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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.

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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Peoples DailyChina and the United States highly value the fruitful scientific and technological results achieved in the past three decades, and agreed to start dialogue on aviation and railway cooperation, said a joint statement issued after talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing on Tuesday.

"The two sides applauded the rich achievements in scientific and technological cooperation and exchanges between the two countries over the past 30 years since the signing of the China-U.S. Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology," said the statement.
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DOTWASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Small Business Administrator Karen G. Mills will convene a forum on small business financing issues for a range of key stakeholders including policymakers, lenders, and small business owners to explore new ideas and strategies for expanding access to financing for small businesses. The event, which the President called for last month, is part of a larger effort to help small businesses grow, create new jobs, and contribute to our economic recovery and to challenge the private sector to increase lending to small businesses.

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NYTGARY LOCKE, the secretary of commerce, has urged Congress to overhaul the nation’s patent law by the end of the year. Although a bill has been circulating since 2005, a fierce fight involving the high-tech and drug industries on a technical issue — how to measure damages when a company violates a patent applying to one component of a larger product — has kept it from reaching a vote.

The best way forward is for Congress to sidestep the damages question and instead add five amendments to existing statutes that would improve the processing of patents, reduce lawsuits and speed up the arrival of innovations on the market.


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Does your organisation have an effective employee suggestions scheme? An increasing number of organisations in the both private and public sectors are finding that they can drive innovation and reduce cost by moving their suggestion box from the office wall to the intranet.

Siemens Automation and Drives is a good example. They employ 400 people in Congleton, Cheshire making electric motor drives. Their scheme is called Ideas Unlimited and it generates over 4000 suggestions per year of which some 3000 are implemented. The total savings are around $1.5m per year. Howard Ball administers the scheme part-time. The key is simplicity he explained when he addressed the national conference of ideasUK, a non-commercial association dedicated to employee suggestion schemes and recognition processes.

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Having people ask to "pick your brain" can be the ultimate compliment to an entrepreneur. It makes us feel like we're experts in something, or that we've been successful enough at something that someone values our thoughts. But brain picking comes in many shapes and colors. Some brain pickers (BPs) are just looking for inspiration; talking with you stirs their own ideas. Others want resources--money, contacts, insider knowledge that will help them with their endeavors. None of these are inherently bad, but none of them are good if you aren't getting something out of the sharing.

I used to love it when people asked to pick my brain, especially early into the business. I might not have been drawing a paycheck, but by golly! Someone wanted to talk to me about something. It was a small sign of traction.

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BWFareed Zakaria wrote an excellent book, The Post American World: The Rise of the Rest, in which he said the relative decline of the US was due to political, not economic problems. As someone who’s covered the global economy for decades, and as an old Political Science major, the argument never satisfied. Fareed was right about the delta—the direction of decline, but wrong about the cause. It was economic, as well as political.

Now Fareed is saying what we conceed to be increasingly true—the US is losing its edge in innovation. And with that loss, comes the loss of geopolitical clout. President Obama’s trip to China is about soothing our banker, not pressuring for civil rights.

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Ghana’s cultural policy is to be reviewed soon to give it a clear sense of direction, says Chieftaincy and Culture Minister, Alexander Asum-Ahensah. “The time has come to give the cultural sector a new direction that will take into account a policy guideline to enhance the capacity of the creative industries and their goods and services,” he said.

The minister stated this in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the ministry, Ms Lillian Bruce-Lyle, at a workshop organized by the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI) in Accra last Friday. The workshop on the theme, ‘Revision of cultural policy’ which reviewed the country’s cultural policy was organized in collaboration with the Business Advocacy Challenge Account (BUSAC) fund.

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Only a slight breeze blew across the plains of Inner Mongolia on a recent afternoon, but the giant turbines at the Huitengxile Wind Power Field were spinning steadily. This facility, 200 miles northwest of Beijing, has 550 turbines churning out enough juice to power a small city, and inside a monitoring station, plant manager Zhang Jianjun points to a wall chart showing the 11 different suppliers of the high-tech windmills. Four are Chinese companies, but when Zhang is asked to pick his favorite, his nationalism is trumped by a desire for quality. "General Electric," he says, citing its reliability. "I'm excited when all of the turbines are working."

GE's roots lie in Thomas Edison's Menlo Park lab, the site of some of the most significant innovation in our history. Today millions of Edison's spiritual descendants—engineers, geneticists, programmers, entrepreneurs—are toiling in basic research across the country. But amid a profound economic slowdown, Americans have real doubts about their ability to maintain their edge in innovation, even as they agree that technological innovation is more important than ever.

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If the past week is any indication, big pharma is showing that it is willing to pay for biotech innovation. On the receiving end this week, Alder Biopharmaceuticals stands to reap more than $1 billion from collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the development and commercialization of ALD518, a novel biologic that has completed phase 2a development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Bothell, Washington-based Alder is granting Bristol-Myers Squibb worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ALD518 for all potential indications except cancer, for which Alder will retain rights and grant Bristol-Myers Squibb an option to co-develop and commercialize outside the United States. In return, Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay Alder an upfront cash payment of $85 million, potential development-based and regulatory-based milestone payments of up to $764 million across a range of indications, and potential sales-based milestones that may exceed $200 million and royalties on net sales. Alder also has an option to require Bristol-Myers Squibb to make an equity investment of up to $20 million in Alder during an initial public offering.

In another antibody deal, Sanofi-Aventis expanded its global collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to discover, develop, and commercialize fully-human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. The expanded partnership adds five years and at least $800 million to the existing deal. Under the revised partnership agreement Sanofi-aventis will increase its annual funding commitment from $100 million to $160 million beginning in 2010, and the research funding will now extend through 2017. The companies aim to advance an average of four to five antibodies into clinical development each year. In addition to its VelocImmune technology, Regeneron will contribute to the collaboration its next generation technologies related to antibody generation. Sanofi-aventis also has an option to extend the discovery program for up to an additional three years for further antibody development and preclinical activities.

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Many first time entrepreneurs may not fully understand how a venture capital fund works and consequently may not fully relate to how VC’s function. This post makes an attempt to provide a generic overview of how a VC fund functions and what it implies for entrepreneurs.

To start with, it would help to understand similarities between VC’s and entrepreneurs. Just as entrepreneurs go through the cycles of opportunity, business plan, fund raising and eventual exit through IPO or M&A, VC’s also follow a similar cycle. VC’s identify the opportunity space in which they want to play and then develop a business plan. The business plan would broadly cover capital deployment strategies, time-frame for investing/exit, types of opportunities that would be considered for investing as well as target returns at the fund level. With this business plan, VC’s approach a set of qualified investors for raising the required funds for starting the VC fund. This fund raising effort is an intense and time consuming effort and closure can take anywhere from 12 months to 24 months depending on the size of the fund, team, past track record, nature of opportunities etc. Just as VC’s perform due diligence on the opportunities, prospective investors who are considering investing into the VC fund also perform detailed diligence on VC’s.

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