The IPL newsletter: Volume 23, Issue 478

February 3, 2023

News from the IPL


Does Canada have an effective innovation policy?

March 16, 2023 |11:00AM - 12:00PM, Online via Zoom

Since 2000 Canada has witnessed a proliferation of Innovation Strategies, including the 2017 Innovation and Skills Plan. Yet our innovation performance continued to deteriorate throughout this period. The 2022 Federal Budget began with the admission, “Our third pillar for growth is a plan to tackle the Achilles’ heel of the Canadian economy: productivity and innovation.” What factors best explain Canada’s dismal innovation performance over the past two decades? Join us for an IPL webinar with two of the most insightful analysts of Canadian innovation policy.

IPL Event mar. 16 Does Canada have an effective innovation policy


Micro-geography of Interactions in the City: Interaction Patterns of KIBS in Montreal

February 23, 2023 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM, In-person, 108N North House, Munk School, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto ON

David Doloreux, Professor, Department of International Business and Chair in Innovation and Regional Development, HEC Montreal

Anthony Frigon, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, HEC Montreal


Evidence use in State policymaking: A bibliometric analysis of two consequential policy areas

March 9, 2023 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM, In-person, Boardroom at the Munk School, 315 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON.

Kimberley R. Isett, Professor, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware


Progress in economic geography: Inaugural editorial

Robert Hassink, Michaela Trippl, Shiri Breznitz, Lars Coenen, Rune Dahl Fitjar, Huiwen Gong, Canfei He, Matthew Zook, Progress in Economic Geography
This article was co-authored by IPL affiliated faculty member Shiri Breznitz.Economic geography has been thriving and prospering for many years, as has been claimed by leading scholars in the field, such as Scott (2000),
who wrote about the ‘Great Half-Century’ of economic geography and more recently, Martin (2021), who observed the ‘Great Expansion’ of the discipline. This is also testified by the visibility of influential journals in the field, as well as various handbooks (see, for instance,Clark et al., 2018) and textbooks (Aoyama et al., 2010, Barnes and Christophers, 2018, Coe et al., 2019, Barnes and Christophers, 2018). Moreover, its success is also demonstrated by the popularity of the Global Conference on Economic Geography, the Geography of Innovation conferences, as well as economic geography related special sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, and the Regional Studies Association. The recent expansion and booming of this field of human geography, as illustrated above, also indicates that scientists in other social sciences are increasingly discovering the relevance of geographical perspectives for their research (Martin, 2021).

U of T Public Policy Reports Collection  

The Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) and the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) have issued a call for submissions to U of T’s Public Policy Reports Collection on TSpace. This unique collaboration promotes public policy-related working papers authored by the U of T community and hosted on TSpace, a free and secure research repository. The collection provides permanent URLs on a high-traffic platform, enabling timely research to be available sooner than through traditional scholarly publication channels. Submit current and past policy reports here.

Meeting its Waterloo? Recycling in entrepreneurial ecosystems after anchor firm collapse

Ben Spigel & Tara Vinodrai, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
This article was co-authored by IPL affiliated faculty member Tara Vinodrai and was recently awarded the Best Paper Award for 2021 by the Editorial Board of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development. Abstract: The ‘recycling’ of people, capital, and ideas within an entrepreneurial ecosystem is a key process driving high-growth entrepreneurship. Skilled workers who leave firms after successful exits or firm collapse bring knowledge and insights that they can use to start new ventures or work at existing scale-up firms. This makes large anchor firms important actors in attracting workers who may subsequently recycle into the local ecosystem. However, there is limited empirical research on recycling into an ecosystem after the loss of an anchor firm. This paper develops a novel methodology using career history data to track recycling into ecosystems. The paper develops a study of Waterloo, Ontario, home to the smartphone manufacturer Blackberry, whose decline in 2008 represented a significant shock to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. We find that alumni of this firm engaged in very little high-growth entrepreneurship, instead entering the ecosystem as technology employees at high-growth scale-up firms. This was aided by the region's increased institutional capacity to match skilled workers with new ventures, ensuring the continued success of the ecosystem over time. These findings provide a more nuanced understanding of the role of anchor firms in entrepreneurial ecosystems and how recycling affects the dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Planning for the cultural economy: lessons from Ontario, Canada

Tara Vinodrai, Brenton Nader, & Nicole Drake, Planning Practice & Research
This paper examines how policymakers interpret and deploy cultural economy approaches within municipal economic development strategies and cultural plans. Focusing on the 33 largest municipalities in Ontario, Canada, we conduct a keyword analysis of 63 municipal planning documents, supplemented with key informant interviews with economic development and cultural planning staff. Our analysis reveals that the use of cultural economy approaches in economic development and cultural plans varies depending upon city size, municipal governance structure and municipal organizational structure. However, despite the widespread use of cultural economy ideas in planning documents, we conclude that its uptake in municipal policymaking fails to reflect its professional and scholarly popularity.


