News from the IPL
Dan Breznitz awarded Donner Prize
IPL Co-director and University of Toronto University Professor Dan Breznitz has been awarded the Donner Prize for the best public policy book by a Canadian for his latest book, Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, published by Oxford University Press.
Dan Breznitz awarded Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
IPL Co-director and University of Toronto University Professor Dan Breznitz has been awarded the Balsille Prize for Public Policy by the Writers’ Trust of Canada for his latest book, Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, published by Oxford University Press.
David Wolfe nominated to the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies
IPL Co-director David Wolfe was recently nominated to serve on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies. The role of the Scientific Advisory Committee is to advise the CCA’s Board on assessment topics, expert panel composition, and peer review.
Impacts and implications for the post-COVID city: the case of Toronto
Shauna Brail, Mark Kleinman, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Since the onset of COVID-19, scholars have questioned whether the pandemic will alter the fundamentals propelling the growth of global cities. Using a case study of Toronto, the paper examines and analyses changes impacting the city because of the pandemic, with a focus on work, mobility and housing. In assessing pandemic-related disruption, it outlines the experiences of the early phases of recovery and expectations of continued uncertainty. Moving through and beyond COVID-19, Toronto appears unlikely to move up the rankings of global cities. The city’s status as a second-tier global city is an enduring competitive advantage, likely to persist post-COVID.
Who Does What Series: The Municipal Role in Economic Development
Shauna Brail, Charles Conteh, & Leann Hackman-Carty, Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance
Ensuring a growing and vibrant economy is a priority for all orders of government, including municipalities. Changes in the economy, including the rise of globalization and the emergence of new disruptive technologies, have altered government approaches to economic development policy. Alongside tax incentives intended to encourage business to relocate to their community, municipalities also favour cluster strategies to strengthen the competitiveness of cities and city-regions through collaboration across governments, the private sector, universities, and civil society organizations. The three papers in this report – written by academics and practitioners – examine the role of municipalities in economic development through the perspectives of large cities, small and mid-sized cities, and with respect to innovation policy in particular. They identify where municipalities currently face constraints, how other orders of government can support municipalities, and where intergovernmental cooperation is needed. See also the associated podcast by IPL Senior Associate Shauna Brail.
Potential and Pitfalls of Smart Mobility
David A. Wolfe
In this video, IPL Co-director David Wolfe discusses the benefits and risks of smart mobility. This presentation draws in part from his research experience on the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Shared Mobility. This lecture was broadcast on Saturday, May 28, 2022 as part of the Stress-Free Degree series at the University of Toronto’s Alumni Reunion.
The contribution of students to regional economies: reframing the regional innovation systems approach
Shiri M. Breznitz, Helen Lawton Smith, & Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, Regional Studies
This intro to a recent Regional Studies special issue is co-authored by IPL affiliated faculty member Shiri M. Breznitz. The role of universities in regional development has grown significantly over the past two decades. One strand of analysis has been that of the university in regional innovation systems (RIS). However, the contribution of university students has largely been neglected. This special issue contributes to the RIS literature by unpacking the RIS concept through exploring this specific aspect of university engagement in regional economies. The nine papers collectively offer an understanding of the effects of student activity upon the knowledge, skill and entrepreneurial bases of regions. The papers provide evidence and analysis from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.
Breaking Canada’s Innovation Inertia
Dan Munro, Darius Ornston, David A. Wolfe, IRPP Policy Options
Discussions about Canada’s innovation performance have followed a familiar narrative for decades. We are among the world’s leading countries for educational attainment and we produce science and ideas on pace with advanced economic peers. But our productivity and economic growth have stalled due to weak innovation among Canadian firms. Business investment in research and development. In this article, IPL researchers Dan Munro, Darius Ornston, and David Wolfe argue that if the measures in the 2022 federal budget create a firmer and more consistent foundation for experimentation, it represents a valuable step in the right direction.
The pandemic forced Canadian business out of a tech lethargy. What happens next?
Daniel Munro, Creig Lamb, IRPP Policy Options
This IRPP Policy Options article presents findings co-authored by IPL Fellow and Director Policy Projects Daniel Munro. The article asserts that Canadian businesses need a fundamental shift to adopt and invest in new technology more quickly and keep up with other countries. The findings draw from the author’s Shift Insights report titled ‘Canada’s Digital Imperative: Enabling Innovation and Growth Through Technology Adoption.’
