UK’s Catapult Network Continues to Grow, Receive Support

A new report released last week by Hermann Hauser, one of Britain’s most renowned technology entrepreneurs, announces his support for the expansion of the UK’s Catapult Network, a series of national centers focused on innovating around specific industry areas. Hauser played a critical role in the launch of the Catapult Network and was tapped by cabinet officials to conduct a review of the program’s progress. In Review of the Catapult Network: Recommendations on the Future Shape, Scope and Ambition of the Programme, Hauser notes that in order to take advantage of its world-leading science base, the UK must drastically increase its funding for innovation programming and the size and scope of its Catapult Centers.

Australia Releases Innovation and Competiveness Agenda, Establishes Five ‘Industry Growth Centers’

Australian Minster Tony Abbott announced a $400 million AUD (approximately $352M USD) national Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda focused on building the country’s innovation economy, supporting apprenticeship and workforce programs that address the needs of industry, and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.  The centerpiece of the agenda is a $188 million AUD (approximately $165.5M USD) initiative to create industry growth centers in five sectors: food and agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; oil, gas and energy resources; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing services. These industry-led centers would provide funding and technical assistance to support the commercialization of products developed via university-industry partnerships. The government also calls for immigration reforms that ease English language and skills requirements to attract more skilled workers. Read the agenda…

International Accelerators Operating in the U.S.

In an increasingly globalized marketplace, the ability to penetrate the ultra-valuable U.S. market is still an end goal for companies throughout the world. Since the early 2000s, foreign governments have opened accelerators as one mechanism to provide funding, mentorship, and additional support for young firms hoping to enter the U.S. market. Although many of these accelerators feature common characteristics, each has its own strategy for best reaching the needs of its young and promising companies.

Around the World in TBED

In addition to the recent announcement of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Incubator program (See related Digest article), several other countries announced initiatives that will provide financial and other resources to support innovation incubator and accelerator programs to help cultivate new tech startups and increase economic growth.

Weak Innovation Policy Environment Hampers U.S. Competitiveness, Finds ITIF

In recent decades as many countries have developed sophisticated national innovation strategies, the U.S. has generally avoided attempts to introduce a coordinated innovation policy system. Instead, U.S. leaders have placed their trust in the market, rather than the government, to generate knowledge, products and businesses. A new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) suggests that this approach ignores a major factor in the success of innovation economies. Modern, competitive nations rely on three elements that comprise an “Innovation Success Triangle” – business environment, regulatory environment and innovation policy system.

Around the World in TBED

UK Moves to Support Growing Social Innovation Sector
The United Kingdom (UK) recently announced that it will petition the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, for permission to increase the size of tax relief for social investments that address significant social issues. The proposed plan would:

Ontario’s New Public-Private Fund-of-Funds Could Raise $300M

Ontario officials launched a new fund-of-funds this week intended to boost capital resources for high-tech companies. The Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is a privately led initiative, supported by federal and provincial funds. The governments of Canada and Ontario have agreed to make a combined capital commitment of $1 for every $2 secured from the private sector. Current commitments total $217.5 million CAD ($195.4 million USD), but leaders hope to match the government’s maximum match level of $300 million CAD ($269.6 million USD) in a second closing later this year. Read the announcement…

European Union Opens $20.5B Funding Round for New Innovation Project

The European Union is investing 15 billion ($20.5 billion) over the next two years toward the Horizon2020 project, an initiative designed to boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, increase global competitiveness, and address key societal challenges. The European Commission has declared funding priorities for the project and opened submissions for the 2014 budget.

New Report by Battelle Explores Growth of Global Innovation Ecosystem

Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine have released their annual Global Funding Forecast, an assessment of global political and economic impacts on worldwide industrial research. The report notes that although global R&D spending by leading countries has remained virtually unchanged since the Great Recession, the flows of innovation research have changed substantially. Research collaboration between countries has increased markedly and the scope of research partnerships, particularly between Southeast Asia and the U.S. and European Union, has broadened significantly. The result is a growing global innovation ecosystem that leverages national advantages in tech commercialization and industry engagement to increase the economic return on public and private R&D investments.

Time for a Paradigm Shift in University-Industry Collaboration, According to Report

University-industry collaborations need a paradigm shift from the traditional one-way knowledge transfer model to a two-way knowledge co-creation model, according to a new report from the Big Innovation Centre (BIC) — Collaborate to Innovate. The authors propose that a shift toward a knowledge co-creation paradigm focused on holistic relationships between university and industry, specifically small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), will have more significant economic and societal impacts than the traditional one-way knowledge transfer that relies primarily on patents, licensing and startup formation. Although focused on the innovation ecosystem in the UK, the paper addresses four universally important questions on how to achieve successful university-business collaborations via a co-creation model:


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