Editor's Pick

Compete and Succeed in a Net-Zero Future

Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB)
This report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change provides concrete solutions the Government of Canada should implement through the mobilization of all parts of society to ensure Canada benefits from a global net-zero economy, accelerates the attainment of a net-zero emissions economy, and generates clean prosperity for generations to come. Specifically, the report includes 25 recommendations across the NZAB’s three lines of inquiry identified for 2022-23: 1) Net-Zero Governance, 2) Net-Zero Industrial Policy, and 3) Net-Zero Energy Systems.

Cities & Regions

A place-based system? Regional policy levers and the UK’s productivity challenge

Helen Tilley, Jack Newman, Andrew Connell, Charlotte Hoole & Ananya Mukherjeed, Regional Studies
National governments are increasingly focusing on ‘place’ in attempts to tackle economic challenges. This puts pressure on regions to deliver productivity improvements. Drawing from stakeholder interviews, document analysis and secondary data analysis, this paper considers the productivity policy levers available to regional leaders. Three UK regions are compared in relation to four policy levers (nodality; authority; treasure; organization) and four drivers of productivity (investment and innovation; transport infrastructure; entrepreneurship and employment; skills). Despite differences, all three regions can be identified as ‘nodality institutions’, lacking the authority, treasure and organization to drive productivity improvements.

Landmark Levelling Up Fund to spark transformational change across the UK

UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
This post details updates from the UK Levelling Up Fund. More than 100 projects have been awarded a share of £2.1 billion from Round 2 of the UK government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund to create jobs and boost the economy. Projects include £672 million to develop better transport links, £821 million to kick-start community regeneration and £594 million to restore local heritage sites. Other successful bids include Eden Project North in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool, regeneration in Gateshead, and rail improvements in Cornwall.


Business innovation and growth support, 2020

Statistics Canada
In partnership with the Treasury Board Secretariat, Statistics Canada produces information about the impact of innovation and growth support programs on their recipients via the Business Innovation and Growth Support initiative (BIGS). A total of 123 federal programs related to business innovation and growth are included in this database, which is now available for the 2020 reference year. Over two-thirds (69.5%) of BIGS recipients were in the services sector, with more than one-quarter (27.4%) in the professional, scientific, and technical services. Enterprises in goods-producing industries accounted for 30.5% of all BIGS recipients, and the sectors with the largest number of recipients included manufacturing (19.1%) and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (7.0%).

Identifying and characterising AI adopters: A novel approach based on big data

Flavio Calvino, Lea Samek, Mariagrazia Squicciarini and Cody Morris, OECD
This work employs a novel approach to identify and characterise firms adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI), using different sources of large microdata. Focusing on the United Kingdom, the analysis combines data on Intellectual Property Rights, website information, online job postings, and firm-level financials for the first time. It shows that a significant share of AI adopters is active in Information and Communication Technologies and professional services, and is located in the South of the United Kingdom, particularly around London. Adopters tend to be highly productive and larger than other firms, while young adopters tend to hire AI workers more intensively. Human capital appears to play an important role, not only for AI adoption but also for firms’ productivity returns. Significant differences in the characteristics of AI adopters emerge when distinguishing between firms carrying out AI innovation, those with an AI core business, and those searching for AI talent.

Innovation Policy

2022’s seismic shift in US tech policy will change how we innovate

David Rotman, MIT Technology Review
IPL Co-Director Dan Breznitz is quoted in this article, which analyzes the impact of three 2022 bills investing hundreds of billions into technological development in the United States. The bills include $550 billion in new spending over the next five years in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, $280 billion in the CHIPS and Science Act (which prompted Intel to go ahead on the Ohio construction), and another roughly $390 billion for clean energy in the Inflation Reduction Act. The article asserts that they are the most aggressive federal funding for science and technology in decades and could change the way we think about government’s role in growing prosperity. But the greatest long-term impact of the legislative flurry could come from its bold embrace of something that has long been a political third rail in the US: industrial policy.

DARPA Kicks Off JUMP 2.0 Consortium Aimed at Microelectronics Revolution

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DARPA, along with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and industry and academic stakeholders, is kicking off the Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0). The SRC-led effort expands on the original JUMP collaboration aimed at accelerating U.S. advances in information and communications technologies. The consortium created under JUMP 2.0 will pursue high-risk, high-payoff research spanning seven thematically structured centers. Each of the 7 US university research centers will focus on one overarching research theme identified as key to addressing emerging technical challenges. These defined interests, spurred by an increasingly connected world and a rapidly changing microelectronics landscape, will centralize long-term, pathfinding research aimed at breakthroughs applicable across defense and academia.

