The IPL newsletter: Volume 19, Issue 379

News from the IPL


Towards a Smart and Inclusive City-Region

Toronto, 15 May, 2018
The Toronto city-region is at an inflection point. How do we manage a rapidly growing tech sector while also supporting communities and local entrepreneurs? Can we build partnerships across sectors that will stimulate innovation and prosperity? At the University of Toronto’s free event, Toronto: Towards a Smart and Inclusive City-Region, these important questions will be discussed with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs; Professor Richard Florida, Director, Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management;  Professor Meric Gertler, renowned urban scholar and U of T President; Professor Janice Stein, Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T; Kim Walesh, Director of Economic Development, City of San Jose; and Armine Yalnizyan, Toronto-based economist and business commentator. Join urban thought leaders, policy makers, planners, business leaders, and entrepreneurs as they exchange ideas on ways to meet the challenges of city building to ensure that smart cities are also inclusive cities.

Editor's Pick

Competing in a Global Innovation Environment: The State of R&D in Canada

Council of Canadian Academies
In the 21st century, national prosperity, competitiveness, and well-being are inextricably linked to a country’s capacity for R&D and innovation. Canada is competing intensely alongside other countries to foster the next wave of research advances and innovations. Ensuring that Canada remains competitive in this evolving landscape requires effective support informed by periodic assessments of the latest evidence on R&D performance. As such, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to provide an evidence-informed and authoritative assessment on the current state of science and technology, and industrial R&D in Canada. This is the fourth edition in the state of S&T and industrial R&D assessment series by the CCA. To address the charge, the CCA assembled a multidisciplinary, multisectoral panel of 13 experts with a range of expertise, experience, and demonstrated leadership in academic research, R&D, innovation, and research administration.

Innovation Policy


Why American Needs a Sophisticated Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing

Stephen Ezell, Robert D. Atkinson, and David M. Hart, ITIF
ITIF submitted comments in response to the Trump administration’s request for comment on the development of a new National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing. ITIF commends the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Trump administration for doing so because manufacturing matters immensely to the U.S. economy. Manufacturing remains a key provider of high-wage jobs and supports a significant number of jobs in downstream industries. Manufacturing also provides the most important source of R&D and innovation to the U.S. economy and underpins a robust defense industrial base. Manufacturing revitalization will also be the most important way for the United Stats to stop running chronic trade deficits. Accordingly, the administration should develop a sophisticated National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing. ITIF’s submission responds to seven key strategic question asked by the administration in its request for public comment regarding the plan. ITIF articulates what key near- and long-term objectives and metrics should guide the plan and provides policy recommendations for how the U.S. innovation system can more effectively transfer R&D results into new manufacturing technologies and products manufactured here in the United States. The submission also provides insights into the innovative tools, platforms, and technologies that are required to achieves advances in advanced manufacturing and provides recommendations for improving manufacturing workforce talent development and STEM education.

Emerging Technologies and Preparing for the Future Labor Market

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada
A wave of new technologies appears to be emerging that many speculate will not only boost productivity but also increase rates of labor market disruption. While past waves of technological innovation have had enormous positive impacts, including on per-capita GDP growth, all have had some disruptive impacts, including on incumbent firms, workers, and communities. While it is not the role of governments to protect businesses from innovative competitors, it is their role to help workers and communities make effective transitions. This paper provides a description of the various technologies encompassing the NPR and G7 policies to spur NPR innovation. It then provides an analysis of the likely labor force impacts of the technologies, including on jobs and unemployment and on particular demographic groups and types of places. It then offers key principles to guide G7 policies, and lists specific policy ideas in four areas: spurring the development of NPR technologies, spurring their adoption, easing labor market transitions, and shaping policies related to common approaches to AI. The report closes with a brief discussion of key points G7 partners might make in common.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Human Capital: Disruption, Opportunity, and Resilience in London’s Workforce

Benjamin Kulka and Richard Brown, Centre for London
London’s economy has been on a roll in recent decades, establishing the city as a leading global centre for finance and business services, cultural industries, higher education and tech. But times are changing: the growth of automation, Brexit and wage pressures have the potential to shake up London’s labour market. This fresh analysis of London’s workforce considers reveals jobs and businesses will be most affected by automation, migration and wage pressures, and where new opportunities may arise for London.

