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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.

Silicon Alley InsiderFrom the iPhone to the Garmin, advancements and gadgets introduced this decade changed the whole world.

They've affected how we live, do business, acquire information, and connect with others.

We've gotten used to touch-screens, blazingly fast Internet, and the ability to have the world at our fingertips in seconds.
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EurActivFive panels of experts have issued a joint policy paper demanding major changes to Europe's innovation policy just weeks before the EU's first commissioner for research and innovation is due to take office.

Members of five advisory groups are urging the EU to "radically improve" long-term planning as part of a major rethink of the way it organises research and innovation. At a seminar in the European Parliament, hosted by Science|Business, experts highlighted five key areas where there is consensus on how to overhaul R&D infrastructure.
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PakistanFast Innovation, Innovation Management, Organizational Structure of Innovation CommentCan the organizational structure of a company contribute to the acceleration of the innovation management in the spirit of Fast Innovation? The innovation machines Toyota, Procter & Gamble, GE, 3M, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, DuPont, Honeywell and Whirlpool answer this question in the affirmative. In addition to an effective and efficient innovation process they have adopted an organizational structure of innovation that enables them to launch innovations faster.

In organization science we distinguish between process organisation and organisation structure. Over the last few decades the process orientation of enterprises has continuously gained priority. Accordingly, in the context of innovation management the innovation process and its optimization received maximum attention, above all also in relation to the question how innovations can be launched into the market-place more rapidly in the spirit of Fast Innovation. Due to this, the organizational structure of innovation management receded a bit into the background. Which is not justified.
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WHYYSmall businesses may get some extra help from the federal government through the TARP fund. The fund was used to aid failing banks, and $50 billion of unused money may go to help small companies get loans. That's welcome news to groups that say small businesses were overlooked in this year's stimulus package.

Back in February, small business groups watched with disappointment as the president signed a stimulus bill giving billions of dollars to basic science research, but relatively little to start-up companies.

Barbara Schilberg is the CEO of BioAdvance, a non-profit group that funds new biotech companies.
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China ViewBEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A venture capital foundation aiming to raise money for China's small businesses was launched Saturday to help relieve their financing hardships.

The China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Shenzhen Junsheng Capital, a leading private equity and asset management company, will jointly operate the foundation.

In the initial phase, the fund aims to raise 1 billion yuan (147 million U.S. dollars), with 2 billion more to be collected after the road show completed, said Li Zibin, chairman of the association.
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TelegraphThe lack of a much-hyped rise in capital gains tax was a good starting point. The tax remains at the 18pc rate set by Mr Darling in his first pre-Budget statement two years ago when he scrapped the long-standing 10pc rate and in doing so suffered the wrath of the entrepreneurial community. While the rate remained the same, Mr Darling also resisted the temptation to make his concession to serial entrepreneurs more generous. The so-called Entrepreneurs' Relief of a 10pc rate on the first £1m in gains made during someone's lifetime was a sop to the small business lobby. Shopkeepers planning to use the sale of their businesses as their pension were none too pleased to suddenly be hit by such a hike in tax. The Chancellor buckled; but the relief does little for those aspiring to build much more than a small venture.

Fledgling green technology businesses may have been more cheered by Mr Darling's decision to use the might of the tax system to encourage more consumers and businesses to buy electric vehicles. Cars have been made exempt from the company car tax from next April, making them much more attractive to company bosses and other higher-rate taxpayers.
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NYTIn case you haven’t noticed, the U.S. economy today is actually being hit by two tsunamis at once: The Great Recession and the Great Inflection.

The Great Inflection is the mass diffusion of low-cost, high-powered innovation technologies — from hand-held computers to Web sites that offer any imaginable service — plus cheap connectivity. They are transforming how business is done. The Great Recession you know.

