2017 Fall Seminar Series

Featured Publications


2017 IPC Working Paper Series

Growing Innovative Companies to Scale: How Does Massachusetts Measure Up?
Executive Summary & Full Report 

Strengthening the Innovative Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing

Strengthening the Innovative Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing:
May 2015

Making it in America: From Innovation to Market
Making in America
From Innovation to Market

By Suzanne Berger
with the PIE Task Force
MIT Press, 2013

Production in the Innovation Economy
Production in the Innovation Economy

By Richard M. Locke, Rachel L. Wellhausen
MIT Press, 2014

Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System

Professor Richard K. Lester
Professor Davd M. Hart
MIT Press, 2011

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About the IPC

The IPC is a multidisciplinary research center focused on firms, industries and technological change in the global economy and how their emergence and transformation impact society at large. With a particular interest in Innovation, Productivity and Competitiveness, the IPC brings together teams of researchers in engineering, science, management and the social sciences at MIT and beyond to carry out innovative, applied research often from the “bottom up.” Core research includes: Innovation Ecosystems, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Globalization.  Read More...


What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World? A recent article in the New York Times, disucsses how as the economy has changed, so too have the relationships between places, to the disadvantage of smaller cities and rural areas. The IPC's Timothy Sturgeon participated in the discussion, read the entire article.


IPC Executive Director, Liz Reynolds (left), Associate Provost Karen Gleason and other speakers at the MIT China Conference held in Yangpu District, Shanghai in November, 2017. Conversation centered around innovation as well as collaboration between local companies and MIT. Read the article from the Shanghai Daily  covering the collaboration.

A Call to Action, Panel at the November 1st & 2nd MIT conference: AI and the Future of Work. From left to right: Barbara Dyer, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management; Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management; Daniela Rus, Director MIT CSAIL, and Professor, MIT EECS; Elisabeth B. Reynolds, Executive Director, MIT IPC; Sanjay Sarma, Vice President for Open Learning, MIT, and Professor, MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering; Tom Kochan, Co-Director and Professor, Work and Employment Research, MIT Sloan School of Management; Kathleen Kennedy (Moderator), Director, Special Projects, MIT.

New Publications

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a study of the “New” Digital Economy prepared by IPC Senior Researcher Timothy Sturgeon.  The study identifies what’s new about the digital economy, describes and provides copious examples of its main elements and characteristics, develops scenarios for its impact on the structure and geography of innovation and manufacturing, and discuses likely opportunities and risks for society in general. Read the study.

Seven new working papers from the IPC project Accelerating Innovation in Brazil  have been added to our working paper series for 2017.

A new study by IPC Senior Researcher Timothy Sturgeon and co-authors assesses the Brazilian automotive sector’s position and recent performance in the context of the automotive Global Value Chain (GVC) and the ‘New’ Digital Economy. The purpose is to provide insight and analysis to support the development of Brazil’s new automotive industrial policy: Rota 2030. Download the study here

Fall Seminar Series

  • October 11th: Matthew Claudel, PhD Candidate, Dept of Architecture and Planning, MIT, Supporting Urban Innovation Ecosystems: The Living Lab and Innovation Integrator Models
  • November 15th: Benjamin David Armstrong, PhD Candidate, Political Science, MIT, Saving Superman: Cooperation and Kryptonite in the Rhode Island Economy
  • December 6th: Inez von Weitershausen, Post Doctoral Associate, IPC, MIT, Rethinking Dimensions of Impact and Innovation. Insights from the Masdar Institute of Technology

Fostering Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing in Boston

The IPC recently hosted a tour of Boston’s emerging hub for innovation in Advanced Manufacturing in the Seaport District. Within blocks of each other, the new non-profit MassRoboticsAutodesk’s BUILD Space, and Flex’s Innovation Center offer a window into the ways in which innovation in hardware and software are creating unprecedented possibilities for manufacturing and related services. These entities are situated among a growing number of manufacturing and design firms, including Artaic, Black & Decker, Continuum, GE and Reebok. They form part of a larger network within the region that includes Mass Challenge and MIT’s The Engine, an incubator for hardware-oriented startups. continue reading

IPC Executive Director Liz Reynolds published an Op-Ed in The Boston Globe entitled The New Face of Manufacturing Jobs. In it she points to new investments in Massachusetts in several industries (electronics, biopharmaceuticals and clean energy) that show one path forward for jobs in the face of technological changes wrought by automation and artificial intelligence. Listen to Liz Reynold's recent conversation with WBUR's Deborah Becker on How to Revive Manufacturing in Massachusetts.

