The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 96

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.


Industry Minister Announces the Lauch of New Facilities to Link Research Investments to Commercialization

The Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), recently announced the inauguration of work at six new research and innovation facilities. Each of them has been mandated to increase the commercial value and economic benefits of federal investments in scientific research. The new facilities at NRC sites in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Ville Saguenay, Fredericton, and Charlottetown will direct their efforts and programs toward the challenge of turning Canada’s investments in research into more products, services, high quality jobs, and increasingly productive and competitive businesses


Editor's Pick


Public Sector Technology Transfer in Canada, 2003

Michael Bordt and Louise Earl, Statistics Canada

This paper examines the first Canadian attempt to assess the impacts on the economy of the transfer of technology for federally-funded research. Despite the fact that technology transfer from public sources is a rare event, the number of transfers reported on the business side is much higher than those previously reported by the public institutions.




Innovation Policy


Public and Private Spillovers, Location and the Productivity of Pharmaceutical Research

Jeffrey L Furman et al. NBER/CREST/CRIW

This paper examines the geographic distribution of the research activities of the major global pharmaceutical firms to explore the extent to which knowledge spills over from proximate private and public institutions. Consistent with expectations, the paper finds that spillovers exist and are significant. Patent output at the therapeutic class level is positively correlated with a firm’s “exposure” to papers related to that therapeutic class authored by scientists within thirty-five miles of where the firm conducts research. Distinguishing between privately and publicly authored papers yields a striking result: patent output is positively and significantly correlated with publicly authored work, but negatively and significantly correlated with private sector work. These results hold for both locally and globally generated work, with the effects being strongest for locally authored work but significant at both levels, and they are robust to alternative econometric specifications, as well as to the inclusion of controls for location fixed effects and the geographic organization of the firm’s research effort.

Improving Institutions for the Transfer of Technology from Science to Enterprises: Conclusions and Recommendations

European Commission Experts Group

This report summarises the results of the “Best project on technology transfer institutions (TTIs) in Europe” and presents recommendations, which are addressed at policy makers at European and national level, universities and other public research organisations, as well as technology transfer organisations and their managers. The aim is to increase volume and quality of technology transfer and the efficiency of transfer institutions.

The Importance of R&D for Innovation: A Reassessment Using French Survey Data

Jacques Mariesse and Pierre Mohnen, MERIT

This paper compares the contribution of R&D to innovation in terms of the various innovation output measures provided by the third Community Innovation Survey (CIS 3) for French manufacturing firms and in terms of accounting for interindustry innovation differences. Findings indicate that R&D is positively correlated with all measures of innovation output, and, all other things equal, more correlated than size to innovation. Innovation is generally more sensitive to R&D in the low-tech sectors than in the high-tech sectors.


Cities, Clusters & Regions



Innovation in the Nordic-Baltic Sea Region: A Case for Cooperation

Sylvia Schwaag Serger and Emily Wise Hansson, IKED

The latest progress reports on European competitiveness and the Lisbon agreement highlight the importance of connecting the different economic actors, both in tangible (e.g. infrastructure and communication networks) and intangible (e.g. forming a common vision among the various stakeholders) ways. The fastest-growing regions are those that have most successfully managed to integrate – within the region and into the international competitive system. The Nordic countries are world leaders in innovation and competitiveness indicators; the Baltic countries, Poland and Russia exhibit remarkable dynamism and momentum for change – with high GDP growth and the strongest improvements in many innovation indicators. The region shares strong historical ties, growing trade and FDI flows, and increasing interest in forming a common platform for discussion, policy exchange and action in the field of innovation.



Statistics & Indicators

The Effect of Organizational Innovation and Information Technology on Firm Performance

Wulong Gu and Surendra Gera, Statistics Canada

This paper examines the issue of whether investment in information and communication technologies (ICT), combined with organizational changes and worker skill contribute to better performance in Canadian firms. Findings indicate that Canadian firms have actively engaged in organizational changes in the areas of production and efficiency practices, human resource management and product/service quality-related practices. Along with ICT use these practices are found to be related to better firm performance. These findings suggest that to be successful, firms typically need to adopt ICT as part of a system of mutually reinforcing organizational approaches.


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.

Dynamics of Industry and Innovation: Organizations, Networks and Systems 

Copenhagen, Denmark, 27-29 June, 2005

The DRUID Ten Year Anniversary Summer Conference will be held at the Copenhagen Business School. The conference’s scientific committee will consider all papers in the order in which they arrive with respect to novelty, academic quality and the proposed paper’s relation to the theme of the conference

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