Ontario's Regional Economic Development and Innovation Newsletter

Issue #218                                                       September 1, 2010

  Studies & Publications: Announcements | Editor's Pick | Innovation Policy |Cities and Regions | Statistics and Indicators| Policy Digest | Events
Search the OREDI Newsletter
Subscriptions & Comments


This newsletter is published by ONRIS at the Centre for International Studies, 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS                                                          [Table of Contents]

Obituary: Professor Chris Freeman

Professor Chris Freeman, renowned expert on the social and economic consequences of developments in science and technology, passed away on 16th August 2010, aged 88. Christopher Freeman won international recognition for his innovative work on the social and economic context of science and technology. In 1966 he accepted an invitation from Professor Asa Briggs, then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, to be the founding director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at that university. Under Freeman’s leadership SPRU became one of the foremost groups in the world undertaking studies of how societies can maximise the benefits from science and technology while minimising their harmful effects. His funeral ceremony and a celebration of his life was held on Thursday, 26th August in Lewes, Sussex.

Government of Canada Bolsters Canada's Knowledge Economy

Researchers in Quebec and across Canada will benefit from new facilities and equipment, and universities will have more opportunities to develop and attract top scientists, thanks to a major investment by the Government of Canada. The federal government will invest in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI's) Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF). The fund is designed to help Canada's universities continue to attract and retain the world's best researchers at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty. This funding will enable institutions to strategically set priorities and acquire new infrastructure to support these exceptional researchers and improve labs and facilities.

New Invention Disclosures at Canadian Universities Grew 20 Percent in 2008

Canadian universities and affiliated hospitals disclosed and reported 1,613 new inventions in 2008, a 20 percent increase over the previous year, according to a new report from Statistics Canada (below). These same institutions reported that 19 new spin-off companies were created using university intellectual property in 2008, bringing the total number of spin-off companies to 1,242 since 1999. The reported value of research undertaken at Canadian universities and hospitals reached an estimated $2 billion in 2008, a 55 percent increase over 2007.

EDITOR'S PICK                                                             [Table of Contents]

Interagency Energy Efficiency Cluster Initiative to be Located in Philadelphia

The Department of Energy recently announced that a consortium of more than 90 public- and private-sector organizations based in the Philadelphia region will host the first Energy Regional Innovation Cluster or, E-RIC, a new interagency program to accelerate energy innovation and commercialization. The new E-RIC was selected among many applicants to win $129 million dollars in grants and programmatic support from the DOE and six other federal agencies for investment in energy efficiency technology innovation and commercialization.

INNOVATION & RELATED POLICY                                  [Table of Contents]

After Inception: How Enduring is Job Creation by Startups?

Michael Horrell and Robert Litan, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Conventional thinking on employment from startups is that many of the new jobs created by startups evaporate over the course of just a few years as firms exit the market. By tracking cohorts of firms founded from 1977-2000, this report finds that this may not be the case. While many firms exit over the life of each cohort (destroying jobs), other firms also grow (creating jobs). This growth in employment partially balances out the jobs lost by closing and shrinking firms. This report also looks at how recessions affect employment in these cohorts of firms. It finds that starting a firm during a recession does not affect employment levels five years later, but cohorts of firms exposed to prolonged recessions did experience significantly lower employment levels.

The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America

Pew Environmental Group
The clean energy economy has "tremendous potential for growth" due to policies that create incentives to "develop new technologies, infrastructure and processes for clean energy, efficiency and conversation". Five types of policies — Financial Incentives, Renewable Portfolio Standards, Energy Efficiency Standards, Regional Clean Energy Initiatives and Vehicle Emissions Standards — should continue to fuel the growth of the clean energy technologies over the coming years. Effective leveraging of federal stimulus dollars intended for renewable energies also should help to spur economic growth and innovation in the sector. The report identifies the role of policy as a significant factor in the growing interest in the clean energy economy.

The Recovery Act: Transforming the American Economy Through Innovation

White House Report
With over $787 billion in funding, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is one of the single boldest and largest investments in the U.S. economy in the nation’s history. The Recovery Act’s design was three-fold: to rescue a rapidly deteriorating economy; put the country on a path to recovery by putting Americans back to work quickly; and reinvest in the country’s long-term economic future, building a foundation for a new, more robust, and competitive American economy. Within the reinvestment spending of the Recovery Act, over $100 billion is invested in innovative and transformative programs. This report explores four areas within those innovative programs in which game-changing breakthroughs are being sought, and in some cases, new American industries are being born: 1. Modernizing transportation, including advanced vehicle technology and high-speed rail; 2. Jumpstarting the renewable energy sector through wind and solar energy; 3. Building a platform for private sector innovation through investments in broadband, Smart Grid, and health information technology; and 4. Investing in groundbreaking medical research.

