The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 90

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.


US VC Continued Upward Trend in Second Quarter

The steady upward trend in venture capital (VC) investments continued in the second quarter of 2004, with $5.6 billion going to 761 companies, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics, National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree™ Survey. The Q2 2004 figure compares to $5 billion invested in the year’s first quarter and $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003.


Editor's Pick

Arts and Culture: Key to Creative Cities – Four Papers

Neil Bradford, Nancy Duxbury, and Meric Gertler, for the Canadian Policy Research Network.

Creative cities are vital to meeting our community and national economic and social goals. By happy coincidence, the conditions that foster creative cities also foster economic innovation, social inclusion, democratic engagement and environmental sustainability. Four new papers from CPRN underline the key role of the arts and culture in that enterprise, especially in today’s knowledge economy.

Bradford, “Creative Cities Structured Policy Dialogue Backgrounder”

Bradford, “Creative Cities Structured Policy Dialogue Report”
Duxbury, “Creative Cities: Principles and Practices”

Gertler, “Creative Cities: What Are They For, How Do They Work, and How Do We Build Them?”



Innovation Policy


One Size Fits All? Towards a Differentiated Policy Approach with Respect to Regional Innovation Systems

Franz Todtling and Michaela Trippl, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration

The knowledge economy, learning and innovation have moved to the foreground both in regional and industrial policies in the past decade. Concrete policies were shaped in the past by the linear innovation model (focus on R&D and technology diffusion), and more recently, by “best practice models” of interactive innovation derived from high tech- and well performing regions. These were often applied in a similar way across many types of regions. This paper argues that there is no “ideal model“ for innovation policy. Empirical investigations demonstrate that preconditions for innovation, innovation activities and processes, as well networks differ strongly between central, peripheral and old industrial regions.

University Spin-Off Policies and Economic Development in Less Successful Regions: Learning from Two Decades of Policy

Paul Benneworth and David Charles, Institute for Policy and Practice – University of Newcastle upon Tyne

The idea of the university spin-off company (USO) has become increasingly popular in recent years with policy-makers, in part because USOs seem like a relatively cheap way to promote the development of knowledge economies in different places. Policy-makers have been supported in this by research-based universities who have seen USOs as a means of generating revenue and thus reducing their exposure to external (governmental) interference. Spin-off companies can be regarded as an intrinsic part of the ideology of science-based industry, or quintessential new economy activities. However, an analysis which begins from one of those positions risks distorting the eventual conclusion with the preconceptions embodied in each position. Discussions in this paper suggest that USOs may bring fewer of the economic development benefits attributed to them beyond the specific sites in which the theories were developed.

The Productivity of Science

Gustavo Crespi and Aldo Geuna, SPRU

A great deal is kno wn about the productivity of investment in research and development in firms compared to our current understanding of the determinants of the scientific research output of higher education institutions. Given the increased interest of policy makers and society at large in the role and productivity of universities, more research is needed on the productivity of science at both the national and international levels. This report represents a first attempt in this direction; it studies the international productivity of science in terms of the returns from investment (elasticity), length of time before returns are reaped (lag structure) and the countries that are catching up or falling behind in term of scientific productivity (dynamics of productivity).


Cities, Clusters & Regions

Is Washington’s Higher Education Providing a Foundation for a Strong Economic Future? – Assessing Washington’s Performance

Paul Sommers, Technology Alliance

Building on the findings of a previous report, “Drivers for a Successful Technology-Based Economy: Benchmarking Washington’s Performance” (May 2003), that pointed to lower performance in higher education this report provides a more in-depth look at issues surrounding higher education and economic development in the state. This report includes new indicators designed to measure the strength of the state education system and the extent to which the skills requirements of Washington’s high tech employers are being met by talent generated within this system.

Innovation Networks

The National Policy and Advisory Board for Enterprise, Trade, Science, Technology and Innovation (Forfas)

In 2003, Forfas commissioned this study to review innovation networks throughout the island of Ireland and to contrast them with comparable international systems. This study examines innovation networks and clusters in France, Norway, Canada, Denmark, the US and several other nations contrasting them with five cluster case studies in Ireland. This comparison generates policy recommendations for the Irish context in areas such as best practices, stimulating innovation, removing barriers to innovation, promoting innovation networks, and evaluation mechanisms



Statistics & Indicators



Effect of Changing Technology Use on Plant Performance in the Manufacturing Sector

John R Baldwin and David Sabourin, Statistics Canada

This paper investigates how changes in technology use of individual plants in the Canadian
manufacturing sector are related to two measures of performance—productivity growth and
market-share growth. The paper describes whether plants are adopting new advanced
technologies and if they do so, whether they enjoy superior performance in these two areas. It
makes use of panel data on advanced technology use from Statistics Canada’s 1993 and 1998
advanced manufacturing surveys that are combined with longitudinal data on plant performance.


