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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.

SHANGHAI — The highly anticipated opening of China’s new Nasdaq-style stock exchange last Friday is already being seen as a watershed moment for the country’s capital markets, providing new opportunities for Chinese investors and an alternative source of financing for upstart companies.

Investors went on a wild buying spree during the first day of trading Friday on the Growth Enterprise Market, or GEM, sending the shares of some companies soaring as much as 210 percent.

“This is potentially a major game changer in China’s high-tech industry,” said Yu Zhou, a professor at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “For about 10 years, the biggest problem for China’s innovative companies was finance. You know it is very hard for them to get loans from state-owned banks.”

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No one disputes that Silicon Valley is the global capital of the tech world. But this wasn’t always so. It is the Valley’s dynamism and networks which have given it an unassailable advantage. Silicon Valley has simply left rivals like Boston’s Route 128 in the dust.

I mentioned a little bit about my first Columbus Day in California in a previous column. But I didn’t tell you the whole story. I was invited to three amazing events on the night of October 12. Venture capital firm Alsop-Louie—known as one of the wackier and unconventional VC firms—invited me to their legendary Columbus Day party. On that same evening I had an invite from Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the University of California-Berkeley to attend a dinner party for his forum. Down in Silicon Valley I also had an invite to speak at an event with India’s former Minister of Disinvestment, Arun Shorie—the guy who was once in charge of privatizing the country’s moribund nationalized firms and who is as close as you can get to financial royalty in India.

 

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SHANGHAI should push forward the development of its service industry and advance innovation, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.

He said the fundamental way to sustain the economy was to get closer to people and raise their living standards to create consumption demand.

"Shanghai must build a service-led economy," Han said at the 21st International Business Leaders' Advisory Council.

 

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The United States private venture capital industry has entered a period of significant change and decline. The industry is rapidly becoming dramatically smaller and less able to foster the development of innovative, early stage businesses. The argument that these changes are just part of the normal business cycle is superficially appealing. In light of private venture capital’s importance to the U.S. economy, however, leaving the industry to self-adjust is not good economic policy.

Over the last 30 years, the private venture capital industry has been a primary driver for technology company creation, intellectual property commercialization and small business employment in the United States. Simultaneously, the federal government has played a strong role as a driver of basic research and intellectual property creation. The symbiotic relationship between the federal government’s encouraging invention and the private venture capital market’s financing of innovation has created new industries and commercialized a wide range of technologies.

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PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 30, 2009 – Diego Sánchez, the director of the “Centro Integral de Servicios Empresariales” (Comprehensive Center for Business Services) CreaMe, located in Medellín, Colombia, visited the International Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 3IE of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María for one week. The objective of the internship was to internalize the processes, incubation model, team, the Institute´s portfolio of projects, and sources of financing. On top of that, he participated in an entrepreneurship workshop, met with entrepreneurs and shared his experiences in Colombia.

CreaMe is a business incubator that started in 1996. Their objective is to generate an entrepreneurial culture, create and strengthen businesses in Colombia. Diego Sánchez is the director of business development. With respect to their methodology he added that, “we work using a system called nodes that are specialized units of business accompaniment to cover any type of services. The special feature is that this is done in alliance with a third party that has identified market or technological needs. Together we work on the entrepreneurial processes and give more potential to the entrepreneurs.”

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Oct 30, 2009 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- Good morning Chairman Andrews, Ranking Member Conaway, and Committee Panel Members. I am Linda Oliver, Acting Director of the Office of Small Business Programs of the Department of Defense.

Thank you for inviting me to address the ways in which the Department of Defense (DoD) can improve innovation and competition in acquisition by better utilizing small businesses. The first key word - innovation - is what small businesses do best. The second topic - competition in acquisition - is the primary reason we nurture small business activities in the Department of Defense.

 

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One of the academic advisers on my dissertation committee was vigilant against personal bias. He went (probably still does) so far as to recommend studying a place you hated. In geography, most scholars do research in a location they love, which might cause you to push your work towards expected results. A tool that can help a scholar guard against seeing what you want to see is the null hypothesis:

Retaining talent is an effective approach to regional workforce development.

Instead of debunking brain drain myths, I look for an underlying rationale for the concern and functioning brain drain plugs. For example, brain drain is costly:

 

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A growing global appetite for agricultural assets is revolutionising farming in Australia and spawning new investment models that depart from the traditional family-run farm.

The Australian Financial Review reports that even as the most talked about model for city investors to take a stake in agriculture - through managed investment schemes - is under challenge after high-profile collapses, new alternatives are emerging.
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A dedicated business support project is to help over 90 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in North East England weather the economic downturn and prepare for recovery over the next two years.

The £1.2m project, ‘Innovation, Advice and Guidance – Developing SME Expertise’, will put in place a matching service and public subsidy to give SMEs and social enterprises access to expert advisors to help develop new products, processes and services.

It will also help regional companies retain their skilled staff with a view to driving forward a new phase of economic growth once the recession is over.

 

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One of the area’s economic-growth engines is faltering.

The process of turning discoveries by researchers at area universities into commercial products and services is being hampered by a lack of funding, according to people familiar with it.

“There is an enormous amount of innovation in the Delaware Valley in all sectors of science and business models, but the early-stage financing capability is drying up,” said David Freschman, founder and manager of Innovation Ventures, an early-stage venture-capital firm based in Wilmington.

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Nine in ten companies, globally, consider innovation as critical to preparing for the upturn. And despite the recession, the world's leading corporate innovators increased research and development spending in 2008, says a study.

Dr Hatem Samman, Director, Ideation Centre, Booz & Company's think tank in the Middle East, told Emirates Business: "Innovation is not a choice, it is imperative as it is the way forward. Innovation is important not just for companies but also for countries and individuals. Where will we be without it? It is especially important for companies as it helps them increase their market share, boosts growth and increases prosperity. For example, let's take the example of computers, one of the great innovations of our times.

 

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$15 billion. That is the figure at the heart of a growing consensus of energy innovation experts, all calling for dramatically larger U.S. investment in clean energy research and development. As Congress debates energy and climate change legislation, a chorus of leading voices from business, policy and research communities have converged on a $15 billion increase in annual U.S. energy R&D budgets as a critical component of any final legislation.

Testifying before Congress this week, Google’s Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives stressed that it “is essential that Congress address” what he characterized as a “serious energy R&D short-fall” by including “$15 billion per year in federal energy R&D spending in final climate legislation.”

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