The IPL newsletter: Volume 19, Issue 399


6th Annual Creating Digital Opportunity Partnership Meeting

Since 2014, The CDO Partnership, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with matching support from its’ business, government and university partners has conducted an extensive research project to understand the evolving digital technologies critical to Canada’s future economic growth and prosperity. The CDO Partnership has the goal of situating Canada’s digital opportunity in a global context and encourage policymakers to adopt policies and programs to support the growth of Canada’s digital firms and to strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the ever expanding digital economy. The partnership’s final conference will take place April 29 – May 1 at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto and will feature presentations from partnership members summarizing the key findings of the project and their implications for the broader policy agenda in Canada. Registration is open to non-members.

NSF Pilots New Convergence Accelerator

SSTI Weekly Digest
NSF is inviting interested parties to participate in a new endeavor, the Convergence Accelerator Pilot (NSF C-Accel). The NSF C-Accel Pilot seeks to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance by facilitating convergent team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals. The initiative reflects NSF’s commitment to being at the cutting edge, supporting fundamental research while encouraging rapid advances through partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders.

Editor's Pick

The Future of City Innovation

Bloomberg Cities
This is a critical time for city leaders across the United States and around the world. Cities are increasingly understood as the places where humanity’s greatest challenges, from climate change to migration to inequality, impact the most people. They’re also where ambitious leaders are stepping up to think creatively, not only about the catalytic role local government can play in solving these problems — but how, in a time of rapid technological, social, and economic change, they can keep their communities ahead. In honour of the 100th edition of Bloomberg Cities’ weekly newsletter, Spark, they solicited thoughts from some of the world’s leading urban thinkers about where it’s all headed. They asked mayors, innovators, researchers, futurists, and even the Academy Award-winning production designer behind the capital city of Black Panther’s Wakanda, the same question: What’s one thing you hope will happen in the world of public-sector innovation over the next 10 years? Contributors include Richard Florida, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Amy Liu, and Jennifer Bradley, among others.

Innovation Policy

Innovation Mapping Now

There is a glaring disconnect between technological innovation on the one hand, and productivity growth and societal well-being on the other. Economic and innovation policymakers are seeking to fix it with ambitious missions, challenges and national strategies that align technology development with societal needs and make innovation more inclusive. Traditional data sources, with their static taxonomies, aggregate statistics and simple summaries of a complex economy fall short of these policymakers’ evidence needs. Nesta’s innovation mapping team seeks to overcome these barriers with new, more detailed and timely data, powerful analytics and ways of presenting information. This report summarises what they are trying to achieve, their audiences, projects, methods, and outputs.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All

Michelle Miller-Adams et al., W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
In an effort to inform grassroots economic development in rural communities and small- and mid-sized cities, a new report from the Upjohn Institute identifies collaborative strategies that do not necessarily rely on government funding or philanthropic gifts. The report is based on findings from Upjohn’s Promise: Investing in Community initiative, which focuses on place-based scholarships, local labor market issues, and economic development policy. Each of the report’s four chapters draws from lessons learned by Upjohn’s research and practitioner experiences. For example, the second chapter on “supporting businesses for shared prosperity” highlights the importance of targeting tax incentives on high-multiplier firms, and focusing on customized business services, which are oftentimes a more cost-effective economic development tool. In the “place-based innovations in workforce development” chapter, the authors recommend developing neighborhood employment hubs that focus on marginalized populations that face significant hurdles to employment.

Metro Monitor 2019: Inclusion Remains Elusive Amid Widespread Metro Growth and Rising Prosperity

Alan Berube et al., Brookings 
What does a successful economy look like? Regular economic news coverage suggests that success is defined largely by growing U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), expanding jobs, falling unemployment, and rising stock prices. While those trends have been underway for the better part of a decade now, many Americans do not seem to feel that the economy is working well for them. That’s in part because those headline indicators bypass more salient measures of worker and family well-being, like standards of living and household incomes. It’s also because national figures paint with a broad brush our $19 trillion, 320 million-person economy, which varies dramatically across the diverse communities where Americans live their daily lives. The Metro Monitor aims to deepen understanding of economic success by broadening its definition, and measuring it at the regional scale. This year’s edition explores trends in growth, prosperity, and inclusion (including by race) for the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, both for the latest year of complete data (2016 to 2017), and across a decade period (2007 to 2017) that illuminates how metro economies are performing today compared to before the Great Recession.

