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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.

August 4, 2009



FROM: Peter R. Orszag

Director, Office of Management and Budget

John P. Holdren

Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

SUBJECT: Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2011 Budget

Scientific discovery and technological innovation are major engines of increasing productivity and are indispensable for promoting economic growth, safeguarding the environment, improving the health of the population and safeguarding our national security in the technologically-driven 21st century. To this end, the Administration is already investing in: high-risk, high-payoff research; making permanent the Research and Experimentation tax credit; targeting investment in promising clean energy technologies research; improving health outcomes while lowering costs; and nurturing a scientifically literate population as well as a world-class, diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.

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what it takes to become a center of innovation by Eric Drexler

Asia has strengths that promise to make it a leading center of technological innovation in the 21st century. These strengths are substantial, fundamental, and durable. At their base lie aspects of culture, on both a civilizational and generational time scale. Human capital and the capacity for mobilization build on these cultural advantages.

The term “Asia” is of course a label for a collection of very different societies. I will speak primarily of China, counting Taiwan and Singapore as strongly linked parts of what is almost a whole. South Korea shares similar strengths; Japan and India differ more substantially.

Small Business Administration chief: 'We're the popular kid' by Emily Maltby

NEW YORK ( -- The economy is showing signs of revival, but in the small business trenches, companies are still struggling. Sales are down, credit is tight, and the tally of laid-off workers keeps growing. Leading the federal government's effort to shore up Main Street businesses is Karen Mills, now four months into her job heading the Small Business Administration.

Getting attention at the highest levels in Washington isn't a problem, Mills said in a recent interview with CNNMoney: "The world has changed, and everyone has realized that it is small businesses that are going to drive the economy and the recovery," Mills said. "We're the popular kid at the dance."

Who Will Match Ontario’s $250M Emerging Technologies Matching Fund?

It’s official, the Ontario’s Emerging Technologies Fund (ETF) is now open for business. This $250-million fund will co-invest into companies in high-growth sectors such as clean technology, life sciences and advanced health technology and digital media and information and communications technology. Co-investments are made along with qualified venture capital funds and other private investors. For more information see

Forum held to drive green innovation and commercialization Editor: Wang Guanqun

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A two-day Green Tech Connect Forum was held from Monday to Tuesday in Pasadena, California to help drive green innovation and commercialization in the United States.

It is the first time the South Coast Air Quality Management District has ever hosted such a forum to help establish a partnership between green tech developers and investors.

India to have certified technology commercialization specialists

Consultancy Development Centre ( CDC ) has launched a project for training and certification of Technology Commercialization Specialists in the country. As part of this project around 200 experts/specialists/consultants will be trained on various aspects of technology commercialization, beginning with technology assessment to technology transfer, leading to mass manufacturing.

The proposed training process will expose the pool of experts and scientist/engineers from R&D Institutions to commercialization process for few model technologies having potential for commercialization. The training process will also deal with various aspects of technology Commercial viability; organizational set up; transfer process; technology transfer package; legal issues for commercialization; field support and marketing technology/products/solutions.

Ernst & Young: Cleantech Investment Skyrockets In Q2

U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech companies in Q2 2009 reached $572 million, an increase of 73% in terms of capital, with 48 financing rounds, a 100% increase in number of transactions compared to Q1 2009, according to an Ernst & Young analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

Compared to Q2 08, the second-highest quarter for cleantech investment on record, the Q2 09 results were 59% and 16% below those record levels in terms of capital and number of transactions, respectively.

Chu announces grant for energy innovation by Bruce Henderson

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a $49 million federal grant Wednesday to a Charlotte battery-component maker, a step toward what he called a new era of energy innovation.

The grant will help Charlotte-based Celgard LLC create some 200 jobs over the next three years, the company said. Celgard makes porous membranes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in southern Mecklenburg County.

The Nation’s C.T.O. Woos Silicon Valley by Ashlee Vance

Aneesh Chopra, the nation’s first chief technology officer, wants to make a very dear friend of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Chopra took his initial step on that quest on Tuesday night, when he addressed Silicon Valleyites during a stump speech hosted by the Churchill Club at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. He delivered the expected lines about the government trying to work better with industry and used phrases like “blogs and wikis,” “collaboration” and “visualizations” to get across the point that the Obama administration has mastered Valley buzzwords.

