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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.

2010 was a year of contrasts for those seeking to boost the role of science in the development agenda. Many new initiatives were launched; some took root, others ran into difficulties. And progress in meeting big challenges, such as conserving biodiversity and tackling climate change, remained slow.

Several organisations had chosen 2010 as the target date for achieving specific goals. Perhaps the most ambitious was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which aimed to "significantly curb" biodiversity loss by this date. But biodiversity campaigners fell spectacularly short of achieving this and discussed their failures this year, fearing that the public is oblivious to their messages. Some concluded that biodiversity must be linked more tightly to people's fates.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A statewide group is conducting a study to determine whether researchers at West Virginia's smaller colleges would be interested in working with companies to commercialize new products.

TechConnectWV, a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting the state's innovation economy, will survey researchers at 18 smaller colleges and universities, both public and private.

"Ultimately, such a consortium could connect researchers at our smaller institutions of higher education with private sector partners who could help them commercialize new products, services, and technologies," said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnectWV.

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Ordering a product from Amazon.com is probably better for the environment than driving to the mall. Videoconferencing certainly beats hopping on an airplane. Google calculates that it can process 10,000 searches for the same amount of energy as one five-mile car trip. But while information technology may be greener than the things it replaces, the carbon footprint of the world's data centers and computer networks is growing so fast that it already rivals that of the aviation industry, according to past studies.

 
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The cluster of glass buildings that serves as the headquarters of Nokia, the global telecommunications giant that is Finland's largest company, is a short stroll from the main campus of Aalto University, one of the country's newest higher-education institutions.

But the symbolic shadow the company casts across Finland's edu­cational, business, and even political landscape is long and omni­present.

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We are visual creatures. We love to take pictures; we love to look at pictures. We like pictures when they are still and when they are moving. A picture isn’t just worth 1,000 words; it also speaks to us when there are no words possible.

Your blog posts, your marketing materials and your website all need images.  As a small business owner, you probably think that photos come with an expensive price tag, but they don’t have to.  In this post, we highlight 50 image sites and services where you can get photographs and types of images for free or a low cost.

Kave Wall is a graphic design firm that also has a stock photo library. Many of the images appear to be free for the small sizes, but they also offer a full resolution catalog of 1,700-plus photos for $199.

 

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Suddenly, creativity is big. While your chances of making millions as the next Andy Warhol or Taylor Swift are probably slim, you could well earn more these days by tapping into your creative powers—and, experts say, you'll be happier, too. Numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Hewlett-Packard and Sears, have hired creativity consultants to help boost innovation. The number of business schools offering creativity classes has doubled in the past five years. "It's not enough to just be good at analytical evaluation," argues Yoram Wind, a professor of marketing who teaches a creativity course at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. And creative activity can relieve stress and enhance your mood, according to Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson, author of Your Creative Brain. Brain researchers theorize that coming up with something novel that's also useful—their definition of creativity—so fully engages attention that the brain doesn't have any resources left to devote to stress.

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It’s destination Detroit for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2011. In a drive to increase staff numbers, tap skills beyond its Virginia headquarters and boost efforts to reduce a substantial backlog of patent applications, the organisation will set up its first-ever satellite office in the Michigan city. The new branch will represent but the first phase of the USPTO Nationwide Workforce Programme: a plan to hire more patent examiners and seek out resources and expertise in other parts of the United States.

According to the USPTO, Detroit has been chosen – after careful consideration – for the following factors:

• a high percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce;

• access to major research institutions, particularly leading universities;

• a high volume of patenting activity; and

• significant numbers of patent agents and attorneys in the area.

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My software company ChiliSoft sold for $100 million in 2000. Or $70 million. Or $28 million.

It depends on the date you choose, the built-in triggers, and ego. Notably, from December 1999 to May 2000, my stake dropped from 40% to 15% when the deal closed. Most employee stakes dropped as well -- but not all employees.

My point at the end of this story will be something like this: sweat the details.

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It's 2011, and we still aren't seeing the kind of progress we expect to see out of big tech companies.

And we're not making big demands here.

We don't want flying cars. (Though, if done properly, we'd be interested to see them.)

No, we're talking about small stuff, like AOL getting back on track, streaming music from Apple, Google Docs actually affecting Microsoft, etc.

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The green tech industry will fondly remember 2010 as The Year After the Near-Death Experience.

So what happens next?

Things We’d Like to See Happen in Green Technology:

--The U.S. Establishes Long-Term Energy Policies. Investors, utilities, manufacturers, landlords and consumers all need long-term guidance. A national policy, ideally, would include carbon regulations, but tax credits and renewable power standards would be a tremendous help.

--Time-of-Use Pricing Begins to Spread. Demand for power soars in the afternoon, but the price for most consumers stays the same. Time-of-use pricing would create a market-based incentive to conserve. Utilities could finally justify their smart meter investments, too.

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Raising Venture Capital is fiercely competitive, and many people have unrealistic expectations about their company, its value, and the process of raising venture capital. Here are five tips to get you in the right frame of mind.

  1. Re-Evaluate Your Company - Does your company have the ability to earn $20-$50 Million in the next five to seven years? If not, your company may not be very appealing to venture capitalists. Other sources such as angel funding or small business loans may be more appropriate for you.
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