The IPL newsletter: Volume 7, Issue 145

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 Opens Institute for Neurosciences and Health

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) recently officially opened the NRC Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The $13.5 million state-of-the-art facility creates a dynamic research and commercialization hub for the province’s emerging bioresources sector. There, NRC scientists will work with their counterparts from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and researchers from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) to see how compounds found in nature can be used to tackle critical health problems such as infection and immunity-related issues, neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis, and complications related to obesity.

Editor's Pick


Creativity and Industrial Cities: A Case Study of Baltimore

Zoltan Acs and Monika Megyesi

Creativity is changing the way cities approach economic development and formulate policy. Creative metropolises base their economic development strategies, at least in part, on building communities attractive to the creative class worker. While there are countless examples of high-tech regions transforming into creative economies, traditionally industrial cities have received much less attention. This research draws on the case of Baltimore to assess the potential of transforming an industrial region into a creative economy. It analyzes Baltimore’s performance on dimensions of talent, tolerance, technology, and territory in comparison with other similar industrial regions. Using data from the US Census Bureau and research on creativity measures, this study concludes that Baltimore has the opportunity to capitalize on the creative economy because of its openness to diversity, established technology base, and appealing territorial amenities.

Innovation Policy


RIS Methodological Guide Stage 2

Innovating Regions in Europe (IRE)

This document intends to serve as a guide for practitioners in innovation policies helping them to achieve a positive impact in their region. It deals with the process of defining and implementing a regional innovation strategy, as well as selected challenges and pitfall in the strategy formulation process. In particular, it aims at sharing experiences in the field of ensuring that analyses and plans actually form the basis for actions and are not considered a value in their own rights.

Pursuing Excellence: Canada’s Aerospace Sector

Industry Canada

Canada has a well-deserved reputation for the sophisticated research capacity and well-educated work force required for aerospace innovation. This presentation outlines some industry statistics, and outlines the current advantages and future opportunities of the sector in Canada.

Where America Stands: Entrepreneurship

The Council on Competitiveness

Building on the findings of its flagship Competitiveness Index, the Council on Competitiveness is releasing the first in a new series of reports on the high-impact drivers of U.S. innovation capacity and prosperity. Where America Stands: Entrepreneurship focuses on one of the most critical advantages for U.S. competitiveness. While U.S. entrepreneurial performance continues to lead the world by almost any measure, this report shows that other nations are catching up to the United States. The report also highlights that the U.S. environment for entrepreneurial activity faces its own challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.

Cities, Clusters & Regions

Factors Driving Canada’s Rural Economy

Ray Bollman, Statistics Canada

Three drivers for rural Canada are technology, prices, and demography. The relative increase in the value of human time is causing the substitution of machines for labour, thanks to labour-saving technology. Primary sectors will employ fewer people. Successful communities will necessarily find a new good or service to export. The falling price of transporting goods helps rural Canada to be competitive in manufacturing. Successful rural communities may be expected to have a manufacturing base —exceptions being communities with a natural amenity attraction. The price of transferring information is falling. Rural people can receive and send information faster —but so can people in cities. The declining price of exchanging information is changing the opportunities in rural areas. This paper examines the potential for innovation and prosperity in Canada’s rural economy.

Making Cities work for the Lisbon Agenda? New Policy Frameworks in Finland, France and The Netherlands

Williem van Winden, EURICUR

This paper analyzes and compares recent ‘national regional’ innovation programs in Finland, France and The Netherlands. These countries share the ambition to promote national growth by supporting regional innovation, but they differ substantially in their approach. The policies are confronted with recent insights on regional innovation from different research strands. It is concluded, among other things, that the programs effectively promote regional co-operation and reduce policy fragmentation. However, many factors that determine the effectiveness of regional innovation systems and the dynamics of clusters are not addressed. More radical forms of decentralization may well be far more effective to promoting regional innovation than national beauty contests or regional support programs.

The Distinctive City: Divergent Patterns in Hierarchy, Growth and Specialization

Anne Markusen

With accelerated world market integration, cities compete with other cities as sites of production and consumption, targeting firms and households as semi-autonomous location decision-makers. Distinction may be sought in productive structure, consumption and identity. This paper theorizea contradictory trends towards homogenization and distinctiveness. Studying the occupational structure of fifty large US metropolitan areas, it finds that distinctiveness has been increasing in economic base occupations though some heavily blue-collar cities’ edge is eroding. Employment in consumption activities has been growing faster than in the economic base, and cities are becoming more alike in consumption structure. The paper concludes that the search for niches in exporting sectors and related occupational mix is key to urban resurgence.


Statistics & Indicators

Cars on the Brain: 2006 Statistics of the Canadian Automotive Industry

Industry Canada

The automotive industry is Canada’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 12 percent of manufacturing GDP and 26 percent of manufacturing trade. It employs 168,732 people in automotive assembly and component manufacturing, and another 335,085 in distribution and aftermarket sales and service. Manufacturing is clustered in central Canada, in the heart of the North American auto industry, while distribution is spread across the country.

