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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.

Governor's task force examines startup funding gap

Upstate university and business leaders Tuesday urged a state task force to help bridge the "valley of death" — the seed-funding wasteland that lies between higher-education research and profitable commercialization.

Speakers at a public hearing Tuesday at the University of Rochester Medical Center emphasized that New York lacks adequate private venture capital and public financing to get startup companies arising from university research into the competitive marketplace. The state ranks 25th nationwide in the amount of public dollars dedicated to startup capital and seed funding.

Angel investors: Wings clipped, but still taking their time in the candy store

I checked in with veteran angel investor and expert John May about the state of angel investing. May, who is Managing Partner of the New Vantage Group, which manages the accounts of a number of angel funds, and who founded a bunch of angel groups and is chairman emeritus of the Angel Capital Association, not only has a broad perspective on the topic but also is usually an upbeat person.

Halfway through its money and its first decade, Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative has helped generate a $6.6 billion impact for the state, according to an independent assessment released by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) on Tuesday. The report also credits the initiative's investments for creating 41,300 jobs within Ohio over the past five years. Making an Impact: Assessing the Benefits of Ohio's Investment in Technology-Based Economic Development Programsprovides a supporting backdrop as Gov. Ted Strickland and the state legislature consider whether or not to place a possible extension of the Third Frontier Initiative on the May 2010 ballot. A large component of the Third Frontier's funding comes from a $500 million bond package Ohio voters passed four years ago.

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Report: San Diego’s Innovation Economy Shows Q2 Uptick in Startups, Patents, and Investments

A just-released report on San Diego’s innovation economy shows 102 new technology companies were created during the three months that ended on June 30—a 53 percent increase over the 66 startups launched during the first three months of 2009, and 34 percent more than the 76 companies started during the second quarter of 2008.

A key factor in the startup surge was a 90 percent increase in venture capital investments in the region over the three-month period, according to the report, which was released by Connect, a San Diego nonprofit group that promotes technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The report found that venture firms invested a total of $172 million in 22 San Diego area companies, based on regional data from the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters.

The Power of Daydreaming (Daydreams as a Source of Innovation & Motivation)

Barack Obama certainly had a dream . . . that one day he would be president. I'm sure that in his younger years many people would have mocked him for this audacious dream, but he followed his inner vision and now he's the 44th President of the United States.

The most dynamic and innovative people in any endeavor--business, science, athletics, politics, or the arts--are visionaries. And what exactly is a "vision?" At the end of the day I argue that a "vision" is just an upscale word for "daydream," and "visionary," an upscale word for daydreamer.

SSTIArgentina, Iran Push TBED Strategies

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $750 million in financing over the next five years to Argentina's federal government for the country's Technology Innovation Program.

Argentina's R&D intensity as gauged by the ratio of R&D expenditures to GDP has increased in recent years, from 0.4 in 2003 to 0.51 in 2007. However, compared to a R&D intensity of 2.3 percent of GDP for OCED countries, Argentina lags considerably behind.

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Does cloud computing affect innovation?

Earlier this summer, Jonathan Zittrain wrote a New York Times OpEd piece that discussed his concerns with the cloud computing paradigm. Zittrain stated that, while it may seem on the surface that cloud adoption is as "inevitable as the move from answering machines to voice mail," he sees some real dangers.

Zittrain covered the usual concerns about data ownership, privacy, and the access that data placed in the cloud gives governments all over the world--a concern I certainly share. He went on to point out that these problems are solvable "with a little effort and political will," a view that I also adhere to.

Kauffman: New Business Will Bring Economic Recovery

The Kauffman Foundation, a pro-entrepreneurship foundation out of Kansas City, Mo, has released a nationwide poll that brings to light the importance of entrepreneurship in our economy.

Entrepreneurs were ranked more highly than either big business and the government when it comes to job creation, with nearly 80% of respondents stating that entrepreneurship played a critical role in creating jobs.

BusinessWeek: What Government Innovations Have Proven to Work?

The 2009 winners of the Innovations in American Government Awards, given each year since 1986 by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance & Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, have been announced. They represent inventive public-sector programs that local, state, or federal governments might want to emulate. And they answer the question, “what government ‘innovations’ have proven to work?” Companies could also learn from their ideas, or at least seek them as public-private partners.

After Lehman: How Innovation Thrives In a Crisis

The economic shocks that reverberated through the economy a year ago could easily have marked the end of the nascent "Innovation Movement." After all, how could companies prioritize developing innovation programs in the face of very real questions of fundamental survival?

A year later, it is clear that innovation has never been more important. And, in a strange way, the scarcity forced on many companies has been a hidden accelerator of efforts to systematize innovation.

Who "owns" Innovation? Where does it "live" in an organization?

Braden Kelly has asked a number of us to respond to the question "Who owns innovation and where does it live in an organization?" This is actually a question we are asked quite frequently by our clients. The answers are based on the strategic goals of the firm.

First, let's consider who "owns" innovation. Many firms will argue that the CEO "owns" innovation, and they are correct, to a point. Anyone with any amount of experience working on innovation will tell you that an engaged, involved executive team is vital to success when innovating. However, a CEO simply doesn't have the time or bandwidth to get involved in every decision and manage all the disparate teams and activities that are involved. A CEO needs to make clear strategies and declarations about innovation's purpose, and ensure the work is conducted effectively and measured. OK, if the CEO doesn't "own" innovation, who does? I've written before that larger firms may need a Chief Innovation Officer, but only if that role is accurately defined. Since innovation can happen anywhere in the organization at any time, we certainly don't want to place all the emphasis on one person or team.