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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.

Despite its many otherwise amazing attributes, Argentina is not a particularly tech friendly country.

For tech-geeks, early adopters and innovators, Argentina can be a frustrating place to live because it constantly lags behind developed countries – and even some developing nations – in terms of innovation and the adoption of new technologies.

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Positive economic signs for manufacturing continue, according to NEMA, Rockwell Automation, Valve Manufacturers Association, and IEEE.

Numbers from NEMA, along with hopeful signs from Rockwell Automation, valve manufacturers, and IEEE, are among recent news giving manufacturers positive economic hope. Links to related Control Engineering coverage follow at bottom.

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The Minister was speaking at a BDO Stoy Hayward business breakfast today in Belfast, as she welcomed the launch of the company’s booklet ‘The Future Of Business Looks Like This’. Published in conjunction with the News Letter, it features a range of local companies and how each is successfully tackling the economic downturn.

The Minister said: “As I, and my Executive colleagues, continue to focus on providing much needed support for business during the economic downturn, I am always encouraged to learn about those companies that are facing the recession head-on, and winning.


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The announcement of a new National Science Foundation grant to the University of Wisconsin to further develop a game-based science and math learning program, along with an associated assessment system, caught my eye. It’s the exact type of promising technology-enabled assessment system that I wrote about in “Beyond the Bubble.” It’s also a good opportunity to talk about how the various federal funding streams for assessment do not yet form a cohesive path for the development, testing, scaling, and mainstream use of innovative assessment practices.

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Do you consider yourself a small-business owner? Or does that phrase make you cringe? Often, the terms entrepreneur and small-business owner are used interchangeably — but that’s not quite right either. Clearly, not all entrepreneurs are small-business owners and not all small-business owners are entrepreneurs. Still, there has to be some way to distinguish big businesses from, uh … not big businesses.

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At an unconference, where many simultaneous sessions compete to lure attendees at the same time, coming up with an appealing title for your session is important.

Topics are determined at the beginning of the day by the attendees, and session titles are posted to a wall that attendees look at to make their decisions about how they'll spend their time. It's an agenda crossed with a bulletin board.

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CLEVELAND -- A metallic foam developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center for the reduction of turbofan engine noise was selected the winner of the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Midwest Region Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. The award was presented at the 2009 FLC Midwest Regional Meeting in Bloomington, Ind.

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(Nanowerk News) The EU must do more to develop and deploy key enabling technologies (KETs) such as nanotechnology, micro- and nano-electronics, advanced materials and photonics. This is the main message from a new Commission communication on the subject.

The term KETs refers to technologies that enable the development of new goods and services in a wide range of fields. For example, nanotechnology holds the promise of breakthroughs in healthcare, energy, environment and manufacturing, while micro- and nano-electronics are expected to lead to smart control systems that could revolutionise the energy, transport and space sectors, among others. And advanced materials could lead to major improvements in aerospace, transport, building and healthcare. Currently, the potential of these exciting new technologies remains largely untapped.

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Each week, The Chronicle tracks the latest investments, fundraising, mergers and initial public offerings involving Bay Area venture capitalists and startups. Here are some recent highlights.

-- Capital markets snapshot. The value of acquisitions of venture-backed companies in the third quarter slipped to $2.3 billion, down from $2.8 billion the previous quarter and barely half of the $5.2 billion recorded in the third quarter a year ago. But a perceived opening of the IPO markets is causing some optimism. There were two venture-backed IPOs in the quarter, A123 Systems Inc. and LogMeIn Inc., one fewer than the last quarter. But the two third-quarter IPOs raised a total $460.4 million, up from $232.1 million in the prior quarter. Read more:

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A proposal that would exempt the venture capital industry from strict regulations including requiring firms to register as investment advisers with the Securities and Exchange Commission drew cheers Thursday from the National Venture Capital Association, which has been fighting increased regulation.

The proposed exemption language was part of a draft of the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act and was announced by Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee.

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Initial public offerings will rebound only in 2010, despite a pick-up in activity that some investors say signal a resurgence, the National Venture Capital Association said on Thursday.

For those encouraged by such signs as the $340.4 million raised by battery maker A123 Systems Inc in its recent IPO, the trade association's message in its quarterly report is that total IPOs "fell far short of historical norms."