The “good news” is that the Great Recession is forcing companies to take advantage of the Great Inflection faster than ever, making them more innovative. The bad news is that credit markets and bank lending are still constricted, so many companies can’t fully exploit their productivity gains and spin off the new jobs we desperately need.
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Network ResourcesInformation Technology has no doubt revolutionized the world. This includes the way we communicate, learn and even go about our daily businesses. This 21st century innovation has indeed redefined and reshaped the rules of business engagements and how we live and conduct our day-to-day business. These influence and advancements cannot be said without one country, which has contributed immensely to its development. That country is United States of America.

United States of America is generally believed to be among the most technologically advanced country in the world. While other advanced countries have been able to catch up with USA in some field of technology, they have failed short of trailing this great nation when it comes to information technology innovation.
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MercuryThe untimely death earlier this year of Rajeev Motwani, the Stanford professor who had advised Google's co-founders, unleashed an astonishing wave of tributes to this classic Influencer.

Inspired by his example, I've been assembling my own list of The Influencers of Silicon Valley. I wasn't interested in touting, yet again, Steve Jobs, Mark Hurd and their high-profile counterparts. Instead, I wanted to identify others like Motwani — quiet, unheralded people who are shaping conversations and ideas across the Valley and around the world through their research, their advising, their teaching, their networking or their investing.

Through conversations, emails and tweets with colleagues, friends and sources, I compiled an initial list of more than 100 candidates, including many I had never heard of. Then I whittled it down, in part by focusing on those who are having a real, quantifiable impact. In many cases, these people might be superstars in their realm yet barely known outside of it. My final 10 are not necessarily the most influential, but they are playing an essential role in shaping the valley's innovation economy.

Consider this list a celebration of what is best about Silicon Valley.
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BWEvery year, the Geneva-based World Economic Forum honors as "Tech Pioneers" anywhere from 25 to 50 companies offering new technologies or business models that have the biggest potential impact on the world. This year's 26 honorees hail from all corners of the globe and include the largest group ever of so-called cleantech companies—a testament to growing environmental concerns. The pioneers also include young companies aiming to improve health and the way we communicate and do business. They were chosen by an independent panel of venture capitalists and industry experts. (The author, a former BusinessWeek correspondent and now editor-in-chief of Informilo, was a member of the jury.)

Click on to read about these inspiring innovation leaders of tomorrow.
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Brain LeadersWhen colleges cultivate entrepreneur brainpower they reinstate American leaders into competitive global markets. Yet university faculty continue to deliver facts for past eras, in lock-step lectures that rarely engage gifted entrepreneurs.

Increasingly, college students ask how to harness brainpower for entrepreneurial leadership. We’ve all experienced moments at work where innovators build tall ladders and climb toward new targets. It takes learned courage to climb and entrepreneurial skill to operate at the top.

Whether you toss the dice with personal money or lay down your good name on innovative front lines, some form of risk often arises on the way to winning ideas. Struggle describes most entrepreneurs while supports seem more distant than not. Have you seen it? An entrepreneur on one side, in tug of war with adventure on the other, and few solutions evident on either.
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Paul VolckerThe former Fed chairman says the conference proposals don't go nearly far enough to accomplish what needs to be accomplished

Does financial innovation contribute to economic growth?

That became a hot debate at the Future of Finance Initiative after former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker chastised the largely private-sector group for the timidity of its proposals, and said the ATM was the only financial innovation he can think of that has improved society.

What follows are edited excerpts of Mr. Volcker's discussion with The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray.
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Venture Capital, is it right for you?

First a short definition of venture capital. Venture capital is often viewed by the entrepreneur as a high interest loan. This isn’t really the case. Venture capital is just money made available to you for starting your business, in exchange for ownership in the company. In most cases the VC firm will also offer you management advice and guidance. It is also sometimes referred to as “angel financing” a term you’ll find laughable if you do business with the wrong firm.

The way it works is you approach a venture capital firm and pitch your idea to them. It doesn’t have to be a business you are starting, it can also be a business you are trying to buy .

