disruption

Canada is facing a quiet crisis. In the coming decade, half of all jobs will be disrupted by technology and automation. Some will change dramatically. Others will disappear completely, replaced by jobs that are yet to be invented. We are living through an era of radical change, with the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and automation transforming the way we work, even in unexpected fields such as law and customer service. How will policy makers prepare Canadian youth for the workplace of the future? Over the past year, the authors conducted a major study of the Canadian workforce. They crossed the country to speak with students, workers, educators and employers in every sector. They studied job openings and automation trends and dug into mountains of data to figure out how the country is changing and what Canada can do to prepare. They discovered that the four million Canadian youth entering the workforce over the next decade are going to need a foundation of skills that sets them up for many different jobs and roles rather than a single career path. They will need a portfolio of human skills such as critical thinking, social perceptiveness, and complex problem solving to remain competitive and resilient in the labour market. They found that Canada is shifting from a jobs economy to a skills economy, and yet employers, educators and policy makers are not prepared. Here are four things you need to know about the coming skills revolution and the future of work.

Industrial Robotics and the Global Organization of Production

Koen De Backer, Timothy DeStefano, Carlo Menon, and Jung Ran Suh, OECD
Increased robot use, fueled by price declines and the increased dexterity of these machines, is expected to affect existing/future production technologies and the organisation of production within GVCs. In order to safeguard their competitiveness in an increasingly digitalized global economy, governments across OECD and emerging economies are implementing a range of policy measures/programs to support the investment in and use of robotics. This paper assesses the extent to which robotics impact the organization of production through offshoring and backshoring. The results indicate that the use of industrial robots in developed economies appears to be slowing the offshoring rates, although it is not yet prompting firms to bring jobs back home. However, the effect is very recent, especially in labour-intensive sectors, and not yet apparent in developing countries. The findings suggest the rate of global value chain expansion may be slower than in the past.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Global State of National Urban Policy

With two thirds of the world’s population projected to live in urban areas by the middle of this century, the accelerating pace of urbanisation generates crucial opportunities and challenges for sustainable development that reach far beyond city boundaries. Many global processes have recognised the importance of urbanisation as well as the roles and responsibilities of national governments vis-à-vis other urban stakeholders. For instance, urban issues are well articulated in the Agenda 2030, the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Global State of National Urban Policy is a first attempt to assess the status of national urban policy development in 150 countries. In the report you will understand why, how and in what forms NUPs have been developed,implemented and monitored globally. The report sets a solid foundation for a common methodology to monitor the progress of NUPs at the global level. Further, it outlines how many countries have an explicit NUP, the focus of the policy in each country, the existence or not of a dedicated urban agency or department, and the capacity available for effective policy making. The report is also a significant contribution to the monitoring and implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In it, policy makers, practitioners and academia will find valuable resources and comparisons to inspire more evidence-based urban policy making for sustainable urban development.

Research and Policy INsights: Digital Divide in the U.S.

Roberto Gallardo, Lionel J. Beaulieu, and Indraneel Kumar, Purdue Center for Regional Development
The digital divide is a complex issue. This report attempts to define and measure the digital divide in the U.S. and seeks to understand its impact on demographics, jobs, and establishment profiles of urban and rural counties. This report attempts to measure the digital divide with an innovative measure called the Digital Divide Index (DDI). The DDI examines the impact on demographics, jobs, and establishment trends of the U.S. The DDI is a descriptive and pragmatic tool, designed to promote awareness and more importantly, jumpstart critical discussions of ways to address the issues it raises.

OECD Territorial Reviews: The Megaregion of Western Scandinavia 2018

In an increasingly globalized world, cities and regions sometimes join forces with their neighbours to form “megaregions” and tap economies of scale. This report discusses how eight cities and counties in Norway and Sweden – along the coast joining up Oslo, Gothenburg and Malmö – have decided to work closer together as the megaregion of “Western Scandinavia”. With a total population of about 5 million inhabitants, this cross-border territory shows good potential to draw on its growing economic and cultural interlinkages, as well as its long history of institutional collaboration, to build a stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive megaregion. The report encourages local authorities to identify a common vision for their shared future development and to take concrete action towards implementing it. It also calls for national governments to tackle the challenges of cross-border transport planning to facilitate greener mobility and more inclusive labour markets.