European Innovation Scoreboard 2006


This is the sixth edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS). The EIS is the instrument developed by the European Commission, under the Lisbon Strategy, to evaluate and compare the innovation performance of the EU Member States. The EIS 2006 includes innovation indicators and trend analyses for the EU25 1 Member States, plus the two new Member States: Bulgaria and Romania, as well as for Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the US and Japan. The Annex includes tables with definitions as well as comprehensive data sheets for every country.


Policy Digest

Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: A Guide for New Zealand Science Activity

New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology


Nanoscience and nanotechnologies are providing a new understanding of atomic and molecular properties and processes. This understanding is predicted to lead to transformational developments across a wide range of sectors and industries. Convergence of nanotechnologies with other fields, such as biotechnology and information and communication technology (ICT), is expected to lead to significant economic, environmental and social opportunities and challenges.


Seizing these opportunities and managing challenges responsibly as they arise are priorities for any jurisdiction seeking to develop capacity in this emerging field. New Zealand’s Ministry of Research, Industry and Technology provides an outline of development goals and strategies with particular relevance for the Ontario context. For example, one concern that both Ontario and New Zealand share is that the products of research into emerging fields are often commercialized elsewhere. This roadmap provides some guidelines to help maximize the benefit, and minimize the risks of public investment in these fields.


This report urges action according to the following directives:


Timeline of Investment and Research Directions

  • Until 2010 the main focus for investment in nanoscience and nanotechnologies should remain on basic research that builds capability and critical mass.

  • Additional investment in the medium term (to 2015) should be targeted to research that shows strong relevance and benefi t to existing industries.

  • In the longer term a greater proportion of investment should be targeted to supporting research and development that has more transformative application potential.


Research Environment

  • It is important to ensure that the appropriate skills and resources are there to underpin the research directions. There will be a focus on greater research collaboration, improved access to equipment, support for interdisciplinary research and skills development, and active involvement in setting international standards.


Societal Impact

  • Social research should inform nano-related research and policy and the government should support inclusive forms of public engagement that enable communities to contribute to decisions on nanoscience and nanotechnology application.


Uptake and Commercialization

  • Commercialization of research is not a nanotech specific issue – the report recommends that the government continue with policies that try to better link researchers with the potential users of the technologies in all areas of science.



  • The focus of regulation will be on enhancing capabilities to effectively and effi ciently identify and manage risks associated with manufactured nanomaterials.


Each of these directions is dealt with in detail, with specific recommendations about actions that should be considered in the short, medium and long terms outlined above.


Research Incentives: Maximizing Performance in the Knowledge Economy

Ottawa, 7 March, 2007

As Canada continues to cope with the globalization of the knowledge economy, Canadian firms are facing stiff competition from an increasing number of players. They also have more opportunities for global sales, marketing and distribution; and global collaboration, partnerships and outsourcing. For Canada to remain competitive, we need a policy environment that is attractive to entrepreneurs and firms in knowledge-based sectors. What kinds of research and innovation incentives will effectively support the growth of knowledge-based firms in Canada? There are clear choices, including tax measures, the programmatic approach, grants (like the US model), technology transfer from publicly-funded institutions, improving the general business environment. What mix of incentives will the new government in Ottawa choose? How will these choices affect existing programs and policies? What role do different levels of governments have to play and how can they coordinate and focus their efforts? How are other countries using research and other incentives to grow their knowledge-based sectors? This one-day event will explore these and other issues related to research and innovation incentives. Business leaders and other experts will elaborate how Canadian policy makers can utilize incentives to support a vital and growing private sector capable of winning globally.


Commercializing Photonics Technology (OPTICS Annual Members Meeting)

Hamilton, 26 March, 2007

The Government of Ontario recently announced that it will spend $300M for commercializing university science. Your local photonics cluster, OPTIC, is getting a share of this. This year’s AMM is your opportunity to let us know how you’d like to see OPTIC spend its new resources. Representatives from OPC, CPFC, INO and OCE will also be there to talk about how they can help you commercialize new science and technology.


Regions in Focus

Lisbon, Portugal, 2-5 April, 2007

This event by the Regional Studies Association will take place in Lisbon. Many topics will be discussed such as: developments in regional economics and spatial analysis; tourism, regional development and sustainability; knowledge, competition and cohesion; creativity, innovation and cultural economy, and global challenges for manufacturing and services.


BioFinance 2007

Toronto, 24-27 April, 2007

BioFinance 2007 is a gathering of some of the most innovative minds in the life science industries featuring presentations by senior management from more than 100 Canadian, US and European life science companies. The range of participating firms includes large publicly traded and major private companies as well as early-stage opportunities. The companies will highlight their development plans for new medicines and technologies in the fields of cancer, cardiology, medical devices, neuroscience, immunology, genomics, diagnostics and new research tools. BioFinance 2007 will feature a CEO Forum to address specific financing and management issues relevant to Chief Executive Officers in life science companies. It will also have specialty panels on topics including access to public markets in the US and Europe, investing in medical technologies, pharma-biopharma deals and early stage venture financing from private and public sources

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.