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MUMBAI, India -- General Electric Co. is restructuring its Indian healthcare business in an effort to boost revenues and develop more products domestically, for both Indian and global markets, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt said Friday.

GE Healthcare will consolidate all its India business within Wipro ( WIT - news - people ) GE Healthcare, a joint venture between Indian technology giant Wipro Ltd. and GE Healthcare set up in 1990, the companies said. The joint venture currently distributes about 85 percent of GE Healthcare's products in India.

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WBAA, EBAN and FNABA congratulate Portugal for the new Business Angels’ Co-Investment Fund.

Brussels, September 1st, 2009

Worldwide Business Angels have increasingly been syndicating and co-investing with public and private funds. This new initiative will represent a global investment of 25 million euros in 60 new start ups.

The new Business Angels (BA) Co-Investment Fund that was announced yesterday by the Portuguese government, brings Portugal to a new era of innovation, risk taking, enabling the development of several early stage projects.

“Portugal is showing how important the Business Angels community is for the development of innovation and a new generation of entrepreneurial companies. Portugal is definitely in the forefront of the World BA community, as they were when hosting the formative first meeting of the World Business Angels Association. Congratulations to Portugal and FNABA for this exciting achievement!”, mentioned John May, President of the World Business Angels Association and Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association (US).

Read the Full Release HERE.

On a per capita basis, federal R&D obligations to U.S. universities and colleges increased by 7 percent from FY 2003 to 2007, rising to $83.80 per person in FY07, according to the National Science Foundation. Total U.S. federal R&D obligations to academia increased by 11.1 percent over the same five years to $25.3 billion in FY07.


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I am quite often asked, in some form or another, “What can [STATE][LOCAL] government do to spur on an innovation-based economy in [SEATTLE][WASHINGTON]?”

Well, as I said on a panel at the Technology Alliance meeting in Leavenworth yesterday, the single biggest correlate to the strength of an innovative biotechnology industry in any geography is the quality of the major research institutions. The two heavyweight biotech hubs are Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. No surprise there:

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The Problem: One morning in 1982, Woodbury was stuck in rush-hour traffic on L.A.'s Interstate 405. Ironically, the day job he was crawling his way to was selling Porsches.

"There was one car per driver, one car per lane," says Woodbury. "But effectively, four times that space was wasted in unused seats and trunks." ...

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The Kauffman Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Miami to help sustain and grow The Launch Pad, a unique career center program that helps students explore and launch new firms while they are still in school.

As the first college entrepreneurship program in the country that is part of a university's career center, The Launch Pad has had phenomenal success in spawning new ventures in its first year. The Launch Pad provides practical skills training and mentoring that is not tied to any academic program - making it accessible to students from any discipline who want to pursue a "career" as an entrepreneur.

For more information about the grant and The Launch Pad, visit

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - I’d like to thank Brookings for hosting me and this discussion about the future of broadband and the Internet.

We’ve just finished a summer of big-ticket commemorations, celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Apollo landing and of Woodstock; 1969 was also a good year to be a kid in New York, with Joe Namath calling the Super Bowl, and the Knicks’ season that ended with the legendary Willis Reed in Game 7. I grew up a long fly ball from Shea Stadium and soaked up every minute of the Miracle Mets’ season. Maybe that’s why I tend to believe in miracles.

But perhaps the most momentous birthday from that famous summer of 1969 went by just a couple of weeks ago with little mention. Just over forty years ago, a handful of engineers in a UCLA lab connected two computers with a 15-foot gray cable and transferred little pieces of data back and forth. It was the first successful test of the ARPANET, the U.S.-government-funded project that became the Internet -- the most transformational communications breakthrough since the printing press.

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Give venture capitalists credit – in the face of some ugly liquidity numbers, they’re finding reasons to be optimistic.

The value of acquisitions of venture-backed companies in the third quarter dropped to $2.3 billion, down from $2.8 billion the previous quarter and from $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2008, according to VentureSource, a research unit of VentureWire publisher Dow Jones & Co. (Those numbers don’t include the Inc. acquisition of Inc. for more than $800 million, which was announced in the third quarter and which VentureSource confirmed Wednesday has not yet officially closed.)

But the picture isn’t entirely without hope – at least not on the IPO side. Though there have only been five venture-backed companies to go public this year and only two in the third quarter, the overall strength of those offerings is making venture capitalists optimistic about the exit potential for their portfolios.

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