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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.

globe

While technology is eliminating jobs, it is also creating them. But filling these new roles is the next talent challenge.

Much has been made of the potential of recent leaps in technology to automate many jobs out of existence. From taxi drivers to accountants, some studies suggest that as many as half of existing jobs could be automated. Routine work is clearly disappearing, but the fears of mass unemployment at the hands of machines could be overblown. For example, research by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that around 20 percent of occupations could see around 70 percent of their activities automated, meaning a slightly less worrying future, where automation is more likely to take the form of augmentation.

 

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old woman

The populations of almost all Western countries are getting older, as the Baby Boomers, born in the 1950s and 1960s, live longer and have fewer children than previous generations. Population aging of this dimension is possibly unique in world history. No surprise, then, that it poses serious challenges for the health care systems, pension schemes, and public debt management of modern societies.

 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the regional economic development competition awards in Albany Thursday.
GOVERNORANDREWCUOMO FLICKR

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state budget proposal puts most of its economic development bets on life sciences and biotech rather than semiconductors and nanotechnology. Cuomo's fiscal 2018 budget proposal, which he revealed to the public late Tuesday, includes the first $300 million of a previously announced $650 million five-year plan to build up the state's life sciences research cluster to support biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

 

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NewImage

When it rains in drought-ridden San Francisco, more people than usual order a pizza for dinner. And to keep up with the demand, Papa Johns “orders” extra workers to deliver them. The restaurant is one of about 600 businesses—ranging from startup e-commerce companies to behemoths like Johnson & Johnson and Target—that hire on-demand, mostly low-skilled labor through an app called Wonolo.

Image: https://qz.com

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NewImage

There is much interest in form-fitting, low-modulus, implantable devices or soft robots that can mimic or assist in complex biological functions such as the contraction of heart muscle. We present a soft robotic sleeve that is implanted around the heart and actively compresses and twists to act as a cardiac ventricular assist device. The sleeve does not contact blood, obviating the need for anticoagulation therapy or blood thinners, and reduces complications with current ventricular assist devices, such as clotting and infection. Our approach used a biologically inspired design to orient individual contracting elements or actuators in a layered helical and circumferential fashion, mimicking the orientation of the outer two muscle layers of the mammalian heart. The resulting implantable soft robot mimicked the form and function of the native heart, with a stiffness value of the same order of magnitude as that of the heart tissue. We demonstrated feasibility of this soft sleeve device for supporting heart function in a porcine model of acute heart failure. The soft robotic sleeve can be customized to patient-specific needs and may have the potential to act as a bridge to transplant for patients with heart failure.

Image: http://stm.sciencemag.org

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Switzerland Mountains Flüelapass Davos

Local research by Sage highlights that nearly half of Australian small businesses do not feel adequately represented by politicians in the country’s decision making. The data has been published in the run up to the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) where politicians and big business will gather in Davos to debate the global economic picture.

 

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Person Woman Asian Female Business Woman Working

The roots of innovation lie in the most basic cultural values.

As he looks ahead to his second five-year term, President Xi Jinping surely knows that innovation must be an economic priority if China is to escape the middle-income trap that awaits it in about ten years. Even amid slowing economic growth, there are signals that China may be starting to come into its own as a global innovator. However, even if these trends prove sustainable, will it be too little, too late? Furthermore, can commitment to innovation be reconciled with Xi’s increasingly authoritarian leanings? To many of us at INSEAD – an institution whose history of Asia business research dates from the 1970s – the balance of power in the region, if not the world, seems largely to depend on the answers.

 

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benari

Gray tepid monotony. Does that describe your organization?

A client of mine recently forwarded to me a short article from the Wall Street Journal with this note: “Seems like there is a blog in here somewhere.” The article, by Steven Pinker of Harvard, Why Things Fall Apart, is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

My first reaction was to laugh. After all, I write a blog focusing on business management. What does thermodynamics have to do with improving your management skills and your business results? As I read on, I realized my client is right. There is a direct correlation.

 

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How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2016 The New York Times

Last year is the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year. In a database of more than 5,000 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent recorded annual mean temperatures higher than normal. Enter your city below to see how much warmer (or cooler) it was.

Image: https://www.nytimes.com

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growth

A recent poll in Virginia yielded some surprising findings about economic development priorities among residents.

When asked to choose among three economic development priorities:

  • 47% of respondents selected expanding workforce training and education 
  • 25% (!) preferred financial incentives to recruit new businesses, and 
  • 23% chose retaining and expanding existing businesses

 

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Ninja Stars Weapons Projectiles Stealth Shuriken

At Etsy, COO Linda Kozlowski spearheaded international expansion, unified and started growing its marketing plans, began redefining the company’s brand, launched a new communications strategy, and kicked off the integration of user feedback into product development — all in about six months. While others might just credit her capabilities, she’s quick to cite the plan that CEO Chad Dickerson laid out. He outlined not only how her specific acts would make a difference for Etsy’s customers, but also how her role would link to the rest of the leadership team — especially Dickerson. That exactitude bred effectiveness.

 

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