A New Approach to Innovation Policy in the European Union

Massimiliano Granieri and Andrea Renda, Centre for European Policy Studies
Innovation policy is increasingly coming under the spotlight in the European Union, and has been given a prominent role in the EU 2020 strategy and in the flagship initiatives that will aim to ensure that Europe succeeds where the Lisbon strategy failed. In years to come, problems such as the fragmentation of competences at EU and member state level; the need to fill the ‘skills gap’ and address the changing nature of innovation; the absence of a Community patent and a common framework for litigation; the need to refine the EU policy on technology transfer and standardisation; and the need to provide suitable funding instruments to boost the potential of innovative companies will all take on more urgency. The CEPS Task Force on Innovation Policy reflected on these issues between September 2009 and May 2010. This report provides recommendations on all the above-mentioned issues, with a view to contributing to one of the greatest challenges of today: unlocking the EU’s innovation potential and promoting its competitiveness in a global economy.

CITIES, CLUSTERS & REGIONS                                          [Table of Contents]

The Governance of Toronto: Challenges of Size and Complexity

Richard Stren, et al., Cities Centre University of Toronto
The year 2010 is an election year for the City of Toronto. Over this election season, a great deal of campaigning, newspaper coverage, and community discussion will focus on the operations of the City. This is as it should be, since for significant parts of our lives, the City plays a very important role. We elect councillors and a mayor every four years to ensure that our voices are listened to and our needs are taken into consideration in the City’s work. The Toronto municipal government covers important local functions and services such as land use planning, zoning, building regulation, public health, water and sewerage, roads and public transportation, policing and security, parks and recreation, community services, public housing, fire and ambulance services, public libraries and other services too numerous to mention. In order to manage these services and facilities across a city of close to 2.7 million people, Toronto has developed a complex system of governance. This paper is designed to outline the main features of the governance process in Toronto. This paper functions as a background document, which will help structure discussions at the Canadian Urban Institute Event "On the Outside Looking In? The Many Mysteries of Governance in the City of Toronto" profiled in the Events section, below.

Insight - All Over the Map: The Geography of Service Work in Toronto

The Martin Prosperity Institute
This research brief is part of the Cities Centre's Toronto 2010 Election series and analyzes the location of Toronto's service class jobs and their connections to transit. Our analysis found that service class jobs are widely distributed across the city, from parts of central Toronto to Etobicoke to North York to Scarborough. While the service class makes up the largest share of jobs in Toronto, creative class workplaces have significantly better access to the city's fastest transit infrastructure.

Driving Innovation in Cities: Learning from Greater Manchester

The UK's cities face an unprecedented economic challenge. They need to foster the economic growth necessary to recover from the deepest recession the UK has seen for decades. And they must do this at a time when public spending is dramatically declining. This is doubly problematic for many British cities. It means far less money will be available to pay for traditional regeneration and economic development projects. But at the same time, it means that cities cannot rely on the expansion of the public sector to provide growth; indeed they will have to rely on the private sector all the more, as the public sector shrinks.

Exports in the Great Lakes: How Great Lakes Metros Can Build on Exports and Boost Competitiveness

Jennifer Bradley, Smilia Istrate, and Jonathan Rothwell, The Brookings Institution
Early in 2010, with the U.S. economy struggling to produce output or jobs, President Obama devoted a portion of his State of the Union Address to “fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.” One of these problems, according to the President, was a lack of exports. The President linked an increase in exports to an increase in jobs, and pledged to double exports over the next five years. Doubling exports, whether or not it happens in the next five years, would be a huge boon to most of the Great Lakes region’s largest metropolitan areas, bringing them thousands of good jobs and building on their existing strengths in the world economy. This report focuses attention on the benefits of exporting, and highlights the existing and emerging strengths, and some weaknesses, of Great Lakes metros in global trade. Using newly developed information from the Brookings report “Export Nation,” this analysis of export activity in the 21 largest metros of the Great Lakes region for the years 2003 to 2008 reveals several important findings that can help metropolitan regions capitalize on their export potential.

