The IPL newsletter: Volume 20, Issue 404

News from the IPL


Canadian Securities Administrators Announce Plans to Develop a Crypto-Asset Regulatory Regime By 2022

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) said it wants to adapt current securities regulations to specifically address crypto-assets in its 2019-2022 business plan. The coalition of provincial securities regulators said its plan stems from a desire to consider the implications of emerging technologies, including social media and innovations in distributed ledger technology (DLT) like blockchain.

Minister Bains announces plans to auction key spectrum to support deployment of 5G networks

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada
At the 2019 Canadian Telecom Summit, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, presented the next steps the Government is taking to prepare for the arrival of 5G services for Canadians. These include: a decision paper outlining changes to the 3500 MHz band supporting an auction in 2020; a public consultation on the 3500 MHz auction design with measures to support competition and lower prices; a decision on releasing higher frequency millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum in 2021; and a new proposal to release 3800 MHz spectrum in 2022.

Editor's Pick

Fuzzy Spaces of Regional Governance (Virtual Special Issue)

Regional Studies, Regional Science 
There is a need to embrace critical thinking, as well as to conduct further research into these evolving flexible governance arrangements in and for urban regions within the European context and beyond. Furthermore, metropolitan regions, city-regions or urban regions also have a symbolic and political dimension that is worthy of being researched. Addressing and dealing with these new modes of ‘doing governance’ in urban regions is a challenging task for academics, spatial planners and land-use planners, as well as regional policy makers. The six papers in this issue, when taken together, provide empirical-based lessons which could allow for overcoming established institutions’ parochialism and rigid governance arrangements. Developing networks of innovative regional actors, along with engaging a diverse range of interest groups and key players in developing governance arrangements, emerges as a path for effective governance practices in and for urban regions.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

Richard Florida, CityLab
Richard Florida’s post summarizes a recent study by Maxwell Hartt, which argues that shrinking cities exist on a spectrum between prosperity and decline. Taking a wider view of population loss, the article explores the possibility of prosperous shrinking cities: if they exist, where they exist, and under what conditions shrinking cities can thrive. Examining census place data from the 1980 to 2010 U.S. Census and American Community Surveys, 27 percent of 886 shrinking cities were found to have income levels greater than their surrounding regions. Shrinking and prosperous shrinking cities of all sizes were found across the United States. Shrinkage was most prevalent in the Rust Belt region and prosperous shrinkage in coastal regions. Prosperous shrinking cities were overwhelmingly found within megapolitan regions and were rarely principal cities. Multivariate regression analysis found that both population (city size) and the severity of shrinkage (magnitude of population loss) had no effect on economic prosperity. Talent (location quotient of education) was found to be the strongest predictor of prosperous shrinkage.

Announcing the Economic Value Atlas: A New Approach to Regional Transportation and Land Use Planning

Adie Tomer, Ranjitha Shivaram, and Annibel Rice, Brookings 
Metropolitan areas attract the most productive industries and workers, rising price tags on large and small infrastructure projects, an emerging focus on inclusive economic outcomes, and demand for more livable and resilient neighborhoods all place significant pressures on regional leaders to deliver an advanced, competitive economy that works for all people. That means old policy playbooks that overly focus on business recruitment and congestion mitigation will no longer suffice. Instead, metropolitan governments and their civic partners need a suite of land use and infrastructure policies and practices that work in service of broader economic objectives. The objective of the Economic Value Atlas is to better align economic development, regional planning, and infrastructure investment in support of regional economic goals.

Innovation Policy

Regional Technology-Based Economic Development: Policies and Impacts in the U.S. and Other Economies

Gregory Tassey, Economic Policy Research Center, University of Washington
The complexity of new technologies is forcing economies to (1) address an increasing scale and especially scope of the research and development (R&D) required to develop them, (2) capture the co-location synergies inherent in multidisciplinary and capital-intensive research processes, and (3) provide greater support for production scale-up and other commercialization investments needed to penetrate global markets. These policy imperatives are driving a regional focus for technology-based economic development (TBED) strategies in order to focus investments in technology, facilities, hardware and software, labor skills, and supporting technical infrastructures and thereby achieve both the economies of scale and scope needed to compete with increasingly aggressive national programs across the industrialized world. The major policy tools are described in terms of (1) their economic rationales (i.e., the market failures that require their use); and, (2) the specific elements of each policy mechanism and how they are intended to remediate targeted underinvestment gaps at various phases of a technology’s development. Examples of state government implementations of TBED policy mechanisms are presented to indicate the various ways they can be constructed and integrated into a regional TBED ecosystem. In the last part of the monograph, the evolution and impacts of regional TBED policies in other industrialized nations are described and compared with U.S. experiences.

