The IPL newsletter: Volume 5, Issue 98

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.


Tech Transfer Consortia

Four south-western Ontario universities have created one of the nation’s largest consortia for technology transfer. The University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, University of Guelph and McMaster University have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaboratively protect and commercialize technologies deriving from research at each institution. This initiative is based on a joint vision for coordination, cooperation, collaboration and commercialization, with the working name “C4.” By sharing resources and expertise, the universities hope to establish broader partnerships, apply jointly for funding opportunities and more effectively market and commercialize technologies. The C4 also plans to extend an invitation to other universities in southwestern Ontario, further expanding the local commercialization network.

Strategy Launched to Commercialize on $15 Billion Biopharmaceutical Pipeline

A biopharmaceutical support group indicates that Canada will need a $450 million investment to retain its leading position in the growing biopharmaceutical industry and capitalize on the $15 billion the country has already invested in the development of new, biologically-based drugs. The Centre for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing (CBM), a non-profit organization that supports the biopharmaceutical industry, says Canada can cement its position at the forefront of a biotech revolution that is changing the way drugs are made. Through the implementation of the Canadian Bioprocessing Initiative–a national strategy developed over the past two years by more than 70 government, academic and private-sector stakeholders–the CBM says economic advantages in Canada, and a healthier and safer health care system, will be promoted.

Government of Canada Invests $724,5000 to Support NanoQuebec and the Development of Nanotechnology in Quebec

The Honourable Jacques Saada, Minister of Canada Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, announced a non-repayable financial contribution of $724,500 to support the activities of NanoQuébec, an organization devoted to promoting the development of nanotechnology in Quebec. With this funding, Canada Economic Development will be lending considerable support to the concerted efforts of the industry to promote nanotechnology in Quebec, while strengthening the position of key industrial leaders in the field


Editor's Pick


Innovation and Research Funding: The Role of Government Support

David A Wolfe, PROGRIS

This paper briefly contrasts the rationale underlying the traditional linear model of science and
technology development and funding for basic research with more recent evolutionary ones. An
over-reliance on the commercialization of basic research and the licensing of intellectual
property is short-sighted and illustrates a lack of understanding of how basic research in
universities contributes to the broader process of economic development. Instead, the social and
economic benefits of basic research depend on the absorptive capacity of firms to make use of
the scientific knowledge that is generated. The transfer of knowledge from universities is highly
localized, and is underpinned by the pool of tacit knowledge that is shared across robust personal
networks of highly qualified personnel, including academic researchers and scientists working in
industry. The role of government is critical in supporting the process of basic research in
universities at both the federal and provincial levels. Public support for university-based research should best be seen as an investment in generating and sustaining a learning capability, which promotes the formation of skills, networks, and a capacity for technological problem-solving on the part of a society.

Anchors of Creativity: How do Public Universities Create Competitive and Cohesive Communities?

Meric S Gertler and Tara Vinodrai, PROGRIS

This paper asks what role universities, as institutions of research and graduate education, play in enabling regions, provinces and the nation to attract and retain talented people and contributing to wider goals of competitiveness and social inclusion. Building on a survey of recent literature on universities as anchor institutions the paper presents recent evidence on how well Ontario and Canada measure up in terms of ability to attract talented graduate students and scholars. It concludes by identifying opportunities and challenges that face policymakers as they consider how to build excellence in graduate education at public universities




Innovation Policy


Academic Entrepreneurs: Social Learning and Participation in University Technology Transfer

Janet Bercovitz and Maryann Feldman

This paper examines faculty participation in university technology transfer using data on individual researchers from the medical schools of Duke University and Johns Hopkins University.
The decision to file an invention disclosure is used to signal faculty members’ willingness to engage in a new organizational strategic initiative related to technology transfer. The results suggest that the adoption of initiatives is a function of the norms at the institutions where the individual trained, the observed behaviour of those in leadership positions, and the observed behaviour of similar individuals.