When Global Technology Meets Local Standards: Reassessing the China’s Mobile Telecom Policy in the Age of Platform Innovation, by Thun, Eric and Timothy Sturgeon, MIT-IPC Working Paper 17-001 Download (PDF)


Innovation Ecoystems

Scale Up  The IPC report, “Growing Innovative Companies to Scale: How Does Massachusetts Measure Up?” provides a more detailed understanding of the processes by which innovative companies scale up their businesses and compares Boston, Silicon Valley & New York in terms of starting and growing companies to scale. Read the Boston Globe article, the press release, the MIT News Article or download the full report or executive summary.

This seven minute video, highlights from the CEO Panel discussion:


MIT Innovation Orchards Building on an article published by President Rafael Reif in the Washington Post, IPC Executive Director Liz Reynolds and Senior Director of Institute Affairs Glen Comiso flesh out the concept of “innovation orchards” in this white paper, Translating Ideas into Impact: Supporting and Accelerating the Innovation Orchards at MIT and Beyond that outlines how ideas developed at MIT get translated to the market place and ways in which MIT can enhance and encourage greater translational work. This work helped in forming the creation of MIT's The Engine.

Accelerating Innovation in Brazil The IPC is engaged in a major research effort in Brazil in partnership with SENAI. The five-year project examines how to better accelerate innovation in Brazil’s companies and industries, with a particular focus on the role of the SENAI Innovation Institutes, a new network of 26 applied research centers around the country base on the German Fraunhofer model. More...

Advanced Manufacturing

“Industry 4.0: What is it and What Does it Mean for Firms?” The IPC hosted a roundtabel discussion that included members of the MIT research community and several industry leaders that engage in advanced manufacturing. To the first question of what is “Industry 4.0,” the group agreed that the central driver behind the concept is the generation of enormous amounts of data based on the introduction of sensors that can track every stage of a manufacturing process and of whole production systems, in one or multiple locations. Read more...

Strengthening the Innovation Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing: Pathways and Opportunities for Massachusetts. The IPC report outlines how Massachusetts can improve the advanced manufacturing innovation ecosystem within the state. Important changes are taking place in the advanced manufacturing landscape as regions and countries work aggressively to increase manufacturing investments and build capabilities. To learn more about the report findings, listen to IPC Executive Director Liz Reynolds' interview on WGBH Morning Edition with host Bob Seay. The report was sponsored by MassDevelopment and follows on earlier work by MIT on the relationship between manufacturing and innovation, Production in the Innovation Economy. More…


Joint MIT-Japan White Paper: Compatibility of Nuclear and Renewables with Grid Stability, Economics and Deregulation The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and several Japanese organizations (University of Tokyo, Central Research Institute for Electric Power, Institute of Energy Economics of Japan and the Tokyo Institute of Technology) have initiated a U.S.-Japan Joint Study of the Future of Nuclear Energy. This includes joint studies on how to integrate nuclear and renewables into a low-carbon electricity grid in a deregulated electricity market. MORE

The IPC and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) held five roundtable discussions on regional strategies to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon energy economy in 2013-2014. The roundtables engaged utility executives, advanced energy companies and regulators at at MIT, in San Antonio, Texas, Aspen, Colorado, New York and Boston (click for discussion summaries).


IPC researchers Timothy Sturgeon and Ezequiel Zylberberg contributed to the research, conceptualization, and writing of the World Bank book: Vietnam at a Crossroads; Engaging in the Next Generation of Global Value Chains. Claire H. Hollweg, Tanya Smith and Daria Taglioni (Eds.), including the chapter “Vietnam’s Evolving Role in ICT.” (Ch. 9), a full version of which was published as World Bank Group Policy Research Working Paper #7916, December 2016.