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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 recent study reiterated the conclusion that population growth ought to be controlled in order to combat global warming, and other world problems. I beg to differ. The authors of studies like these have exaggerated the benefits of population control, because they ignore some of the significant economic benefits of large populations.

The director-general of Unicef has been quoted as saying, “Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.” And one of the benefits of reduced population, it is claimed, is reduced carbon emissions and therefore mitigation of climate change.

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If world leaders gathering for this week's G20 summit need evidence of the economic importance of trade and global engagement, they need look no further than their host city.

When the bottom fell out of the U.S. steel industry, Pittsburgh suffered one of the most devastating collapses of a major American city. But now, Pittsburgh is in the midst of a renaissance, thanks to a shift toward innovation, 21st-century jobs and an economy that embraces, rather than hides from, the global economy.

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The well-quoted adage “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail” might sound right and it may be the accepted wisdom of the masses. But excessive planning might be wrong, at least according to experienced angel investors and venture capitalists. In fact, what investors need is concise information, not more information.

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A recent BusinessWeek article called for the investment of billions of dollars more in "basic research" to create millions of new jobs. It's hard to argue against the importance of scientific research.

But too often overlooked in discussions over research spending is a fundamental fact: We've already got an abundance of research. The next transistor, semiconductor, or breakthrough in MRI technology may already have been discovered.

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Scores of technology startup companies in the Mid-Atlantic region have pitched their ideas to investors over the past year, only to come away with little or no funding. By many accounts, the recession and stock market losses have turned swashbuckling early-stage investors into penny-counting worrywarts.

As a result, more entrepreneurs have relied on so-called bootstrapping - launching a business by funding it themselves along with help from friends and family, and keeping it as lean as possible until they can attract venture capital investment. The few who can lure investors today are regarded as having won a lottery of sorts - one made possible by their own sweat equity, and not by chance.

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SSTI's 13th Annual Conference

Only 7 Days Remains on Early Discounts for SSTI's Annual Conference!

Discount Deadline is Tuesday, Sep 29

In this economy, every dollar counts. Register today!

To Do This Week:

Download the updated brochure for SSTI's Annual Conference, Seize the Moment, if you haven't already.

Register for a preconference workshop (optional) and SSTI's full conference. Saves you $100 if it is done on or before Sep 29. Call SSTI at 614.901.1690 or register online at:

Book your reservations to stay at the beautiful Sheraton Overland Park. The specially discounted rate of $169 is available until Tuesday, Sep 29. Besides the convenience of staying onsite, you'll save money on the room rate and taxi fares! More information is at:

Make your travel arrangements. Flights aren't likely to get any cheaper the closer we get to the conference dates of Oct 21-23. Book early to get the best seats and save!

Pack your bags! OK, you don't really want to do this already, but once you've looked at the great conference program and finished everything else on your to do list, you'll be as excited as we are for this year's conference!

We look forward to having you join hundreds of the nation's top TBED practitioners and policymakers Oct 21-23. See you in Kansas!

An increasing number of universities and colleges are offering courses in “Entrepreneurship” as part of their business education. Around the world, business plan competitions are held by academic institutions at regular intervals. The wide publicity given to “entrepreneurship” in recent times has resulted in entrepreneurs gaining respect and being acknowledged as critical participants in a country’s economy, wealth and job creation.

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Venture capital funding is at a historic low, yet at least eight software startups announced VC funding in the past two weeks for a total of more than $60 million. Their products are all very different, but they have one thing in common: they're delivered in a software-as-a-service model.

This is significant, because it shows that when VCs are thinking about what software companies to fund, they recognize value in the SaaS model. Some apps are just easier to sell and deploy as a SaaS, and are likely to gain better traction in a tough economy.

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The National Research Council of the National Academies today released the Academies' new report, Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, at the U.S. Capital. Senator Mark Pryor, D-AR gave opening remarks.

Senator Pryor is sponsoring Senate Bill 583, which provides support for the development and construction of research and science parks to promote the clustering of innovation through high technology activities. Co-sponsors of S. 583 are Senator Lamar Alexander, R-TN, Senator Richard J. Durbin, D-IL, Senator Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Senator Olympia J. Snowe, R-ME.

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As of Oct. 1, all they can do is await the decision. The quality of their business plans, the depth of their experience and the strength of their character will be for others to deliberate.

Six will be chosen. Possibly twice as many more will, like “fired” apprentices on Donald Trump’s reality TV show, snap shut their briefcases and exit the stage empty-handed.

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How old is too old to be an entrepreneur? The stereotype that people take fewer risks as they age does not bear out in a report by the entrepreneur-supporting Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Titled “THE COMING ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOM“, the report shows that the average age of entrepreneurs is higher than many would expect.

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President Obama laid out his vision for innovation, growth, and quality jobs earlier today at Hudson Valley Community College. The President's plan is grounded not only in the American tradition of entrepreneurship, but also in the traditions of robust economic thought.

During the past two years, the ideas propounded by John Maynard Keynes have assumed greater importance than most people would have thought in the previous generation. As Keynes famously observed, during those rare times of deep financial and economic crisis, when the "invisible hand" Adam Smith talked about has temporarily ceased to function, there is a more urgent need for government to play an active role in restoring markets to their healthy function.

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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

Since taking office, President Obama has taken historic steps to lay the foundation for the innovation economy of the future. The Obama Innovation Strategy builds on well over $100 billion of Recovery Act funds that support innovation, additional support for education, infrastructure and others in the Recovery Act and the President’s Budget, and novel regulatory and executive order initiatives. It seeks to harness the inherent ingenuity of the American people and a dynamic private sector to ensure that the next expansion is more solid, broad-based, and beneficial than previous ones. It focuses on critical areas where sensible, balanced government policies can lay the foundation for innovation that leads to quality jobs and shared prosperity. It has three parts:

Download full PDF Here.

“Innovation is more important than ever,” declares President Barack Obama in a white paper released yesterday. A Strategy for American Innovation: Driving Towards Sustainable Growth and Quality Jobs doesn’t exactly break new ground, but the 22-page report does present a good snapshot of where we are now.

It doesn’t pull its punches, either. The first few pages provide historical context, painting a bleak picture of American dystopia, an America limping along with a broken economy, a neglected, out-of-date education system, decaying infrastructure (both physical and virtual) and out-of-control health care costs. But read on! The Obama Administration is here to help, and looking not only to avoid unsustainable, bubble-driven growth but also to avoid “unproductive and anachronistic debate” about the government’s future role. “The true choice in innovation is not between government and no government, but about the right type of government involvement in support of innovation,” says the report.

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The world can be a rough place for independent inventors. They can often find themselves in court, battling big corporations, spending piles of money on lawyers and leaving it up to judges and juries to determine the value of their hard-won patents.

That could be changing. Wrangling over patents is beginning to move out of the courtroom and into the marketplace. A flurry of new companies and investment groups has sprung up to buy, sell, broker, license and auction patents. And venture capital and private equity is starting to pour into the field.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, squeezing in an eleventh-hour pitch for his domestic agenda, is promoting his administration's promises of innovation at a New York community college before weeklong meetings on international priorities.

Obama heads to Troy, N.Y., on Monday to discuss his already-in-place programs that he says help spur innovation and transform the U.S. economy. He then moves on to New York City, where he will become the first sitting U.S. president to appear on David Letterman's "Late Show" couch — another example of a White House strategy designed to put Obama in front of as many cameras as possible to sell his message to a skeptical public.

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Before embarking on a week of high-level diplomacy, President Obama stopped off at a community college near Albany, N.Y., to tout a host of education programs.

"In the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate's degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience," Obama said at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

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