April 22, 2013

Innovation Impacts: Measurement and Assessment

The Expert Panel on the Socio-economic Impacts of Innovation Investments

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Summary

It is widely accepted and understood that innovation is critical to economic competitiveness and social progress. To ensure that innovation investments are spent most effectively and remain a priority in the face of public austerity measures, it is essential that decision-makers obtain the most reliable estimates of the impacts of innovation investments. To help prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to assess best practices in measuring the socio-economic impacts of government spending on research and innovation activities that could be applied in the Ontario context.

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The Question

How can the actual and potential outcomes and impacts of Ontario government spending on innovation and scientific activities be measured, including but not limited to the effects on GDP in Ontario, generation and transfer of knowledge; creation of new ventures; and access to seed, development, and growth capital?  

Key Findings

Innovation Impacts: Measurement and Assessment catalogues the portfolio of Ontario innovation investments, presents an extensive literature review of measurement methodologies, and explores international best practices in impact assessment.

  • A new conceptual framework that is helpful for understanding innovation impact measurement and assessment at the program level and within the innovation ecosystem, respectively;
  • A catalogue of the portfolio of Ontario’s innovation investments;
  • An extensive academic and public policy literature review of leading-edge measurement methodologies; and
  • An overview of international best practices for measuring the socio-economic impacts of innovation.

 

 

 

The CCA also recognizes the important contribution of William A.S. (Bill) Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research (Toronto, ON) to this assessment.

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on the Socio-economic Impacts of Innovation Investments