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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.

Heart of InnovationAs your organization gears up for 2010, here are 50 ways to ensure that it's culture is conducive to innovation. Commit to a few of these today and begin to work your magic.

1. Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates -- only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.

2. Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is "Public Enemy #1" of an innovative culture.

3. Have more fun. If you're not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.

4. Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.

5. Make new mistakes.
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Science ProgressJonathan Sallet, co-author of the report, “The Geography of Innovation: The Federal Government and the Growth of Regional Innovation Clusters,” testifies today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He explains in his written testimony that Congress should support the Economic Development Administration, which can build effective collaborations between businesses, universities, and local governments that create jobs and invest in an innovate future:
I believe that the federal government can maximize the benefits of science and research parks, an integral part of sparking innovation and creating jobs in the US, by supporting regional innovation clusters to promote a comprehensive, long-term economic growth and development plans across regions in the United States.
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WSJAn inside look from VentureWire at high-tech start-ups and their investors.

The venture capital industry is engaged in an urgent effort to ward off Congress from significantly increasing the taxes on profits made by venture firms.

The House today voted in favor of the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 that would raise tax rates on carried interest earned by investment managers – including venture firms – to ordinary income rates, or around 35%, from a lower capital gains rate of 15%. While venture firms collect management fees of about 2% committed capital, carried interest - or the profits made when portfolio companies are sold or go public - is the big money maker for VCs.
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CNN(Fortune Small Business) -- When Bill Gates's children become adults, they'll probably launch their own businesses.

And not just because of their father's example. Entrepreneurial tendencies -- including the ability to recognize business opportunities -- are heavily influenced by genetic factors, according to a study co-directed by Scott Shane, a professor of entrepreneurial studies at Case Western Reserve University.

Shane and his fellow researchers compared the entrepreneurial activity of 870 pairs of identical twins -- who share 100% of their genes -- and 857 pairs of same-sex fraternal twins -- who share 50% -- to see how much of entrepreneurial behavior is genetic and how much is environmental.
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Silicon Ally InsiderThis decade is the decade of gadgets.

From the tiny USB thumb drive introduced in 2000 to the iPhone 3G in 2008, a bunch of revolutionary devices have been brought to the market.

Check out the 15 best gadgets of the decade →

Of all the contraptions sold between 1999 and 2009, mobile phones were the most popular. At the turn of the millenium about 1 billion people worldwide had cellphone subscriptions. Today it's closer to 4.5 billion.
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AURPCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Changes in federal policy can increase the effectiveness of a key national asset in job creation: university-based research parks and technology incubators, according to U.S. Senate testimony today by Brian Darmody, president of the Association of University Research Parks and a University of Maryland associate vice president.

"We can harness our existing research and development infrastructure to create new jobs, new opportunities, and new companies with administrative reforms and relatively modest federal direct investments," Darmody told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

In prepared testimony, Darmody recommended a series of actions, including loans, tax-free financing and more flexible government procedures for commercializing technology developed with federal support.
A complete transcript of his prepared remarks follows below.

Darmody and the University of Maryland have taken a leadership role in developing Maryland's largest research park and technology incubators, creating significant economic impact.

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Washington Business JournalGov. Tim Kaine has formed an Innovation and Entrepeneurship Investment Authority in Virginia, consolidating two existing groups that work on state research and development.

The Innovative Technology Authority, established in 1984 and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission comprise the new authority. The General Assembly signed it into law earlier this year.

The group has a 13-member board of state business leaders including Ted Cahall, chief technology officer of AOL LLC; Ray Johnson, senior vice president of Lockheed Martin Corp.; and representatives from The George Washington University, George Mason University and James Madison University.
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NYTBANGALORE, India — In the United States and Europe, people worry that their well-paying, high-skill jobs will be, in a word, “Bangalored” — shipped off to India.

People here are also worried about the future. They fret that Bangalore, and India more broadly, will remain a low-cost satellite office of the West for the foreseeable future — more Scranton, Pa., in the American television series “The Office,” than Silicon Valley.

Even as the rest of the world has come to admire, envy and fear India’s outsourcing business and its technological prowess, many Indians are disappointed that the country has not quickly moved up to more ambitious and lucrative work from answering phones or writing software. Why, they worry, hasn’t India produced a Google or an Apple?
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NYTWas coal a curse to Pittsburgh? Did cars destroy Detroit? Does the dominance of a single industry destroy the innovation and entrepreneurship of a region?

If it does, then the economic crisis may have actually helped New York by enabling the city to avoid an over-concentration in finance.

For decades, economists have debated the “ Dutch Disease” and other ailments associated with too much success. The discovery of natural gas in the North Sea supposedly helped to de-industrialize the Netherlands by raising exchange rates and making Dutch manufacturing less competitive internationally. Almost 15 years ago, Jeffrey Sachs found a negative correlation between resource abundance and economic growth in the developing world, perhaps because those resources fueled conflict and enabled dictators.

Can some types of prosperity imperil cities as well as countries?
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Business WeekLast night the Plain English Campaign award ceremony was held in London. The 30th time these gongs have been doled out, individual prizes include “Golden Bull” awards, “for the worst examples of written tripe” as well as the “Foot in Mouth” award, “for baffling quotes by public figures.” The latter was won this year by none other than Peter Mandelson, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. His crime against coherence? This statement, uttered in defence of Gordon Brown at the time of the MPs’ expenses scandal:

“Perhaps we need not more people looking round more corners but the same people looking round more corners more thoroughly to avoid the small things detracting from the big things the Prime Minister is getting right.”

Er. Congratulations, Lord Mandelson. Here, see some of this year’s other winners, including Coca-Cola Enterprises and American Airlines.
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GoogleWhat did we learn reading Ken Auletta's book "Googled: The End Of The World As We Know It?"