Boosting Competitiveness of Canadian Businesses: Clearing a Path to Wide-scale AI Adoption

Sarah Villeneuve, Brookfield Institute
Canada has developed a strong reputation within the AI field, but Canadian firms have been slow to adopt AI. Through an examination of available literature, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship identified talent as a core trend across all barriers and pre-conditions for successful AI adoption. The literature also points towards financial uncertainty, lack of technological understanding, inflexible organizational culture and structure, and lack of infrastructure as the most common barriers Canadian businesses face when attempting to integrate AI. These challenges are strongly associated with talent needs, which extend beyond the expected tech skills (i.e., data science) to include, for example, risk management, strategy development, change management, and ethical and policy analysis. Overcoming these challenges and achieving the productivity gains associated with AI is, in large part, a human capital issue.

Statistics & Indicators

Overall R&D Intensity by State (2002-2016)

How has the intensity of research and development (R&D) performance changed across states and over time? Data on total research and development and overall R&D intensity stem from the NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ (NCSES) National Patterns of R&D Resources series. Overall R&D intensity is defined as total R&D expenditures (the sum of all R&D performed by industry, federal labs and agencies, colleges and universities, and other research institutions in a state) as a share of each state’s gross domestic product in a given year. In this article, SSTI has analyzed the available data for the most recent 15-years.  Notably, five states stand out for exceeding the national average in both R&D intensity and increases in R&D intensity from 2002 to 2016: Oregon, Delaware, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

Startup Ecosystems Ranking 2019

Startup Genome
Although only Toronto-Waterloo and Vancouver made the top 30 list this year, several other Canadian cities made appearances as regions to watch for certain sectors. For the first time, Calgary and Atlantic Canada emerged in the report as ecosystems to watch, with Atlantic Canada listed as a life sciences sector, and Calgary excelling in life sciences and cleantech.

Policy Digest

National Innovation Policies: What Countries Do Best and How They Can Improve


This report summarizes what 23 nations and the European Union are doing best in innovation policy, and where they have the greatest room for improvement.

Dedicated government agencies
The first thing that stands out is many countries—including Chile, Ghana, Honduras, and the United Kingdom—have established government agencies, councils, and organizations specifically responsible for innovation. For instance, Chile created a new National Office of Productivity and Entrepreneurship; Ghana created a Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology, and Innovation; and the United Kingdom established UK Research and Innovation to direct the nation’s investments in research and innovation funding. Conversely, the lack of such an entity was identified as a weakness in American, Malaysian, and Italian innovation policy.

Innovative tax measures
Several countries—including Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Italy, Korea, and Poland—have implemented strong and innovative tax measures, such as more generous R&D tax credits, investment incentives, collaborative tax credits—which offer more generous incentives for industry-funded research occurring at universities—and patent boxes that tax profits from products deriving form new IP at a lower rate. Chile offers a flat 46-percent R&D tax credit. In Canada, Ontario has introduced a collaborative tax credit and Quebec has introduced a patent box. China offers a patent box that lowers the tax rate on qualifying R&D to between 0 and 12.5 percent. Italy offers super-depreciation for investments in new capital goods, tangible assets, and intangible assets such as software and IT systems; a tax credit on incremental R&D costs; and a patent box. Lack of tax incentives was identified as a German weakness, and a U.S. weakness is its collaborative R&D tax credit applies only to energy-sector collaborations. Beyond taxes, Poland has introduced innovation vouchers and loan programs in an effort to specifically stimulate innovation by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Improved regulatory environment
A number of countries have made efforts to improve their regulatory environment in support of innovation. Argentina and Chile introduced one-day registration for new businesses. Korea introduced a regulatory sandbox covering all industries—including information and communications technology (ICT), energy, and fintech—whereby no process of deliberation or approval is to exceed three months. The Philippines’ Central Bank is experimenting with a regulatory sandbox for fintech. Chile produced the report, “Regulatory Policy in Chile,” seeking to simplify and harmonize relevant regulations and improve its efficacy, predictability, compliance, and supervision. However, conversely, weak regulatory environments were cited as barriers to innovation in Canada, India, Korea (hence its introduction of the regulatory sandbox approach), Honduras, and South Africa. These countries noted their stringent regulatory environments as the most constraining innovation in their fintech and life sciences industries.

