The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 85

News from the IPL


This newsletter is published by The Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and sponsored by the Ministry of Research and Innovation. The views and ideas expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Ontario Government.



New Research Commercialization Network Created in Canada’s Atlantic Region

A new Atlantic Research Commercialization Network promises to build a vital link between university research and the private sector in Atlantic Canada, encouraging economic growth through the commercialization of university-based research and development. The Network will facilitate and accelerate the transfer of technology from Atlantic Canadian universities to private sector firms in the region. To accomplish this, network members will have access to specialized staff services, training and funding programs similar to those available at larger Canadian universities.

VC Activity for Q1: 2004: Life Sciences Again the Winner

The life sciences sector was again the big winner in the latest venture capital activity numbers for Q1 2004 released by Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and research partner Macdonald & Associates. It attracted the largest proportion of industry resources, just as in the whole of 2003. At $176 million invested, VC-backed firms focused on biopharmaceuticals and other life sciences in Q1 2004 accounted for a much greater share of the total (44 per cent) than was the case last year (26 per cent). Overall, dollars invested by Canada’s VC industry rose in the first three months of 2004 as compared to the same period last year. In total, the industry gave out $401 million, which is up by 23 per cent from the $325 million recorded in Q1 2003.


Editor's Pick


Diversification and Employment Growth in Canada, 1971-2001: Speciality, Diversity and Restructuring

Richard Shearmur and Mario Polese, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) – Urbanisation, Culture et Societe

This paper explores the link between diversity in the local economy and employment growth. Through a detailed examination of diversification trends across 382 Canadian regions (urban and rural) that employment growth tends to be correlated to measures of diversity – evidence of the effect of urbanization economies. However, an analysis of changes in economic structure suggests that the link between the process of diversification and employment growth is complex. As a result the paper concludes that diversification policies may be difficult to implement successfully.



Competitiveness & Innovation

Research Monograph: Economic Growth in Canada and the United States in the Information Age

Dale W Jorgenson, Industry Canada

The purpose of the three studies in this Industry Canada research monograph is to compare and analyze the sources of economic growth in Canada and the United States over the past two decades, with a particular focus on the impact of information technology investment on economic growth. The studies that make up the volume are by Harchaoui et al. “Information Technology and Economic Growth in the Canadian and US Private Industries”; Gu and Wang, “Information Technology and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Canadian Industries”; and Ho et al. “Sources of Output Growth in Canadian and US Industries in the Information Age”.

Innovation Policy


Innovation Policy and the Economy – Working Paper Series


This volume, that addresses issues related to innovation policy, contains some interesting findings. New York University’s William Baumol examines the linkages between innovation and education. He argues that innovations derive from two generic sources: the routine activities of large firms, and the breakthrough inventions of independent inventors and entrepreneurs. He contends that more research is needed to better understand how entrepreneurs develop breakthrough innovations and whether such skills and knowledge can be effectively taught. Maryann Feldman and Roger Martin deal with policy issues based on jurisdictional advantage. They argue that jurisdictions may benefit from a strategic orientation that considers the unique and not easily replicated assets, resources and skill set contained in a jurisdiction, the position of the jurisdiction vis à vis the hierarchy of cities in the national and world economy and maximizes wages and property values within the

Are Knowledge Workers Found Only in High-Technology Industries?

Desmond Beckstead and Guy Gellatly, Statistics Canada

This report serves as a conceptual bridge between earlier studies in The Canadian Economy in Transitions series that focus on the growth of science and technology-based industries and a recent study that documented the gradual shift in Canada’s occupational structure towards knowledge-intensive occupations. This paper presents several significant findings. For example, there is much evidence of dynamic growth beyond the boundaries of the technology sector—notably in financial and business services environments. This classification exercise demonstrates that high-levels of urbanization, a core characteristic of emergent technology industries, are not unique to new technology-based environments. Finally, the classification reveals new perspectives on the demographic characteristics of the high-knowledge workforce.

Cities, Clusters & Regions


Innovative Firms: A Look at Small Firms

Fred Gault and Louise Earl, Statistics Canada

This paper analyzes data from the Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology 2002 that looks at the acquisition of significantly improved technologies and the introduction of new or significantly improved products to the market. The target groups are technological innovators (firms that acquired new technologies and/or sold new products), and non-innovators (firms that neither acquired new technologies nor sold new products). This paper presents a series of profiles of information communication technology (ICT) use as well as barriers to its use for technological innovators and non-innovators.



MERIT Workshop on Information Technology, New Industry and Labour Market Dynamics

Maastricht, 3-4 June, 2004

The aim of the workshop is twofold. First, to develop a perspective on the changing way in which goods are being produced, production processes are being organised and jobs are being occupied as a result of the adoption of IT. Second, it aims to investigate the consequences of IT diffusion and the determinants of adoption empirically at the firm level, its impact in the labour market both from a theoretical and empirical point of view and its macroeconomic consequences.

