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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.

DOE Finances 'Old Guard' Auto Companies as Startups Lose Out by John Gartner

Some automotive entrepreneurs are feeling like when it comes to getting DOE funding, it's who, not what you know.

The $2.4 billion in federal funding for advanced battery and vehicle electrification announced this week boosted battery manufacturers that had prior relationships with the DOE, while some lesser-known innovators were left with hat in hand.

Crunch Time for Obama by Doug Shoen

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News public opinion survey shows steadily eroding support on the president's health care proposal, and more generally, his lowest registered job approval ratings since taking office nearly eight months ago. Personally, Mr. Obama remains popular, but he's witnessing backward movement on nearly every major policy reform initiative proposed -- climate change, the economy and the debate over how to reform the nation's ailing health-care system, just to name a few.

Letter from the NASVF President: Jim Jaffe

They are 38 days till the NASVF 16th Annual Conference. This theme for this year’s conference Seed Investment at the Forefront of Economic Recovery promises to deliver the key elements for all Seed and Early-stage investors; entrepreneurs, state and regional economic development organizations, academic technology transfer organizations and the federal laboratory system.

One of our featured keynote speakers is Tom Vilsack, the 30th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Secretary Vilsack and the USDA’s chief scientific research agency office of Agricultural Research Service (ARS), provide solutions to agricultural problems that affect our lives every day, from field to table. Here are a few quick facts about the ARS organization:

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China's Innovation Advantage by Sramana Mitra

"The venture capital market in China really only opened up in the mid-1990s," Chao says. "Business law came into effect in China in the late 1980s. There was not very much access to capital. IDG was there in the early 1990s, but that was a slow process. There were firms like Walden and WI Harper that originally did a lot of Taiwan deals and then did a deal or two in China. In 1999, we made an investment in 51Job, which is the Monster.com of China."

From Silicon Valley to Herzliya, Israel, venture capital firms are concentrated in very few locations. More than half of the 1,000 venture capital offices listed in Pratt's Guide to Private Equity and Venture Capital Sources are located in just three metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Boston, and New York. More than 49 percent of the U.S.-based companies financed by venture capital firms are located in these three cities. This paper examines the location decisions of venture capital firms and the impact that venture capital firm geography has on investments and outcomes. Findings are informative both to researchers in economic geography and to policymakers who seek to attract venture capital.

Direct link to the PDF.

Red Hat's JBoss road less traveled by Matt Asay

Red Hat has announced its 2009 Innovation Awards, with some impressive finalists making the list. From Whole Foods to Harvard Business School Publishing, major organizations are doing impressive things with Red Hat technology. Interestingly, however, the real "innovation" revealed by these awards is just how much more money Red Hat makes in its JBoss deals than in its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) deals.

The Price of Innovation - Megan McArdle

Dean Kamen has some lengthy thoughts on innovation that are well worth reading. As the article notes, besides the Segway and the world's first stair-climbing wheelchair, "His innovations include the first wearable infusion pump, a portable kidney dialysis machine, a more flexible stent, one of the world's most advanced prosthetic arms, and many other devices used in the treatment of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other conditions". Kamen's core point is that innovation is expensive. You can't stop rewarding innovators and expect to have as much of it.

DOE Announces Stimulus Funding for new SBIRs, by Fred Patterson (The SBIR Coach)

The Department of Energy gets it. On several levels. Stimulus means creating opportunities for creating jobs. Clean Energy is currently a cool technology to support. R&D without commercialization is just, well, academic.

So, the DOE is putting a nice chunk of their ARRA Stimulus money ($8.5 million) into new Phase I SBIR and STTR projects that place an emphasis on near-term, clean energy technology commercialization. Sixty six-month Phase I projects will be funded in amounts up to $150,000.

Tony Blair, Climate Group, and CAP call for public investment and technology-centric climate policy by Teryn Norris

Two new studies published last month -- one by the Office of Tony Blair and the Climate Group, the other by the Global Climate Network and Center for American Progress (CAP) -- strongly advocate a climate policy strategy based on direct government investment in energy technology development and deployment.

Turning Out The Lights: SplashCast

SplashCast, which lets people watch TV shows within social-networking sites, has been unable to raise new funding and has decided to shut down.

In March 2008, the Portland, Ore.-based company announced $4 million in Series A financing led by Australian media and advertising veteran Mark Bayliss with participation from angel group Emergent Growth Fund.

THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON
August 4, 2009

M-09-27

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: Peter R. Orszag

Director, Office of Management and Budget

John P. Holdren

Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

SUBJECT: Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2011 Budget

Scientific discovery and technological innovation are major engines of increasing productivity and are indispensable for promoting economic growth, safeguarding the environment, improving the health of the population and safeguarding our national security in the technologically-driven 21st century. To this end, the Administration is already investing in: high-risk, high-payoff research; making permanent the Research and Experimentation tax credit; targeting investment in promising clean energy technologies research; improving health outcomes while lowering costs; and nurturing a scientifically literate population as well as a world-class, diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.

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