About the Series

Innovation is the puzzle at the heart of the knowledge economy. Unlock its secrets, and innovation will drive productivity and, in time, standards of living. Yet it remains a conundrum for many small open economies. In Canada, productivity has been stubbornly flat: in 2015, it stood almost exactly where it was 30 years earlier in 1985 — leading to a preoccupation with policies that stimulate innovation.

In the coming weeks, a series of essays will marshall new thinking on innovation, and bring together a community of scholars and practitioners who offer fresh approaches for Canada and for the global economic cooperation system.

The essays explore three distinct themes. The first theme is the role that international trade plays in stimulating innovation — a central argument being that as the centre of gravity shifts from goods and services to ideas, the way countries negotiate trade deals must also change. The second theme is the role of domestic policy, with an emphasis on the impact of patent regimes and intellectual property strategies on competitiveness. The third theme is how global processes led by, for example, the World Trade Organization and the Group of Twenty, might foster a climate in which the innovation strategies of smaller countries might be accommodated.

At CIGI, we hope the ideas contained in this set of essays stimulate a discussion, at home and abroad, on how the engine of prosperity in the twenty-first century — innovation — can best be stimulated to serve the widest set of needs possible.

In the Series


Innovation and Prosperity in an Age of Transition

A foreword to the New Thinking on Innovation series

Modern Free Trade Agreements Are Not About Free Trade

Free trade, intellectual property and the political economy of discourse

A New Name for Modern Trade Deals: Asset Value Protection Agreements

An alternative view of twenty-first-century economic partnership pacts

Is It Time to Redesign or Terminate Investor-State Arbitration?

A clean break is needed to restore trust, but these stiff tests must be met

Rethinking Trade and Innovation for the Digital Age

Original thinking about the theoretical landscape for national strategies that extends beyond new institutional economics

Why Global Innovation Supply Chains Are Going Local

The changing geographies of research and innovation — and the implications for Canada

Are Patents Really Necessary?

The trade-off between incentives for inventors and deadweight losses for the economy from granting monopolies

The Midas Conundrum

Why less can be more when it comes to intellectual property protection

How Trolls Are Stifling Innovators, Gamers and Netflix Junkies

Copyright policy in the public interest

After Failing to Commercialize, Universities Learn to Set Ideas Free

How academic institutions can effectively leverage intellectual property

Why the $125-billion Stimulus Fund Must Include Digital Infrastructure

Innovating to alleviate public service pain points and enable agile procurement will do more to deliver prosperity than simply pouring more concrete

Universities Are Failing to Equip Entrepreneurs for Patent Battles

How to design a 2.0 intellectual property curriculum

Toward an Optimal Patent Regime for Canada

For all but the largest countries, national patent regimes do little to promote innovation

Cleantech and the Competitive Advantage of Nations

Ambition, not just innovation, is needed to develop commercially viable solutions with the potential to scale globally

Canada Has a Scale-up Problem, Not a Start-up Problem

In a knowledge economy, countries that work hand in glove with their technology companies will see the greatest economic returns

How Small Open Economies Can Leverage the Trade in Ideas

New thinking on innovation, trade and productivity

A Worthwhile Intervention? The Potential Role for a Sovereign Patent Fund in Canada

South Korea, Japan and France have set an example others can follow

How the G20 Can Stimulate Innovation

As fresh evidence emerges of a link between uncertainty and business pullback from research and development, here are four steps nations can take to unlock investment

Populism and the Global Governance of Intellectual Property

The debate about public policies on emerging technologies needs to move beyond current echo chambers that alienate and exclude

Framing an Innovation Strategy

An epilogue to the New Thinking on Innovation series