Statistics and Indicators

Canada’s Competitiveness Scorecard 2019: Measuring Our Success on the Global Stage

Competitiveness is a key dimension of economic prosperity. It’s a multifaceted word, but at its core, competitiveness is about how productive and innovative an economy is and it is key to creating sustainable economic growth.  Global competitiveness is critical, and Canada’s business leaders are taking note. The Business Council of Canada (BCC) surveyed its members in early 2019 and found that 55 percent of business leaders are “very concerned about the competitiveness of Canada’s business environment.” Working with the BCC, Deloitte sought to assess the current state of Canada’s competitiveness relative to peer countries by reviewing more than 500 unique data points across eight dimensions of competitiveness. The findings highlight the drivers of the country’s strengths and weaknesses on the global stage and uncover insights on the unique characteristics of doing business in Canada.

Evolve or Dissolve: A Reality Check for Canadian CEOs

Entering 2019, Canadian CEOs are experiencing an economic reality check. As concerns around geopolitical uncertainty and trade loom, they’re increasingly looking inward for organic growth and efficiencies. Using data, insights and technology, CEOs can transform their businesses to deliver differentiated customer experiences and create new value. But organizations still report gaps in both the data they need and the skills necessary to do this. The Canadian insights from the 22nd Global CEO Survey explore how organizations that close their data and skills gaps and leverage the power of artificial intelligence can drive growth and better understand the changing nature of the consumer.

Useful Stats: Sources of Funds for R&D at Colleges and Universities, by State

SSTI Weekly Digest
Outside of the private sector, colleges and universities perform the vast majority of R&D in the United States – but where do these funds come from? This analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NSF NCSES) finds that, across the country, the federal government was the source of more than half (53.5 percent) of all R&D performed at colleges and universities in 2017. Institutional funds (25.1 percent), nonprofit organizations (6.8 percent), businesses (5.9 percent), state and local governments (5.6 percent), and other sources (3.0 percent) comprised the remaining sources of higher education R&D funding. The interactive chart below shows the breakdown of funding sources for research and development at colleges and universities for each state.

State STEM Report Cards 2019

Alliance on Science Technology Research in America (ASTRA)
Now in its 19th year of publication, ASTRA’s STEM on the Hill™ State STEM Report Cards series illustrates the importance of scientific and engineering research and STEM Education to state and local economies, job growth, innovation, competitiveness, standard of living and U.S. national security. A variety of measurements, including data from ASTRA, EMSI, the Small Business Technology Council, EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation and key U.S. Government statistical sources provide context to these reports. These metrics help users compare their own state with others.

Policy Digest

OECD Going Digital Conference Policy Briefs

The OECD Going Digital Summit was the high-level closing event of the two-year Going Digital Project. It focused on the project’s main findings and policy messages, including the final synthesis report, its companion publication on Measuring the Digital Transformation, and the Going Digital Toolkit, a new website that will grow to include indicators, evidence, experiences and innovative policy practices.

The summit brought together high-level policy makers responsible for policies related to the digital economy and key stakeholders, to exchange views and share practices and experiences in key areas of policy, look toward the future, and provide ideas for future OECD work. The agenda reflected the seven pillars of the OECD’s Going Digital integrated policy framework: enhancing access, increasing effective use, unleashing innovation, ensuring jobs, promoting social prosperity, strengthening trust and fostering market openness.

Each of the sessions was accompanied by a series of short policy briefs. We summarize a selection here:

Fostering Science and Innovation in the Digital Age
Digitalization is bringing change to all stages of the scientific process, from agenda setting, to experimentation, knowledge sharing and public engagement. Digital technology is facilitating the transition towards a new paradigm of Open Science. Open Science has three main pillars: open access to scientific publications and information; enhanced access to research data; and, broader engagement with stakeholders. Strengthening these pillars of Open Science could make science more efficient and effective and speed the translation of research findings into innovation and socio-economic benefits.

