The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 93

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.


NRC Boosts Halifax Technology Cluster with Opening of New Industry Partnership Facility

Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on behalf of David Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the National Research Council (NRC), recently announced the official opening of the NRC Institute for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB) Industry Partnership Facility (IPF) in Halifax, a wing ready to house 10 to 12 life sciences firms. This high-calibre research infrastructure will allow NRC to attract new firms to the region and will help to build a world-class life sciences cluster in Atlantic Canada. The 9,000 square-metre facility will enable entrepreneurs and business to work side-by-side with NRC researchers while gaining access to an array of advanced research technology platforms which includes one of the most comprehensive public mass spectrometry centres in North America as well as one of the most active high through-put DNA sequencing facilities and extensive selections of analytical instrumentations in Canada.

High Performance Computing “Critically Important” to Canada’s Future

Canada’s high performance computing industry is critical to the health of country, and more awareness and attention should be paid to its development, according to a new survey of industry experts. The report, titled A Survey of the State of Canadian HPC Readiness and the Need for Highly Qualified People also determined that the industry has a difficult time defining precisely what constitutes high performance computing. Another component of the report includes an assessment of the need for Highly Qualified People (HQP) who possess the skills and knowledge to perform HPC functions.

Collaborative Initiative Boosts BC Tech Sector

BC’s technology sector is investing in research that will identify how the province can be the “go-to” place for the next wave of technology enterprise. In a collaborative initiative, Leading Edge BC, in conjunction with Western Economic Development, has announced the appointments of BC business leaders to a leadership council for the Integrated Technology Initiative (iTi). Bringing together six technology clusters–Life Sciences, Information and Communications Technology, New Media, Wireless, Alternative Energy and Environmental Sciences–iTi has a twofold purpose: to benchmark the achievements and growth potential of these areas in a global context and to accelerate collaboration among research, industry and government interests.


Editor's Pick


Exploring Canada’s Innovation Character: Benchmarking Against Global Best

The Conference Board of Canada

This report presents a framework for understanding innovation and an evaluation of Canada’s performance against 10 other countries. It provides details on how we measure up in 17 benchmarks, in the areas of Knowledge Performance, Skills Performance, Innovation Environment and Community-Based Innovation. The report points to elements that contribute to Canada’s unique innovation character, including a predisposition to collaborate and share knowledge, a good skills foundation, a highly qualified workforce and attractiveness to immigrants. At the same time, it identifies the need to commercialize innovation efforts and step up business investment in R&D.




Innovation Policy



Profiles of Programs in Entrepreneurship Education

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship

This report highlights the role community colleges play in building tech economies which has grown substantially during the past decade beyond important, yet traditional, worker training programs. This compendium from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) provides several examples of efforts by its member community colleges and technical schools to foster entrepreneurship. Highlighted programs include partnerships with K-12 education, associate degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship, web-based courses, incubators and student business incubation.


Cities, Clusters & Regions

Laggard Clusters as Slow Learners, Emerging Clusters as Locus of Knowledge Cohesion (and Exclusion): A Comparative Study in the Wine Industry

Elisa Giuliani, SPRU

This paper adopts sociometric analysis to explore the process of knowledge acquisition and
diffusion in clusters of firms. By comparing the knowledge systems of two clusters selected for being at different stages of their development path, this study shows that the knowledge system of the laggard cluster is weak, highly disconnected and vulnerable. In the case of the emerging, dynamic cluster, the knowledge system is characterized by a more connected yet uneven knowledge acquisition and distribution process. These differences are interpreted considering the heterogeneity of firm knowledge bases across and within clusters and the impact of this latter variable on the degree of intra- and extra-cluster connectivity is explored.

Knowledge Clusters in Regional Economic Development Conference Papers

The linkage between knowledge clusters and entrepreneurship is self-evident. Successful knowledge clusters can frequently be traced back to one or two specific entrepreneurs and, once established, they often act as fertile seedbeds from which new entrepreneurs emerge. Papers and presentations from this conference address such topics as how knowledge clusters are a means of promoting regional economic development, entrepreneurship policy and the strategic management of places, crafting new rural development strategies, academic entrepreneurship and more.



Statistics & Indicators


Innovation, Survival and Performance of Canadian Manufacturing Plants

Statistics Canada

This study shows that innovation is a main factor contributing to labour productivity growth, gains in market share and survival in Canadian manufacturing plants. It also finds that research and development (R&D) investment, competencies and past innovation activities are the three main factors affecting innovation outcomes of Canadian manufacturing firms. The study examines the determinants of innovation and the role of innovation in productivity growth, shifts in market share and survival in the Canadian manufacturing sector. Higher productivity, as measured by production per hour worked, occurs when output increases faster than hours worked. Productivity growth is the main determinant of the prosperity and standards of living in the long run.

Not Invested Here: The 2004 Southern Innovation Index

Southern Growth Policies Board

This innovation index is a progress report on innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development in the South. The 2004 Index provides updates on data for 50 benchmarks and 10-year targets of each of the Southern Growth member states. The report includes state-by-state data and summaries of activity on education, innovation and entrepreneurship. The 2004 Index also includes an analysis of the data and progress in reaching state targets. The report shows significant progress in reaching targets including core technology indicators, but a lack of investment in venture capital and private research and development.

Business Enterprise Research and Development in Scotland 2002: R&D Expenditure and Employment by Businesses in Scotland; Comparisons with the UK

National Statistics, Scottish Executive

In order to provide incentives for crucial research and development (R&D) and to encourage more industries to carry out R&D in Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, the economic development agency for Scotland has launched a new funding scheme. R&D PLUS offers a tax credit of up to 25 percent of eligible program costs for large companies meeting specific criteria. This report shows that R&D spending has risen to 4.9 percent of the UK total in 2002, up from 4.2 percent in 2001. Also, Scottish expenditure has increased by 95 percent over 1997-2002. Pharmaceutical R&D in particular has grown strongly over the past five years and accounts for one-third of all business R&D.


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.

Investing in Research and Innovation: Realizing the Potential of Public-Private Interaction 

Noordwijk, 12-13 October, 2004

During the second half of this year the Netherlands will hold the EU presidency. The Dutch presidency will focus on the European Research Area and the 3% Action Plan, or how to raise European investments in R&D and innovation to 3% of GDP. This conference aims to generate ideas about using European potential in science and industry on five themes which are key issues to improve public private interaction. The objective is to deliver policy recommendations on both national and European level.


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?

Biotechnology Council of Ontario (BCO) Public Policy Forum

Toronto, 18 October, 2004

This forum will bring together organizations and individuals from across the biotechnology sector to define strategic policies for this critical economic area of the province. It will consist of a full-day open discussion on the needs, challenges, and advantages of the biotechnology sector in Ontario. It will give the Ontario biotechnology industry a rational, transparent, and inclusive policy development process and provide the BCO with its annual “terms of reference” to bring to government. Throughout the day, there will be a series of breakout sessions, as well as featured speakers with specific expertise in public policy formation, development, and implementation.

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.

Conference on Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals

Montreal, 30 January- 2 February, 2005

This conference will convene developer of biopharmaceuticals and the plant-factory community. The three themes emphasized this year are compounds (biologic drugs in development, pharma partnerships, markets), capacity (speed, cost, quality and reliability of production), and compliance (evolving regulations, biomass production in North America and Europe, progress in clinical trials).

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.