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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

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Just 5 out of 1,000 people have the potential of a Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Sara Blakely to start and grow a big business, according to recent Gallup research. That equates to 150,000 "future blue-chip entrepreneurs" now in fifth through twelfth grade.

And the key to turning around the American economy—so these stars can launch more job-creating businesses—is identifying them early, through a testing system similar to the ones we use to spot athletic and academic prowess, and then nurturing their gifts, argued Jim Clifton, chairman of the polling company Gallup, in a new book called "Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder."

Image: Free Digital Photos

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The University of Washington is a world-renowned institution. The school most recently finished No. 20 worldwide in the NewImage2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, while the new Times Higher Education rankings had the UW ranked No. 26.

But despite all the world-class research and bright minds coming together on campus, the UW doesn’t quite have a reputation as an entrepreneurial hub — a place where innovation is fostered throughout every department, and where the next great startup idea makes it out of the dorm rooms and science labs into the real world.

Image: via Flickr user Alan48.

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Scientists will soon have access to their very own clouds. Not the meteorological sort—although these clouds might help advance weather research as well as improve medical systems and power-grid management.

The new clouds for scientists are the kind that store data on servers, as part of a trend known as cloud computing. Consumers use the commercial variety to store documents, photographs, and music. Researchers use those too, but they sometimes need more control over and information about cloud systems than host companies, such as Apple and Amazon, provide.

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crowd

Equity crowdfunding, where investors (accredited only for the moment) buy securities in privately owned companies, is still relatively new.  The increasing appeal of investing in startups is understable for investors who are looking to diversify their portfolio, looking to get uncorrelated returns and have determined that their risk appetite is aggressive. However, there have been a number of claims about equity crowdfunding that I felt compelled to surface and address. Having been in the space since 2011, here are the top three misconceptions:

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NewImage

The average board of directors in the biotech world is roughly 90% male, according to a new analysis, and more than half of all industry boardrooms host no women whatsoever, striking numbers that illustrate a sector that struggles with diversity. Liftstream, a recruitment services outfit, analyzed nearly 1,150 life sciences companies in the U.S. and EU, finding that biotech's boardrooms tend toward Y chromosomes. Among drug developers with fewer than 1,000 workers, women held just 10% of available board seats, and fewer than 4% had female chairs. C-suites didn't fare much better, as women accounted for fewer than 25% of leadership teams across the industry.

Image: http://www.fiercebiotech.com

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Iindie bionternational VC firm SOSVentures is capitalizing on the now buzz worthy biotech investment trend with the creation of IndieBio, the first accelerator to focus on just life sciences.

Y Combinator raised a few eyebrows when it accepted five biotech companies out of the 80 startups in its program this last summer. That was a first for the Silicon Valley accelerator. But IndieBio partners tell us they were already thinking along those lines when Y Combinator started making in-roads with those life sciences startups.

 

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"Behold the 'innovation deficit,'" writes Science magazine's Jeffrey Mervis to begin a 24 October article. He continues:

US science lobbyists coined the phrase last year to help make an economic argument for increasing federal funding of basic research, namely, that the current spending levels are too low for the United States to remain a global leader in innovation. Given political and budget realities, erasing this "deficit" anytime soon will take a minor miracle. But the phrase seems to be catching on, despite the fact that a one-time surge of funds could create its own problems.

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NewImage

How long has the world awaited a hoverboard? You can dial it back to 1989, when actor Michael J. Fox's character first hopped on a floating skateboard in Back to the Future Part II.

For inventive entrepreneurs, the more pertinent question is: What would be the consumer demand for such a toy-meets-transport device? Finally, ambitious readers, you have earthbound answers to this elevated query.

Image: http://www.inc.com

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scale

The study was so explosive that an entire Harvard conference was convened to debunk it: research published last year concluding that being mildly obese does not shorten life span, while being slightly overweight actually could lengthen it.

Spearheaded by epidemiologist Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the research reviewed 97 weight studies covering almost three million people. It found that overweight people had lower death rates than people whose weight was normal and that mildly obese people didn’t die at greater rates than normal-weight people. Researchers call this counterintuitive conclusion the “obesity paradox.”

 

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Why the Next Financial Crisis Will Be Different K W

On what the research is about:

The research I’m going to talk about is part of a long agenda. It has to do with the way that central banks and governments intervene in the economy.

For the last 20 or 30 years, central banks have, by and large, focused on fighting inflation. After we had the big shocks in the 1970s, that was the major problem, and that’s what they’ve spent their main efforts doing. Some of the central banks, like the Federal Reserve, have a dual mandate. In addition to worrying about inflation, they also have to worry about unemployment.

 

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A rocket is a controlled bomb. The fully fueled Saturn V ‘moon rocket’ held an explosive force of about half a kiloton of TNT, enough to do some serious damage if catastrophe had struck. And as much as the recent Antares launch failure has captured the attention of social media, it was just business as usual – rockets are tricky beasts, you expect them to fail, you just try to minimize the chances of it happening.

Image: One of the lucky ones...Saturn V launch (NASA)

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