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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.

Canadian scientists and inventors have no problem coming up with discoveries and new technologies that should have the world beating a path to their door. Unfortunately, many valuable Canadian innovations end up gathering dust because entrepreneurs can't find the money they need to successfully bring them to market.

Turning an idea into a successful business takes patience, excellent management skills, specialized knowledge and a great deal of money. It's a risky, complex business but absolutely vital to Canadians' standard of living.


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WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today held a hearing to evaluate if small businesses were getting greater access to capital and contracts because of the small business provisions within the Recovery Act.

"In the past year we have seen the worst economic conditions since the great depression, making it more critical than ever for small business owners to have greater access to capital and federal contracts to help small firms increase sales and keep Americans employed," Sen. Landrieu said. "While it is clear that most of the small business provisions within the Recovery Act are working, we certainly still have our work cut out for us. With small businesses making up the largest source of employment in this country and the national unemployment rate now almost 10 percent, we need to figure out what else we can do to build on and maximize the provisions in place."


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MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — NASA selected 152 proposals for negotiation of Phase 2 contract awards in the Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR. The selected projects have a total value of approximately $91 million. NASA will award the contracts to 126 small high-technology firms in 27 states.

The SBIR program works with NASA’s mission directorates to competitively select ventures that address research and technology needs for agency programs and projects.

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says investing in science and technology is more essential to the nation's health and prosperity than ever before.

The president spoke at a White House ceremony honoring the winners of the National Medal of Science and Medal of Technology and Innovation. With the country facing economic and security challenges, Obama said Wednesday that the winners are a reminder that the U.S. must continue to invest in "the next generation of discoveries and the next generation of discoverers."

Among the award recipients are Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and the IBM Corp.

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George Lucas, the film-maker behind such hits as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, shared some uplifting thoughts on artistic passion and technological invention at the World Business Forum in New York on October 6. Tracing his career to its beginnings, he modestly said that it was the pursuit of art, not profit or invention, which fueled the many innovations he can be credited for, from early movie-merchandise strategies to the realistic computer-generated effects pioneered by Lucasfilm and featured in movies such as Jurassic Park.

Art is about communicating emotion via technology, he said. So it fuels creative thinking not only in terms of content, but also execution. It’s been the case since early cave paintings and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes. To achieve stunning effects, an artist often needs to push the boundaries of current technologies, and then discover a new way of doing things. And that very artistic process can lead to tech that can be highly monetized; in other words, innovation.


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- Clinton was asked yesterday “Is Bill Bernanke correct when he says the recession is over?” His answer was: Yes, No, and Maybe. His explanation: Yes if you’re a professor of economics, since technically the recession is over after two quarters of growth. No, because hiring is a lagging indicator, and it can take a year after the stock market starts recovering for jobs to recover. Maybe, because people can be easily spooked by events and the market can easily fall back due to our concern and fear.

- Interdependence: This is the one word Bill Clinton believes describes the 21st century world. He also stated that the world faces 3 persistent challenges: inequality, instability, and unsustainability.

- Clinton: Solving the climate crisis through innovation would be the #1 best thing we’ve done since entering World War II. We cannot have a new source of jobs, and thus a new wave of economic prosperity, without it.
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Popular Mechanics magazine on Thursday will unveil its fifth-annual Breakthrough Award winners, an august collection of designers and products that could do much more than their share to change the world for the better.

From famous inventors like Dean Kamen to a flying car for the Third World to bacteria-powered batteries--and much in-between--the awards are meant to highlight technologies that will shape the way people around the world live and how they interact with everyday products.

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Along with sustainability and green living, social entrepreneurship is quite a hot topic. One way people can recognize their own potential for social entrepreneurship is by reading and following the works of those who are at the forefront of the movement. Social entrepreneurship is a grassroots effort that has picked up steam with the help of blogs and bloggers all over the world. By using their resources – the Internet and various social media platforms – they’re spreading the word in a way that stays true to their convictions, and still getting the message across to millions. These leaders are smart, successful, and have a great deal of insight into the constantly changing world around them. In this week’s top five, we’re exploring some of the best blogs for budding social entrepreneurs. These blogs help inspire other entrepreneurs to make a difference

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Business and political leaders in town today, tomorrow to talk about Moncton's successes, getting the most out of technology

The first Intelligent Communities Summit kicked off last night in downtown Moncton with a meet and greet, but the real meat and potatoes of the three-day affair begins today with all-day seminars and networking sessions scheduled for the Delta Beauséjour Hotel.

An event that aims to showcase once again just how intelligent and innovative Moncton is, it comes on the heels of the city being named one of the Top 7 intelligent communities of 2009 by the Intelligent Community Forum earlier this year.

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Increased Access To European Capital And Distribution Channels Through Ground-Breaking Event

Toronto – October 5th, 2009 – 24 of Canada’s best early-stage growth-oriented companies presented to a room full of business angel investors and funding partners at the Canadian High-Commission’s showpiece venue – Canada House – in London, United Kingdom on September 30th through October 2nd, 2009. The top five companies were awarded prizes based on strong angel investor feedback and desire for follow-on meetings to start immediate due diligence: Blue-Zone Technologies and (Ontario); Genesis Technical Systems and Mob4Hire (Alberta); and Bluedrop Performance Learning (Newfoundland and Labrador).