Obama: Innovation 'more important than ever'

President Obama told the residents of northern Indiana today that his budget will help tap "the creative and innovative spirit" of areas that have been hard hit by recession and globalization.

"Innovation is more important than ever," Obama told a friendly crowd in Wakarusa, Ind., announcing $2.4 billion in new grants for the development of electric cars.

Venture-Backed IPOs Still On Hold, But There’s Promise by The Wall Street Journal

In a six-week period between May 20 and July 1, four venture capital-backed companies managed to price their initial public offerings, quite a feat considering none had done so in the previous nine months. All four priced at or above the high end of expectations and now trade higher than their pricings.

Sensing the urgency to catch the market while it’s hot (relatively speaking), some venture capital firms have scrambled to get some of their best candidates in shape to file for an IPO, several investment bankers say.

Bring Different Innovation to Washington by Aaron Brazell

few weeks ago, I received a call from my friend Robert Neelbauer at about 11 pm. He wanted to talk about innovation and technology startups in DC. For those who live around here, you know there’s not a lot of them. Mostly project-type things that entrepreneurs who work day jobs have cooking. And of course, even though DC is home to Launchbox Digital an accelerator program in the order of Techstars or Ycombinator, there remains a dearth of Silicon Valley style startups.

Innovation Is America's Key to the Future by Tudor Vieru

President Barack Obama reasserted his trust in science as the only means of averting future economic crises in his radio address on Saturday, saying that long-term investments in research were the only things that could ensure a sustainable and strong economy. Results will not be visible right away, and the fact that average citizens, and indeed investors too, want to see immediate results and returns for their money only hinders innovation. Some important research projects get little funding precisely because they could take ten to 20 years to complete, and few people are willing to take that investment risk upon themselves.

“We need to recapture the spirit of innovation that has always moved America forward. That means once again having the best-educated, highest skilled workforce in the world. That means a health care system that makes it possible for entrepreneurs to innovate and businesses to compete without being saddled with skyrocketing insurance costs,” Obama said on his radio address.

Thompson Bill Passes House "The Educating Entrepreneurs through Today's Technology Act"

July 28, 2009 6:12 PM
Washington, D.C.-Today the House of Representatives passed by voice vote, House Resolution 1807, the Educating Entrepreneurs through Today's Technology Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Glenn `GT' Thompson, R-Howard.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing roughly half of U.S. workers, and while our communities are experiencing high unemployment rates, the entrepreneurial spirit remains alive and well," Thompson told the Members.  "For many underserved and rural areas, it is critical to have the opportunity and ability to tap into resources that will foster further economic development and provide prospective entrepreneurs with the same access afforded to their suburban and urban counterparts."
The measure will provide high-quality tele-distance training through a competitive grants process administered by the Small Business Administration. The program will promote peer-to-peer networking for small business development, by using technology to deliver information and share data on-line and through videos and satellite communication.

Satellite seminars and online information services will allow prospective and established business men and women to interact with each other to trouble shoot problems and share best practices for interacting with the Small business Administration.  This is a good example of the proliferation of online networking sites, where people can exchange their knowledge and  information.  This one will offer facts and figures on securing financing, navigating government regulations and learning to get a small business off the ground.

For many entrepreneurs, accessing this kind of information requires driving long distances to a Small Business Development Center.  This legislation will bring the information to home computers.

In April, when this bill had a hearing before the Small Business Committee, Donna Kilhoffer, the program manager for the Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties testified, "The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our area. What is lacking is the opportunity and ability to tap into 'the experts'."

This measure will allow people throughout the Nation to tap into the experts.

Thompson's bill passed in May as well when it was included as a part of a larger House-passed bill, (H.R. 2352), the Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009.  Both measures await action in the U.S. Senate before either can become law.


Kathryn Holmes
Director, Government Relations
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Washington, DC  20036
Phone: 202/785-7390
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Silicon Valley Remains World Innovation Center Amid Venture Capital Industry Meltdown By Jean-Baptiste Su

Regardless of the recession, the high cost of living, heavy traffic and the unemployment, Silicon Valley will remain the world’s center of innovation.

A self-serving prediction made during a panel made of executives from Adobe and Cisco and venture capitalists at Institutional Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures at the AlwaysOn Summit in Stanford today.