The IPL newsletter: Volume 7, Issue 134

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.



Ontario Focusses on Cutting-Edge Technology in $46M Program

The Ontario government has launched a new commercialization program focussed on bringing cutting-edge research to market. The four-year, $46-million market readiness program will provide companies with financial support, training and management expertise. The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the MaRS Discovery District will deliver the program across the province, starting in the fall. Also announced was funding for 16 projects that will link companies, colleges, universities and research institutions to develop cutting-edge technologies. The funding will be provided through the government’s $31.4-million Ontario Research and Commercialization Program (ORCP).



Editor's Pick

INNOBAROMETRE 2006: Clusters Facilitate Innovation in Europe


One out of four companies within the European Union work in a cluster-like environment, characterized by a close cooperation with other businesses in the region and strong ties with the local business infrastructure. This is the result of the Innobarometer survey 2006 which interviewed 3,500 companies across Europe. However, there are remarkable differences between the EU-15 and the new Member States, where only 9% of the enterprises benefit from the stimulating business environment created by clusters. More than half of the enterprises interviewed confirm that belonging to a cluster facilitates business expansion. Companies active in a cluster are among the most innovative companies in Europe. Overall, over two-thirds of cluster-company managers agree that public authorities have an important if not fundamental role to play in support of clusters. EU cluster companies benefit the most from public support enhancing the reputation of the cluster/region, but funding specific cluster projects and facilitating networking with universities and public authorities is also seen as important from a business point of view.

Innovation Policy

Information and Intellectual Property: The Global Challenge

Rishab Aiyer Ghosh and Luc Soete, DRUID

This paper analyses the contribution of ‘golden papers’ – seminal works whose ideas remain as fresh and relevant today as when they were first published decades ago – and which continue to dominate academic discourse among successive generations of scholars. The authors analyze why two works written within an industrial development context: The simple economics of basic scientific research, by Richard Nelson (1959) and Kenneth Arrows Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention (1962), are so relevant in today’s knowledge-driven economic paradigm. Focusing on the papers’ application to current global policy debates on information/knowledge and intellectual property, they argue that while the context has changed the essential nature of innovation – driven by widespread access to the ability to replicate and improve – remains the same. Hence a focus on endogenous innovation policy is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

The Emerging Knowledge Governance Approach: Challenges and Characteristics

Nicolai J Foss, DRUID

The “knowledge governance approach” is characterized as a distinctive, emerging approach that cuts across the fields of knowledge management, organization studies, strategy, and human resource management. Knowledge governance is concerned with how the deployment of governance mechanisms influences knowledge processes, such as sharing, retaining and creating knowledge. It insists on clear micro (behavioural) foundations, adopts an economizing perspective, and examines the links between knowledge-based units of analysis with diverse characteristics and governance mechanisms with varying capabilities in terms of handling these transactions. Research issues that the knowledge governance approach illuminates are sketched.

Industry R&D Location: The Role of Accessibility to University R&D and Institutions of Higher Education

Martin Andersson, Urban Gråsjö & Charlie Karlsson

This paper analyses to what extent the location and the extent of higher education and university R&D, respectively, influence the location and the extent of industry R&D in Sweden using an accessibility approach. The authors argue that the location of industry R&D in Sweden can be partly explained by the intra-municipal accessibility to students in higher education, while the accessibility to university R&D turned out to be insignificant.


Cities, Clusters & Regions

New Jersey’s New Economy Growth Challenges

James W Hughes and Joseph A Seneca, Rutgers

For many areas of the country, the first five years of the 21st century may well be remembered as a period of dramatic economic transformation, or the beginning of one as the rate of change continues at a fast clip. Having statistics for the five-year period of 2000-2005, however, provides the first opportunity for policymakers and academic researchers to look for meaning in the trends. Key parts of the core economy including the states unique concentrations of technology-based economic specializations have not only stopped growing in the 2000s but, in a number of important areas, have started to contract.Hughes and Seneca point to three challenging trends for New Jersey trends that should resonate in other areas of the country: 1) employment growth has been mostly limited to below-average-pay job sectors; 2) once-unique core science and tech assets have started to erode; and 3) mergers and acquisitions have resulted in headquarter losses and the accompanying civic leadership and responsibility.

The Influence of Geographic Clusters and Knowledge Spillovers on the Product Innovation Activities of New Ventures

Brett Gilbert and Mike Kusar, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Group Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy

This article argues that industry clustering within a geographic region has a greater impact on innovation that builds incrementally on existing technologies than on innovation springing from new technologies and knowledge. The authors suggest that industries, like biotechnology, which rely on new discoveries to sustain growth are less affected by the presence of regional clusters. Industries that build on existing product lines, such as software, benefit more from the knowledge spillovers that are present in clusters.



Statistics & Indicators


Measuring Informal Innovation: From Non-R&D to On-line Knowledge Production

Marcel Bogers and Stephane Lhuillery, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

This paper explores the concept of informal innovation by investigating it both on the input (activities) and output (impact) side of the innovation process. Informal innovation is defined as innovation that is not explicitly planned and budgeted and therefore remains largely hidden in (aggregate) innovation data. The paper employs a statistical approach to reveal the significant potential of informal innovation. In general, on the input side, it shows that around half of the innovative firms in the sample (of innovative firms in the Swiss Innovation Survey of 2002) develop innovations without any R&D. Moreover, on the output side, over one third of the innovative sales and production cost reductions can be attributed to informal innovation. Although the results appear to be rather pervasive, they are strongest for small firms, low-tech firms and firms in service industries. This leads to the conclusion that informal innovation is not just an important complement to formal innovation – as scarcely acknowledged in literature – but that is largely takes place next to and as a substitute for formal innovation as well – which is largely neglected in literature to date.



