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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.

Ben FranklinListening to the rhetoric about how the federal government needs to spend big to make sure the U.S. stays on technology’s cutting edge, I wonder if big carrots are better than baby ones.

Over the last 26 years, Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners program has done a lot with a little state money. Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, recently praised the program, which provides young technology firms with small investments to nudge them ahead to where a venture capital firm may want to invest.


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TimeU.S. vs. China: Working Together on Global Warming?

Global warming is a problem that spans the entire world, but when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, the burden will largely fall on two countries: the U.S. and China. The U.S. is the world's largest historic carbon emitter, responsible for putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the past century and a half than any other nation. China recently surpassed the U.S. as the top emitter and will be responsible for more greenhouse gases in the future than any other country. "These two countries hold the key to sustainability or catastrophe," says Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

If that's the case, it might seem as if the world is headed toward catastrophe. Over the weekend, world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit made explicit what had long been expected — that a legal, global treaty to reduce carbon emissions was no longer possible at next month's U.N. summit in Copenhagen. The deadlock between the U.S. and China is a big reason: Beijing expects Washington to take the lead on cutting carbon, but the U.S. won't sign on to a deal that doesn't including measurable action from the Chinese. From that perspective, climate change is one more competition between the world's reigning superpower and its No. 1 challenger. (Read "Is There Any Hope for Agreement at Copenhagen?")


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Findings from recent researches carried out by Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, said Innovation is a top priority for companies seeking to grow in aftermath of the economic downturn, but flaws in managing innovation may hinder their progress”.

Additionally, nearly nine out of 10 respondents (89 percent) said that innovation is as important, if not more important, than cost reduction to their company’s ability to achieve future growth.


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Lahle Wolfe's article Do You Have What it Takes to Become a Successful Woman Entrepreneur? ( Women in Business) got me thinking about entrepreneurship in general.

I write about entrepreneurship from a research perspective in Thinking of Starting a Small Business?. Perseverance, initiative, competitiveness, and self-reliance all were rated highly by entrepreneurs themselves as the "necessary" qualities for success.


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Who wouldn’t like to get their startup going in a city by the sea, with great climate, surrounded by hills, and get around the city on trams or get to the beach through a beautiful suspended bridge? And you can also add to that great food and great wine…

No, I am not talking about San Francisco, California. I’m talking about Lisboa, Portugal. Although we do have a beach called California close by: the Californian coast was first explored by a Portuguese sailor at the service of the Spanish crown, who was a native of Sesimbra, a fishing town 30 km south of Lisbon where there is a place called California Beach.


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The Michigan Microloan Fund Program, managed by Ann Arbor SPARK, today distributed $200,000 to four young companies, including three in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor-based Allinnova, Procuit and The Whole Brain Group and Birmingham-based Solarflex received the funds.

The Michigan Microloan Fund Program draws funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, which SPARK manages, as well as the Ann Arbor Local Development Financing Authority and Washtenaw County.


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This post is the third about my trip to 3M. In the first post I examined 3M's culture, informed by its midwestern roots. In the second post I reviewed the concept of forward mapping and some of the opportunities and challenges of 3M's innovation exchanges. Today I'll recap and review the components that 3M believes make up its innovation success.

The seven factors or components of successful innovation, according to 3M, are:

• The relationship of innovation to corporate vision and business model
• 3M’s culture, which I’ve addressed previously
• Access to multiple platforms or technologies
• Networking
• Individual expectation
• Measured Accountability
• Connection to customer need


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NYTInnovation Report Card. A new report on Innovation for Development out of the European Business School ranks countries’ ability to propel innovation in ways that advance societies. (The United States comes in a respectable third, behind Sweden and Finland.) The study assessed countries using an index that ranked factors like education, social inclusion, and regulations and laws that made it easier to propel a good idea to the market. A summary of the situation in the United States presents a more positive picture than some other recent assessments:


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Newsweek is running a story on a poll (co-sponsored with Intel) on public attitudes toward technology and economic growth. Not surprisingly, most people think technological innovation is an important factor in economic growth. Interestingly, more American's think technology will be more important in the coming decades than do Chinese (78% of Americans; 61% of Chinese). In somewhat of a surprise, the Chinese have a stronger belief than Americans that the US will remain the technology leaders in the future.

There was one part of the poll I found most surprising - and disturbing. When parents in the two nations were asked what was the most important skill their children needed to drive innovation in the future, the answers differed dramatically. 52% of American parents said "math and computer science"; only 9% of Chinese parents did. But 45% of Chinese parents said "creative approaches to problem solving" while only 18% of American parents did.

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Huffington PostToday, Newsweek and Intel released the findings from a survey on innovation and the economy. The good news: despite one of the deepest recessions in history, Americans have an undiminished faith in technology and innovation as the primary engines of economic growth. The bad news: most Americans say that the downturn has hurt the U.S.'s ability to innovate and they have significant doubts about our ability to maintain leadership.

