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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.

Craigavon, Northern Ireland-based Almac expects to fully occupy its new North American headquarters in Souderton, Pa., by the end of the year. The drug development services specialist will consolidate approximately 550 employees from its Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Sciences business units, currently located in Audubon and Yardley, Pa.

The US$120-million project, which began in summer 2008, involved two buildings. Building 1, a three-story, 74,250-sq.-ft. (6,897-sq.-m.) office building, will house administrative teams from Almac’s Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Sciences business units. Key functional areas, which the company says are designed to enhance employee performance and meet customer needs, are also located in Building 1, including a network operation center, meeting rooms, staff breakout areas, customer audit rooms, training rooms, learning lab, library and a packaging design room.

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jet planeAs if airlines needed any more reason to reduce fleet emissions, MIT reports this week that pollution from airplanes flying at cruise altitude (approximately 35,000 feet) contributes to 8,000 deaths globally each year.

Current emissions regulations only target planes flying up to 3,000 feet. In the past, regulators assumed that emissions above the 3,000 foot mark would be dumped into a part of the atmosphere with smooth air that couldn't send pollutants drifting toward the ground (the air is more turbulent at lower altitudes). But MIT has found that that's not true--and unfortunately for those of us on the ground, 90% of aircraft fuel is burned at cruise altitudes.

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The city known for its bicycles is gaining just as strong a reputation for the quiet buzz of electric mobility.

Last week the City of Amsterdam signed an agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance that aims to register at least 1,000 electric vehicle (EV) sales by the end of 2011, helped initially by the delivery next February by Nissan of 100 of its LEAF vehicles to fleet customers, as well as a sales and service network and a public education program about electric mobility.

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team redditI’m always looking for evidence of early startup characteristics that might be predictors of long-term success. Every investor has his own list, usually based on his own very small sample, or simply his gut feeling.

Of course, we would all like to have a magic list based on more definitive tracking of many real startups over time.

In that context, I recently came across an old study of 27 startups featured in Inc’s annual “Anatomies of a Start-up,” done for “The Journal of Business Venturing,” and published by George Gendron in Inc Magazine. As it turned out, 17 of the 27 companies were still in business seven years later, which is at least double that of other studies.

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SBIR GatewayUnlike yesterday's issue, this is the type of story I very much like sending you.

HOUSE PASSES SBIR/STTR/CPP EXTENSION THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2011

Borrowing the title of a song from My Fair Lady, "You Did It!" There was thunder on Capitol Hill today as hundreds of you responded to an emergency call to action (from many people and organizations) to save the SBIR program from lapsing, and that you did it!

Around 7:00pm this evening, Nydia Velazquez under pressure from her peers and the House leadership, accepted the Senate's SBIR and SBA extender bill, she and moved to suspend the rules to pass S.3839 without amendments. That has now happened and the SBIR program will be extended through January 31, 2011, pending signature of the President (virtually automatic), who supports the bill.

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Jobs for LifeThere was a time when a job was a job for life. In countries like Japan it really was the case and still is, to a great extent. Even in America, it was never a guarantee, but back in the day, it was pretty much the way our parents or grandparents, depending on your generation, viewed employment.

Well, yesterday, German electronics giant Siemens signed a deal that guarantees its 128,000 German workers just that, a job for life. The move is unprecedented even in Germany, where employees have far more power and rights than in the U.S.

SINCE I AM IN HEIDELBERG, GERMANY SPEAKING AT THE TECHNOPOLICY CONFERENCE ON "BUILDING A WORLD CLASS KNOWLEDGE REGION", I THOUGHT THE ABOVE ARTICLE ABOUT GERMANY WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.....RICH BENDIS

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As a small business owner, you’ve officially entered the waters of social media. You’re blogging, you’re Twittering and you’re working hard to create a social presence. Why are you doing it? What is your ultimate business goal for your social media efforts?

Well, according to a July 2010 survey of U.S. marketers by the Direct Marketing Association and COLLOQUY, the most popular business goal is brand awareness, with 28 percent of respondents hailing it as their ultimate social media objective. Following close behind were customer growth/loyalty (25 percent) and customer acquisition (19 percent).

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5 Ways to Grow Revenue with Green InnovationMost businesses have focused their sustainability work on reducing their environmental impact and lowering their resource costs. These bottom-line initiatives, many of them highly innovative, are critical to staying viable and competitive while benefiting society and the environment. They’ll grow profits, for a while anyway. But, they are not a path to continued growth or advantage. The re-engineering, quality and IT movements showed that improved efficiency doesn’t drive long-term value creation.

To consistently grow the bottom-line, sustainability innovation needs to drive the top-line. Innovation that successfully builds new products, services, businesses and customers drives advantage and value. One only need look at the success that Toyota had with the Prius and the huge bet GM is making on the Volt to see the opportunity that environmental innovation at the top-line offers to companies. Similarly, companies like Unilever are pursuing top-line growth from socially responsible innovations like making more nutritious food products.

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The number of entrepreneurs in Canada has rebounded after the recession, especially in Alberta and B.C., according to a new poll.

Three of four indicators of entrepreneurial activity rose in 2010 over 2009, including entrepreneurial intention, venture efforts and business ownership, found a survey by the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Fondation de l'entrepreneurship.

The recession resulted in the closure of more businesses this year than last as the side-effects of the downturn continue to linger. The number of Canadians involved in shuttered operations jumped to 6.7% in 2010, compared to 5.4% in 2009.

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bill gatesForbes released its annual list of the 400 richest people in America.

On the list there are a lot of unimpressive people who inherited their fortunes.

Obviously, we're fans of the entrepreneurs.

These people, who include a son of a cabdriver and an Oklahoma farm boy, worked hard to build empires from scratch, and came out with a pile of dough.
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