The Centre for Innovation StudiesThe Centre for Innovation Studies

September 2005 Newsletter

    September 2005

Volume 5  Number 9

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This newsletter is published by The Centre for Innovation Studies in partnership with Calgary Technologies Inc. Its purpose is to communicate news and information of interest to individuals involved with innovation in Alberta active in industry, government or university.

Please welcome our new newsletter Editor, Astrid Jacobsen.  Astrid is a Masters Degree student in the Faculty of Communications and Culture at the University of Calgary. And many thanks to our previous editor - Erika Kneeland - who did an excellent job for us since April 2004. She has now moved on to further educational oportunities in BC.

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Key Small Business Financing Statistics

This August 2005 report from Strategis Canada profiles the state of financing for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada.  Broken into four sections, it assesses the distribution of firms,  financing activities, access to financing, and ownership structures of Canadian SMEs.  Notably, it shows that the Alberta /Northwest Territories region has 13% of SMEs with only 10% of the national population .


The Value of a Degree:  A Million Bucks

The Globe and Mail published this article on lifetime earning potential.  Herb O'Heron, senior analyst at  the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), analyzed Statistics Canada data and concluded that degree holders earn a lifetime average of $1,000,000 more than non-degree holders, once factors such as periods of unemployment, retirement age and career advancement were taken into consideration.  Surprisingly, this held true across all academic disciplines.


UK Technology Sector at a Critical Juncture

Deloitte's twenty-four page analysis of the UK technology sector for the 2000-2005 period, along with predictions for the next five years.  Entitled "The Ball's In Our Court," it concludes that the UK is in a relatively strong global position, particularly with respect to biotechnology, genomics, and stem cell therapeutics, but faces threats from international competition and a lack of communication amongst UK stakeholders.  


Indicators for Complex Innovation Systems

J. Sylvan Katz of SPRU  [and THECIS Fellow] tackles the complicated task of improving the accuracy of economic indicators for complex innovation systems.  Looking at data from the OECD and Statistics Canada, this paper blends theory and practice in an economic analysis of European and Canadian innovation systems. Katz develops scale-independent indicators and models by examining scaling relationships between GERD & GDP and between GDP & population.  It concludes that scale-independent models will provide a more accurate gauge of the performance of innovation systems.  


The Linear Model of Innovation:  The Historical Construction of an Analytical Framework

Continuing the Project on the History and Sociology of S&T Statistics, Benoit Godin presents his 30th working paper for the Canadian Science and Innovation Indicators Consortium (CSIIC).  The paper investigates the history and persistence of the (simplistic and inaccurate but statistically convenient) linear model of innovation in economic assessments of science and technology.  


Economic growth, innovation systems, and institutional change: A Trilogy in Five Parts

Produced for the Maastrich Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology and the International Institute of Infonomics (MERIT-Infonomics) Research Memorandum series, authors Saeed Parto, Tommaso Ciarli and Saurabh Arora examine the impacts that institutions have on economic growth and innovation systems.  A framework for analysis is constructed and applied to Taiwanese and South Korean examples to show how institutions can both stimulate and inhibit economic growth.


Expertise, Proximity and Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) Client Relationships

Subtitled "Theoretical Considerations based on Empirical Observations on Service Interactions in Knowledge-Intensive Industries in Helsinki, Finland," this paper by Marja Hyypia and Mika Kautonen of the Finnish Research Group for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies looks at the impact of proximity (including geographic, cognitive, social cultural or organizational proximity) and how this relates to the competitiveness of a KIBS firm.  


Universities as sources of knowledge for Innovation.  The Case of Technology Intensive Firms in Portugal.  

Authors Joana Costa and Aurora A. C. Teixeira investigate the impact of  universities on the development of regional clusters of Technology Intensive Firms (TIFs).  Analyzing survey data from 425 Portuguese firms, they conclude that universities play an important, though often indirect, role in enhancing regional innovation capabilities.    




Entrepreneurship and Innovations in Functional Regions 

Uddevalla, Sweden, September 15-17, 2005

The 8th Uddevalla Symposium will explore the theme of entrepreneurship and innovation in functional regions, while providing a unique opportunity for scholars and senior and junior researchers to discuss path-breaking concepts, ideas, frameworks, theory essentials, and more.