The Platform Economy and Competition Policy: Options for Canada
David A. Wolfe and Mdu Mhlanga, IPL Working Paper 2022-2
The report examines some of the new policy perspectives that have emerged from the academic and policy-oriented literature to deal with the challenge posed by the dominance of platform firms, with a particular focus on the limitations of existing competition policy authorities to deal with the full dimensions of the current challenge. It considers a set of alternative recommendations currently being advanced and the need for a ‘whole of government’ approach to deal with the issue. Policy approaches recently adopted or currently under consideration in other jurisdictions, especially the EU, UK and US are examined, and the implications of this trend for policy development in Canada are considered. The report concludes with a preliminary set of recommendations for the most effective policy approach for Canada, considering its position as a small, open trading country in the global economy and its traditional role as a technology taker, not technology setter.
Into the Scale-up-verse: Exploring the landscape of Canada’s high-performing firms
Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship
Scale-ups, or high-growth firms, are responsible for the vast majority of productivity growth in Canada, making them an immensely powerful tool in the pursuit of Canada’s long-term economic stability and prosperity. However, only 1 in 100 young firms reach scale-up status within their first ten years. How can we harness, support, and amplify the power of scale-ups and their contributions to the Canadian economy? A collaboration between the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, this new study, Into the Scale-up-verse, takes the first step toward better equipping policymakers to support the success of Canadian firms by unpacking the complexity and nuance in Canada’s diverse scale-up universe. The research was initiated and funded by Delvinia in partnership with Mitacs and the IPL, and conducted jointly with BII&E. The report analyzes the most recent and detailed data set concerning Canadian business dynamics to provide a novel and comprehensive guide for those in a position—such as academic researchers, industry players, and government policymakers—to design supportive economic policy and facilitate productive conversations about Canada’s scale-ups.
Emerging Models of Networked Industrial Policy: Recent Trends in Automotive Policy in the US and Germany
Elena Goracinova, Patrick Galvin, David A. Wolfe, Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
The adoption of the USMCA (the United States-Mexico-Canada) trade agreement and the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles has created uncertainty for automotive companies. In response, the need for government efforts to position traditional automotive regions as a source of high-quality, green vehicles is pressing. The policy mix is changing rapidly as the public sector and firms cope with the challenges associated with new trade confrontations and disruptive technologies. The article captures this evolving policy landscape through a comparative analysis of automotive policy with respect to BEVs in the US and Germany. It examines how innovation policies help the sector navigate the current technological transition. We find that theories grounded in traditional comparative political science do not provide an adequate framework to explain the observed similarities and differences in policy trajectories in the two countries. The article adopts insights from the networked industrial policy perspective to better understand the repertoire of policy instruments adopted to manage the changing impact of alternative energy technologies in the automotive industry.
Canada’s New Economic Engine: Modelling Canada’s EV battery supply chain potential—and how best to seize it
Clean Energy Canada and the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing
This report outlines Canada’s potential to build a domestic EV battery supply chain that could support up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 and add $48 billion to the Canadian economy annually. Jobs in Canada’s battery supply chain are dependant on swift government action. In a scenario where no additional government action is taken, the supply chain would create just 60,000 jobs and contribute only $12 billion in GDP—fulfilling only about a quarter of both its jobs and GDP potential. The report identifies six ways in which Canada should focus its efforts to fulfill its battery-building potential. While Canada could do it all, a more effective strategy would double down on a few key stages, such as EV assembly, battery cell manufacturing, clean battery materials production. Also see this CBC article about the report.
Cities & Regions
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge marks a new era of place-based industrial strategy
Joseph Parilla and Mark Muro, Brookings
This article discusses the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) of awards to 21 regions through its $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC). As part of the $3.4 trillion in recent federal investments to support the economy, the BBBRC “represents a critical test for key assumptions of the broader Biden administration economic framework: that major public investment can catalyze new markets and technologies; that growth and equity can be mutually reinforcing drivers of shared prosperity; and that federal agencies can unleash state and local innovation while requiring effective, on-the-ground implementation at the same time.”
Exposing the role of relational capabilities in business–research–government cooperation: examples from the transition towards a bioeconomy in Finland
Valtteri Laasonen, European Planning Studies
An organization’s capability to build, handle and exploit relationships and learn from these relations, defined here as relational capabilities, is increasingly important in a networked economy and in innovation activities. The paper introduces a framework that helps understand and analyze the relational capabilities of various organizations engaged in innovation activities. Based on theoretical discussion and empirical analysis the paper argues that the literature on organizational level capabilities and relational capabilities would benefit from deeper integration with the systems of innovation perspective. The empirical findings from three Finnish regions indicate that relational capabilities become particularly relevant in research–business–government cooperation contributing to innovation in the field of bioeconomy. Relational capabilities embedded in an organization’s capability configurations can boost the efficient use of that organization’s resources, bring greater flexibility, a chance to create value in networks and support renewal and innovation. Missing or underdeveloped relational capabilities may also hinder an organization’s ability to tap into the economic opportunities that arise leading to failures at the regional and system level thus hampering the transition towards a bioeconomy.