Regionalization of Innovation Policy – Options and Experiences

Berlin, 4-5 June, 2004

Globalization leads to a greater relevance of regional factors for innovation processes. There is a growing consensus in the academic field, as well as among politicians, that innovation policy should include this regional dimension, i.e. regional innovation systems. But it is still not quite clear how this could or should be done in practice. In general, there are two approaches to the regionalization of innovation policy. One strategy is attempting to improve the quality of the innovation system in certain regions. The main questions here concern appropriate instruments for such a strategy and the selection of regions. A second strategy that may be complementary to the above-mentioned one is to scale down national innovation policies in such a way that they take into account the various regions (for example, by focusing measures on certain clusters). In some countries, interesting attempts at such a policy that are worthy of investigation have been made (for example, the BioRegio or the InnoRegio program in Germany). This conference will bring together scholars working in the field of innovation systems and policy at the national and regional level.

THECIS Workshop – How Governments Support Innovation

Calgary, 8 June, 2004

Governments are critical players in supporting and encouraging innovation. Both levels of government have recently announced substantive new innovation strategies. At this workshop, speakers from the provincial and Federal government will describe their innovation strategies, and a moderator will organise a discussion with the audience. Speakers include: Lou Normand, Executive Director, Value added Strategy, Alberta Economic Development, Edmonton; Shane Williamson, Director, Policy Integration, Industry Canada, Ottawa; and Fred Stewart, Executive Director, ASTech Foundation and Former Alberta Minister.

DRUID Summer Conference on Industrial Dynamics, Innovation and Development

Copenhagen, Denmark, 14-16 June, 2004

This conference aims to promote the general understanding of the interplay between industrial dynamics, innovation and development; investigate arrangements organized at various scales to enhance and utilize knowledge geared towards economic development; examine the role of entrepreneurship and innovation at various stages of economic development; the geographical reach and development consequences of knowledge spillovers; and to consider the implications for managerial strategy and public policy. Participation in the conference is restricted. Potential participants must supply a detailed abstract of at least 2 pages to no later than January 30, 2004.

THECIS Workshop – Bioenergy

Edmonton, 15 June, 2004

The workshop is designed for individuals interested in the commercial potential of bioenergy in Alberta. The workshop will provide an overview of the global bioenergy field, and identify some specific opportunities where Alberta has a competitive advantage. Some Canadian initiaves on bioenergy will also be reviewed. The output will feed into the western Canadian innovaton conference – InnoWest 2004. Collaboration is the key to innovation. This is an opportunity for individuals and companies interested in the commercial potential for bioenergy to learn of opportunities in Alberta and meet like minded people.

The 4th Congress on Proximity Economics Proximity, Networks and Co-ordination

Marseilles, 17-18 June, 2004

This conference is geared towards all of the scientific community interested in the proximity concept, as it relates to everything from industrial organization to networks of public health.   The call for proposals, which is open until October 31st, 2003, will give priority to either theoretical or empirical communications likely to produce a better understanding of the conceptual links between proximity, networks and co-ordination.

ISPIM 2004 Conference – Successfully Creating Innovative Products and Services: Integrating Academia, Business and Consulting

Oslo, 20-24 June, 2004

This conference features academic papers and presentations from industry plus workshops elaborating on the conference theme. Delegates will have the opportunity to submit a poster on the conference theme as part of their conference fee. Important deadlines are 25 February 2004 (extended from 11 February) for abstracts, 19 April 2004 for full papers, presentations and posters.

MMO’s Partnerships 2004

Toronto, 22 June, 2004

Come draw from an unprecedented mix of expertise from industry and academia at the materials and manufacturing community’s networking event of the year. With more than 275 exhibitors and 1,100 participants, Materials and Manufacturing Ontario’s annual conference and dinner is a day of sharing best practices, emerging research, technical expertise, industry trends and new ideas for future growth.

Foresight Training Course for Practitioners and Organizers

Manchester, UK, 28 June – 2 July, 2004

Now in its sixth year, the annual PREST Foresight training course provides an intensive, practically-oriented introduction to Foresight for those who might be involved in Foresight activities, whether as a sponsor, organizer or practitioner. Past attendees have included senior managers and practitioners from companies, intergovernmental organizations, research institutes, and government departments. The course is residential and is organized around parallel streams of lectures and practical work that enables participants to experience the relevance of each lecture and the realities of Foresight activity. The course draws upon PREST’s extensive experience of organizing and researching Foresight activities across Europe and beyond. This includes direct assistance to more than a dozen countries’ national Foresight exercises, close cooperation with the EC and UNIDO, and facilitating Foresight activities in public and private organizations.

