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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.

NASA / JPL

NASA has just released the first videos and images taken by the Perseverance rover as it landed—as well as the first sounds ever recorded from the surface of Mars.

What happened: On February 18, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars, the end of a journey that began last July. The spacecraft survived its “seven minutes of terror”—its entry through the Martian atmosphere and descent to the surface. On the way down, the rover’s cameras snapped images and recorded a wealth of video footage that has given us a historic view of the nail-biting moment it touched down.

Image: NASA / JPL

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Concept rendering of George Mason University's Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) in Arlington

George Mason University President Gregory Washington on Monday announced he has formed an advisory roundtable of nearly 30 regional business executives and community leaders to focus on the university’s innovation initiative.

The President’s Innovation Advisory Council will focus on issues such as GMU’s efforts to increase the pipeline of tech workers. George Mason’s innovation initiative includes $235 million in General Assembly funding to produce approximately 30% of the 25,000 undergraduate and graduate majors as part of the state’s Tech Talent Investment Program.

Image: Concept rendering of George Mason University's Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) in Arlington

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With Californian Kamala Harris as vice president, it’s clear the new Biden administration is taking its cues from the once-Golden State on labor policy.

In one of its first acts in office, the Biden Administration placed a regulatory freeze on a Department of Labor regulation enacted in the waning days of the prior administration relating to independent contractors.  The rule, according to labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips, “aims to make it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors.”

Image: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, speaks in July 219 at a rally in Sacramento for AB5. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

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Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson, seen touring campus on her first day on the job last Sept. 1, wants OSU to be the best land-grant university in the nation.
COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER/DISPATCH

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson wants Ohio State undergraduates to be able to leave school debt-free in the next 10 years.

Image: Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson, seen touring campus on her first day on the job last Sept. 1, wants OSU to be the best land-grant university in the nation. COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER/DISPATCH

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Innovation fellows help research commercialization startups Cornell Chronicle

Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) has launched a fellowship program for Ph.D. graduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in a career in business development, commercialization or entrepreneurship.

The first two innovation fellows are Marie Donnelly, Ph.D. ’13 (life sciences), who started in September, and Brandon Regensburger, M.S. ’19, Ph.D. ’20 (physical sciences), who joined CTL in January.

 

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Let’s face it, consultants have a bad image. Businesses want experienced people who get their hands dirty, rather than experts who give presentations, make recommendations, and disappear. Even consultants don’t like their job, since they don’t often get to see results, and too much of their time is spent looking for the next gig.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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bath towel

From a serious write-up in the pages of the New York Times, to more lighthearted Buzzfeed quizzes and endless roundups of must-have products for “treating yourself,” you’ve likely noticed all of the column inches spent on the concept of self-care recently. The isolation, stress and burnout brought on by the pandemic put this practice front and center — especially now as the one-year mark approaches and most of us are scrapping the very bottom of our depleted reserves.

 

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Mechanic

Oklahoma created two incentives over a decade ago to help address a skills gap that made it difficult for employers to fill aerospace engineering positions in the state. One incentive is a tax credit for aerospace employers based on compensation paid to qualified employees. The other is an income tax credit for qualified aerospace employees. A 2020 evaluation conducted by PFM Group Consulting* concluded that these programs perform well, with economic benefits exceeding costs. PFM and the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission recommended that the state retain the credits. 

 

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Most startups are happy to find any customer, and will hang on for dear life to every one. Only later do they realize that some of these cost more than they are worth, or lead into commitments they can’t sustain, but no business wants to violate the golden rule that every customer needs to be treated as if they were the only customer.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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I’ve always said that startups are all about execution. Sometimes I encounter self-proclaimed entrepreneurs who have been “thinking” about a concept for many years, and haven’t started yet. Some of these may be visionaries, but none are real entrepreneurs - yet. Elon Musk has built several innovative companies, including SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and is worth about $185 billion. I’m told he spent more time executing than thinking about any one of them.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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The next big Amazon initiative is … crowdfunding?

That product launch concept isn’t new, but having the e-commerce giant put out tech concepts that’ll only be built if they reach pre-order goals is a novel approach for a company not named Kickstarter (or Taylor Stitch). There is some precedent here, however: Amazon has done these “Day 1 Editions” before and even their Prime Video division used to have viewers vote on pilots for TV shows before they were funded as full series.

Image: The Smart Nutrition Scale is part of three new Build It pre-orders at Amazon Amazon

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