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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.

In a recent article1, we investigate the new American dynamic in regards to innovation.  We are particularly interested in the article « Creating a National Innovation Framework », published in « Science Progress », which proposed a new system of governance of innovation by the American federal government. However, we wanted to know more – so the Mission for Science and Technology (Boston Section) contacted one of the article’s authors, Mr. Richard Bendis, to ask him a few questions. The phone interview took place on October 27th, 2009.


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On Thursday after a month of consideration, the Senate approved the $64.9 billion Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill by a 71-28 vote. The Senate initially began considering the bill on October 5th, but tabled the debate after failing to invoke cloture on October 13th.

Included in the bill are the following appropriations for federal science and engineering agencies:

  • $6.9 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), a $426 million increase over FY 2009 and $128 million below the President's request.
  • $878.8 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), a $59.8 million increase over FY 2009 and $32.7 million increase over the President's request;
  • $18.69 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in FY 2010, a $903 million increase above the FY 2009 and equal to the President's request.
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The Department of Energy (DOE) this week announced that it will provide up to $4.5 million in funding in support of the X PRIZE Foundation's work to inspire a new generation of energy efficient vehicles. The funding will provide technical assistance and expand national education and outreach efforts for the competition.

"This funding will support cutting-edge, American innovation that can help us fundamentally transform personal transportation and address the global climate crisis," said DOE Secretary Steven Chu.

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Today, the United States is the leader in innovative health care. Most major medical breakthroughs, new procedures and drug treatments are invented, developed, tested and offered in America first.

Some claim that our higher cost of medicine is not matched by measures of national health such as rates of infant mortality, life expectancy and diabetes. These statistics do not measure the quality of health care but rather the choices Americans make in diet, exercise, pregnancy and lifestyle.

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Speaking at the Bruegel think-tank in Brussels today, Business Secretary and former EU Trade Commissioner Lord Mandelson set out what he sees as the challenges facing Europe.

Lord Mandelson spoke about Europe’s role in the world; how we need to get our economic, political and institutional act together, whilst outlining some new ideas on how the work of the European Commission could be reorganised, particularly in the wake of the economic crisis.

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In light of’s IPO today, tech site calculated the average age of the venture-backed tech companies that have gone public this year. As its chart below shows, most of these companies are downright old in tech years - in fact, Derek Jeter’s New York Yankees have won five World Series in the average time, 13 years, they made it to the public markets.

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A bombastic war of words is under way in Silicon Valley.

In one corner, Internet entrepreneur and TechCrunch50 co-producer Jason Calacanis has declared “jihad” on the Keiretsu Forum, accusing the angel group of taking advantage of startup companies and calling the fees the forum charges companies to pitch for investments from its members “payola.”

In the other corner, a mystified Keiretsu Forum finds itself defending a record that includes its Northern California members investing $1.4 million in seven companies this year alone.
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Less than a decade ago, young Chinese entrepreneurs with degrees from Stanford and Berkeley and experience at Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle ( ORCL - news - people ) returned to their homeland to launch copies of eBay,, Google and Facebook. They used their Silicon Valley connections to nab venture capital, and a few trailblazing founders like Robin Li of Baidu and Bo Shao of Eachnet got rich when their start-ups went public or were acquired.

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The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) has named Mike Volker, executive director of SFU’s University/Industry Liaison Office (UILO), as its 2009 Canadian Angel of the Year.

NACO is Canada’s industry association for "angel investors"—typically affluent individuals who invest their own funds in promising business start-ups in exchange for a stake in the enterprise.

Volker is a high-tech entrepreneur who has spent more than 40 years developing early-stage technology-based businesses, as a founder, investor, director, officer and mentor.

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Here are two items about Israel's enormous success in the sphere of technological innovation. Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, talks about the book's findings in this transcribed telephone conversation and this short video clip. Business success is not likely to do the country's reputation any good with many of its critics, and with some of them it will only confirm their prejudices. But letting this be how it may - in the phone call with Jeffrey Goldberg, Senor identifies amongst the problems for 'entrepreneurial culture' in the Arab world...

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ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) today announced that the Innovation Movement, in partnership with, the community-based tee shirt company, is launching a new design challenge inspired by innovation. The winner, whose design will be produced for retail, will receive a free trip to the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas and a host of other prizes.

Designers are asked to depict technology innovations of the past, present or future, depending on how they are inspired by the challenge. The national grassroots Innovation Movement has mobilized more than 35,000 Americans in support of innovation-friendly public policies such as international trade, alternative energy and broadband, that advance the U.S. innovation economy.

“Design, creativity and imagination are inherent in the innovation process,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “We’re excited to see how the Threadless design community envisions innovation as an aspect of technological invention, economic change and public policy.”
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Just in time for their big 4th birthday celebration this week in Berkeley, Kiva announced yesterday that they had officially hit $100,000,000 in loans. In a blog post on the site, President Premal Shah said that the group had hit the milestone with donations from 584,189 lenders.