The Future of Science Technology and Innovation Policy

Sussex, 11-13 September, 2006

This conference, besides celebrating the 40th Anniversary of SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), offers the opportunity to engage in a critical evaluation of the present and future research agenda of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) field. This conference seeks to explore empirical, theoretical and applied policy approaches that can enable us to conceptualize the contradictory nature of modern science and technology and innovation, and thus provide practical policy guidance. Such a conference is particularly timely because many of the existing conceptual frameworks are apparently undergoing a period of what Kuhn called ‘normal science’ where their assumptions are rarely questioned, and where they are institutionally and academically isolated from criticism. We aim to identify fruitful new ways forward in the field of STI policy by subjecting these established frameworks to structured debate and critical evaluation. The conference will be organized in the form of plenary sessions, parallel sessions and set debates. It will cover a series of broad themes. These include: Ownership, Accountability and Relevance of Science – for example, the deficiencies of peer review, the pros and cons of patenting in universities, the shifting boundary between public and private knowledge, and processes for allocating resources between disciplines. Technology, Security and Sustainability – for example, the dual relationship between technology and security, changing environment and energy policy, the balance between sustainability and growth, and the role of technology in sustainable development. Dynamics of Innovation Interfaces – for example, the management and dynamics of innovation across different levels (such as individuals, groups, firms, sectors, networks and systems), user-centred innovation processes vs. producer-centered innovation processes, and the connection between innovation and entrepreneurship.


Blue Sky II: What Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the 21st Century?

Ottawa, 25-27 September, 2006

This forum will examine new areas for indicator development and set a broad agenda for future work on science, technology and innovation (STI) indicators. Emphasis will be placed on indicators of outcomes and impacts in order to support monitoring, benchmarking, foresight activity, and evaluation, applied to policies and programs, and their economic and social impacts. The Forum is expected to provide ideas and guidance for indicators work in both OECD and non OECD countries, as well as in their international organizations. The Forum will include plenary sessions featuring invited guest speakers who are leading authorities in their fields. Break-out sessions will discuss papers on specific themes selected through a call for papers.

New Generation Innovation: New Approaches and Policy Designs

Atlanta, 27-29 September, 2006

Particular areas of interest include: new developments in university-industry relationships, new strategies for technology-based local and regional economic development, technology transfer to and from the public sector, trajectories for emerging technologies. All session proposals, paper proposals and abstracts should be submitted electronically not later than Friday, May 12, 2006.


The 9th Annual Conference of the Competitiveness Institute (TCI): The Role of Cluster Governance and Companies’ Involvement in Clusters Initiatives
Lyon, France, 9-13 October, 2006

The goal of this conference is to share ideas, build alliances and explore the best modes of economic development. Additionally information is offered about specific clusters, introductory courses on cluster theory and presentations given by an array of world experts (academics, businesses and institutions).The main topics include competitiveness, innovation, cluster initiatives, industrial organization and corporate change. The theme of the 9th conference will be “Governance and business involvement in cluster initiatives”.


International Second Cities Conference 

Corner Brook, 12-13 October, 2006

This conference will have provincial, national and international speakers, addressing the strategies and opportunities for small and medium-sized cities. It will focus on the issues of economic development, sustainable/”green” planning and practices, infrastructure and public private partnerships, rural-urban interactions, post-secondary institutions, and immigration and population planning.


Paris, 25-27 October, 2006

As European economies seek new solutions for continuous and competitive growth, how will technology play? What does Europe’s future in Pharma, Agriculture, Food, and the Environment look like? Europe’s great bastions of life science are opening up: be there as it happens! Thousands of European and international participants will converge at EuroBiO. It’s where research and industry meet.

Hydrogen Fuel & Fuel Cells 2007: International Conference and Trade Show

Vancouver, 29 April – 2 May, 2007

Today’s energy challenges have no boundaries. Energy security, climate change, and clean air concerns challenge communities around the world. International research, business and policy collaborations are ensuring that technologies, such as hydrogen and fuel cells, will provide a sustainable future for generations. This conference and trade show will highlight these global activities and developments. Canada, and particularly Vancouver, boasts unrivalled hydrogen and fuel cell expertise. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore BC’s Hydrogen Highway, experience the latest in hydrogen and fuel cell innovations and visit the most advanced hydrogen and fuel cell research facility… the National Research Council’s cutting-edge Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation.

Triple Helix VI – Emerging Models for the Entrepreneurial University: Regional Diversities or Global Convergence? 

Singapore, 16-18 May, 2007

Organized for the first time in Asia, Triple Helix VI 2007 will provide a global forum for academic scholars from different disciplinary perspectives as well as policy makers, university administrators and private sector leaders from different countries to exchange and share new learning about the diverse emerging models of the entrepreneurial university, the changing dynamics of University- Industry-Government interactions around the world and the complex roles of the university in local, regional and national economic development.

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