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.
BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)--The European Commission Thursday blocked a German law that would see venture capital firms receive tax breaks, but allowed private investors to benefit from similar tax support.
The commission found that the proposed changes in Germany's risk capital tax law, which would allow ...
To save business time and money Government departments now issue all their changes to business regulations on two dates per year – 6 April and 1 October. This is part of the Government’s commitment to promote better regulation, regulating only where necessary, doing so in a proportionate and targeted way, and reducing bureaucracy wherever possible.
From today, new businesses will be able to save valuable time and money with simpler model articles, making it easier to start up and run companies. Other measures will help shareholders and investors by encouraging disclosure of strategic, forward looking information through enhanced business review.
Despite the economic gloom and doom, the honorees on this year's 30 Under 30 list are building wildly successful ventures with the help of their peers, parents, professors, and patrons. Why enlisting these loyal tribes of support has become so important in the start-up world -- and how the smartest companies foster that same loyalty among their customers.
"History should be our guide. The United States led the world's economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener; the challenge is tougher; and that is why innovation is more important than ever. It is the key to good, new jobs for the 21st century. That's how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations. With these investments, we're planting the seeds of progress for our country, and good-paying, private-sector jobs for the American people."
-President Barack Obama, August 5, 2009
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IP Profile: Mg2Si: Environmentally benign semiconductor material for energy conversion, Toyko University of Science, JP
At our laboratory, we have developed a direct thermal-to-electric power generator using environmentally-benign semiconducting material. [more]
IP Profile: Compositions and methods for polynucleotide extraction and methylation detection, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, US
The invention features methods and compositions for methylation detection, as well as a novel method for polynucleotide extraction and sodium bisulfite treatment. [more]
Calling all Innovators and Entrepreneurs! Submissions Open Next Month for TechConnect Summit 2010
TechConnect Seeks Technology and Company Submissions Focused on Nanotech, Cleantech, and Biotech/Pharma Markets [more]
Federal labs critical to spurring entrepreneurial innovation**************************
House Small Business Subcommittee members examine how federal labs partner with small companies to spur technology R&D, new product development, and support local economic activity. [more]
US Government to Create Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
US Department of Commerce will also create a National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship[more]
Serious Materials Raises $60 Million in Third-Round Financing
Cleantech Start-Up's Innovative Energy Efficiency Solutions Attracts Strong Investor Interest [more]
DiscoveryBioMed, Inc. Awarded Phase 2 SBIR Grant
NIH Grants Company $750k to Continue Their Innovative Research [more]
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Abu Dhabi will undertake the first geothermal project in the Gulf region, drilling 4km beneath the city this year. The government hopes to tap enough cheap, clean energy to meet up to half the needs of its zero-carbon development Masdar City, reports The National newspaper.
“We have found that Abu Dhabi has a very good chance to generate energy from geothermal sources,” Sanad Ahmed, a senior project manager at the government-owned Masdar, told the daily. “It’s one of the cheapest sources for renewable energy available.”
In my last post, I explained the motherlode of innovation hidden in the huge stacks of patents and discoveries backlogged at our universities and research labs. While entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley trip over each other to create the next iPhone app, they ignore the early-stage discoveries which could lead to the next Internet, a revolutionary memory device, or a cure for infectious diseases. Researchers in university labs find vast numbers of breakthroughs which can better the world. Most of their work never sees the light of day. Hardly 0.1% of all funded basic science research results in a commercial venture.
To boost our economy, we need to bridge this gap and improve the university research commercialization system. Many are working on solutions. Unfortunately, things change slowly in academia and those solutions are years off, at best. In the meantime, there are opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs to do what some smart VC’s do — tap into this goldmine.
We published an article, "How GE is Disrupting Itself," in the October 2009 Harvard Business Review, co-authored with Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric. The article introduces the phenomenon of reverse innovation. Several people have asked us about the relationship between reverse innovation and disruptive innovation, as defined by Clay Christensen.
There is an overlap between reverse innovation and disruptive innovation but not a one-to-one relationship. In other words: Some, but not all, illustrations of reverse innovation are also illustrations of disruptive innovation.
Relative to the amount of capital invested, venture capital backed companies have disproportionately contributed to the creation of jobs, market value, and revenue to their local economies. As a result, states and municipalities are competing for the establishment of venture capital investors’ offices in their communities.
In Buy Local? The Geography of Successful and Unsuccessful Venture Capital Expansion (NBER Working Paper No. 15102), authors Henry Chen, Paul Gompers, Anna Kovner, and Josh Lerner examine the location decisions of venture capital (VC) firms and the impact that venture capital firm geography has on investments and outcomes. They analyze data for 2,039 VC firms in the period 1975 to 2005, including their office locations and that of the businesses in their investment portfolios.
Making cars and trucks is a capital intensive business with high barriers to entry. It naturally benefits from mass production and economies of scale.