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Bangalore: When Pune-based sanitation services provider Saraplast Pvt. Ltd started hunting for funds late last year, it was confident of attracting investors. The company had all its documents in place, a three-year track record of profits and a business model that it thought could be scaled up.

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The National Venture Capital Association can congratulate itself on its success so far in lobbying Congress for an exemption for venture firms from financial reporting requirements that Capitol Hill seems likely to impose on the private equity industry.

A key subcommittee chairman, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., included the provision in draft legislation he released Thursday. But the proposal leaves it to the Securities and Exchange Commission to define the term “venture capital fund.” This will be interesting because the line between the venture and buyout industries has always been a bit blurry and it’s not getting any clearer.

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State Research and Development Activity Survey

The US Census Bureau plans to continue to conduct the Survey of State Research and Development Expenditures in order to measure r&d supported and performed by state governments in the US.

This survey, a joint effort between Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation (NSF), is sponsored by NSF, which has a statutory charge to provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on s&e resources, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other federal agencies.

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Business managers can learn a lot from how baseball general managers build and manage their talent portfolio by drawing on the findings of baseball's Sabermetrics revolution. And the same is true for business managers trying to balance their innovation portfolios: how can they focus on the metrics that really matter?

According to the old-fashioned metrics, the run-batted in is a vital statistic. But smart general managers like Epstein recognize that the RBI is not a valuable measure of performance (it actually correlates with the on-base percentage of the hitters earlier in the lineup).

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The Vodafone (News - Alert) Americas Foundation will launch the second annual Vodafone Wireless Innovation (News - Alert) Project. The project is a competition in which the most path breaking advances in wireless related technologies, which are helpful in solving critical problems around the globe are identified and rewarded.

The foundation will accept the entries from October 5, 2009 through February 1, 2010, while the final winners will be announced on April 19, 2010 at the annual Global Philanthropy Forum which is a nonprofit partner of the Wireless Innovation Project. The first, second and third-prize winners of the Wireless Innovation Project will receive a total of $600,000 from the Vodafone Americas Foundation.

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The federal Department of Education sketched out a new nationwide competition on Tuesday under which some 2,700 school districts and nonprofit groups are expected to compete for pieces of a $650 million innovation fund.

The department already has the 50 states vying for chunks of a $5.4 billion education improvement fund that it calls Race to the Top; the innovation fund is a separate competition.

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Information technology is the key to productivity growth.

As we pass the first anniversary of the financial crisis and the beginning of the economic downturn that followed, there are signs that the global economy may be taking the first tentative steps toward recovery.

This is great news, of course. A year ago, we stood at the brink of global economic disaster. Thanks to rapid intervention from governments around the world through massive stimulus spending and huge injections of capital, we seem to have avoided a total economic meltdown. And today, the engines of economic growth appear to be sputtering back to life.

Read more ... is a network focused on providing discussion and insight around the most important issues of the day, and helping people find ways to participate in tangible, meaningful action. In an effort to bring you even more of today's leading thinkers, we're launching the Changemakers Network, which will identify the activists, politicians, creatives, and other people who have the greatest influence to spark social change.

Right now, you can nominate and vote for people to be a part of this network. Being a part of the Changemakers Network will give these leaders access to blog and share messages with's network of more than a half million members and thousands of blogger and nonprofit partners.

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Governments are in business — in the business of public service. Whether in lean times or flush times, playing it safe is no longer playing it smart. Dramatic change is necessary today and, through the use of a series of vitamins instead of the traditional pain killers, leaders can inject innovation and a maverick-like approach into their organizational mindset of problem solving.

The source for innovative ideas that are necessary to positively impact today’s public policy issues of confronting municipalities resides in the minds of existing elected and appointed officials, along with members of their work force. The key to unhooking the straight jacket and unleashing leaders and their employees to engage in real talk about real innovation is introducing a maverick approach that disrupts the status quo way of thinking, reflected in the “we’ve always done it that way” refrain too often repeated in city halls everywhere. A maverick approach, or “maverickism,” is all about smart risk-taking that is crucial to addressing today’s unprecedented challenges.

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knowledge@Wharton announced today that it has partnered with Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Ltd.(NYSE:WIT),to create a global innovation tournament. The objective of this tournament is to select the best and the most innovative technology-based tools that have the ability to help companies gain a competitive advantage by increasing revenues, cutting costs and improving the customer experience. Participants will be asked to submit entries to the competition by November 6, 2009. The winners will be recognized at an award ceremony, which will be held in early 2010 on the campus of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The tournament is inspired by the recently published book, Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities, by Wharton professors Karl Ulrich and Christian Terwiesch. One of the book’s themes is the way in which competition helps to jumpstart innovation. “We refer to it as a ‘brainsourcing’ competition because we are ‘crowdsourcing’ from the very best minds in both the academic and business worlds,” said Terwiesch. “It will be like the TV show, American Idol. You start with many aspiring contestants. They will participate in multiple elimination rounds. At the end, depending on whether the judges like their ‘act’, you will have some remarkably talented people remaining. That's a powerful metaphor for the Innovation Tournament.”

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