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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.

TechCrunchYesterday some of Europe’s most influential and active seed/angel investors got together in London for a ’summit’ organised by Seedcamp, the pan European early stage startup programme. We understand the morning of SeedSummit (press weren’t invited) was devoted to frank exchanges between the investors about the current stage of early stage seed funding in Europe, with the afternoon reserved for a more public showcase of Seedcamp startup pitches.

Held at the offices of NESTA in London, the event was outlined by Seedcamp’s Saul Klein on his blog.
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Tallahassee Florida students are pretty much last in the nation for science."

That's a shocking statement, and even more so when made by a Florida Department of Education bureau chief. But that was one of the conclusions Todd Clark delivered to the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders, a gathering of district officials from around the state. His presentation, titled "State of the State for Florida Student Achievement" and published Nov. 19 in the Orlando Sentinel education blog School Zone, was a courageously candid assessment of the state's public education situation.

Such a declaration should be a rallying cry for the state's policy-makers, since the twin goals of K-12 science education — scientific literacy for all and the education of a greater number of excellent scientists and engineers — are necessary steps for Florida to make the transition to an innovation economy.
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ChangeOver the course of the next week, I'll be posting my predictions of the top trends that will shape social entrepreneurship in 2009. The week after, I will release a list of the top moments of the previous decade 2000-2009 in social entrepreneurship. I've got a pretty good idea of what my list is going to look like, but I'm interested in getting more recommendations.

For those of you willing to help, I'd love if you used the comments on this post to leave your best suggestions. I can't guarantee that everything will make it into my list, but I'll certainly take the time to look at everything people post.
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NSTTHE future will always be defined by creativity and innovation. We should nurture these traits in our children, and not move backwards by implementing a system that produces young people unable to think critically.

We need an academic evolution with a creative focus that will empower our young with the skills to use the tools of this new era of digital functions and global connectivity.

What is needed is a profound reform that places higher value on creativity to encourage students' personal development rather than emphasis on classroom disciplines.

The rise of innovation to the top of the agenda of many countries today has resulted in a profound shift in the nature of global competition.
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WSJMost Alternative Fuel Technologies Have Roots in Long-Ago Discoveries; Scarcity of 'Killer Apps' Slows Progress

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As light filled the sky on a recent morning here, a handful of giant mirrored dishes were being prepared to track the sun and ultimately feed solar-generated electricity into the Phoenix area.

High-tech marvels, the solar dishes look like three-story-tall mirrored flowers atop steel stems. But at the heart of each dish is a very old-fashioned invention: a Stirling engine, patented by a Scotsman in 1816, decades before the diesel or internal combustion engine.

The cutting edge of renewable energy is littered with long-established ideas such as the Stirling. From generating power from the wind to harvesting liquid fuel from algae, some of today's most promising new technologies are actually quite old.
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MIT SloanTraditionally, we have tended to think of businesses (or individuals who then start businesses) as the principal source of innovative new products or services in a market economy. But, in a thought-provoking new working paper, Carliss Y. Baldwin of Harvard Business School and Eric von Hippel of the MIT Sloan School of Management argue that sources of innovation are changing in today’s economy.

In particular, the professors make the case that, as a result of declining design and communication costs and increasing use of modular design architectures, two other types of innovation are competitive in more and more situations. Those two types? Innovation by users and open collaborative innovation projects (like open source software projects, for example).
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Arctic1. Trying to raise money too late
Raising money is time consuming. Count with an absolute minimum of 3 months, with a more likely scenario being 5 – 7 months.

2. Trying to raise money too early
There should be a logical relationship between the perceived value of the company in need of cash and the amount of cash to be raised. Trying to raise significant sums simply based on an idea usually fails, which leads us to point 3 below:

3. Lacking a realistic assessment of the companys’ value
Some entrepreneurs seem unaware of what drives value and ignore the importance of building some form of substance before approaching investors.

4. Not building enough substance before approaching investors
Investors tend to look at the following factors when determining the value of a venture:
• Team, advisory board and board of directors
• Strategic partnerships
• Customers and customer value
• Prototype/proof of concept
• Immaterial rights/protection
• Scaleability and market potential


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Global Business and Tech Leaders Urge Chinese Government Not to Proceed with Policy

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SIIA President Ken Wasch joined a strong contingent of business and technology association leaders from Japan, Korea, India, Canada, Europe and the US in expressing deep concerns with China's Indigenous Innovation Product System in a letter delivered to the Chinese government today:

"We are deeply troubled by the actions of the Chinese government in November that would implement an Indigenous Innovation Product Accreditation system," Wasch stated. "Implementation of this system will restrict China's capacity for innovation, impose onerous and discriminatory requirements on companies seeking to sell into the Chinese government procurement market, and contravene multiple commitments of China's leadership to resist trade and investment protectionism and promote open government procurement policies."

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alldaybuffetThe world of business is changing. Consumers are demanding more — more value, more quality, more responsibility — and more companies are striving to keep up.

As information becomes more transparent, people are starting to realize that brands are not siloed and that businesses touch many parts of our world and society. A bank is no longer just a bank; it’s an international institution that can directly affect our daily lives (and livelihoods), which mean its operations are important to us.

The more a business remains an opaque brand, the bigger the disconnect between what it says and what it does. What’s happening between the product factory in China and the glossy ad in Wired Magazine? The second there’s a misalignment of mission and action; it’ll invariably lead to consumer mistrust, resulting in people heading elsewhere to fill their needs around genuine authenticity.
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PatentPatent filings fell in 2009 for the first time in 13 years, worrying Silicon Valley that it is losing its place as the leader in global innovation.

NEW YORK ( -- U.S. innovation slowed this year for the first time in 13 years as the recession cut into budgets, and costs to protect inventions rose.

The number of patent filings in the United States fell 2.3% in 2009 to 485,500 from 496,886 last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That makes 2009 the first year since 1996 in which businesses and inventors filed fewer patents year over year.

"That's unfortunate because [patent filings] are a reflection of innovation," said David Kappos, director of the Patent Office. "Innovation creates so many jobs and so much opportunity for our country. It is absolutely key to our long-term success in the global economy."
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ZDNet“The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur,” is a quote often attributed to President George W. Bush. Although there is little evidence that he did say it, it has a Yogi Berra quality to it that seems to fit a widely held perception that the French have little use for the word.

That seems to be changing, and the French seem to be rediscovering ‘entrepreneur’ and reclaiming it, because the quality of the French startups we (Traveling Geeks) have been meeting with all week, has been very good.

Although it seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon and one that relies on a compelling mix of government programs and tax breaks, nevertheless it appears to be bearing fruit. While many countries have tried to encourage the formation of startups through various incentives, the French might have gotten the mix just right.
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Washington ExaminerMontgomery County's elected officials said Thursday they plan to create new tax credits and "enhance the environment for entrepreneurship" to boost the county's once-vaunted -- but now lagging -- biosciences industry.

Bioscience has long been a pillar of the county's economy. Montgomery County is home to the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and its main artery, Interstate 270, has been dubbed "DNA alley" because of the numerous public and private biotech companies that surround it.

But county business and political leaders said they county isn't attracting new businesses at the rate it should and is losing out to competitors, both worldwide and local. Last month, rival Fairfax County announced the creation of a major genetics research institute expected to bring in more than 500 high-paying jobs.
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