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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.

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Congress created the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in 1982 and 1992, respectively. These programs require certain government agencies to set aside a percentage of their extramural budgets so domestic small businesses can engage in research and development (R&D) with a strong potential for technology commercialization. Accordingly, 11 agencies support the SBIR program with five of them also having STTR programs. The Small Business Administration serves as the coordinating agency for the programs.

 

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M.G. Siegler, a prominent tech investor with GV, formerly Google Ventures, wrote a blog post this week called "Arrogance Peaks in Silicon Valley," in which he described a disturbing trend he had noticed among people in the tech industry — namely, that they're "losing touch with reality."

"You can see it in the tweets. You can hear it at tech conferences. Hell, you can hear it at most cafes in San Francisco on any given day," Siegler said. "People — really smart people— saying some of the most vacuous things."

Image: Russ Hanneman on HBO's "Silicon Valley" is known for being a billionaire with a flashy car. HBO

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The one constant in life is change. But rigid ways of thinking can sabotage our efforts to thrive in a changing environment. Theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow believes human beings have the unique ability to think flexibly in ways that would unleash an inherent creativity — a skill he calls elastic thinking. “Analytical thinking might be how you figure out the best drive from home to work, but it’s elastic thinking that gave us the invention of the car,” he said. Mlodinow wrote a book on this topic called Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change, which he discussed on the [email protected] show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111.  

Image: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/

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Nicole Gallucci

Since 2009, Shark Tank — the reality show that invites entrepreneurs to show off their weirdest, wildest, and most innovative inventions — has brought dozens of cool products into the world. 

Sure, we have the show to thank for absurd inventions like wine for cats and dogs, chips made out of crickets, and the Guzzle Buddy wine bottle glass (everyone knows it's far easier to drink straight from the bottle.) But Shark Tank also helped turn a variety of brilliant ideas into useful products that could enhance our daily lives.

 

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Imagine this: You’re a general manager for a manufacturing company and orders are up. You know you should be celebrating, but instead, you feel gut punched. Your plants are facing severe capacity and material constraints and you know you can’t fill these orders. Now you have to decide which ones to fill, which to delay, and which to turn away.

Your decision will favor winners and losers: desperate customers, angry sales reps, and frustrated factory employees. And, if you don’t get it right, your reputation with all of these stakeholders will take a serious hit.

 

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So, what do Qualcomm, Symantec, iRobot, and Sonicare Toothbrush have in common? The answer: these are all businesses were seated by money from the federal government, through the Small Business Innovative Research Program. Here in the region, about 250 million dollars a year goes into startups developing high technology.They get to keep their commercialization rights, and sell to the government as a prime if they develop something meaningful. This program is a fantastic opportunity for startups in the D.C. region, and to talk about it, we were joined by Robert Brooke, director of federal funding programs at the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology.

 

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Throughout history, humans and their ancestors have perfected the art of killing big animals. Now, a new study finds that as humans spread around the globe, extinction of large mammals soon followed.

Massive mammals such as wooly mammoths, elephant-sized ground sloths and various saber-toothed cats roamed the Earth between 2.6 million and 12,000 years ago. Now they — and most of the rest of the big ones — are extinct. 

Image: (Photo: Bill Neibergall, the Des Moines Register)

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On UN projections between 2015 and 2050, the world population will grow by nearly 2.38 billion people, from 7.35 billion to 9.73 billion. Although this 32% growth is a big increase, it marks a slowdown from the 66% growth rate recorded in the preceding 35 years (1980-2015). Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) have come down all over the world and are expected to continue falling.

Image: http://www.newgeography.com

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Some Californians are having a frightening invasion of tumbleweeds

I always imagined tumbleweeds to be harmless and picturesque, but these California residents know otherwise.

In high desert areas of California like Victorville, thousands of tumbleweeds blew in on a particularly windy day yesterday, covering resident's lawns and backyards entirely.

The high winds were associated with a storm system swinging out of the Southwest, bringing hot, dry air and dangerous fire conditions to several states.

 

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Angel Capital Association

Today, the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world's largest professional organization for accredited angel investors, honored med-tech startup Oculogica with the Luis Villalobos Award at the 2018 ACA Summit. The award recognizes ingenuity, creativity and innovation in a new business.

Oculogica, a medical technology business launched almost entirely with funding from angel investors, is pioneering EyeBOX, an eye-tracking technology that detects concussions and other brain injuries invisible to existing scanning methods.

 

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Houston Exponential has tapped serial entrepreneur Russ Capper as the executive director tasked with helping his longtime hometown become a hub for fast-growing technology startups.

“It’s the kind of challenge that I like,” he told the Chronicle. “It’s just two things that I love. I love innovation and entrepreneurship, and I like this city a lot more than most people do.”

Image: Karen Warren, Staff / Houston Chronicle

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