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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.

All of the last remaining COVID-19-free nations are believed to be far-flung islands in the Pacific Ocean. Lon Tweeten/TIME

Eight months after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, COVID-19 is reaching the last places on Earth that remained untouched by the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation about 1,200 miles northeast of Australia, reported its first COVID-19 case. Two other countries in the Pacific Ocean, the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands, reported their first infections in October. In Samoa, workers who serviced a ship with COVID-19-positive crew members are in quarantine.

Image: All of the last remaining COVID-19-free nations are believed to be far-flung islands in the Pacific Ocean. Lon Tweeten/TIME

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The Texas Medical Center is key to Houston's plan to reposition itself from an oil capital to an innovation hub. CREDIT: BRYAN MALLOCH

In the 1970s, Houston was the undisputed oil capital of the world and with that went “attitude.” Bob Harvey, president of the Greater Houston Partnership, is keen to separate the new Houston — the one that he’s working to improve – from the old Houston, all the while recognizing that oil built the city and the fracking revolution gave it a great boost.

Harvey is a dynamic Houstonian and a 17-year veteran of McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm. The Greater Houston Partnership is a 1989 amalgam of what was once the Houston Chamber of Commerce (founded in 1840), the Houston Economic Development Council, and the Houston World Trade Association.

Image: The Texas Medical Center is key to Houston's plan to reposition itself from an oil capital to an innovation hub. CREDIT: BRYAN MALLOCH

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Question drawn on a blackboard.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and others in the coronavirus vaccine race are approaching the finish line. This week, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) reported positive interim efficacy data from their phase 3 trial. Moderna and the Pfizer team have each said they expect phase 3 safety data this month, after which they will apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

Well before now, however, clues were emerging about which companies may become the biggest vaccine suppliers. Months ago, pharmaceutical companies and biotech rivals began announcing agreements to supply organizations and countries with doses, following vaccine approvals. Let's take a look at where things stand today for some of the most significant participants in this race.


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Image credit: Virgin Hyperloop vía PC Mag

Virgin Hyperloop made history Sunday when it completed the world's first Hyperloop passenger test. Company Co-Founder and CTO Josh Giegel and Director of Passenger Experience Sara Luchian were the first to ride Virgin's new form of transportation: Experimental Pod-2 (XP-2).

Since its launch in 2014, the company has been known by many names - including Hyperloop Technologies, Hyperloop One, and Virgin Hyperloop One - but has always been focused on one goal: transforming the way people travel. Six years later, Luchian and Giegel traveled 48 meters per second on a 500-meter journey through the Nevada desert. "We took a big step towards that last dream," Giegel said in a statement . "Not just for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a full moon here on Earth."

Image: Image credit: Virgin Hyperloop vía PC Mag

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Survey Results in graphs on paper.

LONDON, Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mountside Ventures and ALLOCATE, today released their inaugural annual report entitled, "Capital Behind Venture 2020."  The report provides insights on Venture Capital (VC) firms looking to raise funds from Limited Partners (LPs) such as pension funds, university endowments, government agencies, fund-of-funds, and high net worth (HNW) individuals or family offices who actively invest in Europe's growing VC ecosystem.

"There is very little information in the public domain on best practices, preferred terms and practical advice on raising a VC Fund in Europe, even less so for emerging fund managers," said Jonathan Hollis, Managing Partner at Mountside Ventures. "Our goal in writing this report was to reduce barriers for VC fund managers, but also show LPs how their peers are exploring investing in this space."


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Offshore wind capacity in the EU “should be multiplied by 25 times by 2050” as the European Commission looks for all possible ways of boosting the share of renewables in energy consumption, according to a draft policy document seen by EURACTIV.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the EU would aim for a 250% growth in offshore wind by 2050. 

The projected rise in offshore wind is highlighted in a leaked draft of the European Commission’s offshore renewable energy strategy, due to be presented on Thursday (19 November).

Today, European offshore capacity stands at 23 gigawatts (GW). The leaked strategy wants the EU to reach 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050.

Image: Offshore wind capacity will need to increase dramatically to reach the Commission's ambition (Vattenfall Nederland / Flickr)

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Apple Health, Heart Rate App on Apple watch.

While the priorities for healthcare organizations and venture capital firms may have shifted during the Covid-19 outbreak, digital health startups are actually shattering venture capital records by raising $6.3 billion in the first half of the year.

With so many new entrants, it is more important than ever to look for a venture capital firm that has the right relationships and expertise. The process of evaluating a VC firm can be narrowed down to five words: Calm, Vision, Balance, Partnership, and Results.


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Image with people protesting.

I love California, but I had to leave. I grew up in Fremont, attended Stanford, and have spent most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, founding technology companies like Palantir and Addepar and investing in many others. In 2011 I founded 8VC, a venture-capital firm that today manages more than $3.6 billion in committed capital. Few top venture capitalists consider living anywhere other than California and a handful of global financial centers, but I am moving myself and dozens of my 8VC colleagues...

Image: Wonder Land: After months of the pandemic, protests and failing progressive leadership, many are going to move out of U.S. centers. Images: Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Report Cover from PDF

The central goal of this study is to generate enhanced understanding of the favorable characteristics of global life sciences ecosystems that were able to energize their intellectual and infrastructural resources to respond to the COVID-19 challenge. It seeks to communicate the characteristics of best-practice ecosystems, so that the world and individual nations can be better prepared in the future.

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Small Down Street with US Flags flying from the buildings.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) wrapped up its Virtual National Summit last week with a session called The Road to COVID Recovery – Moving Forward. I was pleased to join a thoughtful group of panelists charged with offering a positive take on new ideas and approaches in our respective fields.

Incentives are usually a prickly topic, but this year there truly are some positive developments to report. 


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Panel of people on the stage.

As a business advisor and advocate for entrepreneurs, I find myself almost always talking and writing about change. Yet there are many things about business and work that haven’t changed for a long time, and don’t need to change anytime soon. I’m always surprised when someone doesn’t seem to grasp these basics, or thinks it’s fine to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I was reminded of a number of these by a classic book, “The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters,” by Richard A. Moran. With a bit of humor, he provides some serious guidelines for struggling career professionals looking to move up, and new entrepreneurs looking to build a company. Moran seems to speak directly from my long-time personal business career.


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HBR Graphic - HBR Staff/Mariia Demchenko

During times of uncertainty, we tend to hunker down and cling to the status quo. A kind of myopia kicks in, and we focus on our most urgent decisions: how to keep our families safe and healthy, how to keep our bosses happy, or, if we’ve lost a job, how to find a new one as quickly as possible. When we’re overwhelmed, it can be hard to find the time, motivation, and mental energy to think about longer-term questions.

Image: HBR Staff/Mariia Demchenko -

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