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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.

Tom DingusBLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 5, 2010 – Virginia Tech announced today the establishment of the National Tire Research Center (NTRC), an advanced tire research and test facility to be established in Southside Virginia.

The facility is a partnership between the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, General Motors (GM) Company, the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), the Southside Virginia community, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Relations Revitalization Commission.

Funding for the center will total $14 million with $5 million provided by GM, $5 million from the Tobacco Commission and $4 million from Virginia Tech.

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The world leadership qualities of the United States, once so prevalent, are fading faster than the polar ice caps.

We once set the standard for industrial might, for the advanced state of our physical infrastructure, and for the quality of our citizens’ lives. All are experiencing significant decline.

The latest dismal news on the leadership front comes from the College Board, which tells us that the U.S., once the world’s leader in the percentage of young people with college degrees, has fallen to 12th among 36 developed nations.

At a time when a college education is needed more than ever to establish and maintain a middle-class standard of living, America’s young people are moving in exactly the wrong direction. A well-educated population also is crucially important if the U.S. is to succeed in an increasingly competitive global environment.

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Fusionopolis Green BuildingSingapore, August 6 - Singapore’s regulators are raising the energy efficiency bar for new buildings from December as they step up the drive for a leaner and greener economy.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announced on Thursday that all new buildings will have to comply with a higher Green Mark standard calling for an additional 10 per cent of energy savings in buildings from the current standard.

Under the revisions, which have been updated four times now, the minimum energy efficiency standard will be 28 per cent higher than in the first building code released in 2005 when the Green Mark was launched.

The Green Mark is a green building rating system that evaluates a building’s environmental performance. The standards for other Green Mark levels – Gold, GoldPlus, and Platinum – will also be raised accordingly.

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Simple question: Does anyone know of research that links the implementation of open innovation with the decision on where to locate business operations?

To give this question some context, three research domains are related to this question (though there are of course many more).
  1. Cluster theory: Regional clusters are believed to provide a fertile environment to support innovation. A huge amount has been written by economic geographers on categorising clusters, analysing how they form and evolve, identifying different policy measures that can be used to stimulate cluster development (addressing perceived market 'failures'), the role of inter-firm networks within clusters, etc. A good summary of work in these areas can be found in the 'GDjBYgu&sig=C0ck1mbpPzjqmb_uLfu64-emeCY&hl=en&ei=l81eTL3AIIa80gTe2I29Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false">Handbook of Research on Innovation and Clusters' edited by Charlie Karlsson.
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THE steps being taken by government officials to help the economy are based on a faulty premise. The diagnosis is that the economy is “constrained” by a deficiency of aggregate demand, the total demand for American goods and services. The officials’ prescription is to stimulate that demand, for as long as it takes, to facilitate the recovery of an otherwise undamaged economy — as if the task were to help an uninjured skater get up after a bad fall.

The prescription will fail because the diagnosis is wrong. There are no symptoms of deficient demand, like deflation, and no signs of anything like a huge liquidity shortage that could cause a deficiency. Rather, our economy is damaged by deep structural faults that no stimulus package will address — our skater has broken some bones and needs real attention.

The good news is that some of the damage done in the past decade will heal. The pessimism that broke out in 2009 is dissipating. The oversupply of houses and office space, which is depressing construction, will wear off. Banks and households are saving quickly enough to retire most of their excessive debt within a decade.

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Leveraging talent outmigration for purposes of economic development is an idea whose time has come. The common cynical retort is that those who leave rarely come back home. This criticism ignores trends, preferring a static snapshot. We are only beginning to understand the scope of the opportunity. A developing success story in Atlantic Canada:

Gordon Pitts, in his bestselling book The Codfathers, chronicled the success of East Coasters in the highest echelons of business and the professions in Central and Western Canada as well as the USA - and there are many others waiting in the wings. This is where a three year old networking organization called East Coast Connected has a key part to play in playing an advocacy role for our region, as well as providing networking avenues to attract back home some of the displaced expatriates.
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Two biotech companies had to slash their prices to go public this week, while two more companies filed registration statements for initial public offerings as investors continue to be risk-averse. Antibiotic developer Trius Therapeutics slashed its expected share price by 62 percent and raised the number of shares offered to complete its offering. Trius went public on Monday on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol TSRX, selling 10 million shares at $5 per share to raise $50 million.

Trius originally planned to sell 6 million shares at $12 to $14 but investors were unwilling to bite. The San Diego biotech plans to begin a late stage trial to evaluate torezolid, its lead next-generation antibiotic, against Pfizer’s Zyvox linezolid to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections [see story].

Specialty pharmaceutical NuPathe completed its initial offering to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on Friday under the symbol PATH. The drug developer raised $50 million, trimming its offering price to $10 from its hoped for $14 to $16 range, but keeping the number of shares offered to the original 5 million. Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of common stock from NuPathe to cover over-allotments, if any. Leerink Swann and Lazard Capital Markets were the lead underwriters.

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Unless you literally run your business with your ears plugged and your eyes covered, you are aware of the importance of social media and its impact on both brand and bottom line. However, while social media is the topic du jour in mainstream news, on blogs, in books, at conferences and at your local Starbucks, we may still underestimate its overall promise and potential.

The socialization of business is comparable to the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland or the red pill in the Matrix. If ignorance is bliss, awareness is awakening. Where there’s insight, there’s opportunity – but with opportunity, there’s also a cost. In this case, that cost is financed through learning, change, adaptation and innovation.

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Professor Richard Florida is a great advocate of creative economies. Not places making all their money from arts and culture but societies which are capable of transforming knowledge into product and attracting new people from outside to do likewise.

He argues that three key conditions are necessary for a successful creative economy; talent, technology and tolerance.

Here in the north we have the technology and the talent. Big question – when will we start being tolerant?

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Innovation is not just about ‘light bulb’ moments of creativity, but requires strategic leadership, according to a new report on innovation in the public sector sponsored by the UK government.

The report also finds that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not suitable for nurturing innovation and sets out a number of alternative models, suggesting where they are most appropriate, and offering guidance on how they can be supported.

‘Beyond Light Bulbs and Pipelines: Leading and Nurturing Innovation in the Public Sector,’ written by the UK’s Sunningdale Institute could become an important primer in the current era of austerity, in which governments are demanding that the public sector delivers better outcomes with fewer resources.

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Innovation is occurring at a rapid pace around the globe, pushing the world economy forward while working hand-in-hand with technology.

During the annual Techonomy conference from August 4-6 in Lake Tahoe, leading minds come together, focusing their energies on the problems in today’s world and how they can be solved through innovation. The conference’s organizers have highlighted 15 individuals who will carry the torch of innovation into the next decade, highlighting high-growth sectors with the potential to raise the global standard of living and use ‘creative capitalism’ to achieve these goals.

Read more ..."You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do that!" the common phrase goes. "C'mon man, this isn't brain surgery after all."

I started wondering why these two disciplines--rocket science and brain surgery--are so highly regarded. They both involve tremendous precision, years of study, mathematical calculations, complex directions, excessive memorization, and level-headedness under intense pressure. In other words, it's like the Left-Brain Olympics. The X-Games of Logical, analytical, linear thinking.

Why don't we attribute the same statue to creative, Right-Brain practices? You don't hear people saying, "You don't have to be a film producer to do that!" or "C'mon man, this isn't haiku composition after all".

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