Statistics & Indicators

Useful Stats: R&D Personnel by State and Metro Area

Jonathan Dworin, SSTI Weekly Digest
Across the nation, R&D at colleges and universities plays an important role in generating promising inventions, training our STEM talent pipeline, and supporting regional economic development. An SSTI analysis of National Science Foundation data finds that higher-education R&D (HERD) is a multi-billion dollar industry that directly employs nearly one million personnel on projects and grants in the United States. However, the locations of R&D projects and personnel differ greatly by state and region. This brief explores the major themes in this new data.

The Geography of Social Capital in America

The Social Capital Project
Social capital is almost surely an important factor driving many of our nation’s greatest successes and most serious challenges. Indeed, the withering of associational life is itself one of those challenges. Public policy solutions to such challenges are inherently elusive. But at present, policymakers and researchers lack the high-quality contemporary measures of social capital available at the state and local levels to even try proposing solutions that are attuned to associational life. This report describes a new social capital index created to rectify this problem. It details the construction of the index, presents maps summarizing the geographic distribution of social capital, and establishes that the index is consistently—and often strongly—related to a range of economic, social, and demographic indicators. The report also presents the geographic distribution of several sub-components of social capital, including family unity, family interaction, social support, community health, institutional health, collective efficacy, and philanthropic health.

Policy Digest

Rethinking Regional Development Policy-Making

This report takes stock of discussions held between academics and country practitioners during a series of seminars organised in 2017 by the OECD and the European Commission that focused on opportunities to improve the design and delivery of regional development policies. What can governments do to enhance economic development in regions and cities ? What lessons can be drawn from theory and practice to ensure public spending and investments contribute to regional development as effectively as possible ? At a time of increasing pressure on public finances it is paramount to enhance the effectiveness of regional policy governance instruments to add value to public spending and investment. Bringing together frontier economic theory and country practices regarding performance frameworks, financial instruments, policy conditionalities, contractual arrangements and behavioural insights in regional policy, this report identifies cross-cutting lessons to help policy-makers manage common trade-offs when designing public expenditure and investment programs for the development of regions and cities.

Key messages

What works there might not work here: Instruments used to promote regional development in regions and cities should reflect territorial specificities and be adapted to different contexts, such as the degree of subnational autonomy, market conditions, or institutional capacities. Avoiding one-size-fits-all policy responses is crucial. More flexible policy mechanisms can respond more effectively to different needs, thereby ensuring that resources are more efficiently used. To achieve this, policy makers need to balance the degree of flexibility of policy instruments and the need for control and accountability. Higher degrees of autonomy for subnational governments to decide on investments, for example, might work where corruption levels are low, but would likely be less appropriate where corruption levels are high. This flexibility can be achieved at different stages of the policy implementation. For example, deadlines for achieving certain goals can vary across regions depending on different context.

Capacities first: Capacity gaps directly impact regional development and inequalities across regions. Governments should put more efforts to build capacities at all levels of government to design and implement better regional policies. Targeted technical assistance can, for example, increase the uptake of financial instruments to diversify financing of regional policies. Yet, capacity building should not be restricted to the reinforcement of skills and abilities; it should also target institutional and financial capacities. Capacity building needs also to be understood as a “learning-by-doing” process in which governments should limit excessively complex administrative procedures and constant changes in the rules.

Keep it simple: When reducing administrative burden, policy makers also risk diminishing subnational government fiduciary control and accountability in an environment with low levels of trust. Still, simplifying procedures is crucial to increasing the effectiveness of regional policies, in particular where capacities are low. Simplicity comes with the need for greater flexibility that allows adapting programs to local circumstances and development needs. Stability in the rules can be a source of simplicity, in particular when rules for programming and managing policies are complex.

