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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.

WSJ: Entrepreneur Cuts Back Amid Recession

As chief executive of Perfect Commerce, which made business software, he figured the collapse of the dot.com boom meant he could pick up foundering competitors cheaply. "Company after company was folding, and they had wonderful technology," he says. Flush with venture-capital funding, he built his customer base by acquiring a dozen competitors rather than by adding to his sales force.

Science, Technology and Innovation play major role in EU economy

R&D expenditure in the EU27 stable at 1.85% of GDP in 2007 while researchers account for almost 1% of total employment

In 2007, the EU27 spent 229 billion euro on Research & Development 1 (R&D). R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP equalled 1.85% in 2007, stable compared with 2006. Germany (62 bn euro), France (39 bn) and the United Kingdom (37 bn) accounted together for 60% of total R&D expenditure in the EU27 in 2007.

Obama Education Speech: Innovation, Problem Solving, and Twitter

Look past all the controversy and President Obama's education speech is an evocation of the heart of the American mythology; work hard and you can achieve. The speech is an interesting case study in entrepreneurial role models.

The main thrust of the content is about the fact that while parents, teachers, governments all have a responsibility to help in our education, how we use what we've been given is ultimately a matter of personal responsibility and initiative.

Is the Customer Always Right? Yes, When it Comes to Sustainability.

The world’s leading companies all conduct extensive research to determine what their customers want and how they want it. Whether they hire firms like Synovate or Millward Brown, or do consumer research in-house, companies know the value of crafting products that fit their customers’ needs and desires.

This is why it’s so perplexing that companies don’t do the same when developing substantive sustainability strategies. All too often, companies launch campaigns that are later accused of greenwashing or limit their efforts to indirect efficiency improvements, when it’s their core product that really needs the greening. It turns out that by paying more attention to their customers, companies can unlock solutions for true environmental innovation and get richly rewarded for doing so.

INNOVATION AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING ARE INSEPARABLE

The enormous amount of change requires an almost equal speed in learning. Changes are in so many areas like new technologies, new government guidelines, global markets or social media/networking. Also it is crucial to not only check your competition and your customers, but also noncustomers (if you are interested in creating blue oceans…). Fortunately there is so much knowledge available on or via the internet.

Our recent features include a major report from Jonathan Sallet, Ed Paisley, and Justin Masterman on how the federal government can support innovation clusters. As well, Ruth Faden and Jonathan Moreno describe the ethical imperative for healthcare reform; Ricardo Rossello explains new possibilities for flu vaccines; and Eli Adashi argues that in spite of recent controversies over in vitro fertilization, we should not lose sight of the pioneering research that has helped millions of infertile couples.

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Gartner: Innovation marching on — McKinsey Top 10 Trends and what they mean for IT

McKinsey points out that while corporate R&D and new ventures have taken a hit in the downturn, the opportunities or “head room” remains for innovation. McKinsey recommends companies protect their R&D investments paying for innovation with operational efficiencies, cost cutting and, if necessary, consolidating R&D facilities and programs.

In describing this trend, McKinsey points out that companies benefit from countercyclical investments in innovation, as they tend to have the products, services and operations to outpace their competitors when economic conditions improve. Critics will see pointing out the need for innovation as obvious as market dynamics, the level of competition and customer choice require constant change.