Making Sense of the Global Urban

John Harrison and Michael Hoyler
For all of the talk surrounding the move towards more globally oriented urban studies there has been a notable silence regarding the practice of doing global urban research. Attaching the prefix ‘global’ to established theories and processes is an easy, often neat, conceptual move, yet translating this into the practice of actually doing urban research presents many more challenges. Indeed, if you are reading these words then it is a challenge that you are most likely facing. The problem as the authors see it is that the practice of doing global urban research is often implied, lurking in the background, or largely hidden from view. This is the point of departure for the book of which this is the introductory chapter. It aims to put the practice of doing global urban research centre stage.

Statistics & Indicators

Useful Stats: Business R&D Intensity by State (2010-2015)

SSTI Weekly Digest
Across the country, companies reported nearly $300 billion in self-funded and self-performed domestic R&D in 2015, according to recent data from the National Science Foundation’s Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS), with nearly one-third of this total ($95.0 billion) coming from California. Businesses in Wyoming, Washington D.C., and Utah reported the greatest increase in self-funded and self-performed R&D from 2010 to 2015. The update of the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) comes from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. The data is a primary source of information on business domestic and global research and development expenditures. This article focuses only on domestic R&D that is paid for and performed by a company.

Policy Digest

Smart City Demonstrators: A Global Review of Challenges and Lessons Learned

Catapult Future Cities
As part of the Hyper-Connected Data Rich City project, this White Paper outlines best practices and lessons learned for demonstrator projects. Showing readers the best ways of capturing value from public and private investment to inform the next generation of projects. City-based test beds aim to de-risk the development and scaling-up of solutions and services that are not yet ready for the mainstream market by providing safe environments for experimentation and innovation. The project has identified prominent large-scale smart city demonstrators both within the UK and internationally. These demonstrators fall into the following market verticals: city services, smart utilities, smart healthcare, connected and autonomous vehicles, last mile supply chain and logistics, and next-generation connectivity and data. Using this research as a base, the initiative selected a subset of demonstrators and test beds and conducted 40 in-depth interviews with representatives and industry experts to uncover challenges, lessons learned and best practice.

Challenges and lessons learned fell into four main categories:

Engagement and access to assets

  • Local authority capacity and engagement: Many large-scale demonstrators cannot happen without the cooperation and participation of local authorities due to the powers they hold and the assets they own. A small number of authorities are actively putting themselves forward as demonstration ‘sandpits’ in order to attract inward investment. While it is often inferred that authorities do not have the capacity or skills to effectively participate in large-scale innovation programs, this research shows that authorities often make valuable contributions to these initiatives, drawing on their strong stakeholder and project management skills.
  • Access to assets: The successful implementation of many smart city demonstrators depends, in part, on access to physical infrastructure and data assets. The ownership of assets at a city level is not straightforward, with private property rights, privatization of critical infrastructure and outsourcing of city services inhibiting the execution of integrated programs. Demonstrators recommended selecting demonstrator locations based on the appetite for innovation of various asset owners, involving owners at the outset of demonstrator planning and using standardized agreements when seeking to deploy equipment onto physical assets.
  • User research and engagement: A major barrier to the success of smart city demonstrators is the lack of engagement, understanding and trust of people who are expected to be the end users of demonstrated solutions. This research uncovered a growing trend among demonstrators to prioritize user research and engagement, utilizing approaches such as co-design workshops, innovation clubs and crowdfunding platforms to select and shape the projects undertaken. They experienced difficulties in enabling small businesses to engage with emerging technologies that have long maturity horizons.

Finance, Governance and Intellectual Property (IP)

The finance, governance and intellectual property arrangements surrounding smart city demonstrators are intrinsically linked and vary considerably depending on the funding sources, partners involved and use-case area.

