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.
Africa College is a national and international partnership between like-minded individuals in academia and non-profit organizations involved in Research for Development. The project’s formal title is Human Health and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Through authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa, Plant and Environmental Scientists working closely with colleagues in Medicine and Health seek to tackle hunger and poverty in Africa and so improve human health and enhance food security. A key aim is to develop agricultural solutions to fundamental problems and so improve livelihoods in Africa.
Biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical sectors of the economy have weathered the recession better than many other industries. Some large companies are beginning to show growth, and small companies and research centers of all sizes are reaping the benefits of government funding. This fall, President Barack Obama announced the release of $5 billion in stimulus funds for the National Institutes of Health. The funds are part of the $10.4 billion the NIH is slated to receive through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 5, 2009.)
The UK Innovation Investment Fund, a government-backed fund of funds set up to benefit private British companies, is ready to announce the manager selected to oversee the vehicle’s investments.
Whilst a fund of funds manager has already been chosen, the name will be revealed next month as the government plans to raise a £1bn (€1.1bn) pool of capital to aid UK innovation.
The Departments for Business Innovation & Skills, Energy and Climate Change and Health are cornerstone investors, committing £150m (€168.2m) alongside private sector investors on a pari-passu basis. The fund of funds, therefore, will have a minimum of £300m (€336.4m) to invest in underlying venture capital funds; however, the UK IIF is targeting £1bn.
A summary of the core argument of my recent keynote at the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (slides at http://slideshare.net/opencontent/).
Throughout the late 20th century, and into the early 21st, when we spoke about “innovation” we largely meant impressive technical feats. Think Jobs and Woz creating the Mac, or Larry and Sergey creating Google, or the kinds of things Tony Hirst and Jim Groom seem to pull off regularly. We made heroes of the two geeks working in their mom’s garage… We made heroes of the lone coder, working late at night armed only with Emacs and Mountain Dew. These legends engaged in mythical man-versus-nature battles, subduing the wild frontier of source code and bending the Internet to their wills. They’re just plain cool.
WASHINGTON—America’s small businesses, often called the driver of the U.S. economy, will finally get a break, if President Barack Obama has his way.
“American entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines that create new jobs and develop the innovations that will keep our Nation strong,” Karen G. Mills, Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator, said during a Small Business White House ceremony, according to its Web site.
Obama promised to push through Congress a bill to increase small business loans from $2 million to $5 million, increasing “CDC-504” loans to $ 5.5 million, and SBA microloans from $35,000 to $55,000.
Monday was a good day for Accel Partners.
The venture capital firm looked set to share in a $1.15 billion payout, as two of its investments scored buyers. First up was Playfish, which Electronic Arts said it was snapping up for as much as $400 million in cash and stock. Then came the news that Google had inked a deal to buy the mobile advertising network Admob for $750 million.
While it’s unclear how much Accel actually made on the deals, VentureBeat noted that “with the exit price amounting to more than 10 times the venture capital invested ($21 million for Playfish, a little more than $47 million for AdMob), we can be pretty sure that the folks at Accel are pretty pleased.”
The Department of Energy has billions in loan guarantees to hand out to alternative energy firms and automakers. But the highly competitive process has been criticized as slow, unmoving even.
What is a government agency to do? Hire a venture capitalist, of course.
The DOE announced Wednesday the appointment of Jonathan Silver, a former managing general partner at Washington D.C.-based venture capitalist firm Core Capital Partners, to head its loan guarantee and green auto programs. Core Capital invests in alternative energy, software, telecommunications and advanced manufacturing technology.
Compiled by Alastair Goldfisher
SAN FRANCISCO (Private Equity Week) - More than a dozen startups in the United States and Canada raised early-stage funding last week, according to Thomson Reuters.
Among the startups to raise capital was On-Q-ity, a Waltham, Mass.-based company that raised $21 million in a Series A round to develop blood-based diagnostics used to monitor treatment of cancer patients.
Following is the first set of answers from Seth W. Pinsky, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. This week, he is answering readers’ questions about citywide entrepreneurship, including job training, competitions, investment funds and efforts to encourage industries like green technology, bioscience, fashion, media and technology, manufacturing and distribution, and the arts.
The "Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe" is one of the key outcomes of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The document is the result of a collective work of the Ambassadors of the Year, who are leading European personalities from the fields of culture, science, business, education and design. With its 'Seven Commandments', the Manifesto will help shape the EU's strategy for promoting creativity and innovation for the next decade. The Ambassadors are handing the Manifesto over to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today at midday at a ceremony in the Commission's press room.
Anyone familiar with Tom Cruise’s breakout role in “Risky Business” or the reality television series “Shark Tank” has a pretty good idea of what business plan competitions are.