Looking Back, Looking Foreword: Lessons for Governing Emerging Technologies 

Ottawa, Ontario, September 22, 2005

This conference, organized by the Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat and the Genome Prairie GE3LS team, will examine a range of current and emerging technologies, including GM food, stem cells, gene banking, pharmacogenomics, and nanotechnology, in the context of public policy development.


National Biotechnology Week 2005

Nation-wide, September 26-30

The second annual National Biotech Week celebrates the achievements of Canada's bioindustry with a host of events across the nation.  For our local readers, BioAlberta presents the Biotech Week Celebration Event and the launch of BioPro, a new on-line referral network program developed for BioAlberta members, in Edmonton on September 29th. Free to BioAlberta members, and $20 for non-members.  E-mail by September 23rd to attend. 


THECIS Workshop on BioProducts
Saskatoon, September 27
The first THECIS Workshop outside Alberta is in Saskatoon, on BioProducts, with four excellent speakers, from Ottawa, Saskatoon and Calgary.


THECIS Breakfast meetings
Calgary, September 29th,  Edmonton October 4th.
Speaker is Dr. Richard Hawkins , the new Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Calgary, and Senior Fellow of THECIS. Richard has just arrived in Calgary from TNO in the Netherlands and brings lots of fresh stimulating ideas.

Innovative Manufacturing Week

Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Red Deer, Calgary, Jasper, Camrose, ALBERTA! Multiple Events from September 26 - October 7, 2005

Take your pick from a plethora of events in a week that has fourteen days... actually, from the events listing it looks like it has about 60 days, but who's counting?   There's definitely something for everyone involved in any aspect of innovation in the manufacturing industry in Canada: events range from tours of manufacturing facilities to expert advice on hiring foreign nationals.  The Annual Manufacturer's Luncheon in Calgary on October 5th is sure to be a highlight! 


Creative Places and Spaces² :Risk Revolution 

Toronto, Ontario, September 30- October 1, 2005

This conference will focus on the process and benefits of creativity and innovation as applied to a broad range of social, educational, cultural, economic, and environmental initiatives. The conference will be an international gathering of 600 community builders, business leaders, policy makers, urban thinkers and more.


Re$earch Money Conference  

Ottawa, Ontario, November 8, 2005

This conference is entitled "The Future of Industrial Research in Canada" and looks at Canada's ability to compete as a nation in the global knowledge economy. Business leaders from the major high tech sectors, multinational corporations and entrepreneurs running Canadian firms will converge and share their global business strategies.


Big Lessons from Small Places  

Twillingate, Newfoundland, October 13-15, 2005

This conference, co-hosted by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and the North Atlantic Islands Program, will address some of the unique challenges faced by rural areas and highlight new opportunities in an increasingly global economy


ASTech Awards Gala

Calgary, Alberta, October 14, 2005

Don't miss the 16th annual ASTech Awards celebration honouring twelve outstanding Albertans who have contributed to the promotion and development of science and technology in the Province.  This year's black-tie gala will be hosted by Jay Ingram of The Daily Planet.  


2005 Agri-Value Business Seminar

Camrose, Alberta, October 26, 2005

Growing Your Sales and Financing for Success is the theme for this trade show and seminar organized by Alberta's Agri-Value Business Facilitators.  Local agri-value companies and industry experts will speak on how to develop and promote your business.  


Don't Miss InnoWest 2005!  

Calgary, Alberta, November 16-17, 2005

Join the innovation community at InnoWest 2005 to learn of the latest developments in innovation and to network with colleagues from across Western Canada. Transform creative ideas into ACTION with InnoWest's solid program, designed to help you and your company jump-start your way to innovative excellence.


Advancing the Canadian Bioeconomy

Vancouver, BC, February 8-10, 2006

Hosted by the British Columbia BioProducts Association, this conference will provide an excellent opportunity to network with industry, academia and government and to participate in a tradeshow and exhibition showcasing emerging bioproduct technologies.


New Federal Program to promote innovation.
Industry Canada has announced the end of the Technology Partnership Canada [TPC] program, and its replacement with a new program [Transformative Technologies Program, TTP] to support innovation and technology adoption. Funding for the aerospace and defence sectors will continue at current levels.


TRLabs Appoints New Edmonton Director

Canada's largest non-profit ICT research consortium announces that Dr. Chris Haugen will be their new Director of Edmonton Operations.