It is the quality of relationships that counts: Developing a strong, trusting, and cooperative relationship among sectors and levels of government can facilitate the alignment of objectives and incentives. It also helps clarifying what is expected from the different parties. Such relationships are often built and maintained through co-ordination and collaboration mechanisms. Yet, formal coordination and collaboration procedures may imply some transaction costs, at least in the short term. Policy makers need to balance these costs with the long term benefits that consistent and regular cooperation brings. Regular dialogue on regional development and investment priorities can foster trust and generate citizen involvement. Simplicity of information and feedback, credibility, and transversal engagement are important ingredients for an effective dialogue.

Ownership matters: Policy ownership is crucial to facilitate the better use of public spending and investments for regional development. At its basis are the reputation of the parties involved and the trust between them. Or put differently, ownership cannot be achieved in isolation. Ownership is a process that evolves over time and through constant interaction between supra-national, national and subnational governments during the implementation of regional policies. Ownership is particularly relevant when using conditionalities: subnational governments are more likely to comply when they “own” policy objectives. Greater simplicity, greater flexibility, and better relationships between stakeholders are all elements that help create a feeling of ownership.

Be aware of biases: Regional development policies inherently involve multiple stakeholders at all levels of government and are defined by a long-term horizon. These characteristics may create important biases and asymmetries of information among those responsible for their implementation. Insights derived from the behavioural and social sciences can be used as a public policy tool to address those biases. For example, instead of imposing rule compliance from higher to lower levels of governments, policy practitioners could be “nudged” to influence their decision-making in a particular direction. Behavioural insights can also help improving “group decision-making”; they can enhance communication and stakeholder engagement. They can also be used to improve collaboration among actors, to make a more efficient use of data and to improve the uptake of policies by better understanding the use of rewards or incentives.

Get the incentives right: While incentives need to be linked to rewards, and not only sanctions, governments should be aware that rewards may transform into a negative reinforcement, thereby “crowding out” intrinsic motivation. Autonomous motivation can be bolstered, for example, by encouraging trusting relations and partnerships among people. To encourage engagement and better performance, goals need to be challenging, specific and accepted by practitioners. The relationship between inputs, outputs, and outcomes needs to be clear, known, and measurable. A limited number of indicators must capture performance that is under the control of the actor in the time frame being measured.

Keep trying and testing: A process of constant and adaptive learning is beneficial for the long-term efficiency of policy instruments. Yet, while using a “trying and testing” approach, policy makers need to avoid the risk of perpetuating regional differences and inequalities. Developing a culture of trial-and-testing permits a better definition of objectives, as well as an easier identification of barriers or bottlenecks to policy implementation, be they technical or political. Testing policy options also helps policy makers design interventions that will be more effective and sustainable in the long run.

Begin with the goal in mind: Setting monitoring and evaluation systems for regional development policies in the early stages of the policy design process is necessary to increase efficiency. Evaluations help policy makers learn from experience and adapt policies to better fit the needs of regions and cities. They also allow officials to allocate the resources necessary for defining evaluation methodologies and producing relevant data. Setting up independent evaluation institutions, can be beneficial for policy credibility, trust, and enforcement, and may help increase the uptake of monitoring and evaluation results.


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).

Towards a Smart and Inclusive City-Region

Toronto, 15 May, 2018
The Toronto city-region is at an inflection point. How do we manage a rapidly growing tech sector while also supporting communities and local entrepreneurs? Can we build partnerships across sectors that will stimulate innovation and prosperity? At the University of Toronto’s free event, Toronto: Towards a Smart and Inclusive City-Region, these important questions will be discussed with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs; Professor Richard Florida, Director, Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management;  Professor Meric Gertler, renowned urban scholar and U of T President; Professor Janice Stein, Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T; Kim Walesh, Director of Economic Development, City of San Jose; and Armine Yalnizyan, Toronto-based economist and business commentator. Join urban thought leaders, policy makers, planners, business leaders, and entrepreneurs as they exchange ideas on ways to meet the challenges of city building to ensure that smart cities are also inclusive cities.

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.