The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 95

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 Technology-Based Development Resource Website

Looking for information on building a technology-based economy? Hundreds of reports have been prepared over the last four years on topics ranging from strategic plans to research on entrepreneurship from best practices to addressing the brain drain. A cooperative project of the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Technology Policy and SSTI has resulted in this interactive website that permits you to tap into the wealth of information that is available in these reports. The data is updated on a regular basis, so check back frequently for updated information.

Canada’s Synchrotron Nanostructure Facility Established

Canada’s micro and nano technology industries are poised to benefit from a $4.3 million investment in the new Canadian Synchrotron Nanostructures Facility (CSNF) being established in Saskatoon. The facility, which will be housed at the Canadian Light Source (CLS), will provide Canadian industry and scientists with their first opportunity to fabricate micro-level, structurally superior devices that will be used for a broad range of commercial applications, including biomedicine, aerospace, communications and sensors.


Editor's Pick

Presentations from ONRIS/MEDT Joint Session

The presentations from the annual meeting between ONRIS and Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) are now available on the ONRIS website. Presentations from both ONRIS researchers and MEDT cover areas such as ICT, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Steel, Auto Parts and Cluster Measurement and Indicators.




Innovation Policy

Biopharmaceutical Industry Contributions to State and US Economies

DeVol et al. Milken Institute

There is a good reason why governments across the country and around the world are fighting hard for biopharmaceutical dollars: These companies have the potential to add thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to their economies. This study shows the strong economic impact that the biopharmaceutical industry has on state and U.S. economies – more than 2.7 million jobs and US$172 billion in real output in 2003 when one includes the full impact the industry has on all sectors of the economy. More importantly, the 10-year projections in this study show that this impact will grow stronger in the next decade. By 2014, the total employment impact will increase to over 3.6 million and the real output figure will reach US$350.1 billion.

Sustainable Development in Ireland: The Role of Science and Technology

Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, ICSTI

This statement considers the implications for Irish public policy of sustainable development as a national and international goal. In the light of the increasing interest in, and commitment to, sustainable development as an overarching concept in economic, environmental and social policies, ICSTI identified constraints and opportunities and made recommendations to enable science and technology to make a fuller contribution to sustainable growth.


Cities, Clusters & Regions


Assessing the Experience of Successful Innovative Firms’ in Ontario

The Strategic Counsel

This research project grew out of a hypothesis proposed by the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity that policy recommendations advanced by the business community concerning a lack of venture financing and government support may be flawed. The Institute proposed that the difficulty in obtaining venture financing may stem, not from a lack of funds or support but from the lack of sustainable commercial enterprises, built on innovation. As such the Institute proposes that policy should avoid focussing uniquely on traditional sources of support and consider other areas (i.e. the availability of managerial talent) as important to the experience of successful start-ups. This report explores this proposition based on 27 interviews with senior executives and owners of Ontario companies who have been successful in developing, bringing to market and selling innovative products and/or services.

Economic Trends of Waterloo Region

Paul Knafelc, Community Benchmarks

This background paper contains fresh analysis of recent economic trends in the Waterloo region.The research shows that the Waterloo Region’s GDP reached CDN$18.6 billion in 2003, up 27% since 1997 and greater in absolute terms than two provinces. The rate of GDP growth since 1997 keeps pace with the Ontario average. The most recent Conference Board of Canada
forecast indicated that growth in the Waterloo Region from 2005 to 2008 would be among the best, ranking in the top four of Canada’s eighteen metropolitan areas.



Statistics & Indicators



Converging Science and Leadership: The Key to the Future – 2004 Canadian Biotechnology Human Resources Study

Biotechnology Human Resource Council, BHRC

This report looks at current and future human resources issues and makes recommendations to help ensure that Canada has the people required to sustain and unlock the industry’s potential. The data show that Canada’s HR capacity for biotechnology is reasonably healthy but that serious challenges need to be addressed in specific areas. In particular, the commercial progress of biotechnology in Canada is threatened by shortages of qualified senior managers and seasoned board members who can guide businesses to commercial success.


The Canadian IT & Biotech Financing Forum West 

Vancouver, 8-9 November, 2004

This forum attracts leading Venture Capital and Corporate Investors from Canada, the US and abroad. The Financing Forum is the place to build your network of Venture Capital contacts. Its informal atmosphere makes it easy to get to know the Venture Capital community and promote your company. Meet the Investors and start forming the relationships that lead to financing. Learn from the best practices of some of Canada’s Premier Technology Companies as they deliver presentations that secure VC funding. Be seen and be heard by the best investor audience.

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.

Microelectronics – The Heart of the System

Ottawa, 15 November, 2004

This conference will provide insights so that the microsystems sector can continue to make a profound contribution to Canada and the world. This year’s Program features experts from government and industry, such as Charlie Rothschild (Senior Director of R&D for the ATG, Agilent
Laboratories), Michael Fister (President and CEO, Cadence Design Systems), Denzil Doyle (Chairman of Capital Alliance Inc.), Dr. Arthur Kuo (President of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing), Frank Maw (President of Motorola Canada Limited), Duncan Stewart (Tera Capital Corp.) and Bernard Courtois of ITAC, to name just a few.

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.

Knowledge Based Regional Development and Innovation: The Transition Towards a Knowledge Based Economy 

Florence, Italy, 25-26 November, 2004

Innovation is increasingly recognised as a major catalyst for productivity and output growth and consequently is becoming an important target for growth policy initiatives. In this respect, governments are devoting particular attention to the territorial dimension of the innovation process. At the heart of this new focus is the trend towards more globalized markets and strengthened links between research, knowledge and technology. These trends, particularly the development of information technologies, seemed, at one stage, to be heralding the death of distance. However, they also paradoxically seem to be strengthening the role of proximity in the development of new products and processes. The conference will analyze these new challenges by examining what has been learned from government policy experiences and through sharing best practices. It will examine promising new policy options to improve links between knowledge and business communities and assist in turning technology into market opportunities. A particular focus will be put on policy initiatives to stimulate inter-firm co-operation through business networks, science/industry partnerships, and evaluation and benchmarking methods.

BioNorth 2004: Commercializing the Success Gene – The Business of Science and the Science of Business 

Ottawa, 29 November – 1 December, 2004

BioNorth 2004 will take a global view of scientific advancements and new technologies in: genomics and systems biology; targeted biologics and therapeutics; pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine; diagnostics; gene therapy, stem cells, regenerative medicine; bioproducts and industrial biotechnology, and how they are impacting worldwide markets. This event will focus on the global challenges of commercializing leading edge biotechnologies including funding, developing and sustaining new disruptive technologies, the building and financing of companies, the global regulatory environment and manufacturing issues.

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).

Regionalism and Local Government Reform in Europe 

Tolo, Greece, 8-11 April, 2005

The objective of this conference is to explore comparative regionalism and regionalisation, together with comparative local government and governance. Plenary speakers include a welcome from Fofe Yenimata, President to the Greek National Union of Prefectural Local Authorities (ENAE), Prof. Charlie Jeffery, University of Edinburgh and Dr. Evie Christofilopoulo, Hellenic Open University and Member of the Greek Parliament. The major themes of the conference are: The impact of structural reorganisation on local governments and local governance; Local political and administrative leadership, including the impact of directly elected mayors and other existing or new political leadership arrangements; Local economic development; The development of regional government and governance, including the influence of the European Union on regional development. For full conference details and costs please contact Dr Joyce Liddle of the organizing team before January 31, 2004 through the link above.

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.