Open data initiatives
Colombia, the European Union, Mexico, Pakistan, and Taiwan all have initiatives to leverage open data as a platform for innovation. Colombia’s portal has more than 10,200 datasets from 1,184 public institutions. Mexico’s National Digital Strategy has more than 40,417 datasets from 278 public entities available on its open data portal. The European Union’s Ministerial Declaration on e-Government pledges to link-up members’ public e-services and adopt a “once-only” principle (i.e., ask citizens for data only once). Taiwan is implementing an “Action Plan of Open Data” in which government organizations, at every level, are required to have an open data committee and establish open-dataset goals. The country has almost 40,000 open datasets, and regularly holds events such as Hackathons, Data Jams, and Datapaloozas to stimulate open innovation.

Investment in AI
Several countries have introduced strategies to drive leadership in emerging information technology application areas. Canada has invested, established agencies, and developed strategies to spur growth in artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing. The European Union has developed an AI strategy and directed each of its individual member states to do the same. Among the countries represented in this compendium, that covers France, and Korea is also developing an AI strategy.

Investment in manufacturing innovation
Several countries have defined strategies to ensure leadership in manufacturing digitalization, or “Industry 4.0,” including Bangladesh, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Sweden, and the Philippines. For instance, in 2017, the Filipino government launched the Inclusive, Innovation-led Industrial Strategy, which represents a new approach to industrial policy for a nation anchored in competition, innovation, and productivity.

IP protections
It’s difficult to achieve innovation without protecting ideas. Robust IP rights—an effective protection and enforcement mechanism—provide innovators security in the knowledge they can capture a share of the returns from their risky, expensive, and uncertain investments in innovation, and then be able to turn the profits from one generation of innovation into financing to create the next. While some members have reported improvements to their countries’ IP environment in recent years, notably Mexico, many reports point to weak IP environments inhibiting innovation. Reports from Bangladesh, Canada, China, India, Malaysia, and South Africa in particular note difficult IP environments.

Promote tech transfer and commercialization
Achieving effective technology transfer and commercialization of new discoveries from universities, research institutions, and national laboratories to the private sector has been cited as a challenge for a number of countries, developed and developing alike. The Italian submission has noted that despite its high-quality academic research, Italy performs relatively poorly in terms of patent submissions and time to market. Similarly, a recent study of Sweden’s life-sciences industry lamented, “There is currently no effective platform to industrialize ideas from higher education institutions in the life sciences sector.” Country profiles of Canada, India, and the Philippines also reference the challenge of creating stronger linkages between industry and academia, or between knowledge producers and consumers. Only the U.S. country profile reports this as a systemic strength, noting that America’s Bayh-Dole Act (which gives universities rights to innovations stemming from federally funded R&D) and the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), a program designed to help small businesses commercialize technologies stemming from federal R&D funding, have proven effective in tackling this challenge. Notably, America’s Bayh-Dole legislation has been copied by more than two-dozen countries and its SBIR program by at least 18 worldwide.



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.

Consulting in the Smart City: Lessons from Sidewalk Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, 11 June, 2019

Smart city projects are rapidly becoming a dominant part of the worldwide urban agenda, including in Toronto, where Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have launched Sidewalk Toronto, an initiative to develop the waterfront Quayside neighbourhood as a smart city. At the same time, these projects can often be complex and hard for the general public to understand. This presentation will explore the Sidewalk Toronto consultation processes, focusing on: How has the Sidewalk Toronto consultation approach differed from processes followed by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto? How are other smart cities and broader international trends – including the growth of the platform economy, globalization, and the privatization of public space and services – informing the Sidewalk Toronto process? What is necessary to engage the public meaningfully in smart city projects? These questions will be contextualized within the development history of Waterfront Toronto. Kate Nelischer is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Blanche and Sandy Van Ginkel Graduate Fellowship in Municipal Finance and Governance.

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. 

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. Opportunities to watch parts of the proceedings streaming online.  Full details on the sessions are available at the Atlanta Conference site.

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.