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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.

Today, we start the seven day countdown for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, and I want to take the opportunity to highlight a nation where entrepreneurship is starting to bloom: Malaysia. Although not yet a start-up economy, the desire for entrepreneurship and innovation are there, along with a growing number of public policies to support them-- a good recipe to put the economy on the entrepreneurial path.

kuala-stampMalaysia’s relatively high entrepreneurialism is reflected in its entrepreneurship and innovation rank by the Legatum Prosperity Index: 28th out of 104 economies. Malaysia’s performance is boosted by a flourishing high-tech industry.  High-tech exports constitute over half of total exports. Moreover, high levels of royalty receipts indicate that Malaysia is able to capitalize on its innovations, according to the Legatum study. Similarly, the World Bank ranks the country 23rd out of 183 economies in the ease of doing business.

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David Karp, left, and Ryan Trecartin discuss their project at the Seven on Seven presentation at the New Museum on Saturday. When Robert Rauschenberg and a buttoned-down Bell Labs engineer named Billy Kluver began thinking, in the mid-1960s, about ways that people from the world of technology could help artists make art, Mr. Kluver surveyed the mighty gulf between the two groups and almost thought better of the idea. “I was scared,” he said once in an interview. “The amazing thing was that it’s possible for artists and scientists to talk together at all.”

Nearly half a century after that influential experiment, one in the same spirit, though crazily compressed into a single day, was taking place on Friday in a chilly loft office on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. An artist and a technical whiz sat together at a long table, their faces made silvery by the glow from their laptops — the only tools they had brought, besides their digital cameras. Anyone unfamiliar with the pair — Evan Roth, a kind of Web-centric graffiti artist, and Matt Mullenweg, a creator of the popular blogging platform WordPress — would have had to listen a long time to figure out which one came from which world. They free-associated at Web speed, their conversation sprinkled with things like hex values, detection algorithms and executable code.

(Sent to ID by Krista Bard........ thanks Krista)

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Two vulcanologists published a paper in 2008 suggesting that as climate change continues, the next decades could see more volcanic activity in regions such as Iceland that are now under ice.

Climate change could spark off more volcanic eruptions in the now frozen volcanic rim regions, Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica and Iceland says Dr Carolina Pagli, at Leeds University; one of the authors of the research. As ice melts above volcanic rocks they are able to expand to turn into magma more readily as pressure from above is reduced.

Global warming melts ice and this can influence magmatic systems, says Dr Freysteinn Sigmundsson, the paper’s other author, at the Nordic Volcanological Centre at the University of Iceland.  "Our work suggests that eventually there will be either somewhat larger eruptions or more frequent eruptions in Iceland in coming decades."

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READ: The Triangle of North Carolina Perpetually Innovates

The Triangle Region of North Carolina has many, many assets that will almost ensure a perpetual place in the high tech innovation space. Some of these:

- The foresight to reserve land and build infrastructure 50 years ago in RTP
- The constant production of tech talent by our locally based institutions of higher education including our three R1 universities, NC Central, our independent Colleges and Universities, Wake Tech and Durham Tech.
- The diversity of our base — biotechnology, medical devices, technology infrastructure, decision analytics, health care, financial services IT–we are not beholden to any one industry and it somewhat blunts the effect of a downturn in any one area.

All this being said — we have moved into an environment where adoption of innovation is becoming more and more rapid. Think about how long it took for 50 million users to adopt the car, the radio, the television–think about how long it took for 50 million users to adopt the iPod, register for Facebook. What used to be country by country innovation is now global interconnected innovation. Countries, areas that show a penchant for bringing ideas to market and scale will out compete other areas of the world.

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Bill Gates this morning gave a few more clues about the issues he'll be talking about during a series of events with college students across the country this week, starting later this morning at UC Berkeley.

"How do we get the best minds, including young people, working on the biggest problems – poverty, global health, education, energy, and climate change?" the Microsoft chairman wrote in a short preview today on the Gates Notes, his recently launched site. He called it "an issue I’ve been thinking about a lot lately."

Should be an interesting discussion, and hopefully there will be plenty of Q&A with the students to mix things up. The Berkeley speech starts at 11:15 a.m. Pacific time today, and it will be available for live viewing online in a variety of places, including Gates' Facebook page. The event at Harvard later in the week will be available for viewing at noon Pacific time on Wednesday.

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As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of UmpiresLittle boys who play baseball often dream of becoming major leaguers. Only a handful actually do! But on the same field where they play, there is someone who might be more apt role model for anyone aspiring to lead – the umpire.