For one, we learned that at one point in Google's history, Sergey Brin wanted to start a hedge fund.

His thinking was Google had better access to data, and would therefore produce superior returns.
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Boston.comDear Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki:

I suspect that when you meet with business groups around the Commonwealth, they all spend their time trying to persuade you why their industry is the most important, whether they are cranberry growers, fishermen, builders, educators, or Fluff producers.

That's why Monday's IT industry pep rally in Watertown felt pointless to me. UMass produced a report detailing how vital IT is to the state's gross domestic product, and how many jobs it supplies (fewer today than in 2000, it turns out.) The morning's conversations were focused on the bone-headed question "How can Massachusetts seize the opportunity to become the premier technology hub?"

Here's a better question for you two, and everyone on the IT industry committee you created: can we all stop doing this silly dance to the tune of "our industry is so important, please pay more attention to us, Beacon Hill?"
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NYTWASHINGTON — If negotiators reach an accord at the climate talks in Copenhagen it will entail profound shifts in energy production, dislocations in how and where people live, sweeping changes in agriculture and forestry and the creation of complex new markets in global warming pollution credits.

So what is all this going to cost?

The short answer is trillions of dollars over the next few decades. It is a significant sum but a relatively small fraction of the world’s total economic output. In energy infrastructure alone, the transformational ambitions that delegates to the United Nations climate change conference are expected to set in the coming days will cost more than $10 trillion in additional investment from 2010 to 2030, according to a new estimate from the International Energy Agency.
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PeopleBack when it looked like the global financial system was circling the drain, I kept seeing news stories that spoke of the future as though it might not happen. “If we recover from this crisis” was the usual phrase. And my usual response was to shout back, “Of course we’re going to recover, you idiot!” It’s one of life’s few certainties: when times are good, they will get worse. When times are bad, they will get better sooner or later. Of course it never feels that way, but then, feelings are not facts.

We’re all a bit more confident that “when we recover” can now take the place of “if we recover.” But the leaders of the next wave of growth will not be companies that stand on the sidelines, waiting for certainty. They will be companies that make rational bets on the direction of government policy, business restructuring and social trends. On January 27, Alan/Anthony will present an event for those companies, focusing on what they should be doing today to position themselves for the recovery tomorrow.
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CNET NewsPatent requests related to green technology will get the equivalent of the carpool lane at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent office on Monday introduced a pilot program to accelerate the reviews of green technology-related patents. The goal is to shave as much as one year off the process, which now takes on average of 30 months for an initial action from the USPTO and 40 months for a final decision.

The first 3,000 patent petitions to be filed will be eligible for the sped-up review program, and about 25,000 already pending applications are eligible, said Undersecretary of Commerce David Kappos, according to GreenWire.
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Durham, NC, December 08, 2009 --( Judges, led by Google's Bill Maris, select Biogenic Medical Devices and the audience selects The Produce Purity Project from 74 original contenders.

The 10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge, the premiere entrepreneurship competition at Duke University, announced today that Biogenic Medical Devices, led by Garrett Muramoto (MBA'11), took home the Judge's Choice award of $1000 and The Produce Purity Project, led by Stephanie Fruth (MBA'11), won the Audience Choice award of $250 and a special gift of $500 from lead judge Bill Maris, Co-Founder of Google Ventures. A standing room only crowd of more than 500 packed Geneen Auditorium for the Elevator Pitch Competition Final showdown on Friday November 20 where 14 teams pitched and the winners took home the prize money. The event was broadcast live on the Internet and is now available on the Duke Start-Up Challenge website at

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SKANEWhat are the preconditions for Skåne being able to compete on an international scale and achieving sustainable growth over the long term? What capacity does the region have for de- veloping new knowledge and new innovations? These are just two of the questions investiga- ted by the analysis presented in this report of the region's conditions for growth and its capaci- ty for innovation.

With the support of VINNOVA, the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, Region Skåne is working over the long term to enhance the innovation capacity and competitive potential of the region. Part of this work has involved the completion of an exhaustive analysis, and an international peer review of the regional innovation system is to be undertaken. The work is of pilot type and is based on approaches and methods that, as far as we know, have not previ- ously been applied, either in Sweden or anywhere else in the world.


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Paul VolckerSpeaking at the Wall Street Journal's Future of Finance Initiative yesterday, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker looked to finance's recent past and saw little to like, noting that he has yet to see any evidence that financial market innovations have provided any benefit to the economy.

Apparently, Volcker thinks the industry reached a peak when it invented the ATM and, given what's happened over the last year or two, it's hard to disagree with that view.

He said, "It really helps people, it’s useful."
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EncoreWhat’s the good news and the bad news for independent filmmakers, in a digital environment? A transcript of the ‘Screen business – global trends, innovation and opportunities for screen businesses in Australia’ discussion at ACMI last week.

Producer, academic and author of The Creative Economy John Howkins was the guest speaker at this event, organised by the Creative Industries Innovation Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, and presented at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne.

The recently opened Centre is part of the $50 million Enterprise Connect Government initiative, providing businesses advisory services to creative industries

The following transcript – courtesy of UTS - is from the Melbourne session.
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Editor's ChoiceWe are excited to announce the Editor’s Choice edition of the 2009 Small Business Book Awards.

The following books were chosen by the Editors of Small Business Trends, along with expert input from a 27-member Advisory Panel (see the Advisory Panelists listed at the end of this article). The combined input was impassioned and invaluable, and the decisions all the more difficult due to the quality of this year’s business book releases.

Without further delay, here are the Editor’s Choice winners, listed in alphabetical order:
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