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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.

Lenexa-based Rush Tracking Systems has been acquired by Pharos Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Nashville and Dallas, the companies said Monday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said the deal includes a capital investment that will allow Rush, which specializes in outfitting warehouses with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, to grow at an accelerated pace.

Rush president and founder Toby Rush said the 100 percent buyout meant company founders and investors “made out very well.”

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U.S. private equity returned 4.3% for the second quarter, its best quarterly return since the fourth quarter of 2007, and 1.1% for the six months ended June 30, while venture capital offered a 0.2% return for the second quarter but lost 2.6% for the same six-month period, according to Cambridge Associates.

Private equity managers called more capital than they returned as profits to investors in the second quarter. Private equity mangers called about $7.4 billion, $1.1 billion more than the first quarter.
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A quick tour of the state of cultural policy in the English speaking world. The UK creative industry movement proves that the power of the creative economy can only be achieved through coordinated local, national and international cultural policy initiatives. So what’s going on in the creative industry policy world? Who is succeeding and who is failing?

John Brown argues in the Huffington Post to turn the US Department of Defense into the American Ministry of Culture. Many would argue that is already the case but he does offer some interesting ideas on what could possibly happen if that change were to occur.
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Silicon AlleyApple brought Steve Jobs back to the company in December 1996. Since then, he's been building a massive pile of cash, rolling out new product after new product.

On December 27th, 1996, Apple had $1.8 billion in cash and securities. Today it has $34 billion.


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Dear Friend,

On behalf of the White House, we’d like to invite you to a conference call on Monday, November 16th at 12:30pm EST with Administration leadership regarding small businesses and the H1N1 virus.

On the call will be Small Business Administrator Karen Mills, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza and the Centers for Disease Control H1N1 Incident Commander and Director of Influenza Coordination Unit Dr. Stephen Redd.

There will be a brief question and answer session at the end of the call. This call is not intended for press purposes. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to other individuals or organizations that you think would be interested in being on the call.


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AUGUSTA, Maine - The Department of Economic and Community Development's (DECD) Office of Innovation is presenting phase two of the State’s Science and Technology Action Plan at the Creative Economy Conference, Juice 2.0.

"Maine's economy is facing global competition and we need to compete through innovation," said DECD Commissioner John Richardson. "Much of the research in Maine is not being commercialized or connected to our industries in a way that maximizes economic value to the state. This Action Plan is a bold approach to stimulate Maine's economy and will encourage investments in innovation, R&D and entrepreneurship."

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BWTwo of the initiative's proponents make the case for why it pays to encourage entrepreneurship among young people around the globe

Adam Farrell founded a solar technology business when he was just 15 years old. His entrepreneurial career started in ninth grade while working on a science project designing a solar-powered house.Surprised by the costs of the photovoltaic technology his team needed, Farrell realized there was an untapped market for smaller cells.Farrell has since expanded his business, Silicon Solar, turning it into a major research and development firm and one of the largest suppliers of solar energy technology in the world.

Elon Musk, one of the key founders of PayPal (EBAY), made hundreds of millions of dollars in his early 20s. Not satisfied with mere riches, Musk decided to aim for immortality by going on to start Tesla Motors, the sexy electric car startup, and Space Exploration Technologies, one of the most advanced private sector efforts to date to create a cheap and accessible space launch capability.


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NewsWeekChina has launched a concerted effort to bring home top talent from the United States.

For nearly 15 years, china has been trying to engineer a "brain gain" by luring top scientific and technical talent home from the United States, and it's working. One major success story is the National Institute for Biological Sciences, created in 2003 with several advantages. Freed from the fundraising pressures of the U.S.—and from the often mindless red tape of traditional state-run Chinese institutions—researchers there say their lab environment, financed by the Chinese government, trumps what they could expect in America. They know from experience, since all 23 were educated in the U.S. In 2005 Dr. Feng Shao, 37, left Harvard Medical School to return to China after receiving a more generous deal from NIBS, where he now studies bacterial pathogens in a top-class lab, with a $300,000 annual budget. He says that in the U.S., "I might have a lab with just a few students and technicians. Here I have 16 or 17." The bottom line, says Shao, is that while his team has published six scientific papers since 2005, "elsewhere I might have done just two."

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NewsweekInnovation is as American as baseball and apple pie. But some traditions can't be trademarked.

By most measures, America remains the world leader in technological achievement. Consider the 2009 Nobel Prizes: of the 13 people honored, nine were American. Once you take out the economics, literature, and peace prizes, the United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, still won close to 70 percent of the awards. Even amid a terrible recession, the country still dominates the fields of information technology, life sciences, and nanotechnology, all key industries of the future. The World Economic Forum routinely cites America as having the most competitive economy on the planet (though this year it was narrowly overtaken by Switzerland). When decision makers are asked to rank countries on innovation, the United States always comes first by a large margin.
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WashingtonPostEnterprising students compete for seed money in 'Pitch George' contest

Tim Foley pulled out a glossy black brochure and started talking fast. He had three minutes to sell his idea for a social networking Web site for car lovers. That's all he needed.