STATISTICS & INDICATORS                                                                  [Table of Contents]

Survey of Intellectual Property Commercialization in the Higher Education Sector

Statistics Canada
This annual publication is based on the Survey of Intellectual Property Commercialization in the Higher Education Sector which tracks the progress of innovation in this area.The objective of the survey is to assure the availability of pertinent information to monitor science and technology related activities and to support the development of science and technology policy. The topic studied is intellectual property management at universities and affiliated teaching hospitals. The data are used to determine how to maximize the benefits resulting from public sector research. Data users include the federal and provincial governments and university administrators and researchers.

2010 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index

Policy-makers need as many tools as possible to help them understand the global competitive landscape and make informed decisions. This report presents an additional tool for policy-makers: a global manufacturing competitiveness index based on the views of more than 400 senior manufacturing executives worldwide. By drawing directly on the experience of manufacturers—those who develop business and manufacturing strategies and make the decisions regarding investments in research facilities, plants, equipment, technology, and labour—the index delivers a unique perspective on the global competitive landscape, identifying the countries considered as the most competitive now and in five years. This report also identifies what manufacturers view as the most important drivers of competition and presents their views on what governments can do to improve overall manufacturing competitiveness. It also offers an important glimpse of the manufacturer response to a period of extreme economic contraction, with the study having been conducted during one of the most dire manufacturing environments since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

POLICY DIGEST                                                                  [Table of Contents]

White Paper: The Emerging of European World-Class Clusters

Europa InterCluster
The two thousand thousand European clusters are highly heterogeneous. Some of them can be described as ecosystems, that is, as geographic concentrations of businesses and research centres in a particular field of activity – we may call these "area clusters". They have the ability to generate innovation and need to be monitored by the higher end of the value chain (infrastructures, cooperation tools, financial tools, etc.). The others are more like alliances of businesses and research centres coordinated by a management team, with the goal to set up a complete value chain in a growth market – they may be called "power clusters". They have the capacity to work out and implement a strategic vision and need to be monitored by the lower end of the chain, i.e. by the market and customer services. The emergence of world-class European clusters lies in the art of reconciling and superimposing these two approaches so as to meet challenges appearing on a global scale.

Three key challenges

• Stepping onto the world stage
Considering that globalisation brings about the fragmentation of value chains, clusters need to be able to project themselves onto the world stage by equipping themselves with a strong enough strategic vision to allow them to construct their own value chains by finding a position on high value-added growth markets. This is particularly the case for those overlapping several fields, such as sustainable transport, nanotechnologies, new materials, optronics, green technologies, creative industries, and more generally, service-oriented markets.

• Internal consolidation
Considering this necessity to find a place on the global stage, clusters need to strengthen their "inner core". This involves following the principle of the triangle of knowledge and ensuring true interaction between the innovation process (from the original idea down to the patent), the prior-to-marketing processes (from prototype to design) and the production process (from manufacturing to market launch). The quality of these internal dynamics is what will make the cluster into something greater than the sum of its parts which, which clusters will become industrial players in their own right, combining high regional attractiveness with competitiveness on the world stage.

• Capitalise on the European potential
Considering this dual necessity of both a global strategy and internal consolidation, European clusters, faced with the formidable competition from emerging countries, need to come together, to forge alliances, to switch from a culture of exchange (such as sharing experiences) to a culture of cooperation (e.g. creating temporary consortia over the period of a programme) and finally to a culture of community (e.g. setting up permanent consortia of three or four clusters complementing one another in the value chain and equipped with a joint management team and a common strategy). This is a road towards the emergence and development of European world-class clusters.

Towards a European Pact for Clusters

• The need for European coordination
27 member states, 27 different cluster policies, not to mention policies implemented at regional or local levels. The cost of this fragmentation represents "the cost of non-Europe". Clusters are well aware of how such fragmentation hampers the emergence of alliances and cooperation between European clusters aiming towards the achievement of world-class status. This is why real cluster policy coordination needs to be carried out by the European Commission, Parliament and Member States on the basis of the future Europe 2020 programme, thereby enabling clusters to become the central actors of a new European industrial policy.

• Concrete proposals
Hand-in-hand with cluster policy coordination, we propose a number of measures to improve and complement the range of technical and financial tools which will enable the implementation of this globally oriented European strategy: a one-stop shop for all segments of the clusters’ value chain, an integrated programme for productive and regional innovation, a tool box for integration, an EU “Single Fund” for the Emergence of European Value Chains, and finally, the acknowledgement of clusters as players in their own right in many of the Commission's and Member States' programs.These measures could be brought together under the heading of a "European Pact for Clusters".


