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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.

A NATIONAL network to identify, initiate and co-ordinate industry-focused forensic research and innovation will seek up to $80 million to ensure its existence beyond the next three years.

The Australian Future Forensics Innovation Network last week received $2m from the Queensland government's Smart Futures Fund's National and International Research Alliances Program.

The network, which was developed out of a need to have a co-ordinated national strategy for forensic science research and development, has also received $4.8m from its 19 partner organisations.

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Bangalore-based Eka Software Solutions, which makes software applications for the commodities trading industry, raised $10 million from Nexus Venture Partners (earlier known as Nexus India Capital). Eka was founded in 2001 by CEO Manav Garg and currently employs over 200 people. It aims to get to $100 million revenues by 2012 – read more at Outlook Business here. Current revenue numbers are not available.

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In April 2009, the Deshpande Center issued its annual Institute-wide call for proposals for two levels of grant awards - Ignition and Innovation. The grants target projects focusing on novel, enabling and potentially useful ideas and innovations in all areas of technology. Funding for Ignition awards - up to $50,000 per grant - might enable only exploratory experiments and limited proof of concept, and an Ignition Grant can position projects to receive further funding to continue to develop an innovation. Funding for Innovation awards - for as much as $250,000 per grant - is meant to benefit projects that have progressed beyond their earliest stages and are closer to commercialization.


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Long known as the financial capital of the country, if not the world, New York City is now aiming to be something else: a biotech start-up hub.

With real estate expensive and funding to bring companies out of universities wanting, Maria Gotsch, president and chief executive of the New York City Investment Fund, said her group has been working to create a more welcoming environment for start-ups in the city. “We’re looking to stack the deck in New York City’s favor,” she said.

The NYCIF, a privately funded evergreen fund founded by private equity giant Henry Kravis, has pledged $5 million for the Translational Research Fund as part of the larger New York City Bioscience Initiative, spearheaded by the city, to spur life science development in the city. A city-contracted nonprofit, the New York City Economic Development Corp., will manage marketing and organizational support for the fund.

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Federal Technology Week

NASA, as part of its efforts to develop a technology roadmap for the commercial reusable launch vehicle (RLV) industry, is to partner with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The study will focus on identifying technologies and assessing their potential use to accelerate development of commercial RLVs that have improved reliability, availability, launch turn-time, robustness and significantly lower costs than current launch systems. Results from the study will provide roadmaps with recommended federal technology tasks and milestones for different vehicle categories.

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Entrepreneurs at the Inc. 500/5000 conference in DC in September 2009 shared their stories of jobs created and visions for the future of entrepreneurship. See the highlights. 
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Procter & Gamble's mantra, "The consumer is boss," has become a part of the fabric of marketing. But there's another related concept that is also critical to the company's successful record of innovation, according to P&G group president, North America Melanie L. Healey.

"You need to be purpose-driven. You need to know what it is that you really want to do for the consumer," she told attendees at last week's Magazine Innovation Summit in New York, the Magazine Publishers Association's new format for its annual conference.

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Last week president Barroso gave a remarkable, forward looking speech to Parliament at the European Innovation Summit. He characterises how the knowledge society needs to be a driver of innovation and outlines the cornerstones of the future European innovation policy. This includes, amongst other things, the aspects of open innovation, of standardisation as a facilitator of innovation, and of the need for new, innovative models for IPR handling.

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“The growth of the middle class is very important in China, though it’s still at a fairly early stage,” said Carl Riskin, a professor of Economics at Queens College and senior research scholar at the East Asian Institute at Columbia University. “China will no longer be able to rely on the limitless capacity of Americans to consume beyond their means. So the Chinese government has been eager to find ways to “re-balance” and make growth more dependent on domestic demand.”

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Some prominent economists tell us we are starting to come out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, but many worry the uptick won’t last.

Since December 2007, Americans lost $13 trillion in household wealth, and our country is swimming in red ink. Today, the federal debt is $11.4 trillion and growing because of a new round of federal spending. Some economists project it could reach $17 trillion in the next decade if Congress and President Obama continue at their current pace.