Implementing the OECD Frascati Manual: Proposed reference items for business R&D surveys
Fernando Galindo-Rueda and Vladimir López-Bassols, OECD
This working paper contains guidance, of a voluntary and indicative nature, on the implementation of business R&D surveys, consistent with the standards and proposals contained in the OECD Frascati Manual. The document is oriented towards experts in charge of designing and implementing official R&D surveys, but may be also valuable to academics and researchers with a similar practical orientation. It aims to promote widespread testing and implementation in view of a potential future revision of the Frascati Manual or release of complementary annexes.
World Intellectual Property Report 2022: The Direction of Innovation
World Intellectual Property Organization
What is the direction of innovation? As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, innovation has a crucial role to play in opening up new growth possibilities and creating much needed solutions to the common challenges we face. Decisions on innovation may be complex, but, as this report highlights, it is vital that they are understood.
Directing innovation towards a low-carbon future
Joëlle Noailly, World Intellectual Property Organization
Achieving the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5°C to 2°C by the end of the century as enacted in the Paris Climate Agreement will require massive investments in environmental technologies and a forceful change of path away from high-carbon technologies. This report presents novel descriptive evidence on global trends in patenting in low-carbon technologies, with a particular focus on the energy and road transport sector. The analysis discusses the role of public policies in driving the rate and the direction of innovation for a low-carbon future.
The Hydrogen Hubs Conundrum: How to Fund an Ecosystem
Robin Gaster, ITIF
This report by ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation outlines recommendations for the recent U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law), which provides $8 billion to develop at least four hydrogen hubs via Regional Hydrogen Hubs program (known as H2Hubs). The author notes that the DOE should focus its funding on the capital costs of hydrogen production and infrastructure, while generally eschewing operating expenses and support for end users.
Making Hydrogen Hubs a Success
Joseph Majkut & Jane Nakano, Center for Strategic and International Studies
The recent U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $8 billion to develop at least four hydrogen hubs via Regional Hydrogen Hubs program (known as H2Hubs). In spring 2022, the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program hosted several workshops to explore how best practices in regional economic development and innovation policy could help inform the design and administration of H2Hubs. This report is a product of those workshops and research that preceded and followed them.
FACT SHEET: President Biden to Launch a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative
The White House
President Biden signed an Executive Order on Sept. 12th to launch a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative. The announcement noted that the initiative “will ensure we can make in the United States all that we invent in the United States.”
Specifically, the Initiative will:
- Grow Domestic Biomanufacturing Capacity. This Initiative will build, revitalize, and secure national infrastructure for biomanufacturing across America, including through investments in regional innovation and enhanced bio-education, while strengthening the U.S. supply chain that produces domestic fuels, chemicals, and materials.
- Expand Market Opportunities for Bio-based Products. The BioPreferred Program is the standard for sustainable procurement by government agencies, both providing an alternative to petroleum-based products and supporting good-paying jobs for American workers. The Initiative will increase mandatory bio-based purchasing by Federal agencies, including through training and support for contracting officers, and ensure that the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are regularly publishing assessments of progress.
- Drive Research and Development (R&D) to Solve Our Greatest Challenges. Focused government support for biotechnology can quickly produce solutions, as seen with the first-of-their-kind mRNA vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Initiative directs Federal agencies to identify priority R&D needs to translate bioscience and biotechnology discoveries into medical breakthroughs, climate change solutions, food and agricultural innovation, and stronger U.S. supply chains.
- Improve Access to Quality Federal Data. Combining biotechnology with massive computing power and artificial intelligence can produce significant breakthroughs for health, energy, agriculture, and the environment. This Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative will ensure that biotechnology developers have streamlined access to high-quality, secure, and wide-ranging biological data sets that can drive solutions to urgent societal and global problems.
- Train a Diverse Skilled Workforce. The Initiative will expand training and education opportunities for all Americans in biotechnology and biomanufacturing, with a focus on advancing racial and gender equity and support for talent development in underserved communities.
- Streamline Regulations for Products of Biotechnology. The Initiative will improve the clarity and efficiency of the regulatory process for products of biotechnology so that valuable inventions and products can come to market faster without sacrificing safety.
- Advance Biosafety and Biosecurity to Reduce Risk. The Initiative will prioritize investments in applied biosafety research and incentivize innovations in biosecurity to reduce risk throughout the biotechnology research and development lifecycles.
