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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.

There is nothing quite like glass. Its smoothness and weight give it an unrivaled tactile appeal, and people are attracted to its visual presence like raccoons to tin foil. Glass bottles aren’t just another packaging option for wine; their shapes, sizes and colors are closely connected to the history of the wines they hold. The style of glass bottle used to present a wine can tell a consumer something about the wine’s provenance, varietal composition, even the winemaking style. For most projects, the glass bottle used is rarely taken seriously at the beginning of the design process, because of this, many designs are built off of assumptions that are flawed. By putting glass in context of its history, we will give designers a chance to understand the impact of their decisions.

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girls women celebrate happy sorority cheerMaybe Michael Arrington is right: Women are wanted in tech, they're just hard to find.

According to CNBC, 91% of males who are computer science majors and find jobs within six months of graduation earn an average starting salary of $60K. 

In contrast, 95% of women who find jobs within that same time frame are paid an average salary of $62K. 

Neumont University, which teaches a 2.5-year computer science program, says their women are extremely valuable within the industry, getting placed better, and faster, than males.  But only one out of every twenty students is female.

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A new class of pain relievers that targets musculoskeletal pain receptors, instead of more general pain pathways, could alleviate osteoarthritis pain better than any drug now on the market, but hurdles remain before the FDA approves it. Research on the new therapy was published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Osteoarthritis occurs when joint cartilage wears down, with the worst cases requiring joint replacement surgery. The pain can be unrelenting, and there's no real cure. Patients often get through the day by relying on pain relievers, typically starting with over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). As the pain intensifies and people become inured to the drugs' effects, they gradually work their way up to opioids such as oxycodone.

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shopping_online.jpgThe Pew Internet and American Life Project has just published the results of a study on American's e-commerce habits. Among the findings: 58% of Americans say they perform online research on the products and services they're considering buying. That's up from 49% who performed online research in 2004.

If you look at that number in terms of Americans who say they're Internet users, that figure rises to 78% who research online before buying.

And it isn't simply the number of Americans doing online research that's grown. It's the frequency with which we're doing it. On any given day, 21% of adults are conducting this sort of research, up from 9% in 2004.

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Craigavon, Northern Ireland-based Almac expects to fully occupy its new North American headquarters in Souderton, Pa., by the end of the year. The drug development services specialist will consolidate approximately 550 employees from its Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Sciences business units, currently located in Audubon and Yardley, Pa.

The US$120-million project, which began in summer 2008, involved two buildings. Building 1, a three-story, 74,250-sq.-ft. (6,897-sq.-m.) office building, will house administrative teams from Almac’s Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Sciences business units. Key functional areas, which the company says are designed to enhance employee performance and meet customer needs, are also located in Building 1, including a network operation center, meeting rooms, staff breakout areas, customer audit rooms, training rooms, learning lab, library and a packaging design room.

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jet planeAs if airlines needed any more reason to reduce fleet emissions, MIT reports this week that pollution from airplanes flying at cruise altitude (approximately 35,000 feet) contributes to 8,000 deaths globally each year.

Current emissions regulations only target planes flying up to 3,000 feet. In the past, regulators assumed that emissions above the 3,000 foot mark would be dumped into a part of the atmosphere with smooth air that couldn't send pollutants drifting toward the ground (the air is more turbulent at lower altitudes). But MIT has found that that's not true--and unfortunately for those of us on the ground, 90% of aircraft fuel is burned at cruise altitudes.

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The city known for its bicycles is gaining just as strong a reputation for the quiet buzz of electric mobility.

Last week the City of Amsterdam signed an agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance that aims to register at least 1,000 electric vehicle (EV) sales by the end of 2011, helped initially by the delivery next February by Nissan of 100 of its LEAF vehicles to fleet customers, as well as a sales and service network and a public education program about electric mobility.

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team redditI’m always looking for evidence of early startup characteristics that might be predictors of long-term success. Every investor has his own list, usually based on his own very small sample, or simply his gut feeling.

Of course, we would all like to have a magic list based on more definitive tracking of many real startups over time.

In that context, I recently came across an old study of 27 startups featured in Inc’s annual “Anatomies of a Start-up,” done for “The Journal of Business Venturing,” and published by George Gendron in Inc Magazine. As it turned out, 17 of the 27 companies were still in business seven years later, which is at least double that of other studies.

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SBIR GatewayUnlike yesterday's issue, this is the type of story I very much like sending you.


Borrowing the title of a song from My Fair Lady, "You Did It!" There was thunder on Capitol Hill today as hundreds of you responded to an emergency call to action (from many people and organizations) to save the SBIR program from lapsing, and that you did it!

Around 7:00pm this evening, Nydia Velazquez under pressure from her peers and the House leadership, accepted the Senate's SBIR and SBA extender bill, she and moved to suspend the rules to pass S.3839 without amendments. That has now happened and the SBIR program will be extended through January 31, 2011, pending signature of the President (virtually automatic), who supports the bill.

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Jobs for LifeThere was a time when a job was a job for life. In countries like Japan it really was the case and still is, to a great extent. Even in America, it was never a guarantee, but back in the day, it was pretty much the way our parents or grandparents, depending on your generation, viewed employment.

Well, yesterday, German electronics giant Siemens signed a deal that guarantees its 128,000 German workers just that, a job for life. The move is unprecedented even in Germany, where employees have far more power and rights than in the U.S.


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