Betting the House: Leveraging the CHIPS and Science Act to Increase U.S. Microelectronics Supply Chain Resilience

John VerWey, Center for Security and Emerging Technology
This paper examines the August 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which appropriated over $52 billion to protect and promote the domestic U.S. semiconductor industry. Coverage of the CHIPS Act has primarily focused on the $39 billion in incentives allocated to subsidize the construction of new semiconductor fabrication facilities in the United States. However, the CHIPS Act also authorizes an investment tax credit as well as billions of dollars allocated to increase production and innovation in other associated parts of the microelectronics supply chain. This paper contends that, if appropriately allocated, the funds provided by these provisions present the United States with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to increase microelectronics supply chain resilience far beyond re-shoring semiconductor fabrication. In support of this argument, this paper focuses specifically on the two ends of the microelectronics supply chain: upstream raw materials inputs, and downstream assembly, test, and packaging (ATP) of finished microelectronics.

Von der Leyen announces Net-Zero Industry Act to compete with US subsidy spree

Samuel Stolten, Politico
This article summarizes the recent announcement by EU President Ursula von der Leyen of the Net-Zero Industry Act, alongsitde its intention to prepare a European Sovereignty Fund. The European Commission will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act that lays out a series of clean tech objectives for 2030 in order to compete with the United States’ $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act. In her speech, von der Leyen warned that. President von der Leyen noted in her speech from the World Economic Forum that the U.S.’s actions had provoked concern in the EU capital, and that the Act’s “aim will be to focus investment on strategic projects along the entire supply chain.”

Policy Digest

Canada’s National Quantum Strategy

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
The Government of Canada recently released its National Quantum Strategy, which allocates $360 million in dedicated funding, delivered though funding calls and other aligned supports.

The National Quantum Strategy (NQS) sets out three key missions to ensure Canada stays on the path of quantum innovation and leadership. The overview of the Strategy summarizes these missions as follows:

  • The Quantum Computers and Software mission aims to make Canada a world leader in the continued development, deployment and use of quantum computing hardware and software to the benefit of Canadian industry, governments and citizens.

  • The Quantum Communications mission intends to ensure the privacy and cyber-security of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world through a national secure quantum communications network and a post-quantum cryptography initiative.

  • The Quantum Sensors mission seeks to enable the Government of Canada and key industries to be developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies.

The Strategy will guide investments along three pillars to achieve these missions:


  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is offering three quantum streams of Alliance grants, supporting consortia, international and domestic quantum research.

  • The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is launching a new program, the Quantum Research and Development Initiative (QRDI), to advance shared quantum priorities of federal departments and agencies.


  • NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program is developing diverse research trainees ready to transition to Canada’s quantum workforce, with three CREATE initiatives.

  • New quantum work placements through Mitacs are building bridges between academia and industry, and helping develop, attract and retain quantum talent in Canada.


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


16th Workshop on The Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research

13 – 14 April 2023
The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and TUM are organising the annual workshop “The Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research” at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. We aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars on topics related to the organisation, economics and policy of scientific research. A minimum number of slots are reserved for junior researchers (PhD students or postdoc scholars who obtained their PhD in 2020 or later). Please submit previously unpublished papers or extended abstracts (min 3 pages) by 15 January 2023. We strive to notify authors by 27 February 2023.

22nd Annual Research Money Conference - Reimagining Innovation: A New Strategy in a Disrupted World

18-20 April 2023, Ottawa, ON
The 22nd Annual Research Money conference will be taking a deep dive into innovation policy weeks after the federal budget comes down from Ottawa. Over the span of three days, keynotes and expert panels will examine innovation through three lenses; Understanding innovation, Doing innovation and Supporting innovation. This highly anticipated conference attracts 200+ leaders and practitioners from academia, government, industry, finance and the not-for-profit sector. 

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

May 24-26, 2023, Georgia Institute of Technology Global Learning Center, Atlanta
The Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy provides a showcase for the highest quality scholarship from around the world addressing the challenges and characteristics of science and innovation policy and processes.


June 27 to 29, 2023, Toronto
The 6th International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP6) is coming to Toronto! Organized by IPPA, ICPP6 is hosted by the Toronto Metropolitan University's Faculty of Arts and Public Policy graduate studies programs and will take place at the University's premises in downtown Toronto from June 27 to 29, 2023, with a Pre-Conference on June 26. This conference includes a panel chaired by IPL Co-director Dan Breznitz called "Organizational Evolution in Innovation Policy." See here for submission instructions. The paper submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2023.


Research professional (French & English speaking and writing are required) under the responsibility of the Innovation Chair and 4POINT0 in Catherine Beaudry's team. They are looking for a PhD student, a graduate student, a post-doc or others who can mainly coordinate student research projects and write grant proposals. They strongly advise you to contact them for the terms of the job offer. Deadline 30th January.

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This newsletter is prepared by Travis Southin.
Project manager is David A. Wolfe