Digital technology is also changing how science is performed. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling novel forms of discovery and greater research reproducibility. Four trends are also evident regarding innovation and digitalization in firms, namely:

  • Data is a key input for innovation. Data is helping firms explore new areas of product and service development, gain insights on market trends, optimize production and distribution, and adjust products and services to market demand.
  • Digitalization enables services innovation. For example, predictive maintenance services are made possible by the Internet of Things.
  • Digital innovations (such as 3D printing) speed innovation cycles. For instance, these innovations can accelerate product design, prototyping and testing, and enable the market launch of product beta versions that rapidly incorporate consumer feedback.
  • Innovation is becoming more collaborative. Collaboration helps share the costs and reduce the risks of digital innovation, and is itself made easier by lowered costs of communication.

All of the above developments have created new emphases for policy.

Preparing for the Changing Nature of Work in the Digital Age
The digital transformation is profoundly affecting the ways in which people contribute to societies, live and work, including in terms of the number and types of jobs available. While worries of widespread technological unemployment may be overstated, the impact of digital transformation on the nature of work and the skills required is very real and already upon us.

With this transformation comes the rare opportunity to fundamentally improve work and the nature of employment. Dangerous, dirty and dull work can be drastically reduced while jobs that celebrate creativity, flexibility and purpose can be enhanced. There is currently a window of opportunity to shape the future of work with foresight so that inequalities are reduced and well-being is bolstered. To achieve this, all stakeholders, but especially policy makers, need to be aware of the shifts underway, formulate a vision of the desired outcome and plan so that the opportunities are seized and the problems that emerge are addressed.

Data in the Digital Age
The growing interactions between data, algorithms and big data analytics, connected things and people are opening huge new opportunities. But they are also giving rise to issues around “data governance” at the national and international levels. These include questions around the management of data availability, accessibility, usability, integrity and security, as well as concerns about ownership, impacts on trade and competition, implications for personal privacy, and more.

Policy makers across government are grappling with these issues. The use of digital technologies and data underpins digital transformation across all sectors of economies and societies, meaning that any policy decisions on data can have wide effects. Instilling trust in the use of data is a pre-condition for fully realising the gains of digital transformation. This in turn calls for policy makers to better understand and account for the heterogeneity of data, to take a strategic approach to its governance and ensure all policy objectives are considered, and to upgrade their own capabilities to harness data for better policy making.

Productivity Growth in the Digital Age
Digital transformation represents an opportunity for improving productivity growth by enabling innovation and reducing the costs of a range of business processes. Yet despite the rapid advance of digital technologies, aggregate productivity growth has slowed over the past decade or so, raising the question of how digital technologies can boost productivity. Today, as in the 1980s, when Nobel-prize winner Robert Solow famously quipped: “we see computers everywhere but in the productivity statistics” there is again a paradox of rapid technological change and slow productivity growth.

OECD work shows there is hope for the future. While not yet showing up in the aggregate productivity data, digital transformation is starting to have impacts on productivity in individual firms – and increasingly also in certain industries. Further and larger impacts should emerge as digital transformation evolves and digital technologies, business models and practices diffuse to a greater number of firms and industries, and as digital-intensive firms gain market share. Policy makers can help ensure that these impacts emerge by engaging in supportive policy actions.


18th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY Conference – New Bets and Old Favourites: Creating a Recipe for Success in the Innovation Economy

Ottawa, 16-17 April, 2019
Does Canada have the right policy ingredients to build a prosperous future based on innovation in the knowledge economy? The 18th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference will shed a spotlight on how Canada can maintain its research and talent strength while adding new policies and programs to accelerate firm growth and increase the number of large Canadian-owned multinationals. The RE$EARCH MONEY conference is an intimate gathering of innovation experts, including high-profile speakers from the business, finance, policymaking, and academic spheres. Use discount code AP2019 for $50 off your registration. Be part of the future of Canadian innovation!