This is a huge accomplishment. The level of engagement that Kiva has engendered and the excitement around the model are a major force for good in the social entrepreneurship space. Despite recent questions about marketing practices, Kiva has helped average people participate in a newer model of international development that, if no panecea, has much to recommend it.
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Rick Smith is the founder of World 50, a very exclusive senior networking site for Fortune 500 companies. The website is pretty cool, very, very minimalistic.

He recently published a book, The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great, that attacks the idea of entrepreneurship being related to risk. Using several case studies, the Girl Scouts, Live Aid, and Fortune 100 companies, Smith argues that successful entrepreneurs do not risk it all. They keep their day jobs while starting a business at night. Very little gambling occurs. The book is full of behind the scenes tales, all leading to the same point, risk sucks. But how to aviod it? Let us teach you how to start a business with no risk!
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People have asked me over the years how to know when a business is worth pursuing. How to know whether or not you are wasting your time.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult question for people to answer.

It is obvious to me that if you are passionate about your company, deeply passionate about it, like a love affair, then it’s worth pursuing whether you’ve got it down or not.
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When the team at Twitter Inc. hatched the idea of producing a mobile device dedicated to “tweeting” they contacted Jonathan Kaplan, founder of a gadget company that experienced one of the most successful exits for venture investors in 2009.

The TwitterPeek Kaplan, who sold Flip camera maker Pure Digital Technologies Inc. to Cisco Systems Inc. for $590 million in stock, told the team the man to talk to was Amol Sarva.

Sarva is the founder of Peek Inc., a company that coincidentally aims to be the Pure Digital of mobile email. The company builds a sleek, simple, affordable gadget that allows people to send or receive email.
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CHICAGO--(Business Wire)-- A new book by two leading experts on innovation from Chicago explores some of the surprising new ways that large companies create innovative new businesses. The book, Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, published by McGraw-Hill reflects six years of research and provides a hands-on guide to finding the right approaches.

The authors, Robert C. Wolcott and Michael J. Lippitz, are leading authorities on innovation and corporate entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and have worked with scores of large corporations on developing and implementing new business creation capabilities. Their 2006 article on The Four Models of Corporate Entrepreneurship for Sloan Business Review is still one of the site`s most often downloaded.

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An entrepreneur is someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. An entrepreneur is an agent of change. Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources. When the market value generated by this new combination of resources is greater than the market value these resources can generate elsewhere individually or in some other combination, the entrepreneur makes a profit. An entrepreneur who takes the resources necessary to produce a pair of jeans that can be sold for thirty dollars and instead turns them into a denim backpack that sells for fifty dollars will earn a profit by increasing the value those resources create. This comparison is possible because in competitive resource markets, an entrepreneur’s costs of production are determined by the prices required to bid the necessary resources away from alternative uses. Those prices will be equal to the value that the resources could create in their next-best alternate uses. Because the price of purchasing resources measures this opportunity cost— the value of the forgone alternatives—the profit entrepreneurs make reflects the amount by which they have increased the value generated by the resources under their control.

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry to permit all payments for royalty, lumpsum fee for transfer of technology, payments for use of trademark/brand name on the automatic route without any restrictions, and subject to FEMA (Current Account Transaction) Rules, 2000. To get the information about the nature/details of technology and the amount paid for it, a suitable post reporting requirement would be devised within three months in consultation with Department of Economic Affairs and Reserve Bank of India.

Hitherto, automatic approval was permitted for foreign technology transfers involving payment of lumpsum fee of US$ 2 million and royalty of 5% on domestic sales and 8% on exports. Beyond these limits, prior permission of the Government of India (Project Approval Board) was required. In addition, where there is no technology transfer involved, royalty upto 2% for exports and 1% for domestic sales is allowed under automatic route on use of trademarks and brand names of the foreign collaborator. 8062 approvals have been granted for technology collaborations since 1991 to June 2009.

With the Government’s further liberalization, the move is expected to freely promote the transfer of state of art technology into the country.

Original Press Release

Chicago, IL - As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to revive local economies, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today visited a job training center in Chicago benefiting from private sector investments made through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. As part of his visit, Geithner announced $5 billion in NMTC awards, including $1.5 billion made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), for more than 90 organizations in communities around the country.

“We must rebuild our economy on a firmer foundation, one that equips our workers with the skills and education they need to compete,” said Secretary Geithner. “We must make sure that the advantages of this new, stronger economy are broadly shared. Too often, communities are left behind by economic growth. The Recovery Act and the New Markets Tax Credit program help break this vicious cycle to ensure the benefits of growth reaches all corners of the country.”

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