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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.

ABC NewsIowa Gov. Chet Culver has named Bret Mills as the state's new director of economic development.

Culver announced Mills' appointment on Monday, filling a position that has been the center of controversy over the handling of a tax credit program for movie makers.

Mills replaces interim director Fred Hubbell who was named to the position following the resignation of Mike Tramontina.

Tramontina resigned in September after Culver suspended the program after allegations of improper spending and sloppy bookkeeping in the Iowa Film Office.
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Business InsiderNothing makes a person sound smarter than articulating some huge idea about how the world is going to change, or how they can change it, over the coming years.

A big idea can lead to countless books, TV appearances, and a nice stream of speaking fees at conferences across the country.
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Knowledge @ WhartonIf your children happened to be born since the year 2000 in developed countries, they will most likely live to be 100, and they will be healthier than elderly people in previous generations, according to a recent article in the medical journal The Lancet.

The implications are enormous for everything from retirement planning and health care costs to new models for the workplace and innovative approaches to education. As Olivia Mitchell, professor of insurance and risk management, states: "This is a demographic revolution the likes of which we have never seen before on earth."
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V3.co.ukThis year was one of financial turmoil and retrenchment. Consolidation and rationalisation were rife, as were fears of closures, liquidation and redundancies.

Given all this, you might assume that innovation was put on the back burner, but in many cases the opposite was true. During these lean times many firms took the opportunity to both scale back and innovate, with many taking advantage of relatively new technologies such as virtualisation, hosted services and videoconferencing to cut costs.
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BNETAbout a month ago, I mentioned Esquire’s coverage of a nuclear reactor design called PRISM, for an efficient, modular nuke that could potentially be mass-produced. It seemed like Esquire had taken extra effort to sugar-coat and glorify PRISM, repeatedly presenting it as a world-saving technology.

Thumbing through my December cope of Wired, I’ve found another piece that could be the twin of the Esquire article. Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke, blares the headline at the top.
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Dennis ClerkeThe constrained venture capital markets and difficult environment for IPOs, will make 2010 a big year for M&A transactions. The leaders in hot new software sectors will be swallowed up at a premium, along with entrepreneurs tired of running on the treadmill as they get closer to retirement, will drive more M&A transactions than ever. I see these theses trends emerging:

1. Emergence of “Social Commerce”
2. Greater Performance for Online Advertising
3. Better Online Privacy Controls and a Move to Mobile Devices
4. Broad Adoption of Energy Management Applications
5. Software to Manage Food Safety
6. Technology to Manage Water Use

[Editor's Note: more detail for each of these items is available on the original post]

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DoEIn Washington, the US Department of Energy announced the launch of three new “Energy Innovation Hubs,” one to be focused on “Fuels from Sunlight Energy,” and said it will award $122 million over five year to support the project, including $47 million in the first year of operation.

The objective of this Hub is to accelerate the development of a sustainable commercial process for the conversion of sunlight directly into energy-rich chemical fuels, likely using mechanisms based on photosynthesis, the method used by plants to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into sugar.
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NYTAS we become increasingly dependent on the Internet, we need to be increasingly concerned about how it is regulated. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed “network neutrality” rules, which would prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against or charging premiums for certain services or applications on the Web. The commission is correct that ensuring equal access to the infrastructure of the Internet is vital, but it errs in directing its regulations only at service providers like AT&T and Comcast.

Today, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s new Bing have become the Internet’s gatekeepers, and the crucial role they play in directing users to Web sites means they are now as essential a component of its infrastructure as the physical network itself. The F.C.C. needs to look beyond network neutrality and include “search neutrality”: the principle that search engines should have no editorial policies other than that their results be comprehensive, impartial and based solely on relevance.
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Innovation is a priority of all Member States and of the European Commission. Throughout Europe, hundreds of policy measures and support schemes aimed at innovation have been implemented or are under preparation. The diversity of these measures and schemes reflects the diversity of the framework conditions, cultural preferences and political priorities in the Member States.

PRO INNO Europe® is an initiative of the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) which aims to become the focal point for innovation policy analysis, learning and development in Europe, with a view to learning from the best and contributing to the development of new and better innovation policies in Europe. Run by the Innovation Policy Directorate of DG ENTR, it pursues the collection, regular updating and analysis of information on innovation policies at national and European level.

INNO-Policy TrendChart serves the 'open method of coordination' approach laid down by the Lisbon Council in March 2000. It supports policymakers and innovation support measure managers in Europe by providing summarised and concise information and statistics on innovation policies, performances and trends. It is also a European forum for benchmarking and the exchange of good practices in the area of innovation policy.
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Art of InnovationI just finished "Art of Innovation", by Thomas Kelly, last week. These are just a collection of points that resonated with me. Obviously this book covers much more, but I figured I'd share some of the things that struck me about IDEO and their process from a designer's perspective. My background is coincidentally industrial design, so most of the subject matter they covered is, in a word, refreshing.

If there's one thing I'd take away from this book, it would be for designers to be more observant and take more risks through prototypes. And try to have fun. Though I'm sharing notes from my own perspective, I believe everyone should skim through this book, regardless of what industry you're in.
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Inside the FirmThe National Venture Capital Association has released Venture View 2010, its annual survey of more than 325 venture capitalists across the U.S. Among the findings: most respondents predict slightly more dollars going into more companies in 2010. But the prognosis for the entire asset class is a gradual pullback in size, over the next five years.

Among the areas most likely to enjoy increases in investment activity are clean technology, with 54 percent predicting growth. Other favored industries include Internet (46 percent), Media and Entertainment (33 percent) and Software (32 percent). No surprise – a whopping 70 percent of respondents believe there will be more venture capital investment flowing into Asia, particularly into China-based companies.
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NYTROMULUS, Mich. — As Detroit’s airport was rattled on Sunday by a second frightening incident in three days, passengers at airports in the United States and around the world encountered stiff layers of extra security, with international travelers undergoing newly required bag inspections, body searches and questioning at security checkpoints and before they boarded planes.

At the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport here, officials detained a passenger who caused a disruption aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, the same flight involved in a terrorism attempt on Friday, when a Nigerian man caused a fire by injecting chemicals into a device taped to his leg.
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