  • Funding and Finance: Funding for demonstrators came from a number of public and private sources. Common public sources in the UK included central government departments and agencies such as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Transport, the Department for Health, and Innovate UK. Local enterprise partnerships, research councils and various higher education institutional funds also contributed. In Europe, the European Commission was the predominant funder of smart city demonstrators through their Horizon 2020 and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) avenues. International demonstrators also received considerable support from central and city governments. Universally, public-sector support was typically augmented by private-sector funding in the form of in-kind or material contributions. Rarely was the private sector seen to initiate large-scale smart city demonstrators; when used, this model was almost exclusively seen in North America. Tellingly, very few test bed environments were self-sustaining, with the vast majority relying on continued grant funding to maintain operations.
  • Governance and Delivery Models: Large demonstration projects, particularly those funded by the European Commission and the UK government, typically used collaboration agreements to create delivery consortia comprising public, private and academic organisations. Test bed environments used special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to enable the participating organisations to achieve their joint objectives. Public-sector organisations said that this allowed for swifter decision making capabilities and shorter procurement timescales, while private sector organisations believed that the use of SPVs offered a degree of protection from potential reputation risks. The various participants in smart city projects and test beds reported challenges in learning to work under these new, multiagency partnership models, citing cultural differences, resistance to change and little shared history of working together as key contributing factors.
  • IP Development and Management: Within collaborative demonstration projects, background IP arrangements were standardized, with the party that brought the IP into the consortium retaining full ownership. Foreground IP arrangements became more complex and difficult to agree on as the number of partners increased. Collaboration agreements were the most common way of formalizing these arrangements between multiple partners. Projects unanimously reported that these agreements took considerably longer than expected to put in place, with legal negotiations typically lasting between six months and one year. The most common sticking points were intellectual property rights and liabilities.

Delivery Capabilities and Skills

This research briefly touched upon the skills and capabilities required to deliver large-scale demonstrators. Many of the findings were expected, with project management skills, stakeholder management capabilities, relevant technical skills and legal and financial support all considered critical. Change management was cited as a capability that many demonstrators had not initially prioritized but became crucial as the projects progressed. This support was required to effectively land changes and ensure that they were sustained across all members of the affected ecosystem. Interviewees stressed the importance of partner selection, allowing time for delivery partners to create effective ways of working, and ensuring staff continuity between project phases as key factors in the overall success of demonstrators.

Impact Measurement and Scaling

  • Measuring impact and success: Measuring the impact of demonstration projects and test beds is critical to proving value, evidencing business cases and ultimately creating new markets. This analysis found that in the majority of demonstrators, impact measurement activities were conducted by universities, as they had experience of measuring the impact of new and innovative ideas. There were difficulties in measuring long-term impacts and dealing with the frequently changing nature of innovation projects. Baselines set at the beginning of projects were often not suitable for impact measurement purposes by the end. To combat this, demonstrators recommended using a logic model approach to tie activities to outcomes. There were also concerns around too much focus on evaluation and assessment stifling innovation and putting a premature stop to demonstrators.
  • Scaling to new markets: It is critical for companies to be able to develop and test products and services that can scale to a larger market. Several approaches have been used to scale solutions proven in demonstrators, including expansion of the demonstrator area, operational rollout of the product or services and replication to other locations.


The 17th Annual RE$EARCH Money Conference – Breaking Through the Status Quo: Scaling Canada’s Innovation Game

Ottawa, 10-11 April, 2018
A number of challenge areas keep coming up in studies of Canada’s innovation ecosystem. How do we break away from the same old conversations, and actually move forward?

Instead of repeating the difficulties the 17th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference Breaking Through the Status Quo: Scaling Canada’s Innovation Game will shed a spotlight on innovators who are breaking new ground and overcoming old habits of thinking. From these exemplars, we will review policy implications and how we can generate more success at scale. We’ll look at:

  • Successful industry-academic partnerships
  • Canada’s supercluster initiative
  • Government procurement
  • BDC’s new Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
  • Facilitating cross-departmental collaboration
  • Exemplary equity, diversity and inclusion practices
  • Canadian firms who are working with educational institutions and other innovation intermediaries to prepare and fully utilize our talent
  • And more!

The R$ conference is an excellent opportunity for faculty and students interested in entrepreneurship, business and innovation to hear from and network with prominent members of Canada’s innovation community.

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).

8th Competition and Innovation Summer School (CISS)

Ulcinj, Montenegro ,28 May – 2 June, 2018
This workshop offers young interested researchers within the fields of the economics of innovation and competition the possibility to intensively discuss their dissertation plans or drafts within a peer group of experienced and renowned scholars, as well as other PhD students and post-doc researchers in a great environment.
CISS offers lectures and workshops on:

  • topics of innovation,
  • the economics of science and intellectual property rights,
  • empirical competition analysis, and
  • contemporary issues surrounding theories of industrial organization.

5G and Broadband Connectivity for All

Durban, South Africa, 31 May – 1 June, 2018
WWRF and CSIR are partnering to organize the wireless world research forum meeting WWRF40 in Durban, South Africa. The theme for the research Forum meeting is: 5G and Broadband Connectivity for All. The Organizers therefore invite academics, researchers and industrial representatives to share information and present results on Future Wireless Communication Systems, Networks and Services and to discuss critical business and regulatory aspects, advanced technology findings that will impact the deployment of 5G and enabling broadband connectivity for All. Technical papers describing recent research results and disruptive innovations in technologies, regulatory positions and business models are solicited. Contributions focusing on the WWRF 40th meeting theme 5G and Broadband Connectivity for All, particularly within the areas of WWRF’s existing Vertical Industry Platforms (VIPs) and Working Groups (WG) are welcome.

