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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.

Government asked to intervene in venture funding crisisAn overwhelming majority – 88pc – of venture capitalists polled believe some form of State intervention is needed to help increase the supply of equity finance and stimulate the venture capital market.

Two years after the Government unveiled its smart economy vision and promised a €700m Innovation Fund would be available to support start-ups, it is clear that all is not well in the equity business.

It is clear that high-growth entrepreneurial companies will lead Ireland out of recession. However, lack of funding, particularly at an early stage due to banks not lending and Government cutbacks, will take a serious toll on the recovery.

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File:Humpback Whale underwater shot.jpgWhales are remarkably diverse, with 84 living species of dramatically different sizes and more than 400 other species that have gone extinct, including some that lived partly on land. Why are there so many whale species, with so much diversity in body size?

To answer that, UCLA evolutionary biologists and a colleague used molecular and computational techniques to look back 35 million years, when the ancestor of all living whales appeared, to analyze the evolutionary tempo of modern whale species and probe how fast whales changed their shape and body size. They have provided the first test of an old idea about why whales show such rich diversity.

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Gov Monitor logoAs part of a broad effort to spur innovation and achieve clean energy breakthroughs, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced the selection of a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for an award of up to $122 million over five years to establish and operate a new Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub.

The Hub, which includes partners from universities, industry and other national labs, will use advanced capabilities of the world’s most powerful computers to make significant leaps forward in nuclear reactor design and engineering.

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http://www.w-r-s.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/wsj_logo.jpgON Friday consumers across Europe will finally be able to get their hands on Apple's long awaited iPad. The 9.7-inch touch-screen device allows users to play games, listen to music, check emails and even read newspapers. Gadgets such as the iPod and iPhone have helped Apple post record earnings and the next chapter in its redefinition of the multimedia landscape promises to be as lucrative as the last. Sales of iPads are forecast to add around $1 billion of revenue to the company's next quarter.

Apple has already secured a reputation for extraordinary innovation but in reality much of its success lay not in traditional Research and Development (R&D) but in fields such as complex system integration, design, marketing and integrating the hardware it created with the software it assembled. In the case of the iPod Apple was hugely successful in persuading the music industry, in particular the big record labels, to allow them to put their songs in the iTunes music store.

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Even if you don’t have a job title that has the word green or sustainable in it, there are countless ways to bring sustainability into your job.

This is one reason why I wrote the book, “The Sustainable MBA: The Manager’s Guide to Green Business” — to give individual employees the tools to bring sustainability into their workplace and to change business from the inside out.

We often don’t realize the positive impact that we can have through the decisions we make every day as employees and as consumers — decisions that effect both the companies we work for and the planet.

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CONSUMER NEWS REPORTERHave you ever heard of "Penny Auctions"? If you haven't, but you're the type always looking for bargains and amazing deals, then you're in luck! Penny auctions are a new auction model that are rapidly becoming very popular in the US and Europe. Penny auctions allow individuals to do just what it implies, win popular products for pennies on the dollar. Leading the way in this new auction model is QuiBids.com, an Oklahoma based company. QuiBids auctions off brand new popular products such as iPads, Macbooks, HDTVs, Digital Cameras, Gaming Consoles, and more for steep discounts of 75%, 80%, or even 85% off retail price.

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It is without doubt that we live in an increasingly consumer-driven society. This, coupled with a tech-savvy, product-aware and fickle public, means that advertisers are having to conjure ever more inventive and innovative ways to sell their products.

The internet has enabled ever greater possibilities for creative viral marketing, which encourage potential customers to jump on the meme bandwagon and fuel the dissemination of commercial messages with their own enthusiasm. However, as with most things on the internet, the lifespan of this approach is generally short lived.

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http://filene.org/filestore/1414/HuffPo_Logo.jpgCities cover only 3% of the world's land mass, but they house 50% of the world's population, consume 75% of the world's resources and emit a corresponding proportion of greenhouse gases.

Statistics like that make a convincing case for green innovation.

But can planners, engineers, politicians and bureaucrats create a culture of learning and innovation focused on sustainability? There are daunting barriers to overcome - lack of time, funding, human resources, clarity, passion and cooperation, to name a few.

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Some university technology administrators are adopting the idea that the crowning outcome of public research is commercial money-making. This idea is wrapped around a shift in vocabulary from “technology transfer” to “technology licensing” to “commercialization”. These are very different concepts. But in the hands of the bozonet, they are all the same thing–meaning, I guess, the concepts mean next to nothing (see Frankfurt, again, for the details–here).

Technology transfer means the new development of the capabilities needed to practice a technology (a means of accomplishing some practical thing, a “useful art”). A technology is transferred when someone new is using a technology that someone else knows. This could be from an established use in one industry to a new use in another, or from a developed country to a developing country, or from a lab to practice. There is nothing in technology transfer that requires company formation, commercial products, or even licensing of rights. These things may come along for the ride, but they are not front and center and certainly are not essential. Technology transfer is challenging, worthy, and not an unqualified public good.

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i6 logoNational Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees associated with the winning i6 Challenge teams may be eligible for additional funding from their respective funding agencies. An applicant may partner with NIH or NSF SBIR grantees, or SBIR grantees can be part of a team that forms a non-profit, which becomes an applicant

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The entrepreneurial spirit must burn brightest in centers of venture activity such as Boston, New York or California, right?

Nope.

The most active states for entrepreneurial activity last year were Montana and Oklahoma, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.

The annual study of new business creation found that the two states had the highest entrepreneurial activity rates, with 470 per 100,000 adults creating businesses each month. The other states with the highest rates were Arizona (460 per 100,000 adults), and Texas and Idaho, both with 450 businesses started per 100,000 adults. The five states with the lowest rates of entrepreneurial activity were Mississippi (170 per 100,000 adults), Nebraska (200 per 100,000 adults), Pennsylvania (200 per 100,000 adults) Alabama (210 per 100,000 adults) and Minnesota (220 per 100,000 adults).

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PEOPLE tend to think of entrepreneurs as lone heroes, but this isn’t how it works in real life. Many live up to their reputation as risk-takers and some remain outsiders, but despite this outlier status, entrepreneurs need support to be successful.

In fact, we’re a lot like Formula One drivers: the person in the cockpit gets all the glory since fans tend to forget about the pit crew and all the behind- the-scenes effort it takes to keep the driver out on the track. Business is no different, since an entrepreneur does not succeed alone.

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