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In the past month, I have attended three conferences-the National Association of Seed Venture Funds (NASVF) national conference in Oklahoma City, Innovation Philadelphia’s regional conference Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009 and most recently, the Association of Corporate Growth’s annual Mid-Atlantic Capital Conference.

All three conferences were very well run and had great speakers. Although unemployment is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent, depending on whose numbers you believe, I think there is growing optimism that the worst is behind us. No questions that the economy is still soft, manufacturing jobs are still disappearing and the economic stimulus hasn’t had much of an impact. Let me tell you what I learned at each conference that shows me America and the world at large are slowly making progress.

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As the scope and quality of child-generated content continues to grow online, which sites are setting the pace, and how can parents help their kids get involved?

Kids’ Web Exploration Can be Valuable Learning Experience

In an interview with CNN, Cliff Boro of kid-friendly browser KidZui discussed how kids are using the Web, what they demand from content and how to keep them engaged while they learn.

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Here is a video reminder that a small insight can make possible radically different results.

Was this just a proof of concept ... or will it be the catalyst to more. To some it might be little more than science fiction ... to others it may have been the open door to something completely new and different.

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Some 1,400 people filled the fieldhouse at St. John Fisher College on Friday to get revved up about Rochester.

"You have a distinct competitive advantage," said keynote speaker Richard Bendis, a Philadelphia-based authority on innovation, referring, among other things, to Rochester's educated and skilled work force.
But Bendis didn't come to Eyes on the Future just to be a cheerleader. His talk focused on some of the serious problems in the U.S. economy, including a worrisome shortage of money to help new businesses get off the ground. The flow of venture capital is at a 12½-year low, and many state governments are too strapped to be of significant help. It goes without saying that New York is among them.


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KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Already a hotbed of research, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley has a new roadmap for turning those technological and human assets into a prosperous future. The strategy identifies four promising industry sectors:
-- instrumentation
-- nuclear energy
-- bioenergy
-- energy-related materials.

Developed by Innovation Valley officials and consultants from the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, these four high tech areas utilize the high tech resources of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, the University of Tennessee , and partnerships and initiatives across the Innovation Valley, and reflect current national business trends.

"Our focus at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is to deliver the kind of science that will be the foundation for economic growth in the years ahead," said ORNL Director Thom Mason, who also chairs Innovation Valley. "This roadmap will allow our region to benefit from the technology assets we have and further strengthens the linkage between economic development priorities and the research direction for ORNL."


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Richard Bendis (CARLOS ORTIZ staff photographer)The United States is falling behind its international competitors, and funding for innovation in business has hit a 12-year low.

That was the assessment by Richard A. Bendis, founder and CEO of Innovation America in Philadelphia, who cautioned an audience at St. John Fisher College on Friday that Switzerland and South Korea are among the countries overtaking the U.S. in innovation.

Bendis was the keynote speaker for the economic development conference called Eyes on the Future, which drew more than 1,400 people to the college in Pittsford.

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BANGKOK, 16 October 2009 (NNT) – The National Innovation Agency (NIA), in cooperation with the Education Ministry, opens a distance learning program on Innovation Management for Entrepreneurs, in a hope to increase the number of innovative businesses.

Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich, Science and Technology Minister said NIA has signed a joint agreement to that effect with the Distance Education Institute (DEI) and the Non-Formal Education Promotion Office of the Education Ministry. The program offers interested entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn about innovation development in a self-study style. The curriculum is divided into 9 parts such as Innovation and its Management, Strategic Innovation, and Intellectual Properties. The program should help the entrepreneurs create value-added products and enhance their competition in the market.

Interested people are invited to submit application forms by mail or to directly visit DEI office. The application period is from 2 – 30 November 2009 or log on to for more information.

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If you made your first sale while still in diapers and your lemonade stand was a substantial contributor to the family income, you've likely been called a born entrepreneur. But just how heritable is the ability to work hard, take risks, and seize opportunities? According to research conducted at the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College in London, 37 percent to 48 percent of the tendency to be an entrepreneur is genetic.

Researchers tested a number of indications of entrepreneurship including running or starting a business, the number of businesses a person had started, and the length of time they were self-employed, but for all of these factors there was the same strong genetic component.

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