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Canadian, Dutch scholars and policymakers discuss innovation

Datum nieuwsfeit: 09-11-2006
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Canadian, Dutch scholars and policymakers discuss innovation

Seminar on innovation 9-10 November 2006

MAASTRICHT, 20061031 -- Which innovation policies work and which don't? The Association of Canadian Studies in the Netherlands (ACSN) and UNU-MERIT are co-organizing a seminar to explore this complicated issue. The seminar, which will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 9-10 November 2006, will bring together researchers as well as decision makers in the field of innovation policy.

Participants will compare Canadian innovation policies with those practised in the Netherlands. These include the links between innovation and economic growth, the role of human resource management for innovation and various government innovation policies. Among the questions to be explored are: How important is education for innovation? How important is the phenomenon of brain drain? Should universities be encouraged to apply for patents and to commercialize the ideas developed by academic research? Are universities a breading ground for start-ups? Are science parks around universities justified?

Case studies of successful as well as unsuccessful innovation in the fields of biotechnology, information and communication technologies, and nanotechnology, will be presented. Is innovation in these different areas organized in the same way or are there specific aspects to each of these technologies? How do we explain that biotechnology is so promising and yet has so far yielded low returns?

The seminar will address the roles of various players - including business, academia and government - in successful innovation policy.

Speakers at the conference include Prof. Meric Gertler (University of Toronto), Mr Theo Roelant (Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs) and Martin Eurlings (Economic Affairs Deputy, Province of Limburg, the Netherlands).

A program of the seminar is available at:

(United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and social Research and training Centre on Innovation and Technology)

UNU-MERIT is a joint research and training centre of United Nations University, based in Tokyo, Japan, and the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands. It integrates the former UNU-Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

UNU-MERIT provides insights into the social, political and economic contexts within which innovation and technological change is created, adapted, selected, diffused, and improved upon. The Institute's research and training programmes address a broad range of relevant policy questions dealing with the national and international governance of innovation, intellectual property protection, and knowledge creation and diffusion.
United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and the dissemination of knowledge aimed at resolving the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare, in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Established in 1976, Universiteit Maastricht (Maastricht University) is the youngest university in the Netherlands. It has gained a reputation at home and abroad for its unique "Problem-based learning" approach. Approximately 12,000 students and 3,250 staff currently study and work within the University's seven faculties.

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