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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.


Many of the world’s biggest cities are getting bigger still. In 2017, the number of megacities --- urban areas with better than ten million people ---   increased to 37 in 2017, as the Chennai urban area entered their ranks. Chennai becomes India’s fourth megacity, along with Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkota. These are among the major findings in the just released 13th annual edition of Demographia World Urban Areas, which provides population, land area and population density estimates for the 1,040 identified built-up urban areas (cities) in the world. Built-up urban areas are the physical form of the city, a definition which separates out the urban, or constructed form of the city from the rural and smaller town areas with which they form a metropolitan area or labor market (Figure 1).


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Daniel Isenberg

Based on my keynote at the Akron Roundtable, April 20, 2017

My thanks to my hosts, Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Fasenmyer Foundation, and of course congratulations to the Akron Forum on your wonderful events. This is my first time in Akron, so I spent a little time with Google and learned about your city sons, Lebron James, and Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley, and the fact that Akron means summit, or high spot, so I guess we are now on the Acropolis of the Midwest.

Ecosystems for Growth

Since 2009, after three decades as entrepreneur, investor, and professor, I and a small band of collaborators have been tackling a fundamental problem facing hundreds of urban and quasi-urban economic regions around the globe: How to accelerate broad-based prosperity, using only existing regional assets, and to accelerate this growth in a way that is rapid, relatively cheap, robust and replicable. Now, almost a decade later, a pattern has evolved into a methodology that meets these criteria, and which appears to be self-sustaining and even self-accelerating. At the heart of this methodology are three guiding principles or action levers:


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Scientists and science enthusiasts alike took to the streets Saturday (Earth Day!) to support a worthwhile cause: facts. 

And you had to know the signs were going to be amazing.

Here are a few of the best — and, of course, the geekiest — signs from not only the March for Science in D.C., but marches and rallies around the world. Because reason rules.


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A new “Gap” or “Proof of Concept” fund is being launched to provide resources to assess market needs and the potential for promising new university inventions, thanks to $1 million of funding support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The University Early Stage Proof-of-Concept Fund program known as ADVANCE was approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund with oversight by the MEDC. ADVANCE is being administered by Michigan State University on behalf of all the universities in the state of Michigan. Each university’s tech transfer office can apply for up to $40,000 of funding, providing the conditions of the program are met, including a 1:1 match for the funding requested.


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Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world on 9 January 2007.  This iconic product became a sensational success and propelled Apple to become the most valuable company on Earth.  It created a new product category, the smartphone, which has become the must-have item for people in all nations.  It launched a platform for secondary markets in apps, music and videos.  Steve Jobs, Sir Jonathan Ive and the design team at Apple deserve the tremendous credit they get for this seismic innovation. But as the economists, Marianna Mazzucato and Tim Harford, have shown, the iPhone could not have been a success without at least 12 technology innovations on which it is dependent.


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We are in a perverse moment in the global venture capital industry: VCs are fast coming to resemble private hedge funds, and the more money they are able to raise, the worse off startups are becoming.

Capital is flowing into funds of all types, yet the rate of investment is shrinking rapidly. This could mark the decline of true venture capital by many funds as they are forced to evolve into private hedge funds or momentum investors, investing far larger amounts in much later stage pre-IPO companies, and drifting further away from taking higher risk, long-term investment in innovation.


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Artificial Intelligence. I can’t think of a reference to the intellect that would feel more unauthentic and fake. It’s no wonder people turn to The Terminator or The Matrix to fathom what it’s all about. Fortunately, after 60 years of AI rumors fueled by academia and movies, we’re finally starting to see signs that it means more than just robots taking over.


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new york city

Richard Florida, whose influential ‘Rise of the Creative Class’ pegged cities’ future to their success in cultivating that group, says a new urban crisis is spreading as a few metros win almost all the marbles. But something deeper than city-level policies is at work, too.

Richard Florida, always a fan of cities including Seattle, seems to be having some second thoughts.

The 2002 publication of his book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” turned a professor into as much of a famous public intellectual as our age will allow. Florida argued that creative professions, which he estimated made up about 30 percent of the American workforce, were causing tectonic changes in the economy, our cities, politics and lives.

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On his podcast, Nate Butkus has talked radiation with a US government scientist, evolution with a Harvard researcher, and, most recently, genome-editing with MIT’s Kevin Esvelt. But ask him his favorite moment from the 28 episodes so far, and it has to be when he belched during a taping.

So it goes when the podcast host is 6 years old.

With help from his producer (his dad, Eric Butkus), Nate has parlayed what he says has been his passion for science since birth into a podcast downloaded about 4,000 times each episode and even an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’s show.

Image: Nate Butkus, 6, hosts “The Show About Science,” with one producer, his dad. COURTESY THE SHOW ABOUT SCIENCE 

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oil rig

Ten years ago, you probably could have predicted the richest counties in America, as measured by adjusted gross income. Fairfield County, Conn., topped the list in 2005, followed by Teton County in Wyoming (home of wealthy enclave Jackson Hole), and they were subsequently in the top 5 for the next few years, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which collects data from the IRS.


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Louis Bouwer

The Innovation Management Theory Evolution Map was developed to guide corporate innovation managers to take note of existing fundamental innovation management theories, how it evolved through the past few decades and which theories are best suited to solve specific corporate innovation management challenges.


Innovation management theory cannot be bought as a tangible product at the local supermarket. Academic theory is a virtual construct that attempts to explain phenomena that has been observed in the real world. 


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