Discovery 2007: TO Next 

Toronto, 1 May, 2007

Connect with people and speakers and discover what is next in innovation in Ontario. The program includes a keynote address from Ray Kurzweil, one of the worlds most respected thinkers and entrepreneurs. Sessions cover the issue of Technology Revolution, The Innovation Highway, Creating Value – Driving Success, Ideas to Income, Innovation and Technology Convergence, and the IP Debate.


Pacific Regional Science Conference Organization (PRSCO) 2007 

Vancouver, 6-9 May, 2007

The central theme of the conference is “Creative City Regions: Examining Their Role in the Pacific Rim”. Cities have always been the crucible of culture and civilization, and the hubs of wealth creation, but today they face enormous challenges. Compounded by infrastructural, economic and social problems, dramatic changes are taking place. If cities are to flourish, there has to be a paradigm shift in the way they are managed, to draw fully on the talents and creativity of their own residents – businesses, city authorities and the citizens themselves. The host city, Vancouver, is a multicultural and diverse urban area with a high quality of life. It is poised to stage the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Join us at PRSCO 2007 when we shall examine the role of the `new economy’ and `cultural industries’ in Pacific Rim city regions. Paper submission deadline has been extended to February 28th, 2007.



The 16th International Conference on Management of Technology: “Management of Technology for the Service Economy”

Miami Beach, Florida, 13-17 May, 2007

IAMOT 2007 will provide an international technical forum for experts from industry and academia to exchange ideas and present results of ongoing research in the following tracks: Knowledge Management, Green Technologies, Social impact of technology development, MOT Education and Research / Corporate Universities, New Product/Service Development, National and Regional Systems of Innovation, Small and Medium Enterprises, Emerging Technologies, Technology Transfer, Marketing and Commercialization, Technology Foresight and Forecasting, Information and Communication Technology Management, The Integration of Technology and Business Strategies, R&D Management, Project and Program Management, Industrial and Manufacturing System Technologies / Supply Chain Management, New Forms of Organizations, Management of Technology in Developing Countries . Technological Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions, Theory of Technology, Technology Incubation, Management of Technology for the Service Economy, Innovation/technological development and productivity


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.


Toronto Technology Week

Toronto, 28 May – 1 June, 2007

Toronto’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry cluster will come together to celebrate being the largest high-tech hub in Canada and the third largest in North America. During this event a series of activities will be undertaken to showcase the depth and breath of Toronto’s high technology sector. These will include trade associations’ events such as seminars and business networking functions, job fairs, collaboration demonstrations, an ICT business open door program, school projects, educational seminars, special exhibits showcasing innovation & excellence and other ICT sector- related activities. An organizing committee formed by ICT industry stakeholders representing a cross-section of this industry, in both the private and public sectors, has been formed to implement this initiative


Photonics North 2007 – Closing the Gap Between Theory, Development and Application 

Ottawa, 4-7 June, 2007

Conference topics include, but are not limited to: biophotonics, fiber lasers and amps, guided wave devices, industrial applications, new optical materials and nanophotonics, optical sensors and detectors, optics and photonics in defence and security, photonics design and simulations, photonics devices and networks, and ultrashort pulse lasers. The call for paper submissions has been extended to February 26, 2007.


3rd International Conference on E-Government 

Montreal, 27 – 28 September, 2007

Alongside the rise in e-Government provision comes a greater interest in the study of e-Government, from both a practical and a theoretical point of view. As controversy rages around issues such as e-Voting and identity cards, so academics and practitioners pick up the gauntlet of supporting or attacking these issues. Service providers too have their opinions to share. Much time and money is being spent in considering the best way forward and in examining what has been done well and what lessons can be learnt when things go wrong. This conference aims to bring evidence of the research being undertaken across the globe to the attention of co-workers and the wider community for the purposes of helping practitioners find ways to put research into practice, and for researchers to gain an understanding of additional real-world problems. The advisory group for ICEG 2007 therefore invites submissions of papers on both theory and practice in respect of the conference themes outlined below, from academics, government departments and practitioners in the public and private sector.


Atlanta Conference on Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2007
Atlanta, October 19-20, 2007

The landscape of global innovation is shifting, with new problems and actors emerging on the scene. National governments are looking for new strategies, and they are turning to the science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy research community for models and research results to tell them what works and what doesn’t, under what circumstances. The Atlanta Conference provides an opportunity for the global STI policy research and user communities to test models of innovation, explore emerging STI policy issues, and share research results.

Subscriptions & Comments

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will find it of value. We look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative. If you would like to comment on, or contribute to, the content, subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact us at

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