The firm will usually have a board of seven to ten people meet with you and discuss your idea. Then they make a recommendation to the full firm, or a segment of a larger venture capital firm, and decide if they should give you the money.

Most of the cases I’ve seen the firm retains 40% ownership if you pay them what they demand every month. If you fall short a couple of payments they take 60% control of the company and you get 40%.
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BulletinI [Marc Kramer] recently read a terrific book that provides the history of entrepreneurship in the United States entitled American Entrepreneur by Drs. Larry Schweikart and Lynne Pierson Doti. Dr. Schweikart is a former rock drummer who became a history professor. He has written extensively on the history of American business, particularly finance and banking, and has, more recently, had several best-selling general U.S. history books, including A Patriot’s History of the United States. Dr. Pierson Doti is a professor of economics at Chapman University and served as director of Leatherby Entrepreneurship Center.

What I liked about this book was that it reminded me about what a great country we live in and how people with nothing more than intelligence, hard work and good timing can overcome the odds, build great businesses that catapulted the U.S. into the forefront of the world economy. The following is an interview with the author.
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Suite 101Venture capitalists provide funding to entrepreneurs to expand or start their ventures. The relationship between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist revolves around a timeline, starting from the time prior to entrepreneurs signing a deal with a venture capitalist (“VC”) [A], to the time after signing the deal [B] and to the continued process of a VC and an entrepreneur working together [C].

* Ex ante power for venture capitalists
* Ex ante power for entrepreneurs
* Continued process of a VC and an entrepreneur working together
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NSTTHE future will always be defined by creativity and innovation. We should nurture these traits in our children, and not move backwards by implementing a system that produces young people unable to think critically.

We need an academic evolution with a creative focus that will empower our young with the skills to use the tools of this new era of digital functions and global connectivity.

What is needed is a profound reform that places higher value on creativity to encourage students' personal development rather than emphasis on classroom disciplines.

The rise of innovation to the top of the agenda of many countries today has resulted in a profound shift in the nature of global competition.
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NextWeb[Portugal] There are four types of crops (bear with me on this) for companies; seeding (seed capital); harvesting (venture capital), selling (acquisition) and consuming (IPO).

In Portugal, each one has their own expression. We have VC’s, we have acquisitions and some IPO’s, but not that many seeders. So, it seems natural that the actual business angels in Portugal should be doing seed capital, but they’re more interested on being just the middle man between the ideia/startup and the venture capital noney. For that they’ll crop up to 10%. So, what history tells us ? Everyone’s killing the middle man and it will be shot at plain sight!

Wait no more, hope is here and we’re starting to see the rise of the newborns, the seeders! The guys that support your startup/idea/project, without the business spreadsheet or the fancy 20 page business plan full of charts. They’re the ones who leverage most of the startup risk, but also the ones who can profit from your business. The best seats of the train are always those upfront, that’s what seed capital hopes and prays for!
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TechCrunchYesterday some of Europe’s most influential and active seed/angel investors got together in London for a ’summit’ organised by Seedcamp, the pan European early stage startup programme. We understand the morning of SeedSummit (press weren’t invited) was devoted to frank exchanges between the investors about the current stage of early stage seed funding in Europe, with the afternoon reserved for a more public showcase of Seedcamp startup pitches.

Held at the offices of NESTA in London, the event was outlined by Seedcamp’s Saul Klein on his blog.
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Tallahassee Florida students are pretty much last in the nation for science."

That's a shocking statement, and even more so when made by a Florida Department of Education bureau chief. But that was one of the conclusions Todd Clark delivered to the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders, a gathering of district officials from around the state. His presentation, titled "State of the State for Florida Student Achievement" and published Nov. 19 in the Orlando Sentinel education blog School Zone, was a courageously candid assessment of the state's public education situation.

Such a declaration should be a rallying cry for the state's policy-makers, since the twin goals of K-12 science education — scientific literacy for all and the education of a greater number of excellent scientists and engineers — are necessary steps for Florida to make the transition to an innovation economy.
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