EVENTS                                                                               [Table of Contents]

On the Outside Looking In? The Many Mysteries of Governance in the City of Toronto

Toronto, September 9, 2010
 The City of Toronto is ostensibly democratic and run by legitimately elected officials accountable to the people every four years. But the City is so large, it has so many responsibilities, the nooks and crannies of its operations are so arcane in some respects that some Toronto citizens feel they have little understanding of its workings and little or no say in its policies. What is the right way of reading the City? Is it, by and large, an open, democratic institution that allows and even encourages access to all its citizens, as its supporters – including residents and ratepayers associations – might say?   Or, as its critics might say, is it a closed and even obscure organization that, in effect, bestows privilege and power on those who have mastered its intricacies and understand which “buttons” need to be pushed? In the course of this event issues of governance in Toronto will be discussed by a panel of experts.  Bring your questions to the meeting, and join in on a lively discussion of the issues and challenges of governing a very large and important city.

Accelerating Innovation: The Road Ahead for Tech-based Economic Development
SSTI Annual Conference

Pittsburgh, 14-16 September, 2010
The conference offers sessions, speakers, workshops and networking activities tailored to the needs of the innovation community. This year's presenters include federal officials, governors, heads of economic development agencies and regional TBED organizations, and SSTI staff. It will focus on getting TBED professionals the answers they need to create effective strategies and to handle the speed bumps they encounter along the way.


Toronto, 30 September, 2010
Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area ICT cluster, comes together for a celebration of technology as an engine of economic growth at the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. We live in a new world without borders. Two out of every three people in the world own a mobile communications device….and Toronto is leading the way to this borderless future. Technicity brings together technology leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and representatives of the region’s economic development agencies for a day of panel discussions, displays and an evening to remember, to celebrate, to brainstorm, network and create economic opportunity. It also serves as an opportunity to leverage our talent pool, infrastructure, and geographic location to broaden the base of our already powerful ICT cluster.Technicity will highlight breaking technologies such as wireless data connectivity that will make up in next-generation cars to predictive analytics that is the next-generation for business intelligence.

Triple Helix in the Development of Cities of Knowledge, Expanding Communities and Connecting Regions

Madrid, Spain, 20-22 Oct, 2010
Innovation is understood as a resultant of a complex and dynamic process related to interactions between University, Industry and Government, in a spiral of endless transitions. The Triple Helix approach, developed by Henry Etzkowitz and Loet Leydesdorff, is based on the perspective of University as a leader of the relationship with Industry and Government, to generate new knowledge, innovation and economic development. The main theme of our conference is “Triple Helix in the Development of Cities of Knowledge, Expanding Communities and Connecting Regions”.

Entrepreneurship and Community: 26th Annual CCSBE Conference

Calgary, 28-30 October, 2010
The theme this year is Entrepreneurship and Community. We are seeking to explore the multifaceted impact entrepreneurs and small businesses have on their communities through their new ventures, business and community outreach. There is growing recognition by policy makers, members of society, business leaders and youth, that creative approaches are needed to address environmental, economic, and societal issues. The conference program highlights the research, educational methods, and community practices pertaining to venture sustainability and social entrepreneurship. In support of the theme we have attracted an array of plenary and guest speakers, and developed workshops which will contribute to the dialogue.

Reshaping Europe: Addressing Societal Challenges Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Liege, Belgium, 27-29 October, 2010
Over the past couple of years, Europe, and the rest of the world, has faced an unprecedented crisis affecting all sectors of the economy. The crisis and the recovery that is now taking place in most Member States provide experiences that can be used to reshape Europe and to ensure that it is stronger and better prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. The Europe 2020 Strategy is designed to improve the business environment. It is vital that this environment offers the framework conditions to turn ideas into products and services more quickly and easily, whilst addressing environmental concerns and making efficient use of resources. At this important turning point, the Europe INNOVA conference will provide a timely opportunity to determine how innovation policy and innovation support can help Europe and its enterprises, both large and small, to best face these challenges.The conference will unite the Europe INNOVA Community with key innovation stakeholders from the worlds of politics, academia and business. Together they will discuss three approaches that are crucial if Europe is to respond to the societal challenges with which it is currently confronted.

