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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.

1. Why do you believe that Malaysia can succeed in biotechnology? – Casey Chin, Setapak

Malaysia’s biodiversity, our progress in agriculture, manufacturing and services as well as our human capital development are key factors for success in biotechnology. Malaysia is biodiverse on a mega scale; we are placed seventh in terms of biodiversity on a global scale.

This means the potential for beneficial compounds derived from our forests, rivers, lakes and the sea around us is far from fully discovered, researched and commercialised.
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Des Moines venture capitalist John Pappajohn has announced the launch of the fifth annual John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition.

The competition is designed to stimulate business development and is open to those in business less than six years.

A total of $50,000 will be awarded to the top three submitted business plans: $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second prize and $10,000 for third prize. Honorable mention awards of $1,000 will be given to additional companies.

The winner will be named at the Iowa Venture Capital and Entrepreneurs Conference in Des Moines on Oct. 5. For more information, including rules and eligibility, visit
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trowe.jpgJust two weeks after marking its 10th anniversary last month, the Cambridge Innovation Center signed a new 10-year lease with MIT that will see it almost double in size by this summer. Founder and CEO Tim Rowe says he's adding 57,000 square feet of new space, bringing his total footprint in the building at One Broadway in Kendall Square to 122,000 square feet.

Already, CIC is the largest collection of start-up companies under one roof on the East Coast, with 240 tenants. Rowe says nearly 20 companies are on a waiting list for space in the building: "We're bursting at the seams."

As for expanding at a time when so much commercial real estate is sitting fallow, Rowe says that "people like to cluster" in spaces like CIC that bring together start-ups, mid-sized companies, and service providers like venture capital firms and attorneys. He also makes the case that when the costs of managing copiers, printers, phone systems, and Internet access are considered, the per-employee cost of being at CIC (about $1100 per person, on average) is actually more affordable than renting a traditional office on the Cambridge market.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The kids at Piedmont Elementary School have a new cheer these days.

It goes, "Piedmont rocks, we are an innovation zone! Bring your kids here and they won't go home!"

Students are stepping into the "Innovation Zone." It's a catchy name for a new way of doing the same old school stuff and it's unique to each school that is taking part.

Nineteen schools across the state of West Virginia are a part of this project. It allows schools to sidestep state law and do what works best for their own school.
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The Tech Transfer BlogShawn Lesser, president and founder of Atlanta-based Sustainable World Capital, which raises funds for private equity cleantech funds and private cleantech companies, peeked inside U.S. university labs and reports the best examples of collaboration among academics, businesses, and investors focused on clean technologies. “While many dotcom companies were started by students out of their dorm rooms or basements, don’t look for a similar trend in the cleantech world,” Lesser says. He ranks the top 10 U.S. cleantech universities in 2010 as follows:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is home to the MIT Clean Energy Prize, which has helped launch several energy ventures, including FloDesign, FastCap Systems, Levant Power, Husk Insulation, and Covalent Solar. In addition, the MIT Energy Initiative, launched in September 2006, is an institute-wide initiative to help meet the energy needs of the future by improving existing systems. Notable MIT cleantech spinouts include A123 Systems, FastCap Systems, Levant Power, Trophos Energy, Promethean Power, 1366 Technologies, Sun Catalytix, and Agrivida.
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EurActiv Logo The EU executive is planning to open a string of new offices across the world to help small businesses expand into new markets, but Brussels is wary of stepping  on the toes of national agencies and private organisations which already provide such services, according to European Commission documents seen by EurActiv.

Millions of euro will be pumped into overseas advice centres to help European companies grappling with the legal and cultural challenges of working in new markets.
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Dear Friend of ASTRA:
Happy belated New Year 2010!

Please take a few minutes of your time to complete the first-ever ASTRA Innovation Benchmarks Survey. The purpose of the Survey is to better understand the practices of more than 43,000 diverse individuals and institutions engaged in ASTRA's innovation policy space - and to discern what changes ASTRA's Board should consider as it reviews its policy positions for 2010.  If you'd like a copy of the Survey results, just click through for instructions - they are contained on the Survey...

The Survey can be accessed at:


At the end of last year I [Author] was planning to write a post that was something like “The Best Products of 2009″ or “The 2009 Product of the Year” or even “The Best Products of the Decade”. After asking my twitter friends and designers what they thought, and compiling their feedback and suggestions, I realize this did not make sense, as I was not in a position to actually trial enough products to make an accurate call.

Author: Design Sojourn

WSJBiotech venture capitalists expect a busy year of deal-making with pharmaceutical companies following a productive round of meetings at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week.

With few companies going public, venture investors rely heavily on pharmaceutical M&A and licensing deals to secure returns and capital for portfolio companies. The J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco, which concluded Thursday, is a key partnering event, and this year the tone of the discussions was particularly positive, venture investors said.

In 2009, drug manufacturers were consumed with consolidation and weighed down by the financial crisis. As a result, biotechs were unlikely to get full value from a deal, said Seth Harrison, managing partner of Apple Tree Partners.
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Patents are one indicator of a healthy entrepreneurial climate - and we'd like to see more of them - but until more venture capital flows to the region, it may not matter.

A new analysis of patent data reveals a widening gap in the Wisconsin economy that roughly bisects I-94 between Milwaukee and Madison.

In 2009, Madison produced 222 patents, while Milwaukee produced only 148.

It's a single statistic, we acknowledge, and it would be a mistake to make too much of it. But political and business leaders in the Milwaukee region should take no comfort. A report in November by the Milken Institute pegged the Milwaukee area 151st in the country on creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Madison was 63rd. Our mature industries, meanwhile, continue to shed jobs at an alarming rate.
Read more ... up and good morning. A prominent business group for nearly 50 years, the Florida Council of 100 has some new ideas on how to make the state's educational system, from kindergarten through university, better and more geared to fitting the demands of the state's future economy and workforce. The group, in conjunction with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, released its latest findings, called Closing the Talent Gap: A Business Perspective, on Thursday.

To say it is written in an urgent tone is an understatement."Florida faces an emerging Talent Gap — an urgent shortage of a resource as basic as food, more valuable than gold, and in higher global demand than oil."
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Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Priscilla ChanThe market for initial public offerings has been dead for the last few years, but 2010 should be different.

There's a slew of hot startups -- from Facebook to TeleNav to ReachLocal -- with big, rapidly growing businesses that are ready to test the public waters.

What has held companies back until now?

Three things, says Chris Dixon, the angel investor, entrepenuer, and blogger:

  • Sarbanes Oxley red tape adds millions of dollars in overhead for companies looking to go public.
  • New cash from investors like DST for Facebook have eased the need to raise funds from the public market.
  • The public got scorched by tech IPOs early this decade and that memory hasn't quite been erased.
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