While pursuing game-changing technology innovation is my charge at Intel, I am acutely interested in supporting this undiminished faith of the American people and am working tirelessly to relieve their doubts about our ability to compete on the global stage.
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Intel and Newsweek have produced a report on the importance of innovation to economic growth.

For the last 100 years the biggest contribution to industrial innovation has been the electronics industry.

For the last 60 years the biggest contributor to innovation in electronics has been microelectronics.


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Dana Goldstein on the White House's "newer is better" approach to problems:

Every single one of you has something you're good at," President Barack Obama told children in his Sept. 8 back-to-school address. He went on to list future occupations toward which students could strive -- doctor, teacher, police officer, architect, lawyer. Also included in that list was a career option no previous president had ever named: innovator.

Indeed, the Obama administration has been promoting "innovation" to anyone who will listen. The stimulus package includes more than $100 billion for innovation efforts across fields as diverse as school reform, energy research, health care, and poverty alleviation. In July, first lady Michelle Obama spoke at two "innovation events" honoring architects and product designers. On Sept. 21, the president delivered a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in upstate New York on how innovation can create jobs. A search of turned up 531 documents mentioning the term.


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The ingredients are in place for Arkansas to become a tech-based innovation hotbed. All it needs are the right hands in the kitchen.

Jeff Amerine has firsthand experience in cooking up environments that foster innovation. He teaches entrepreneurship and technology commercialization classes at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, and is an officer at the UA's Technology Licensing Office, where his job is to take the world-class research being done there and guide it to commercialization.


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WBJErnst & Young LLP has been named Rosetta Stone Inc. President and CEO Tom Adams its national entrepreneur of the year.

Adams was selected for his leadership in building and growing Arlington-based Rosetta Stone, which sells language teaching software, into an international market leader.

Rosetta Stone has doubled its size since 2007, it went public in April during a drought of initial public offerings and the company earned net income of $5.3 million in its most recent quarter ended Sept. 30.
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Gov. Bev Perdue intends to brand North Carolina as "the state of innovation."

Yesterday, as Perdue created the state's first Innovation Council, she said she believes that a major byproduct of its actions will be elevating the state of hope for North Carolinians.

Perdue announced the panel after taking a tour of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.


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BWAs innovation revives, companies struggle to make it boost profitable growth. GE, Tata Motors, Marvel, and Virgin Galactic offer diverse models

While they continue to slog through the longest economic downturn in decades, companies are no longer making cost-cutting their primary focus. Innovation is now front and center on the corporate agenda, according to a global survey we recently conducted with 65 senior executives from diverse industries. Executives are adding more breakthrough innovations and business model changes to their portfolio to fuel the growth engine for the recovery.

Yet our survey reveals that companies by and large are having trouble making innovation efforts work. Executives are struggling to find the right combination of business strategy, operational model, and execution to deliver profitable growth.


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Speech by: Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, 16 November 2009, at HDB Hub Auditorium

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower, Minister In-charge of Entrepreneurship and Chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of the National University of Singapore

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon

Thank you for the invitation to join you for the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009.

Initiated last year by the Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation in the USA and Make Your Mark in the UK, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. The inaugural event reached out to 1.5 million people from over 100 countries through some 15,000 entrepreneurial activities. Here in Singapore, the Action Community for Entrepreneurship or ACE and NUS Enterprise, together with 37 partners, have impacted 12,000 entrepreneurial minds via some 40 events.

This year, over 70 countries are banding together again to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship. I would like to congratulate the Singapore co-hosts and 25 partners for lining up over 40 showcase events, competitions and talks for the youth and community. It is commendable that both the private and public sectors have come together to nurture the young entrepreneurs of tomorrow. I urge all youth to take advantage of these exciting programmes.

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Huffington PostEvery day we hear about incredible improvements in the financial status of women. More and more women are the primary breadwinner in their household (almost 40%). Women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. companies. A new survey by GfK Roper for NBC Universal stated that 65% of the women reported being their family's chief financial planner, and 71% called themselves the family accountant. The numbers look good. In fact, better than good. Women today control more wealth than ever in history. But there is still an important area lacking - women's access to big business funding. Venture Capital.

Amanda Steinberg, Founder of DailyWorth, a free daily personal finance email for women, has been trying to raise capital for her venture. What's missing? ... Women. "I'm raising seed capital for DailyWorth ... I'm fortunate to have a few worthy men stepping forward to explore angel investments. WHERE ARE THE WOMEN??!!" she recently ranted on her company's Facebook page.


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When European settlers first came to North America, they saw flocks of geese so big that it took them 30 minutes to all take flight and forests that seemed to stretch to infinity. They came to two conclusions: that God’s plans for humanity could be completed here, and that they could get really rich in the process.

This moral materialism fomented a certain sort of manic energy. Americans became famous for their energy and workaholism: for moving around, switching jobs, marrying and divorcing, creating new products and going off on righteous crusades.
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