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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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GAITHERSBURG, Md.—Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology announced 15 key findings from a final version of a new “green paper” on maximizing U.S. innovation from government-funded research.   

Incorporating extensive feedback from industry, academic and government stakeholders, the NIST report describes options for enhancing how federally funded inventions move from the laboratory to the marketplace by:  

 

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checklist

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has statutory authority to establish federal Government-wide policies to implement the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. SBA recently issued a significantly revised final SBIR/STTR Policy Directive, which is effective May 2, 2019. See 84 FR 12794. Below we highlight the major changes implemented in the revised policy directive.

 

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Spotlight EDA s University Center Economic Development Program U S Economic Development Administration

EDA's University Center Economic Development Program makes the vast resources of universities available to the economic development community. The University Center Program allows institutions of higher education to establish and operate University Centers (UCs) specifically focused on helping to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship.

The UCs, which EDA considers long-term partners in economic development, are required to devote the majority of their funding to respond to technical assistance requests originating from organizations located in the economically distressed portions of their service regions.

Image: https://www.eda.gov

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listen

Most of us, at some time in our lives, have had jobs in which we felt unfulfilled, mistreated, or without purpose. And those feelings are strongly reflected in the holistic value we derive from our jobs and probability that we stay on versus quit. But what, if anything, can firms do to address workers’ dissatisfaction and prevent turnover? We decided to test whether a simple intervention — asking workers for feedback — might be successful at reducing quit rates.

 

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oracle logo

Oracle was founded in 1977. While it’s not exactly GE or IBM, which date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries respectively, it is old enough to be experiencing a fair bit of disruption in its own right. For a good part of its existence, it sold databases to some of the biggest companies in the world. But today, as the market changes and shifts from on-prem data centers to the cloud, how does a company like Oracle make that transition?

 

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puzzle

New CEOs often hear two conflicting messages: first, get out of the gate quickly because your honeymoon will be short and you need to show results; second, play for the long haul. Can you do both? The answer is yes, but it’s hard, and the results can be bittersweet. The companies of new CEOs who shifted their focus to the long term underperformed their counterparts at first and outperformed only after the CEOs had left.

 

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cycling

Ten years ago, in 2009, David Brailsford, the then performance director for the Great Britain cycling team, established a road cycling team, Team Sky. When the team launched in January 2010, Brailsford announced they would win the Tour de France within five years.

At the time, this seemed an incredible claim. No British cyclist, let alone British cycling team, had come close to winning this event in over one hundred years of history. And yet he felt confident in setting this ambitious goal.

 

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Brock Blake

For my money, there’s no better crash course in risk management than the documentary, Free Solo . To most, the thought of climbing 3,200 feet up the granite face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is daunting enough. But free-climbing it without any ropes is just pure insanity. Or is it? When Alex Honnold decided to climb El Capitan, it wasn’t just on a whim. He had spent more than a decade planning his ascent, logging dozens of climbs up and down the granite face, most of it roped in, so he could examine every crack and crevice.

 

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CNewImageoral reefs smell of rotting flesh as they bleach. The riot of colors—yellow, violet, cerulean—fades to ghostly white as the corals’ flesh goes translucent and falls off, leaving their skeletons underneath fuzzy with cobweb-like algae.

Corals live in symbiosis with a type of algae. During the day, the algae photosynthesize and pass food to the coral host. During the night, the coral polyps extend their tentacles and catch passing food. Just 1 °C of ocean warming can break down this coral-algae relationship. The stressed corals expel the algae, and after repeated or prolonged episodes of such bleaching, they can die from heat stress, starve without the algae feeding them, or become more susceptible to disease.

Image: UNSPLASH / SCOTT WEBB

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decision

To thwart possible disruption, pundits give legacy companies such advice as “disrupt yourself before you get disrupted” or “put frontline employees in charge of strategy and execution.” This counsel is of little help. Military history offers a much better way to respond. We call it tempo-based competition.

In 1976, U.S. Air Force Col. John Boyd explained why American fighter pilots had a far higher “kill ratio” (10:1) than opponents in the Korean War. At the time, the commonly held belief was that U.S. pilots were much better trained. If this was true, then dogfight victories should have been evenly distributed among all U.S. pilots. They were not; a few pilots achieved most of the kills while the others had very few, none, or were shot down themselves.

 

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questions

As the managing partner for Andreessen Horowitz — the venture capital firm that counts Airbnb, Facebook, Lyft, and Slack in its portfolio — Scott Kupor knows what to look for in startups, and what startups should look for in venture capital.  

At the April 19 MIT Tech Conference Kupor — author of the upcoming “Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It” — shared his advice on choosing whether venture capital money is right for you, if you’re right for a venture capitalist, and what it really means when a VC joins the team.

 

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The VC firm New Enterprise Associates has previously invested in buzzy open source software companies like MongoDB, Elastic, Nginx, and Databricks. So when NEA principal Julia Schottenstein saw how fast an open source business intelligence software project called Metabase was growing, she knew what NEA's next investment had to be.

Image: Metabase

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