SSTI Digest

Geography: International

New TBED Efforts to Make Ontario Leader in Innovation

To spur job creation in Ontario, the provincial government recently announced two initiatives focusing on innovation and regional economic growth -- the new Fuel Cell Innovation Program and the newly refocused Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

Recent Research: Related Knowledge Boosts Manufacturing Productivity

Just what makes firms productive? Economists continue to refine their thinking on the interactions that enhance productivity. Knowledge capital and knowledge relatedness play an active role in increasing firm competitiveness, especially in large, high-tech manufacturing sectors, according to a study presented at a recent conference of the Groupe de Recherche en Economie.

VC Investments in China Top $1B in 2004: Premier wants tech zones established to encourage even more growth

Money is following the jobs and excitement that represents China's economy these days according to an annual survey of equity investments in China mainland businesses. Compiled by Chinese venture capital (VC) research and consulting firm Zero2IPO, the fourth annual survey found 60 firms made 253 investments totalling $1.269 billion (US) in China mainland or mainland-related enterprises in 2004.

From Armenia to Zambia, Most of World Embracing Innovation

It may not be getting much attention from the White House or Congress, but encouraging innovation and technology-based economic development through coordinated national strategies and initiatives is very much on the legislative agenda of many other countries around the world. Recent highlights from the past few weeks include (all dollar figures are for U.S. equivalencies):

Canada Launches $125M Facilities to Advance Tech Commercialization

To increase the commercial value and economic benefits of federal investments in scientific research, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is launching six new research and innovation facilities valued at over $125 million.

Sustaining Innovation in China

Last year, China replaced the U.S. as the most popular destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). The creation of an IBM Research Innovation Center as an extension of its China Research Lab near Beijing University provides a recent example of U.S. interest in capitalizing on China's emergence as the planet's hottest economy.

Finland Tops World Competitiveness Rankings

Finland remains the most competitive economy in the world and tops the rankings for the second consecutive year in The Global Competitiveness Report 2004-2005, released earlier this month by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The U.S. is in second position, followed by Sweden, Taiwan, Denmark and Norway, respectively.

Funding Scheme to Support R&D for Large Companies in Scotland

In order to provide further incentives for crucial research and development (R&D) and to encourage more industries to carry out R&D in Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, the economic development agency for Scotland has launched a new funding scheme.

Malaysia Outlines Aggressive S&T Efforts in 2005 Budget

Seekers for evidence of the increasingly global nature of competition on the research and innovation levels need look no further than some recent announcements stemming from Malaysia. As part of its 2005 budget plan, the Malaysian government aims to create a new matching grant program for private R&D in January, triple financial support for its Small and Medium-sized Industry Fund, encourage government-linked companies to investment up to 10 percent of profits into research efforts over the next five years, and increase government support for research through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations.

Chinese Government Sets New Guidelines to Grow High-tech Industries

China is focusing on the newest and most promising areas of technology to expand economic growth through the development of high-tech industries, suggests a new report released by the nation's government. The report, 2004 Guidelines for Priority on Key Technology Areas, indicates China will channel investments to 134 key sectors and promote exports, according to an article in The Scientist.

Ontario Commits $63M to Commercialization Strategy

If you consider North America's public investment to encourage economic growth through science and technology at the state or provincial government level, Ontario should be in your top 10. And the recent injection of $63 million for technology commercialization might have bumped the province of 12 million residents up a place or two.

British Launches 10-year Science & Innovation Investment Plan

Science Spending to Rise £1B Over Next 3 Years Alone