Organizations, Innovation and Complexity: New Perspectives on the Knowledge Economy

Manchester, UK, 9-10 September, 2004

This conference explores the concept of the knowledge economy from a complexity perspective, with a particular emphasis on the emergence of innovation and the self-organization and self-transformation of economic systems. The broad themes will include conceptual thinking; modelling/simulation and empirical/case Studies. Key questions address how new ideas emerge and translate into a change of understanding, how knowledge generation processes vary within firms, how market feedback stimulates a search for new understanding and how contextual and historical factors can constrain or empower the production and use of knowledge.

Patent Policy: Using, Abusing and Reforming

Duke University, 17-19 September, 2004

It has long been recognized that the patent system provides a unique means for trading off ex ante
innovation incentives against the ex post inefficiencies of monopoly power. The current system of patent acquisition and protection is now frequently criticized on numerous grounds, including its manipulability, its susceptibility to abuse and holdup, its regional specificity, its differential treatment of leaders and laggards, and the agency costs that are present not only among business competitors, but among the very bureaucrats and judges who administer the system itself. The
conference intends to explore these ideas further, bringing together leading scholars from law schools, business schools, and economics departments. Submission deadline: May 1, 2004.

Continuous Innovation: Strategic Priorities for the Global Knowledge Economy

Sydney, Australia, 22-25 September, 2004

Continuous innovation is the ongoing process of initiating, developing, operating and improving new and existing configurations of products, market approaches, processes, technologies and competencies, organisation and management systems. As organisations strive to achieve a synergistic balance between short-term oriented, operationally-effective exploitation strategies and longer-term, flexibility-oriented exploration strategies, the rapid growth of the global knowledge economy has placed learning at the centre of this critical balance. The 5th International CINet 2004 conference has as its theme “Continuous Innovation: Strategic Priorities for the Global Knowledge Economy” and aims to address these key issues for organisational survival and growth.

Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2004 Conference and Trade Show

Toronto, 25-28 September, 2004

As society shifts towards the Greener World, it is increasingly important that the team-work necessary to achieve and meet our challenges and objectives be effectively integrated, shared and understood across disciplinary and business boundaries. In planning for the September 2004 Meeting in Toronto seven such inter-related themes have been identified: Hydrogen technology progress, fuel cells, economics & policy, renewable hydrogen, demonstrations, investment & marketing options, and climate change. We invite you to submit abstracts for oral and/or poster presentations to be presented to an international audience of hydrogen and fuel cell industry leaders. Submission deadline: March 17, 2004.

Constructing Competitive Advantage

Ottawa, 28 September – 1 October, 2004

TCI’s 7th annual conference will closely examine and exchange experiences concerning how firms can be grown in a cluster, how clusters can be branded and get products to market, how clusters interact, and how an active strategy can either grow or stunt the future prospects of a cluster. The program includes an introduction workshop on cluster, cluster site visits, an academic summit and many guest speakers and mini-forums.

Photonics North 2004

Ottawa, 27-29 September, 2004

Building on the success of OptoCanada, held in Ottawa in May 2002, the Canadian Photonics Consortium and the Ottawa Photonics Cluster are collaborating to sponsor Photonics North 2004. The Conference is chaired by the CEO of Siemens Canada, Dr. Albert Maringer, and is being managed by SPIE. Leading photonics experts from around the world will be participating. Suggested topics for papers range from Biophotonics to Telecommunications Networking. Among the special features of the Conference will be a parallel program on the first day focusing on doing business with Germany, with a variety of speakers from Germany, as well as a student program organized by Photonics Research Ontario on the second day. The deadline for submission of abstracts is March 15, 2004.

Commercialization: What’s Working, What’s Not

Ottawa, 9 November, 2004

Research Money once again shines the spotlight on the federal government’s innovation agenda. Join key players from business, government and academia to examine what’s working and what’s not with research commercialization.

InnoWest 2004

Calgary, 17-18 November, 2004

This first annual western Canadian Innovation Conference, hosted by the Centre for Innovation Studies (THECIS), will address a wide range of issues in innovation including cluster, education, public-private partnerships and financing innovation. This conference provides a forum for the innovation community in western Canada to network, review the latest developments and work to find solutions to common problems. Day 1 has eight sessions, and Day 2 has four Workshops, on BioProducts, Energy, ICT, and Manufacturing.

5th Triple Helix Conference – The Capitalization of Knowledge: Cognitive, Economic, Social and Cultural Aspects

Turin-Milan, 18-21 May, 2005

The 5th Triple Helix Conference will bring together researchers interested in the interaction between University, Government and Industry. The conference program will include 10 Track Sessions per day, made up of paper sessions dedicated to individual scientific contributions, workshops on selected specific themes and panels intended for industrial experts and policy makers. The organizers invite contributions on issues related to the conference theme: economics of innovation, organizational sociology, regional policy, business & management, cognitive economics, finance, law & economics, industrial economics, scientific and technology policy, and political science.

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