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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.

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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Energy entrepreneurs are developing new technologies for generating, storing, and conserving power. Cleantech investing is beginning to recover from the hit it took last year. But changing the underlying energy infrastructure from a one-way power grid to a smart two-way grid could open the gates for more energy entrepreneurs, at different scales.

If the grid is something more like an open network, small producers can sell energy back to utilities. So maybe local farmers have an incentive to generate their own power with solar panels or wind turbines. As King notes, smart meters create opportunities for new technology as well: Software that helps households and businesses reduce their usage at peak times, for example.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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Hats off to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak, the three American scientists awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine yesterday. Their cell research demonstrates that we're on the cusp of an era of medical innovation that could radically improve lives and life spans, if government lets it blossom.

The trio was honored for discovering how chromosomes act to protect themselves from degrading when cells divide by using an enzyme called telomerase. Subsequent studies have found that telomerase is closely tied to aging and human cancers, and work on the enzyme has become a popular area of drug research. Their discoveries "have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies," said the prize committee.

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