But I don’t understand why there isn’t more a more dynamic relationship between established automakers and entrepreneurs. Imagine if the auto industry had an ecosystem like the biotech industry. Thousands of startups develop new drugs, devices, and therapies. Successful innovations get licensed or sold off to larger players with mass production capacity.
Steve Ressler, a former IT auditor with the Department of Homeland Security, spent a lot of time studying the world’s terrorist networks. He later developed a keen interest in different kinds of networks, and founded Young Government Leaders, Washington, D.C.’s premier professional organization for government employees. Ressler also started GovLoop, an online social network for government workers that numbers about 20,000 members.
This week, GovLoop merged with GovDelivery Inc., a venture-backed government communications platform that has seen its business take off with President Obama’s open-government mandate. As a prescient social networker, Ressler has been tapped to head up GovDelivery’s social-networking component. He talked to Dow Jones this week about the future of social networking and how citizen participation in government might be transformed through technology.
When Lord Mandelson laid out his vision for an "innovation nation" this week, scientists at the University of Cambridge will have listened to the message with mixed feelings.
The home of groundbreaking discoveries, from the electron to DNA, is enjoying unprecedented commercial success with some of its latest laboratory breakthroughs. The city has attracted venture capitalists, industry sponsors and management teams, all looking to share in the success of the "Cambridge Cluster" and its spin-outs.
September 30, 2009
Family planning research must inform clinician training, argues Wayne C. Shields this week. Also, Jonathan Zuck explains the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and we look at recent news on the social implications of synthetic biology.
Continuing Medical Education
By Wayne C. Shields
With a bold investment of federal resources into clinician education during their academic training years and throughout their careers, we can improve reproductive health care.
Keep the Same Address*************
By Jonathan Zuck
At the end of the month, the agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and the U.S. Department of Commerce expires. Hopefully, not much will change.
Tell Me a Story About Synthetic Biology
More Americans know about synthetic biology, according to a survey from the Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Some 22 percent of adults indicate they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology—that’s up from only 9 percent last year. But nearly half, 48 percent, have heard nothing at all about the technology.
The Coolest Platform Raises the Hardest Questions
A recent New Yorker article on synthetic biology is a showcase of candid, effective, values-based discussions about the social implications of an emerging technology.
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The Department of Energy released a 2nd SBIR/STTR solicitation for this Fall. Grants from this Phase I award will be made in FY 2010 for up to $100,000. DOE expects to make 360 Phase I and Phase II awards. Proposals will be due by 8:00 PM on November 20th.
There are over 300 topics and sub-topics in this solicitation. The Technical Topic listing provides full descriptions of these topics. Proposal details and instructions can be found in the solicitation.
As industry sectors go, the creative economy is a work in progress - one with a bit of an identity crisis.
"If you ask 11 people their definition of creative industries, you're going to get 11 different definitions," said Kelly Lee, president and chief executive officer of Innovation Philadelphia, an economic-development agency focused on supporting and growing the region's creative economy.
After Socrata Inc. launched its online database service last year, it remained in beta for the next several months to see which types of customers would emerge as a fit.
Small businesses were natural early adopters of the company’s online spreadsheets, which allows people to visualize, filter, comment on and search large datasets within a Web site.
But soon, a new, deep-pocketed customer appeared that encouraged Socrata to shift gears: the federal government.
Companies are getting sold early than ever before. Tech companies are often sold only one or two years from start up. This is happening now because the IPO market is dead, the Venture Capital model is broken and the fundamental structure of the American economy has changed dramatically.
Very few entrepreneurs, and angel investors, have sold more than a few companies. There is very little good information available about selling companies.
Almost all of the earlier books on exit strategies were for business owners who wanted to retire. Recently, there have been a number of books written about exit transactions for traditional venture capitalists. “Early Exits” is the first book about selling companies specifically written for entrepreneurs and angel investors.
What have the British-based multinational Unilever, oil firm BP, pharmaceutical giant GSK, and electronics manufacturer Philips got in common? The answer is they have all embraced Open Innovation (OI) as way of developing new products or accessing new technologies.
Now Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) has produced a new guide to show how other companies can follow in their footsteps.
Rob H alerts us to an article that starts out sounding reasonable... pointing out that politicians in the EU are meeting because they're worried about intellectual property laws holding back innovation in Europe... but then it goes off the rails. You see, they're not worried that the laws are holding back innovation because they're too strict, but because they're too weak. As you look, though, you realize that these politicians have basically been lobbied by businesses that want protectionist policies. The "report" they discuss talks not about how to better incentivize innovation, but how to "better favour business." What that means is they went and spoke with a bunch of incumbent businesses, not innovative startups, and those businesses said they want more patents. Someone should send them a copy of Against Intellectual Monopoly ...
The recession is spurring British inventors on to turn their creations into businesses, new research suggests.
Aspiring inventors cited the current economic climate and the greater risk of being made redundant as the two main inspirations for moving forward with their business ideas, the poll by Business Link London found.
The recession is also apparently promoting innovation and invention within existing small businesses. Some 49% of small businesses said they had been proactively innovating during the past year.