Making Innovation Work for Society: Linking, Leveraging and Learning GLOBELICS 8th Annual Conference

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1-3 November, 2010
Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS) is an international network of scholars who apply the concept of "learning, innovation, and competence building system" (LICS) as their framework and are dedicated to the strengthening of LICS in developing countries, emerging economies and societies in transition. The research aims at locating unique systemic features as well as generic good practices to enlighten policy making relating to innovation, competence building, international competitiveness, regional development, labour market and human capital development. In an increasingly global and knowledge‐based competition, management strategies need to be based upon an understanding of these framework conditions and the public policies which seek to regulate the environment.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Entrepreneurial University and thte Academic Enterprise

Washington, DC, 12-13 November, 2010
The theme of the 2010 conference is The Entrepreneurial University and the Academic Enterprise. Conference presentations should focus on the potential commonalities and/or conflicts of interests among government, university, and industry participants in technology transfer. The sessions will emphasize also the assessment of technology transfer activities, especially how to examine the objectives and processes of technology transfer activities (beyond the immediate needs of the participants), including both formal and informal transfer mechanisms (Link, Siegel & Bozeman, 2007; Abreu et al, 2008). Special focus will be placed on papers which evaluate the aspects of academicuniversity research relationships beyond their immediate outputs (Georghiou & Roessner, 2000; Vonortas & Spivack, 2005, Carayannis and Provance, 2007), including intellectual property issues (Feller & Feldman, 2009), modes of commercialization (Kenney & Patton, 2009), and economic impact (Roberts & Easley, 2009).

Knowledge Cities World Summit 2010

Melbourn, Australia, 16-19 November, 2010
‘Knowledge’ is a resource, which relies on the past for a better future. In the 21st century, more than ever before, cities around the world rely on the knowledge of their citizens, their institutions, their firms and enterprises. Knowledge assists in attracting investment, qualified labour, students and researchers. Knowledge also creates local life spaces and professional milieus, which offer quality of life to the citizens who are seeking to cope with the challenges of modern life in a competitive world. This conference will offer a range of innovative presentation formats aimed at facilitating interaction and accessibility for all members of the Knowledge Summit community. The Summit will attract a range of multidisciplinary participants including: practitioners, managers, decision and policy makers of non-government organisations, technology solution developers, innovators, urban planners, urban designers and developers, academics, researchers and postgraduate students.

9th Annual Incubation Conference: Combining Technological Entrepreneurship with Creativity and Culture

Liverpool, UK, 18-19 November, 2010
First established in 2002 this annual conference has developed into a renowned international event in which incubators, science parks, investors, universities, governmental organizations and industry discuss and evaluate their strategy on how best to support young start-ups on the road to succes. Be a part of this inspiring event!

INNOWEST 2010: How innovative companies used innovation to navigate successfully through the recession and position themselves for growth

Calgary, 25-26 November, 2010
The companies worst hit in western Canada during the recession tended to be those with undifferentiated products with many competitors, where price competition became severe. By contrast, the companies who did reasonably well tended to have unique products and fewer competitors. InnoWest 2010 tells the story of some of these companies, and how innovation helped them to live through the recession relatively unscathed, and position themselves for growth in the recovery. InnoWest 2010 will not focus on the very large companies [such as Suncor] or on very small companies [for example, a 10 employee company] but will focus on the large middle ground where the bulk of Canada’s GDP is generated. Keynote speakers include Sir Terry Matthews.

Innovation 2010

Ottawa, 5-7 December, 2010
Globally, innovation is recognized as the driving force towards lasting sustainable prosperity in the coming decades. The federal government’s S&T strategy promotes action to grow the translation of knowledge into commercial applications that generate wealth for Canadians and support a high quality of life. We have the opportunity to build a world-class innovation ecosystem in Canada. The challenge is to foster increased partnerships and collaboration among public, academic and private sectors to ensure we improve knowledge mobilization and commercialization for world-class next generation products and services. In keeping with these challenges and opportunities, ACCT Canada, Federal Partners in Technology Transfer (FPTT) and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) are pleased to present their first national joint conference on innovation and competitiveness in Canada: INNOVATION 2010.

Managing the Art of Innovation: Turning Concepts into Reality

Quebec City, 12-15 December, 2010
Organized by ISPIM in collaboration with local partner INO, a leading non-profit R&D center in Optics/Photonics in Canada, this symposium will bring together academics, business leaders, consultants and other professionals involved in innovation management. The symposium format will include facilitated themed sessions for academic and practitioner presentations together with interactive workshops and discussion panels. Additionally, the symposium will provide excellent networking opportunities together with a taste of local French Canadian culture.


>SUBSCRIPTIONS & COMMENTS                                                 [Table of Contents]

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 onris.progris@utoronto.ca.
This newsletter is prepared by Jen Nelles.
Project manager is David A. Wolfe.

back to top