Genome Prairie Appoints New President and CEO

Genome Canada's Prairie Centre announces that Jerome Konecsni is succeeding Dr. Randal Johnston as their President and CEO.  


Order of Canada

Congratulations to Dr. Martin Godbout of Genome Canada and Dr. Lorne Babiuk of the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) for receiving the Order of Canada! 


A New Technique for High-Precision Nanomanufacturing

PennState announces the development of microdisplacement printing - a more precise method for manufacturing nanoscale components for electronic and sensing devices.


TeraGrid:  A New Era for Scientific Computing

The NSF announced a five year, $150 million dollar award for the Extensible Terascale Facility (ETF), also known as "TeraGrid."  The combination of astronomical computing power and cyberinfrastructure to support open scientific research in the US, it holds great promise for science and engineering research.


Calgary physicist wins $10,000 Manning Innovation Award

Robin Winsor, CTO of the Imaging Dynamics Company (IDC) of Calgary, is the recipient of a Manning Innovation Award for the development of the world's first digital x-ray system.  The XplorerTM Direct Capture system provides faster, safer, more accurate and less expensive x-ray images.  His invention is rapidly replacing traditional x-ray technologies throughout Canada, the US and abroad.  


Edmonton plumber wins $10,000 Manning Innovation Award

Another Alberta recipient is Edmontonian Gabe Coscarella, who invented the Fullport Backwater Valve to prevents sewer backups.  President of Mainline Backflow Products Inc, Coscarella has single-handedly revolutionized the plumbing industry by providing a technology being used in thousands of residential and commercial buildings throughout North America.


World Competitive Scoreboard 2005

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) has released its 2005 World Competitiveness Rankings.  Canada has moved from 3rd to 5th place since last year.  The top five countries were:  1) USA, 2) Hong Kong, 3) Singapore, 4) Iceland, 5) Canada. For full information click here.


Premier's Leaders Forum on Strategic Growth

The Conference Board of Canada has released its report on the May 2005 Ontario Premier's Forum held to discuss the impacts of urbanization on Ontario's economy.  The Greater Golden Horseshoe (who named the region that anyway?  Roald Dahl?) faces increasing infrastructure, funding and communications challenges, and the report makes several recommendations for effectively harnessing its economic and social potential. 


The Renaissance Project

With the goal of restoring competitiveness in the industrial sector, Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) began The Renaissance Project in 2002, conducting a series of industry-academia collaborative studies on innovation.  A recent announcement  states that they are focusing on the research topic of "innovation and commoditization."  On October 24, 2005 they will have have an international symposium (the "Events" page is only in Japanese so further information is limited.)

TEC Edmonton in Hunt for New ChiefThe University of Alberta and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation have started a nationwide search for a new CEO to lead TEC Edmonton, a joint venture launched by the two organizations in mid-2004.

Innovative Energy Technologies Program (IETP) - Second Round of Funding
The deadline for applications to receive funding from the Alberta Department of Energy is October 31, 2005.  Pilot and demonstration projects using innovative and environmentally sound energy technologies related to oil, natural gas nad in situ bitument reserves are eligible to receive royalty adjustments of up $10 million over five years, with a total of $200 million available overall.   

Grants for Short Term Research Visits

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Genetics Grants for Short-Term Research Visits are intended to enable developing or established researchers to spend up to three months in a specific location focusing on the acquisition of new concepts, knowledge, or techniques to broaden their research perspectives and skills. Deadlines are Oct 1, 2005; Feb 1, 2006; and June 1, 2006



Eindhoven Center for Management Studies

A couple of current openings for PhD students.



Careers magazine and job search site for professional scientists.  Very high level executive and academic job postings.  For example, the University of Manitoba is currently seeking applicants for a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Structural Biology, and the University of Victoria is seeking a Director, UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre.


Industry Canada Job Site

The Industry Canada Job Site provides links to hundreds of general employment positions, public service positions, and several student and internship programs.

This site provides links to jobs under specific categories including Information Technology, Science & Biotech, Human Resources, Manufacturing, and more.




"Seen as the creator of new value, innovation isn't hit-or-miss, trial-and-error lateral thinking, but a repeatable process. What is innovative about innovation today is the realization that it can be done systematically."
                                                                           - Howard Smith 



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THECIS Newsletter
Editor -- Astrid Jacobson (
Publisher -- Peter Josty  (