Competitiveness and Benchmarking: European Competitiveness Report 2004

European Commission

The theme of this Report concerns the impact of public policies on economic performance. Both because of its size and of its involvement in economic life the public sector exerts an important influence on economic performance. The report examines the impact of the public sector on productivity growth, its role in funding in research and development and the performance of the health sector. A separate section contains an overview of recent developments in the European auto sector – an industrial area where government regulation is significant and competitiveness improvements have been realized in recent years.

Innovate America

Council on Competitiveness

This final report from the National Innovation Initiative unveils recommendations for an agenda for innovation. Recommendations are made in the areas of talent, investment, and infrastructure. Key recommendations include proposals to catalyze the next generation of American innovators, energize the entrepreneurial economy and create a 21st century intellectual property regime, among many others.



Cities, Clusters & Regions

Best Performing Cities: Where America’s Jobs are Being Created

Miliken Institute

The Milken Institute rankings have traditionally emphasized technology development, and technology rich areas have normally performed well in the rankings. This year’s list is slightly different, as regions with low costs, growing populations, and stable anchor industries (e.g. health care, government) rank highly this year. Researchers also note that most high-performing cities boast strong service sectors in health care, construction, and tourism that have capitalized on the economic rebound now underway in many regions of the US.

Executive Summary – ICT/Life Sciences Converging Technologies Cluster Study: Next Generation Clusters in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa

Graytek Management Inc (et al.), ICT and Life Sciences Branch of Industry Canada and the National Research Council

This is a qualitative analysis of the information and communications technologies (ICT), life sciences and their converging next generation clusters in Canada. Through detailed cluster overviews and comparisons the report proposes several key recommendations in the areas of cluster diversity, leadership and support, firm size, strategies for ICT as a mature and enabling sector, and the need to focus resources, among others



Statistics & Indicators



European Innovation Scoreboard 2004

Trendchart, Innovation Policy in Europe

This most recent innovation scoreboard confirms that the innovation gap between the United States and the European Union was not reduced since the adoption of the Lisbon agenda. The US leads Europe in nine out of eleven indicators, which are used to compare the two. The scoreboard traces the performance of individual Union countries relative to the US and their previous scores. Also, for the first time, this scoreboard compares innovative performance between industrial sectors. It finds that the most innovative sector in the EU is found to be electrical and optical equipment, while textiles and textile products bring up the rear.

Information Technology Outlook: 2004 Edition


The 2004 edition of the OECD Information Technology Outlook describes recent market dynamics and gives a detailed overview of the globalisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the rise of ICT-enabled international sourcing. It analyzes the development and impacts of electronic business processes and describes trends in industries supplying IT goods and services. This volume looks at how differences in access to ICTs have been supplanted by differences in use, looking especially at digital delivery via broadband for peer-to-peer file exchange, business services and healthcare. Further, ICT skills across all sectors of the economy are analysed to provide insights into the dynamics of job creation and outsourcing.


Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy

Washington D.C., 10-11 January, 2005

This is an international conference that brings together leading experts to examine how processes for creating and organizing knowledge interact with information technology, business strategy, and changing social and economic conditions. The conference is designed to broaden and deepen common understanding of how difficult-to-measure knowledge resources drive an increasingly virtualized economy and to assess prospects for advancing and regenerating knowledge infrastructure, institutions, and policies. Presenters will evaluate how distributed models of innovation and learning are empowering users and challenging education, research, and commerce.

Innovation and New Ventures 2005

Vancouver, 21-22 January, 2005

This conference brings together representatives from industry, universities & colleges, and government from across Canada to share strategies and best practices in the areas of innovation, new ventures and entrepreneurship. This year’s conference is the fifth in the series and will be championed by both WestLink Innovation Network and CATAAlliance, along with host organization Simon Fraser University. This is an important forum for addressing issues regarding support and funding of new ventures and infrastructure at the community level and nation-wide. The conference will focus on innovation and new ventures in Canada’s industries and regions; financing new ventures; community infrastructure; and the role of industry, universities, colleges and government in innovation and new ventures.

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.