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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.

Innovation boost for UK business as companies invited to bid for £6m investment

British businesses have been invited to bid for a total of £6m of investment in a drive to boost technological innovation across the UK. The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is working to encourage UK business to continue to innovate through the recession, in order to be in a strong position as the economy starts to recover.

WSJ: Qiming Joins Growing List Of VC, PE Firms Mulling Yuan Fund

Chinese venture firm Qiming Venture Partners has added an executive director and venture partner to its staff as it considers a move to enter the country’s venture market with a local-currency fund.

Janet Yu, who joins Shanghai-based Qiming as an executive director, previously worked as the general manager in the fund investing department in China Binhai New Area Venture Capital Guiding Fund, according to her biography published on Qiming’s Web site.

NASA Selects 16 Small Business Research and Technology Projects

The SBIR program selected 12 proposals for negotiation of phase II contracts, with a total value of approximately $7.2 million. The awards went to 12 small, high technology firms in nine states.

The STTR program selected four proposals for negotiation of phase II contract awards, with a total value of approximately $2.4 million. The awards went to four small high technology firms in four states partnered with three research institutions in three states.

Seed is the new Series A for VCs

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that VCs have, over the past few quarters, been reluctant to put term sheets down on new investments. Most venture folks have instead been preoccupied with tending to their portfolio companies, either ensuring that their most promising companies have enough capital and resources to weather the downturn, or trying to sell off the others.

Entrepreneur investors launching a $5 million investment fund for new ventures in medical devices and health care services.

Wealthy entrepreneurs who made their mark in the region's health-care sector want to seed a new wave of business growth.

Up to 20 investors, led by some of the region's most successful health care executives, are launching a $5 million investment fund for new ventures in medical devices and health care services.

Entrepreneurship as a Safety Net

Is entrepreneurship the new safety net? In a viewpoint column this week, Chris Farrell suggests that corporate careers have become more uncertain than ever, and young people are looking to microenterprises for stability.

Corporate loyalty used to work both ways, with loyal employees being rewarded with long-term job security. That model began to fall apart with mass layoffs in the 1970s, Farrell notes. Now that pay cuts and furloughs — once shunned even by corporations laying off workers — have become commonplace, he suggests, workers see less value and stability in corporate careers. Along with bolstering savings, workers are looking to microbusinesses as a hedge against the risk of layoffs or pay cuts:

Israeli Innovation

The latest issue of the City Journal includes an article on the unmatched economic and scientific accomplishments achieved by Israel in its short history. The high-tech industry dominates the Israeli economy and the author includes some interesting statistics regarding the country’s global standing in the technology sector. As of 2007, Israel houses more foreign NASDAQ-traded companies than any other country. Notably, the author writes: