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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.

ArgusSouth Dakota was rated the friendliest place for entrepreneurship by The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Small Business Survival Index 2009.

The report ranks the 50 states and District of Columbia according to some of the major government-related costs affecting investment, entrepreneurship, and business. The fourteenth annual survey looked at a number costs that impact small businesses such as individual capital gains tax, personal income tax and corporate income tax.
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Small BusinessYou read blogs about running a business. Amazing that I could deduce that, right? A regular Sherlock Holmes over here, writing that on … a blog about business.

Why read blogs? I’m guessing it’s because you’re constantly out of your comfort zone: Making decisions about things you’ve never had to think about, weren’t trained for, didn’t learn in school, and might very well decide the fate of the entire company. Or maybe this decision doesn’t matter at all, but who could know?
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(CC) OECD Development Centre/FlickrInnovation has become a key factor for economic growth, but how does the process take place at the level of individual firms? The book Innovation in Firms: A Microeconomic Perspective presents the main results of the OECD Innovation Microdata Project, which was the first large-scale effort to exploit firm-level data from innovation surveys across 20 countries in an internationally harmonized way, with a view to addressing common analytical questions.
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Huffington PostI have had the good fortune to be close to many successful entrepreneurs. And so I have a perspective as to what separates those who make it big from those who don't. Yes, the quality of the idea is critical, of course, as is the access to capital. And certainly being at the right place at the right time is the ultimate good fortune.

But, if I had to put my finger on the one dominant factor of entrepreneurial success stories, it is the absolute total unwillingness of the entrepreneur to say "uncle."
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Award provides dedicated mHealth funding as part of Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project

Walnut Creek, CA & Washington, DC (December 7, 2009) -- To spur innovation in the development of wireless solutions to global health challenges, the Vodafone Americas Foundation and the mHealth Alliance announced today a partnership that will expand the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project to include the new mHealth Alliance Award. The award will be granted to the developer of an innovative wireless technology with the most potential to address critical health challenges, especially in developing regions.

“In places where roads remain unpaved, and where basic infrastructure such as clean water and electricity are scant, mobile phones already have become an empowering force for millions,” said David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance. “The mHealth Alliance Award challenges innovators and social entrepreneurs to use mobile technology to advance health delivery in even the most remote environments, such as through improved diagnosis, treatment or access to information.”

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CollabnetOpen-source software pioneer Brian Behlendorf, who sports a ponytail and organized an online music site called SFRaves, is the unlikely architect of a new technology being embraced by the U.S. Defense Dept.

BusinessWeekThe DOD has started using technology from CollabNet, a Brisbane, Calif., company that Behlendorf co-founded with Bill Portelli, another open-source veteran, to provide an online meeting place in the Internet "cloud" for U.S. military agencies to build software through "crowdsourcing".
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Chicago Sun TimesVenture capitalist and philanthropist J.B. Pritzker believes the challenges of growing a young tech company today are comparable to what entrepreneurs faced coming out of the last recession in 2002.

“It’s clear that for the next few years we will be in survival of the fittest mode for both startup companies and venture capitalists,” he said.

Pritzker, 44, has devoted much of his career to funding tech startups as a founding partner of New World Ventures (which recently relocated to the Loop from Evanston) and co-founder of the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund (i2a), which makes seed investments in local companies. He will be honored with the Richard J. Daley Medal award this evening during a ceremony hosted by the Illinois Venture Capital Association.
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mndailyHave you ever come up with the right answer despite using flawed data? That seems to be the case with The Minnesota Daily’s editorial “A patented alternative,” published Dec. 2. The editorial staff asserts that commercialization of University-based technology and research partnerships with businesses represent important opportunities for the University. In fact, I have made that same point to the Board of Regents and University leadership repeatedly over the past five years and will again at my annual report to the regents Dec. 10.

Unfortunately, the editorial and a related piece (the Nov. 24 article “U struggles to market technology”) contain serious misinterpretations of data and mischaracterizations of the efforts of the Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) to commercialize the University’s intellectual property.
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Financial TimesSilicon Valley is on the verge of a new bout of Wall Street fever, as private technology companies rush to cash in on the first signs of stock market interest in initial public offerings for more than two years, according to venture capitalists.

Financiers are talking of public stock sales by tech companies at a level not seen since the 1990s – led by social networking company Facebook and a batch of other internet and “greentech” companies.

However, some experienced Valley financiers warn that most of the companies that have set their sights on Wall Street will never make it and will be forced instead to sell out to a larger company.
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IT Business EdgeIn the first part of this interview with John Hagel, co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge, he told Ann All that on an economy-wide level, U.S. companies’ return-on-assets (ROA) has plummeted 75 percent since 1965, despite major improvement in labor productivity over the last four decades. Here, he offers suggestions on how companies can turn this trend around by focusing on institutional innovation, rather than product and technology innovation.

All: So with it becoming so much harder to benefit from simple cost reduction, it would seem companies need to focus more on innovation. But Deloitte found that innovation doesn’t seem to improve ROA either. Is this because innovation that occurs spontaneously is outpacing what we see within most companies?

Hagel: My sense is a lot of it has to do with how we define innovation. Most executives, when you talk about innovation, immediately default to product innovation or technology innovation. Maybe they’ll talk about process innovation. The problem with all of that is, the average lifetime of a product is compressing dramatically. If we come up with an innovative new product, it has a shorter and shorter shelf life. We think the real opportunity is to shift the focus of innovation to what we’d call institutional innovation.
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New EuropeWhen Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Comission presented the Manifesto for Creativity he strongly defended the concept of a “New Platform of Innovation and Creativity” for the future of Europe. That´s a new collaborative order between the different actors, with the strategic challenge of reinforcing the central competitive ences of society and qualifying them as the unique ways of creation of value and modernity. Europe is facing a unique opportunity within this new concept. The message is clear - the new time that all of us want for Europe in the future demands a strong commitment with Innovation and Creativity as the effective enablers of change.

The launching and implementation of this “New Platform for Innovation and Creativity” will require a strong Partnership Contract between all the actors (States, Universities, Companies, Civil Society), in order to build a real Strategy of Confidence in the execution of the different actions that are associated with this Agenda of Change. The focus on Innovation and Creativity as the drivers of creating added value with international dissemination is a unique challenge that may be the answer to a new way of interaction between those who have the responsibility of thinking and those that have the responsibility of producing goods and services. This is the main reason for the opportunity of the Platform.
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Dispatch PoliticsThe state certainly should renew the Third Frontier program, which helps Ohio's fledgling high-tech industry to blossom and bear fruit, but the pertinent question is: How big should the assistance be?

House Democrats want to double the original bond issue to $1 billion over eight years, while Republicans appear to be leaning toward a Third Frontier renewal at $500 million, the amount of the previous bond issue. A compromise can and should be reached by Feb. 3 to allow the measure to go onto the 2010 primary ballot.
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