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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.

Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn has announced the EU’s biggest annual research budget ever for 2011 - at €6.4 billion - with a pledge to make the money easier to access.

But it was a case of giving with one hand and taking away with the other, as the Commission proposed that some Framework Programme 7 funds be diverted to plug the gap in the budget of the ITER nuclear fusion project. 

“I am determined that the package we are announcing today will not only be the biggest ever, but also the most effective and the best administered,” Geoghegan-Quinn promised.

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“Even if we don’t have a lot of money we can still be innovative,” says Open Innovation guru Henry Chesbrough. The global economic crisis is a good opportunity for companies to open up, collaborate, and find new partnerships. The key, he says, is to create new business models that can add value to already existing technologies.

“The nice thing about Open Innovation in business models is that it isn’t just about having more money, it is about thinking differently about what you can offer to your customers and finding new ways to differentiate your business and add value to it,” said Chesbrough, Director of the Open Innovation Centre at Berkeley University in California, in an interview with Science|Business on a recent visit to Barcelona, where he is Visiting Professor at the business school, ESADE.

With world economies struggling, Chesbrough urges governments to support innovation. “The only way that countries with high debts are going to be able to deal with it is to figure out new ways to get economies to grow again, and to get this growth we need innovation,” he says. “It’s too punishing to citizens to simply cut spending and services, if we don’t get economies to grow again, it will be politically very difficult. Innovation is not only for companies, but for society.”

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Patents granted to small businessesAmerica is supposed to be a place where independent inventors and small firms play a key role in the creation of new technology. As New York University economics Professor Will Baumol wrote in the 2008 Small Business Economy, “small enterprises have made … a critical contribution to … innovation accomplishments. Without breakthroughs such as the airplane, FM radio, and the personal computer, all introduced by small firms, life in the industrialized economies would be very different today.

Moreover, small firms are believed to be particularly productive inventors. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small companies “produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.” And small firm patents tend to be more technically important. As the SBA explains, “these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

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scott-heiferman-meetup-smashes-ipad-2Here's one more tiny anecdote to go with the news that the iPad is having pretty much the most amazing new-product launch in the history of technology.

(Can you think of a bigger one?  One that proliferated this quickly and generated this much revenue this fast?  Netscape's Navigator went bananas, as did a whole bunch of other software and web site-based products.  But those were free or near-free.  This is a $500-$900 gadget.  And I'm not counting the iPhone 4, which is a new upgrade.  I'm talking about a completely new product.)

Here's my iPad anecdote: One month after we got it, my kids are addicted to the darn thing.

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The Seed Stage is where the Entrepreneur has the most control on developing the business. It is prior to outside capital, unless of course the Entrepreneur or principals have invested their own seed capital.

The Seed Stage has the following characteristics:

  • The Entrepreneur idea is being flushed out
  • The Business Plan is in development
  • The Principals are recruiting their management team
  • Initial Capital Requirements is determined and sought
  • The Company most likely has no revenue or very little
  • Establishing your legal structure
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Mark Zuckerberg and “The Facebook Effect” author David Kirkpatrick met for an on-stage conversation this evening at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

Zuckerberg was much more relaxed, less sweaty and nervous than the last time he was on a public stage in the U.S. at the d8 conference in June. He said that to get to Facebook’s next 500 million users, the company is focused on a handful of markets including South Korea, Russia and Japan. He also said the company is working on fixing its issues around creating friend groups.

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In this week’s episode of Too Long; Didn’t Watch, we talk to Maureen Orth. An award winning journalist, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair Magazine, former correspondent for NBC and author of two best-selling books, Orth’s career as a journalist spans four decades. Her passion though is education, specifically as founder of the Marina Orth Foundation which promotes advanced learning in technology and English at The Marina Orth School in Medellin, Colombia.

The school was the first in Colombia to participate in One Laptop per Child, a program that Orth credits with making a real difference to children studying in a region that was, until recently, better known for cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. Joining us by Skype from Washington DC, Orth explains the benefits of One Laptop Per Child, responds to Valley-based critics of the program …and appeals for the Robert Scobles of the world to donate just a few of their many laptops to a thoughly worthwhile cause.

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man jumping computer apple 2Starting your own company is one of the hardest things you can do in business -- so it's invaluable to get advice from other people who have done it, too.

Fortunately, the blogosphere is packed with entrepreneurs, investors, and business gurus dying to share their knowledge.

Unfortunately, it can be a real pain trying to figure out which ones are worth your time.

Well, now the work is done for you: we sorted through others' suggestions, official lists of recommended bloggers, and our own personal favorites to pick out the 20 best blogs for entrepreneurs.

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So, it turns out that Apple knew about the antenna problems with the new Iphone, but CEO Steve Jobs liked the design.  I don’t presume to know what went on internally at Apple, but I do know this.  When a HIPPO (Highest Paid Persons’ Opinion) appears, prepared to be trampled.   I do have a few tips for avoiding the trampling.  Here are 5 steps when a HIPPO threatens your project:

  1. Say, “Great idea Boss! We’ll test it.” This comes directly from Jim Sterne who introduced the term to me through my BNET colleague, Sean Silverman. This gives you some time.
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Google HQGetting a job in the tech business sure has its perks.

Many companies have sprawling campuses that are constantly kissed by the California sun and equipped with athletic facilities, Xbox 360s and foosball in break rooms, gourmet cafeterias, and ultra-lax dress codes. It's enough to make your average office-bound 9-to-5er swoon.

But those cushy tech jobs come without downsides, too. Even the most avid foosball player can become disenchanted with office culture when the pay is low, the hours are long, and the competition is cutthroat.

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Terra-Gen Power, a major developer of wind, solar and geothermal energy projects in the U.S., is $1.2 billion closer to building the country’s largest wind farm. This new capital, announced today, will help the company aggregate 570 megawatts-worth of power at its Alta Wind Energy Center site in Kern County, Calif.

This new capacity, composed of four separate projects, will be added to existing installations at the Center (150 megawatts-worth of turbines built by General Electric), which is expected to reach 3,000 megawatts — the largest amount produced at any one wind facility in the U.S. Terra-Gen will be buying 190 new turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology.

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DCM, a venture firm that invests in the United States, China, and Japan, announced today that it has finished raising two new funds. The big one is DCM Fund VI, the latest version of its main fund for early-stage investments, for which it raised more than $400 million. It also announced a new fund of 200 million Chinese yuan ($29.5 million) to make investments in China.

DCM also revealed that it has two new general partners — Jason Krikorian, cofounder of DCM investment Sling Media (which was acquired by Echostar) and creator of its  Slingbox TV streaming device; and Osuke Honda, who already works in DCM’s Tokyo office and is being promoted.

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