After listening to a delightful interview with Bruce Weber, a New York Times reporter and author of As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travel in the Land of Umpires, I realized that there are qualities of an umpire that would hold any leader in good stead. Most important as Weber told Fresh Air’s Dave Davies, the umpire has to maintain discipline so players can do what they do best: play the game. So here’s what leaders can learn from umpires:

Get into position. When the ball is struck or a throw is made, an umpire must move to a place where he has the best angle on the play. He listens for sound of ball into the  fielder's glove and watches glove, ball and runner’s foot to determine if the player is safe or out. For a leader, getting into position means finding a place where you can observe what is happening for yourself. In Japanese it is called gemba, where the work is done. Firsthand observation is essential to good management.

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How to support the creative sector in your city – learning from Denver and Create DenverThe Denver Office of Cultural Affairs has hosted the Create Denver Week for 5 years now. I attended their Town Hall meeting to discuss ways to support the growth and development of the creative sector. On several occasions, guests from other cities mentioned their jealousy in how Denver is a leader in supporting its creative sector. Three bills have passed supporting creative assets and creative industries.  

Most notably, Senate Bill 158, consolidates the Offices of Colorado Council for the Arts, Arts in Public Places and Film and Media Production into a Creative Industries Division within the Office of Economic Development. This division will support Colorado’s numerous artistic industries so that they become more competitive nationwide.

Key strategies:

  1. Financial: help sector access the resources to thrive.  Support existing NGOs. Provide “catalyst” funding. Small step funding, micro loans, VC funds.  Also looking at public-private funding opportunities.
  2. Professional Development: Build business skills of the sector, and access existing resources, i.e. chamber.  Support conferences, vendor fairs and other networking opportunities.
  3. Promotion and advocacy:  Help with branding.  Celebrate creative individuals, groups, NGOs.
  4. Education:  Working k-16 to create curriculum, embrace creative learning, etc.
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There's more than the gloomy television images of Detroit as local and state officials turn to innovation to revive Motown and the President sets a new course for space exploration with a significant new role for private enterprise in the April 19 Innovation and Equity.

[PHOTOGRAPH] James KimThe first private university in North Korea, the decades-long dream of an American businessman from Korea, has been completed and will enroll its first students this spring, demonstrating the potential to build a science-based relationship with a nation often perceived as isolated.

James (Chin Kyung) Kim, the founder and president of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, said the institution is the first international university of its kind in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The university, built entirely with money and support from outside North Korea, hopes to offer Korean students the education, training and experience they would gain if attending colleges outside of that country.

The goal is to train a new generation of technical and business leaders to help guide the nation’s economic growth as it becomes more of a part of the world economy.

At a presentation given at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., Kim said classes are to begin in late spring with 60 graduate students and 150 undergraduates. Eventually, the university aims to have 2000 undergraduates, 600 graduate students and 250 faculty members.

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New ideas · The USC Stevens Institute of Innovation is partnering with the USC Graduate School to offer a new diploma in innovation. - Ian Elston | Daily Trojan The USC Graduate School has announced the creation of a program that both encourages and serves as a symbol of innovation.

Beginning in the fall, graduate students will be able to earn a Ph.D. diploma in innovation through the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation. The program is the first of its kind and is meant to complement students’ disciplinary work with practical skills.

The program will be free for all Ph.D. students at USC and consists of 12 units leading to a Certificate in Innovation. Participants must maintain a 3.0 GPA and pass a qualifying exam.

The courses offered include The Innovation Process: Development, Diffusion and Leadership (GRSC 610), Legal Issues and Financing of Innovation (GRSC 612) and Disciplinary Perspectives in Innovation (GRSC 615). The 12-unit structure of the program allows Ph.D. students to still focus on their disciplinary work while gaining experience in innovation.

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What do Google Analytics and print newspapers have in common? They’re both one day out of date when you read them. I’ve been using Chartbeat for over a month now to track performance of my blog and I find myself looking at Google Analytics much less these days.

In fact, I’m surprised by how antiquated Google Analytics feels.

Chartbeat is a relatively young company and product.  I’m not a shareholder and I’m not even actively looking at making an investment.  I’m only writing about the product because I’m passionate about it.  Basically, it rocks!

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After seeing its first crop of 13 start-up companies raise funding rounds, get bought by other companies or at least reach “ramen profitability,” mentorship program Launchpad LA is hoping its second wave of companies will fare just as well.

Entrepreneurs based in Los Angeles are often pressured to move their offices to Northern California, where the networks of angel investors and venture capitalists are stronger, said Launchpad LA founder Mark Suster, who is a general partner at venture firm GRP Partners.

“The whole goal of the program is to see more Southern California companies get funded,” Suster said. “LA is a city of 16 million people, with a lot of success stories. We’ve had MySpace, Shopzilla, Price Grabber, EHarmony, LegalZoom and many others.”

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