They’re contests held — often but not always — by institutions of higher education to prepare newcomers for the rigors of entrepreneurship. They require participants to conceive an original company, summarize it in writing, and — if invited — expand on the idea before a panel of investors, sponsors and business owners.
The race is on for energy-technology entrepreneurs who have won federal economic-stimulus grants from a special high-risk technology program—with promises of more money if they can move their inventions closer to market over the next two years.
The Energy Department's ARPA-E agency—modeled on a military program for bankrolling cutting-edge technology, including computer networking that led to today's Internet—has awarded $151 million to 37 companies around the country. Nearly 3,700 companies applied for the money. A complete list of the winners selected by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy can be found here.
Mumbai: Even as corporate groups and financial institutions in India are floating their own private equity funds, the downturn in the global economy has affected their fundraising plans indefinitely. However, by exploring new sources such as domestic institutions and high networth individuals (HNIs), a few PE firms have received commitments while a few others remain optimistic about completing fundraising soon.
Avendus, the Mumbai-based merchant banking firm, and one of the latest entrants into the PE market, is expected to complete raising Rs 1,000-crore private equity fund next year. The PE firm has started talks with domestic sources for the purpose. Early this week, Aditya Birla Private Equity, the PE arm of the Aditya Birla Group, reportedly raised about $100 million out of its targeted $250 million. Reliance Equity Advisors, PE arm of the ADAG Group, is expected to close its first fund of Rs 1,500 crore by the year-end. The firm, which is targeting domestic investors instead of raising overseas capital, is in discussions with State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Canara Bank for the commitment. The investment focus will be on growth capital buy-outs, minority investments and acquisition financing in sectors such as services, retail, logistics, media, infrastructure ancillaries and healthcare, according to reports.
The report card aims to highlight the sorts of innovations in education – such as an extended school day – that lead to better schools.
If states truly want to improve their education systems, they need to do away with the rules, regulations, and bureaucracies that stymie innovation.
That's one message from a new report that measures states on how well they foster education innovation, grading them in areas ranging from finance and school management to how well they hire effective teachers and remove ineffective ones.
It is clear that innovation and technological change got us into many of the messes we are in today, but only innovation and technological breakthroughs will get us out of trouble.
My career represents a somewhat schizophrenic split between technology strategy and policy, and varied involvements in the humanities and arts. This schizophrenia, however, has reinforced my enduring interest in cross-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary practice, especially in mission-directed industrial research.
Kai-Fu Lee became famous in 2005 when the engineering whiz left Microsoft, where he had created Microsoft Research Asia, to head search giant Google’s operation in China. Microsoft sued, charging that he violated a noncompete agreement, but eventually settled. This time, as Lee leaves Google, he’s sure to avoid a lawsuit, because he’s starting his own venture, which launches Monday morning in Beijing.
Innovation Works is intended to be something of an incubator for new Chinese companies in mobile computing, e-commerce, and cloud computing. Lee (who hates the term “incubator” because of the failure of so many in the U.S. dot-com crash) intends to brainstorm ideas, find entrepreneurs and engineers to prove them out, and provide seed funding.
The MacArthur Foundation seeks to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation in fostering peace and security in Asia. Read our news for the latest ideas from the Initiative network, and read our blog for real-time commentary from network experts.
Beginning Wednesday, the ASI Blog will feature a special report by ASI bloggers and grantees on President Obama’s visits to Japan, Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, China and Korea. Experts from across the Asia-Pacific will offer their views on what can be expected from his meetings, explain what happened, and offer their views on the opportunities for fostering peace and security in the region as a result of the trip.
To stay ahead, companies need to find ways to keep engineers motivated and happy.
In the high-tech industry, “innovation” is part of our everyday vocabulary and one of the main reasons why many of us have chosen this field. And innovation is why, even after two decades, I get up every morning, excited about how our ideas can improve the way we live or do business.
I’m constantly asked how I came up with a certain idea for a product or technology, and how I managed to bring them to reality – that is, actual products that someone can purchase.
Nearly two years after the U.S. tumbled into a recession, business is starting to think about ways to grow again. And for many, this means spending more money on innovation, says a new study from Accenture. In a survey of 630 execs in the U.S. and the U.K., 48% said their companies had upped their innovation budgets from six months ago. A third said innovation outlays were flat.
There’s a gray lining in these numbers: One in every five companies is still cutting spending on the development of new products or services.
The Washington region has the nation’s richest set of federal research and development assets, but they are not fully realized partners in our technology community. To unlock their full potential, we need to provide them with the tools necessary to connect with the present, using a federal connection model from the past.
Abraham Lincoln was the nation’s first technology president. He is the only president ever awarded a patent, he approved the congressional charter for the National Academies of Science, and he signed the nation’s first technology transfer statute creating the state university system of service to regional economies.