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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.

We hosted the 2010 State Science and Technology Institute annual conference in Pittsburgh last week. Thanks to many of you, it was a very successful event. One highlight was the panel we had with three Pennsylvania governors on the same stage: Governor Rendell, Governor Ridge and Governor Thornburgh. The video link has now posted to the PCN website so we thought you might enjoy watching the videos.

Thinking Outside the Bottle 1Wars in the past have been fought over oil. Wars in the future, experts say, will be fought over water. And it seems that the opening skirmishes are taking place on campuses, over water in little blue bottles.

Dasani. Deer Park. Aquafina. They may be clear, clean-tasting, and free of the sugary syrups that contaminate nearly every other drink in a disposable bottle. But they have inspired environmentally minded students to start anti-bottled-water campaigns with tag lines like "Just Tap It," which conveniently both advertises the tap-water alternative and carries a vulgar, attention-grabbing connotation.

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This video has been making the rounds, but in case you missed it, it's a real thrill. I watched it in full-screen mode, like my friend Jim Leftwich suggested. My palms got sweaty and the soles of my feet ached, like they do whenever I'm on the edge of a cliff or other high place without a barrier between me and a plunge to death.

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altIn conjunction with the 7th Annual Conference of the Technopolicy Network, delegates had the opportunity to tour many of the key installations that make up the Heidelberg bioscience cluster. The tour was facilitated by conference partner BioRN, the dynamic cluster organization that is driving this world class biotechnology cluster, the leading bioscience cluster in Germany and recognized as one of the best overall clusters in the country.

altThe tour started with an excellent overview presentation of the cluster by managing director Christian Tidona and his team. BioRN stands for the Rhine-Neckar region where the cluster is situated and the goal is to become Europe’s leading health economy. Not only is the cluster home to global industry leaders such as Roche, Merck Serono and Abbott, the cluster benefits from an impressive array of research and learning institutions located in the Heidelberg Technology Park.

altThere are more than 12,000 employess in the research institutions, including 2,500 in DKFZ, the German cancer research institute which was one of the highlights of the Technopolicy innovation tour.  DKFZ is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute and is focused on investigating mechanisms of cancer development and risk factors and is home to the 2008 Nobel prize winner for medicine, Dr. Harald zur Hausen, whose research made it possible to develop a vaccine against cervical cancer. Another highlight of the tour was a visit to the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Centre (HIT), the world’s first heavy ion therapy facility with a moveable radiation source. One of the largest research projects ever implementted in Germany, HIT cost 119 million Euros and occupies an are the size of a football field. And like so many of the exciting activities taking place in the BioRN cluster, HIT is very much a collaborative initiative with a number of key partner organizations.

altOther sites covered on this most stimulating innovation tour included the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine, the Centre of Molecular Biology (ZMBH), and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research. More information on BioRN and this world class cluster can be found at .  Following the innovation tour, the Technopolicy delegates were treated to a guided tour of the old city of Heidelberg, truly one of Europe’s most beatiful and historic cities, setting the stage for a most interesting annual conference.

This was an extremely impressive tour of a Bio Science Cluster that you don't hear much of , but is definitely a real Global Player......Rich Bendis

mean girls popular lohan mcadamsYOU might not think an MBA is worth it, but judging by the number of applications received this year, a lot of other people believe otherwise. With the recession in full swing, MBA programs have never been more popular.

The nation's 476 MBA programs reportedly received 200,000 completed applications as of late June. The weakest schools received fewer than ten applications, but the strongest received upwards of 10,000.

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The reality is that Canada is not on the lips or radar screens of most people around the world. Clearly we have a huge job to even get noticed above the noise in key target regions around the world. To sustain a massive advertising campaign to gain awareness to attract foreign investments and talent is simply not possible for most communities.

While some cities in Canada are more recognizable than others due to past World Fairs and Olympics or the construction of a world famous tower, most cities in Canada are invisible at a global level. But imagine what we could do if most of Canada’s top cities got together and through the dynamic of a critical mass of over half of Canada’s population base, we took a collaborative approach to getting our consistent message out?

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altThese are among a list of ten key areas for action drawn up by the 22-member board, after a peer review process. The list was requested by the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, as input to her wide-ranging review of EU innovation policy. That policy will be published in early October, setting the stage for months of debate among the EU member-states about the future direction of EU R&D funding and policies.

The Commissioner called on ERAB to give her a list of actions she can focus on delivering at a conference which took place in May this year under the Spanish Presidency. “Provide me with at least ten concrete proposals on how research, innovation and science can contribute to address society’s grand challenges,” she told academics, industrialists and policy makers gathered at the meeting in Seville.

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Android has successfully destroyed Apple's dominance of consumer mindshare in the smartphone world, according to a new survey from ChangeWave Research about smartphone preferences.

ChangeWave found only 38% of the people it interviewed want iOS on their next smartphone. That's down 12 points from June when 50% of the people it surveyed said they wanted an iPhone.

chart of the day, iOS, Android buyers, sept 2010
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Wall Street: We Like Energy Efficiency, Not Much ElseSan Francisco, Calif.--At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West, energy bankers said that clean technology segment leaders should be able to IPO successfully and that energy efficiency is an attractive sector. But they also predicted that oil companies will scale back their investments in wind energy and that the availability of capital will remain limited in the short term.

To attract growth equity in a difficult climate, bankers advised companies to pursue realistic valuations at which their existing and new venture capital and/or strategic investors will participate.

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dove ad shotEarlier this week, we wrote about the overnight success of Orabrush, a product with a silly video that received 24MM YouTube hits.

So, we did a little research. Surely other brands have had unexpected viral successes. We dug up ten real product advertisements that went absolutely berserk on the web, scoring between 13MM and 33MM** views and a lot of brand exposure.

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planI was happy to see Guy Kawasaki’s The Key to Attracting Investors yesterday morning on Amex OPEN Forum. 

I do know that Guy understands business planning and its place in management (he interviewed me about it in this post, for example).

But he also scoffs at the misuse of business plans and the cult of the business plan document. He’s right about that too, but people don’t always understand it’s the misuse and the cult that causes the problem, not the planning.  Here’s his key quote in yesterday’s piece:

"You should not focus on a business plan, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do business planning."
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No MoneyWhether you have been to business school or not, if you’re an entrepreneur in the good ole' U.S. of A, you know one thing for sure. If you want to grow a company, you need financing, preferably venture capital. 

So when our team decided our business, Peer Software, needed an infusion of cash to keep our growth curve sloping rapidly upward, we decided we would reach out to the venture capital community and I would take the lead.

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