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PPG2012H: TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY Developing Innovation Eco-Systems

Course Description

PPG2012H TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY: Developing Innovation Eco-Systems

Innovation ecosystems: From startup to scale
Innovation ecosystems are the foundations for growth in the 21st century.Regions around the world continue to struggle to facilitate the intersection of talent, funding, industry, and strong public policy to create the ambition required to build world-class startup ecosystems and consequently globally competitive, innovative companies.

As we continue to see a surge in the creation of startup companies globally, countries and their governments will need to figure out how to build innovation ecosystems that can organize, support and nurture those firms from ideation to startup right through to scaleup and growth.

The most successful innovation ecosystems are comprised of sophisticated networks of actors including talent and academic institutions, investors, corporates and government, with the entrepreneur and their founding team at the center of this network. The primary objective is how to design systems that foster valuable interactions between its actors.

Canada’s innovation ecosystem, while still relatively young, has matured in significant ways over the past decade. While Canada is blessed with a highly skilled and diverse workforce, top-tier academic institutions, strong R&D, access to the worlds largest economy, a diverse economic landscape, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, it has yet to produce it’s share of globally competitive, world-class companies. Here we will discuss what has worked well in Canada
and what aspects of our ecosystem need to evolve and mature. This will be charted against a comparison of other successful innovation ecosystems globally.

In this course we will explore the various aspects of building a world-class innovation ecosystem including; a discussion on the various stages of growth and the necessary environments needed to support scale; the ability to develop sophisticated public policy; an exploration of the central actors and institutions necessary in developing an ecosystem and the roles each play; the critical role of talent; infrastructure development; and the importance of building a sense of community and developing a culture of scale and ambition.

Spring (2nd year)