Workshop Series on Migration, Globalization and the Knowledge Economy

Utrecht, Netherlands, 16-17 May, 2019
The workshop will consist of a 2-day plenary session with presentations and discussions, and two keynote speakers. The keynote speakers of the Utrecht workshop will be Ina Ganguli, from University of Massachusetts, and Ufuk Akcigit, from the University of Chicago. We aim to attract both senior and junior scholars dealing with research topics such as the role of high-skilled migration in fostering innovation in receiving countries, the relationship between diversity and innovation, the role of skilled diasporas and return migrants in diffusing knowledge back to their home countries, the emerging role of MNC in shaping scientists’ and engineers’ migration flows as well as temporary migration and knowledge sharing, migration and innovation-based start-ups formation, regions and mobility, and so forth.

8th ZEW/MaCCI Conference on the Economics of Innovation and Patenting

Manheim, Germany, 16-17 May, 2019
The conference aims to stimulate discussion between international researchers conducting related empirical and theoretical analysis. In addition to keynote lectures by Professor Dietmar Harhoff and Professor Timothy Simcoe as well as parallel sessions, there will also be an invited session on innovative public procurement with Professor Dirk Czarnitzki and Professor Giancarlo Spagnolo. Theoretical and empirical contributions from all areas of the economics of innovation and patenting are welcome. Interested researchers are invited to submit a paper or an extended abstract (min. 3 pages) in PDF format to no later than 15 February 2019.


Bordeaux, France, 20-21 May, 2019
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 2016 or later). Up to 18 papers will be selected from open submissions on the basis of peer review. Contributions are invited on (but not limited to) one or more of the following topics:

  • The evaluation of science policy
  • Organising research activities in universities, PROs and private R&D labs
  • Spillovers from scientific research
  • Role of gender and family in scientific research
  • Science research networks and collaboration
  • Scientific careers and mobility

Deadline for the submission of papers or extended abstracts (min 3 pages) is January 31st 2019. Submissions should be previously unpublished works. All submissions are reviewed with respect to novelty, academic quality and relevance.

CFP: A Great Transformation? Workshop on the Impact of Automation and Artificial Intelligence on Regional Economies

Torino, Italy, 27-28 May, 2019
RENIR and Despina are pleased to announce the RENIR Workshop on the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on regional economies, sponsored by Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin.We aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars. Up to 18 papers will be selected from open submissions on the basis of peer review.

CFP: 2019 University-Industry Interaction Conference

Helsinki, Finland, 18-20 June, 2019
This key event for university leaders, practitioners from both business and university, policymakers and educators attracts more than 500 participants from over 60 countries to interact, share knowledge and establish new relationships. During this three-day event, you will encounter presentations from over 100 organisations, tour innovation spaces, have access to a wide variety of workshops and participate in numerous networking opportunities to gain new insights into the bigger picture of university-industry interaction.


Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-21 June, 2019
Since 1996, DRUID has become one of the world’s premier academic conferences on innovation and the dynamics of structural, institutional and geographic change. DRUID is proud to invite senior and junior scholars to participate and contribute with a paper to DRUID19, hosted by Copenhagen Business School. Presenting distinguished plenary speakers, a range of parallel paper sessions, and an 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. Keynotes delivered by top scholars from innovation studies, management, economic geography, and numerous other research fields. Plenary speakers at DRUID19 include Stefano Brusoni, Dimo Dimov, Nijanlana Dutt, Annabel Gawer, Martine Haas, Adam B. Jaffe, Michael G. Jacobides, Sarah Kaplan and Dan Levinthal.

The 2019 Technology Transfer Society Annual Conference

Toronto, 26-28 September, 2019
The Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Technology Transfer Society would like to invite you to submit a paper* to the 2019 Technology Transfer Conference. The main themes of the Conference will revolve around technology transfer and innovation policy, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship (with a focus on universities), and inclusive innovation. Submissions featuring longitudinal and historical studies, ideally using mixed-methods research are particularly encouraged. Submissions based on other methods are also welcome. For more information on how to submit an abstract, visit the Call for Papers page.

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

Atlanta, GA, 14-17 October, 2019
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.

Regional Innovation Policies 2019: Technological Chance, Social Innovation, and Regional Transformation

Florence, Italy, 7-8 November, 2019
The Conference will focus on the paths of regional transformation that emerge as a response to technological and social change. Sustainability issues require regions to face change by trying to balance economic growth with social innovation. We will discuss the role that regional policies can play within such scenarios, by supporting the creation of new assets and resources, as well as favouring multi-level alignments of visions and interests.

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