- Protect the U.S. Biotechnology Ecosystem. The Initiative will protect the U.S. biotechnology ecosystem by advancing privacy standards and practices for human biological data, cybersecurity practices for biological data, standards development for bio-related software, and mitigation measures for risks posed by foreign adversary involvement in the biomanufacturing supply chain.
- Build a Thriving, Secure Global Bioeconomy with Partners and Allies. The Initiative advances international cooperation to leverage biotechnology and biomanufacturing to tackle the most urgent global challenges – from climate change to health security – and to work together to ensure that biotechnology product development and use aligns with our shared democratic ethics and values, and that biotechnology breakthroughs benefit all citizens.
Links to recent IPL webinars
The Politics of Decarbonization
Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
The transition to a post-carbon energy and economic paradigm is a stated priority for all the signatories to the Paris Accord, including Canada. Success in achieving this objective will depend on a complex mix of policy experimentation and coalition building in support of that objective, cutting across virtually every sector of the economy. This panel will explore some of the dimensions of that process and the prospects for success in achieving that objective.
Moderator: David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
- Brendan Haley is Policy Research Director at Efficiency Canada, a research and advocacy organization based at Carleton University. He has a PhD in Public Policy from Carleton University and was awarded a Banting postdoctoral fellowship where his work examined Canadian energy transitions from political economy and technological innovation perspectives.
- Sara Hastings-Simon is macro energy system researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary where she directs the Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy Development.
- Nathan Lemphers is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and former Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smart Prosperity Institute where he researched the regional political economy of electric vehicles. Sponsored by the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
National Governments & Innovation Policy: Where – and What – Is Utopia?
This is a recording of a January 10 panel focused on national governments and Innovation policy. Canada, the Nordics, Taiwan? In this webinar, panelists examined the diverse roles played by national governments in setting the stage for innovation, as well as the key elements that ought to be considered in formulation of innovation policy in Canada and elsewhere.
- Susana Borras, Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen Denmark
- Dan Breznitz, University Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies; Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist, Department of Finance, Government of Canada
- Darius Ornston, Associate Professor, Munk School
- Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International, University of Toronto; Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation, Munk School; Professor, Department of Political Science
- Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor, Financial Times, and Global Economic Analyst, CNN
From Science to Entrepreneurship
This is a recording of the Nov. 15th, 2021 webinar. There is a plethora of research on university commercialization and technology transfer. However, there is less of a discussion on the skillset and technical capabilities that allow a scientist to become an entrepreneur. In this webinar we will focus on these skills and programs that induce entrepreneurship. Moving from the scientist’s lab, to entrepreneurship courses, to forming a startup, to growing the firm within an incubator or accelerator.
- Fabiano Armellini, Associate Professor Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal
- Shiri M. Breznitz, Director, Master of Global Affairs Program; Associate Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto
- Elicia Maine, W.J. VanDusen Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Academic Director, Invention to Innovation (i2I); Special Advisor on Innovation to the VPRI, Simon Fraser University
- Sophie Veilleux, Professor, Department of Management of the Faculty of Business Administration at Université Laval
- Sarah Lubik (moderator), Director of Entrepreneurship; Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU Lecturer, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University
Canada’s Quantum Internet: Prospects and Perils
This is a recording of the April 20, 2021 webinar that together experts to discuss the political, economic, and scientific implications of quantum communications, for Canada and the world. Speakers: Francesco Bova, Associate Professor, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Anne Broadbent, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; Jon Lindsay, Assistant Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and Department of Political Science, University of Toronto; Christoph Simon, Professor and Associate Head, Research, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary; & Dan Patterson (moderator), Technology Reporter, CBS News
Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship in Canada
This is a recording of the March 23rd 2021 webinar focused on the importance of IP protection for entrepreneurship, the intellectual property environment in Canada, and existing support for firms. Panelists discussed issues relating to their firm’s ability to secure IP especially as it relates to IP education and the role of government in supporting IP protection. Speakers: Seray Çiçek, Ryan Hubbard, Graeme Moffat, Moderator: Shiri Breznitz
16th edition Regional Innovation Policies Conference 2022:
September 22-24, 2022, University of Padova
The theme of the conference is Radical and sustainable innovation in clusters and multi specialized regions. The literature on regional innovation has been paying increasing attention to improving the quality and sustainability of innovation rather than its intensity. The global challenges raised by the objective of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals ask for an investigation of the drivers of a responsible and sustainable innovation process in clusters and regions. The conference encourages submissions from scholars, practitioners, innovators, and leaders who are forging ahead with strategies to shift towards sustainability and technological change in regions.
Subscriptions & Comments
Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will find it of value. We look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative. If you would like to comment on, or contribute to, the content, subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact us at email@example.com.
This newsletter is prepared by Travis Southin.
Project manager is David A. Wolfe