Nanotech Luncheon

Edmonton, 30 August, 2004

Join international experts and Greater Edmonton business leaders over lunch to hear one of the world’s foremost speakers on nanotechnology. The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation welcomes Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, Director of the NASA Ames Research Centre for Nanotechnology, as he explores the implications of smalltech for Alberta’s leading sectors. This is a must-hear if you have an interest in the future of energy, electronics and computing, materials and manufacturing, health and medicine, or transportation.

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; modeling/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.

Emerging Technology Venture Conference (ETVC) 2004 

Montreal, 14-15 September, 2004

Canada’s first international conference to bring together companies in emerging technologies with international investors will showcase Quebec and Ontario’s best technologies, projects and companies in Infotechs, Nanotechs and Robotics to angel investors and venture capital firms from Quebec, Canada, U.S., Europe and Asia. The 250 participants expected to attend this event will include some of the most prominent North American VC firms and financial institutions, academics, corporate labs and institutional investors.

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, organization and management systems. As organizations 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 organizational survival and growth.

Building the Future on Knowledge: Blueprints for Foresight Actions in the Regions Expert Group

Brussels, Belgium, 23 September, 2004

An expert group for foresight actions in the regions in support of the implementation of EU policy was implemented in 2003. The objective of this conference is to present the results of the expert group, as well as to inform national and regional policymakers and policy-shapers of the combined policies and instruments of the European Union supporting the development of regional knowledge based economies. High level political input by Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, the President of the Committee of the Regions Peter Straub, Commissioner Peter Balazs, as well as MEP Alain Lipietz will be combined with the hands-on experience of the five working groups of the Blueprints expert group. Pre-Registration.

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.

E-Commerce to E-Economy: Strategies for the 21st Century

Ottawa, 27-28 September, 2004

The spread of Internet-based technologies throughout society has become the dominant economic reality of the 21st century. The e-economy – the use of information and communication technologies for product and process innovation across all sectors of the economy – has emerged as the primary engine of productivity and growth for the global economy. Successful economic strategies will enhance our capacity to adopt and exploit these technologies to create competitive advantage. The goals of this conference are to highlight the importance of the Internet and e-business to productivity, competitiveness and economic growth; assess Canada’s progress as an e-economy, its future challenges and opportunities; and establish strategic priorities for government, business and academia.

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.

Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT

Cambridge, MA, 29-30 September, 2004

Produced by Technology Review Magazine, the authority on emerging technology, The Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT showcases the technologies poised to make a dramatic impact on our world. It brings together world-renowned innovators and leaders in technology, business and entrepreneurial fields certain to better our lives, create opportunities and fuel economic growth.

The Internet and Law: A Global Conversation 

Ottawa, 1-2 October

Bringing together leading academics from 16 countries, including Lawrence Lessig, David Post, Bernt Hugenholtz, Graham Greenleaf, and Ian Walden, the conference will explore comparative approaches to intellectual property law, e-commerce, Internet regulation, and developmental issues.

Research, Innovation and Economic Performance – What Do We Know and Where are We Heading? 

Brussels, 8 October, 2004

This Conference is being organized by the European Commission, the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture of the University of Oslo, and Oxford University Press to mark the launch of the Oxford Handbook of Innovation. The Oxford Handbook of Innovation is an outcome of project TEARI: (Towards a European Area for Research and Innovation), which has been supported by the Commission to synthesize and valorize research projects carried out in the auspices of its socio-economic research initiatives.The conference aims to bring together eminent researchers from Europe and the US together with policy makers and other stakeholders to discuss emerging agendas of research in innovation and economic performance and relevant policy practice.

Building Tech-Based Economies: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Challenges 

Philadelphia, 13-15 October, 2004

Regions that will thrive are preparing for tomorrow’s challenges by defining their future — a future built on innovation, entrepreneurship, talent, and growth of knowledge assets. They are looking at the tech-based economic development policies and programs around the world that have worked well in the recent past, are adjusting to the unique needs of their specific region, and are adapting quickly to changes in technology development and economic times. SSTI’s annual conferences provide the nation’s most widely respected forum for policymakers and practitioners to work and learn together, share successes and failures, and engage in productive dialogue on how to grow vibrant economies based on investments in science and technology.

Public Science in Liberal Democracy: The Challenge to Science and Democracy

Saskatoon, 14-16 October, 2004

The conference will include papers presented by major international scientists from academia, business and government as well as academics from several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. It will focus on three key questions: Can science retain independence and objectivity in the face of demands to meet commercial and public policy objectives? In what ways is scientific discourse privileged in the formation of public policy? How can scientific knowledge and methodology be made compatible with the interdisciplinary and integration required in public policy discourse and formation?

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.

From Discovery to Marketplace: Fuelling the New Canadian Economy

Quebec City, 10-13 November, 2004

As Prime Minister Martin observed recently, “Ideas and discoveries will be the currency of the 21st century, and increasingly that currency must be Canadian.” This conference unites Canadian members of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) to accept the Prime Minister’s challenge. Participants will report on the progress that has been made in constructing a commercialization infrastructure for Canada as well as the many emerging and existing opportunities for bringing academic discoveries to the marketplace.

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.