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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.

The race is on for energy-technology entrepreneurs who have won federal economic-stimulus grants from a special high-risk technology program—with promises of more money if they can move their inventions closer to market over the next two years.

The Energy Department's ARPA-E agency—modeled on a military program for bankrolling cutting-edge technology, including computer networking that led to today's Internet—has awarded $151 million to 37 companies around the country. Nearly 3,700 companies applied for the money. A complete list of the winners selected by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy can be found here.

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A few months ago, Business Leaders for Michigan emerged as a new organization of CEOs from across the state all speaking in one voice around one goal: making Michigan a “Top Ten” state in the long term and an above-average state in the short term for job and economic growth.

To get us there, we have proposed the Michigan Turnaround Plan, a comprehensive strategy that lays out the case for change, sets achievable goals, identifies specific action steps and explains the impact of change. Specific to innovation and entrepreneurship, we call for:

 

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The MacArthur Foundation seeks to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation in fostering peace and security in Asia. Read our news for the latest ideas from the Initiative network, and read our blog for real-time commentary from network experts.

Beginning Wednesday, the ASI Blog will feature a special report by ASI bloggers and grantees on President Obama’s visits to Japan, Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, China and Korea. Experts from across the Asia-Pacific will offer their views on what can be expected from his meetings, explain what happened, and offer their views on the opportunities for fostering peace and security in the region as a result of the trip.

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NYTFollowing is the first set of answers from Seth W. Pinsky, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. This week, he is answering readers’ questions about citywide entrepreneurship, including job training, competitions, investment funds and efforts to encourage industries like green technology, bioscience, fashion, media and technology, manufacturing and distribution, and the arts.
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It is clear that innovation and technological change got us into many of the messes we are in today, but only innovation and technological breakthroughs will get us out of trouble.

My career represents a somewhat schizophrenic split between technology strategy and policy, and varied involvements in the humanities and arts. This schizophrenia, however, has reinforced my enduring interest in cross-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary practice, especially in mission-directed industrial research.
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The UK Innovation Investment Fund, a government-backed fund of funds set up to benefit private British companies, is ready to announce the manager selected to oversee the vehicle’s investments.

Whilst a fund of funds manager has already been chosen, the name will be revealed next month as the government plans to raise a £1bn (€1.1bn) pool of capital to aid UK innovation.

The Departments for Business Innovation & Skills, Energy and Climate Change and Health are cornerstone investors, committing £150m (€168.2m) alongside private sector investors on a pari-passu basis. The fund of funds, therefore, will have a minimum of £300m (€336.4m) to invest in underlying venture capital funds; however, the UK IIF is targeting £1bn.

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Mumbai: Even as corporate groups and financial institutions in India are floating their own private equity funds, the downturn in the global economy has affected their fundraising plans indefinitely. However, by exploring new sources such as domestic institutions and high networth individuals (HNIs), a few PE firms have received commitments while a few others remain optimistic about completing fundraising soon.

Avendus, the Mumbai-based merchant banking firm, and one of the latest entrants into the PE market, is expected to complete raising Rs 1,000-crore private equity fund next year. The PE firm has started talks with domestic sources for the purpose. Early this week, Aditya Birla Private Equity, the PE arm of the Aditya Birla Group, reportedly raised about $100 million out of its targeted $250 million. Reliance Equity Advisors, PE arm of the ADAG Group, is expected to close its first fund of Rs 1,500 crore by the year-end. The firm, which is targeting domestic investors instead of raising overseas capital, is in discussions with State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Canara Bank for the commitment. The investment focus will be on growth capital buy-outs, minority investments and acquisition financing in sectors such as services, retail, logistics, media, infrastructure ancillaries and healthcare, according to reports.

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A summary of the core argument of my recent keynote at the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (slides at http://slideshare.net/opencontent/).

Throughout the late 20th century, and into the early 21st, when we spoke about “innovation” we largely meant impressive technical feats. Think Jobs and Woz creating the Mac, or Larry and Sergey creating Google, or the kinds of things Tony Hirst and Jim Groom seem to pull off regularly. We made heroes of the two geeks working in their mom’s garage… We made heroes of the lone coder, working late at night armed only with Emacs and Mountain Dew. These legends engaged in mythical man-versus-nature battles, subduing the wild frontier of source code and bending the Internet to their wills. They’re just plain cool.
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To stay ahead, companies need to find ways to keep engineers motivated and happy.

In the high-tech industry, “innovation” is part of our everyday vocabulary and one of the main reasons why many of us have chosen this field. And innovation is why, even after two decades, I get up every morning, excited about how our ideas can improve the way we live or do business.

I’m constantly asked how I came up with a certain idea for a product or technology, and how I managed to bring them to reality – that is, actual products that someone can purchase.

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The "Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe" is one of the key outcomes of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The document is the result of a collective work of the Ambassadors of the Year, who are leading European personalities from the fields of culture, science, business, education and design. With its 'Seven Commandments', the Manifesto will help shape the EU's strategy for promoting creativity and innovation for the next decade. The Ambassadors are handing the Manifesto over to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today at midday at a ceremony in the Commission's press room.

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BusinessWeekKai-Fu Lee became famous in 2005 when the engineering whiz left Microsoft, where he had created Microsoft Research Asia, to head search giant Google’s operation in China. Microsoft sued, charging that he violated a noncompete agreement, but eventually settled. This time, as Lee leaves Google, he’s sure to avoid a lawsuit, because he’s starting his own venture, which launches Monday morning in Beijing.

Innovation Works is intended to be something of an incubator for new Chinese companies in mobile computing, e-commerce, and cloud computing. Lee (who hates the term “incubator” because of the failure of so many in the U.S. dot-com crash) intends to brainstorm ideas, find entrepreneurs and engineers to prove them out, and provide seed funding.

 

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ReutersCompiled by Alastair Goldfisher

SAN FRANCISCO (Private Equity Week) - More than a dozen startups in the United States and Canada raised early-stage funding last week, according to Thomson Reuters.

Among the startups to raise capital was On-Q-ity, a Waltham, Mass.-based company that raised $21 million in a Series A round to develop blood-based diagnostics used to monitor treatment of cancer patients.

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