"This is a once in a lifetime idea," said Arlington Butler, a small-business owner and George Washington University alumnus who returned to campus to judge Saturday's "Pitch George" competition. He saw Facebook-esque potential in Foley's idea.


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ABCNewsMost college students are recovering from midterms this time of year, bracing themselves for the second half of the semester or studying the drink menu at a nearby bar.

And in today's struggling economy, more and more of them are starting their own businesses instead of banking on employment. Such budding entrepreneurs manage to maintain their full-time course loads while taking on the role of CEO, with many sleepless nights to show for their efforts.


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NYTAny time anyone tells you that a dream is impossible, any time you’re discouraged by impossible challenges, just mutter this mantra: Tererai Trent.

Jo Luck, center, of Heifer International in her first meeting with Tererai Trent, who is to her right. Of all the people earning university degrees this year, perhaps the most remarkable story belongs to Tererai (pronounced TEH-reh-rye), a middle-aged woman who is one of my heroes. She is celebrating a personal triumph, but she’s also a monument to the aid organizations and individuals who helped her. When you hear that foreign-aid groups just squander money or build dependency, remember that by all odds Tererai should be an illiterate, battered cattle-herd in Zimbabwe and instead — ah, but I’m getting ahead of my story.


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New Zealand is still having problems transferring technology from universities and other public research organisations into the private sector, Prof Sir Peter Gluckman says.

Prof Gluckman, chief science adviser to Prime Minister John Key, made his comments in an open lecture attended by more than 300 people at the University of Otago's St David Lecture Theatre.

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World leaders meeting in Singapore have said it will not be possible to reach a climate change deal ahead of next month's UN conference in Denmark.

After a two-day Asia-Pacific summit, they vowed to work towards an "ambitious outcome" in Copenhagen.

But the group dropped a target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which was outlined in an earlier draft.

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This column takes the angle of a field naturalist to consider Asian ecosystems and find reasons for success, failure and innovation. It is a guest column written monthly for the Chinese business magazine “China Electronic Business” (invested by Jack Ma of Alibaba), IT news site Interfax and the magazine “Business Forum China“. It also turned as the basis of an MBA class we gave at Berkeley. A recent TechCrunch article gave a great illustration with the matchmaking service Zhenai.

In the early 19th Century, Charles Darwin embarked on a five-year journey as a field naturalist. On a visit to the Galapagos Islands he observed animals that were closely related but had some distinctive features. That triggered his thinking about possible common ancestors and the formulation of the theory of evolution. The story of this discovery teaches us that a lot can be learned from small differences. This applies to China’s digital scene as well. Here is how.

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Statement by APEC Leaders

Singapore, 14-15 November 2009

We, the Leaders of APEC, gathered in Singapore to chart a new growth paradigm for the Asia-Pacific region that meets the needs of the 21st century global economy.

The global economy has begun to recover, with the Asia-Pacific region taking the lead. But we cannot go back to "growth as usual" or "trade as usual". The post-crisis landscape will be different. We need a new growth paradigm. We need a fresh model of economic integration.

We will pursue growth which is balanced, inclusive, and sustainable, supported by innovation and a knowledge-based economy, to ensure a durable recovery that will create jobs and benefit our people.

We will take a more comprehensive approach to regional economic integration, to meet the needs of our businesses and to keep up with new trends in cross-border trade and investment.

We will seek to conclude the Doha Round in 2010 and reject all forms of protectionism.

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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 (BMY) 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.

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Fast CompanyAs any entrepreneur who's spent some time trying to understand the venture capital universe will tell you, VCs typically invest locally. The logic goes like this: Having startups to invest in nearby makes it easier for both parties to interact, get guidance, brainstorm, etc.

So if an entrepreneur believes that getting venture capital is incumbent to his startup's success and location is important to venture firms, it's probably worth spending some time thinking about where your startup will call home. A look at the Q3 2009 venture capital funding statistics compiled by ChubbyBrain offers a data-driven view of venture investment by geography, which may help entrepreneurs with another data point as they consider the age-old question of location, location, location. (For a data-driven perspective into the world of venture capital, download the free 44-page Fast Company-ChubbyBrain Q3 VC Activity Report.)
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7th edition of the Report on Innovation and Enterprise Centres in Poland was published in November. The publication was prepared by the Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

The report presents the centres’ achievements, potential and future development directions as well as points out expansion barriers which may be encountered by certain types of the centres.Since 1990 the number of innovation and enterprise centres has been systematically growing to reach 717 in 2009. The number covers 23 technology parks and 23 other park initiatives, 17 technology incubators, 51 pre-incubators (i.e. academic enterprise incubators), 46 enterprise incubators, 87 centres for technology transfer and 318 training and information centres.

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