A World of Flows – Labour Mobility, Capital, and Knowledge in an Age of Global Reversal and Revival

Lugano, Switzerland, 3-6 June, 2018
The 2018 RSA Annual Conference aims to address processes of global reversal and regional revival, in a world dominated by flows of capital, labor, and knowledge. Further it seeks to understand the political, economic and social factors that initiate change and how these changes are finding new expressions as the world’s political and economic system continues to struggle with low rates of global economic growth, the rise of China as an economic super power, the on-going impacts of recession and austerity, and increasing levels of inequality. To study and debate these and many other questions, we warmly invite the regional studies/science and connected communities to join us.

4th ZEW Conference on the Dynamics of Entrepreneurship

Mannheim, Germany, 18-19 June, 2018
This conference is jointly organized by University of Mannheim and ZEW. The aim is to discuss recent scientific contributions to entrepreneurship research. Theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented contributions from all areas of entrepreneurship research are welcome.

List of Topics (non-exhaustive)

̶  Impact of industrial dynamics (entry and exit) on aggregate productivity dynamics
̶  Direct and indirect contributions of entrepreneurial firms to innovation
̶  Personality traits and motivation of entrepreneurs
̶  Human capital of founders and employees
̶  Entrepreneurial teams
̶  Socio-demographic aspects of entrepreneurship (e.g. ethnic entrepreneurship, migrant entrepreneurship, and female entrepreneurship)
̶  Digital entrepreneurship
̶  Incubators, corporate and academic spin-offs
̶  Scale-ups, gazelles and unicorns
̶  Financing young firms: (corporate) venture capital, business angels, crowdfunding, and banks
̶  Employment, wages, and workplace quality in entrepreneurial firms
̶  Impact and efficiency of public entrepreneurship policies
̶  Impact of entrepreneurship on established firms
̶  Entrepreneurship in aging societies

Triple Helix XVI Manchester

Manchester, UK, 5-8 September, 2018
Across the world, states and city regions are facing huge societal, economic, environmental, and political challenges whose solutions require concerted new efforts and innovative partnerships. The 2018 International Triple Helix Conference brings together academia, government, business, and community to share effective practices and to advance the frontiers of knowledge about collaboration for economic progress, social development and sustainability, and the role of cities and regions as enabling spaces for these interactions.

2018 European Week of Regions and Cities – Masterclass on EU Cohesion Policy for PhD Students and Early Career Researchers

Brussels, Belgium, 7-11 October, 2018
As part of the 16th European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), the biggest event worldwide on regional and urban development, the Master Class on EU Cohesion Policy will be held for PhD students and early-career researchers for the sixth time. Applications are being sought from PhD students and early career researchers (defined as being within five years of the date on their PhD certificate or equivalent) undertaking research related to European Cohesion Policy to attend the 2018 University Master Class. The Master Class is a unique format to connect aspiring researchers and will include presentations of papers by the participants as well as lectures and panel debates with policymakers, EU officials and senior academics to improve understanding of, and research, on EU Cohesion Policy. In particular, the Master Class will serve to

  • discuss recent research on European regional and urban development and EU Cohesion Policy;
  • enable PhD students and early career researchers to exchange views and network with policymakers, EU officials and senior academics;
  • raise awareness and understanding of the research potential in the field of EU Cohesion Policy.

 The Master Class is organised and led by the European Commission, DG for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA) in cooperation with the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP).

TCI 2018 – Unexpected Connections: Collaborating to Compete – Clusters in Action

Toronto, 16-18 October, 2018
Cluster success is often the result of collaboration, more than just the agglomeration of anchor firms, R&D labs, incubators and accelerators, and disrupting organizations. Regions with clusters that actively collaborate within and between one another are more competitive. As firms continue to face new challenges from technological, economic, and political shifts, clusters remain a driving catalyst that can create sustainable levels of innovation and economic growth. Firms, at the heart of active clusters, with the support of those within the cluster ecosystem, can weather the changing dynamics of the global marketplace. TCI 2018 explores the collaboration that is happening within clusters and the opportunities to work together towards shared prosperity.

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