RBC Conference 2013. Register now for April 25th "GLOBAL INNOVATIONS: Going Broad, Going Deep".
Reports & Presentations
The Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems at the Munk School of Global Affairs was established in 1998. Directed by Professor David A. Wolfe, the mandate of PROGRIS is to study how firms and institutions interact to foster the innovation process in an urban and regional context. The process of globalization is marked by two related processes: the growing integration of individual economies in terms of investment, trade, research and development, and even product identification and marketing; as well as the emergence of a new set of information technologies that link computers, telecommunications and media together in digital form. Together, these processes are affecting the ability of governing institutions to efficiently and equitably assist firms and their workers to adapt to these changes.
While attention has traditionally focused on the role of the nation state in the global economy, the new forces at work are shifting interest towards the sub-national and regional levels of government. The trend towards globalization reinforces the role of regions in several ways. The geography of production in the new economy is marked by a paradoxical consequence of globalization: the increasing importance of the locality as a site for innovation. The role of knowledge and creativity in this economy places a premium on the kind of localized, or regionally-based, innovation that is fostered by proximity. Innovative capabilities are frequently sustained through regional communities that share a common knowledge base and interact through common institutions. The forms of collaboration and interaction which occur in these communities draw attention to the role that regional institutions can play in supporting innovation in a global economy. The goal of PROGRIS is to investigate how the interaction of firms and regional institutions in Canada and other countries facilitates, or impedes, the process of innovation and social learning that is critical for success in the new global economy.
Innovation Systems Research Network
PROGRIS is also the secretariat for a national network of researchers studying aspects of the regional innovation system across Canada. The network is intended to encourage multi-disciplinary research on the role of innovation and technological change in the new economy and provide a forum for researchers and partners to meet and share ideas and research findings. The Innovation Systems Research Network will investigate how the interaction of firms and regional institutions in Canada facilitate, or impede, the process of innovation and social learning that is critical for success in the new global economy. The ISRN has successfully completed one five year study of industrial clustering across Canada and has embarked on a second study of the social foundations of innovation and creativity in fifteen urban regions across the country. It is hoped that government, private sector and other partner organizations will benefit from a better understanding of how science, technology and economic policy can enhance economic development.
Ontario Network on the Regional Innovation System (ONRIS)
PROGRIS also serves as the node for one of the subnetworks that comprise the ISRN, the Ontario Network on the Regional Innovation System (ONRIS). ONRIS includes researchers in political science, geography, planning, industrial relations and international studies at the University of Toronto, Waterloo, Western, Queen's and Ottawa U. As well, its partners include representatives from two provincial ministries, private not-for-profit organizations at the provincial and municipal level, and private sector firms. The primary goal of ONRIS is to study how the interaction of firms and regional institutions in Ontario contributes to the process of innovation and social learning critical for success in the new global economy.