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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.

RoseAnn B. Rosenthal spoke to the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology with advice for
the Department of Commerce’s new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ben FranklinWASHINGTON, D.C. (www.sep.benfranklin.org) – RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), yesterday testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology’s subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

Rosenthal was asked to testify because of her track record in Pennsylvania’s technology community, expertise in the industry, and role within Ben Franklin.  Since 2001 alone, Ben Franklin has committed more than $50 million to over 500 early stage companies, which have created or retained over 7000 high-tech jobs.  During that time Ben Franklin’s portfolio companies have raised more than a billion dollars in follow-on investment.

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Idaho Business ReviewIdaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter gathered on Jan. 21 with business leaders from around the state to launch the Idaho Technology Council – a private sector group focused on growing the state’s high-tech economy.

“Idaho’s growth as a technology center has cooled, and the Idaho economy cannot afford that,” stated ITC Chairman Rich Raimondi, a recently retired vice president at Hewlett-Packard. “We know the priorities to re-energize growth in this critical sector are human capital, public policy, financial capital and research and development, and we have formed committees with leaders from across the state to work those issues.”
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Brussels, January 22nd, 2010


The European Space Agency (ESA) represented by its Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO), and The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players (EBAN) have recently established a three-year strategic partnership confirming ESA as EBAN ́s new Golden partner.

Commenced in January 2010, this partnership wants to bring to the attention of European business angels and early stage investors the opportunities of innovation originally funded by space programmes. Technologies like geo-information and satellite navigation are the future showcase successes in the field of funding early stage companies with space technologies in Europe.

“The collaboration of ESA and EBAN will stimulate contacts between selected incubators and business angel networks and seed funds. EBAN will support ESA ́s approach to European early stage investors as a provider of quality and exclusive deal flow in the space technology sector” says Brigitte Baumann, President of EBAN.

The main mission of the TTPO of ESA is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications and to demonstrate the benefits of the European space Programme to European citizens. The office is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies, including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding. At the moment the TTPO is supporting the creation of about 80 start-up companies a year.

“Applications based on geo-information are one of the core technologies of the upcoming decade. Our Programme is supporting the companies that will develop these applications. The cooperation with EBAN will enable early stage investors to become aware of our initiative and these start-ups” says Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office.

EBAN has quadrupled in size in the last five years, and is becoming the entry point for international and European stakeholders interested in European early stage investing. EBAN represents circa 250 angel groups via direct or indirect membership, 20.000 angels and 40.000 entrepreneurs. Business angels and seed funds are key contributors to European economic innovation and entrepreneurship. By supporting high risk and high potential start-ups, business angels play a major role in supporting the creation and growth of tomorrow’s gazelles. With ESA, EBAN members will benefit from extensive knowledge on space related market trends and experience in financing space technologies.

EBAN is a not-for-profit association representing the interests of business angels, business angels networks, seed funds and other entities involved in bridging the equity gap in Europe. EBAN was established with the collaboration of the European Commission in 1999 by a group of pioneer Business Angel Networks in Europe and EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies).

EBAN – The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and other Early Stage Market Players Rue Vautier 54 | 1050 Brussels | Belgium T: 32 2 626 20 60 | F: 32 2 626 20 69 | E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | W: www.eban.org

After 3.8 billion years of research and development, nature knows a thing or two about good design. But it's only recently that industry has started to pay attention.

Biomimicry looks closely at design solutions in the natural world and adapts them for human use. Although these man-made products look like replicas of their natural models, the process is more than a slavish copying of form. "It's about consulting the natural world for advice," says Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. "We find the champion adaptors for a particular function; then we abstract that design principle and apply it."
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Well, not exactly. But it's a wonderful idea! We've only got a week before SBIR fades away or gets extended -- again.

What the Senate did do this week is call upon the SBA to swiftly implement the allocated funds for the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership that provides funding for SBIR outreach support for the States. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) co-signed a letter from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to Karen Mills, SBA Administrator, requesting a schedule by February 12th for the implementation of FAST. View the official Press Release about the letter HERE.

Now, why push for FAST implementation when SBIR's Reauthorization hangs undone? Is this a signal that we can expect some action next week before it expires? I think so. I hope so.
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We've written quite a bit in the past about the challenges and opportunities facing journalism, a subject which of course is near and dear to our hearts.

New models are emerging. Traditional players are fading away. And entrepreneurs are trying to fill the gaps. Those trends were on full display today when The New York Times announced plans to roll out a new payment system for its Web site beginning next year. The Times -- the number one newspaper Web site in the country -- plans to allow readers to access a select number of stories for free each month before enacting a flat fee.
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I'm a big proponent of fostering more connections between students at Boston-area schools and the companies that make up our innovation economy. Unfortunately, many MBA students tend to have an opportunity to participate in "tech treks" to Silicon Valley, while they aren't as likely to spend time with interesting businesses a few miles from campus.

MIT's Sloan School of Management is one of the few that has consistently given students a chance to visit local companies, but Harvard Business School is joining in this year. Fifty students are participating this week in an IXP ("Immersion Experience Program") that will take them to various Boston companies and venture capital firms.
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How well are you making use or your time daily? Are you always productive? There are many people wanting to know how to become more productive. I came up with 10 ways that you can become more productive with your day. Let’s see if you do any of these things. These 10 ways are in no particular order.

1. Exercise!! We all get stressed with our jobs. Whether your stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours or work from home like I do, we all obtain stresses in our lives. Exercise improves mental health so you can deal with future stress in a better way. Physically fit people tend to have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Most people that are stressed sit at a desk.
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Huffington PostWhat can we look forward to after the worst U.S. economic and financial crisis in decades, possibly since the Great Depression? As crazy as it sounds at first, I believe 2010 will be the year of the entrepreneur.

Entering 2010 we see signs of a U.S. economic recovery and leading economists are calling for economic growth of 2.5-3.5%. Unemployment seems to have peaked at 10.2% in October, housing prices appear to be gradually on the mend and the stock market indexes have regained a significant portion of their losses from the trough of March 2009. But, admittedly, there is lingering uncertainty in the segment of the U.S. economy where innovation and job creation resides - small- and medium-sized businesses.
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nycseed_newfund.jpgEarly-stage New York City startups are about to get some tender loving care and it's got nothing to do with Valentine's Day. As highlighted in Jason Calacanis' blog seed-stage investment group NYC Seed just launched an eight week incubator program where ten lucky companies will gain from startup mentorship, much-needed space and modest funding.

Led by NYC Seed's Managing Director Owen Davis, NYC Seedstart is a joint effort between NYC Seed, Contour Venture Partners, IA Ventures, Polaris Ventures and RR Ventures.
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ScienceForCitizens_CompactLogo_FINAL_Border_175wHot diggity-DOG! After years in the making, my partner, Michael Gold, and I–with generous support from Science House–have officially unveiled the beta version (that means this is still a work-in-progress) of ScienceForCitizens.net . Science journalist, Carl Zimmer, who frequently writes for Discover and Time Magazine, said “It’s like Amazon.com for all sorts of possibilities for doing cool citizen science”. We’ll take that!

We’re seeking your feedback on ways we can make the site a phenomenal resource for all who use it. And, consider registering as a new member you can can explore the many citizen science projects out there, add your own project, create a personalized blog, or just meet up online with folks who share your interests.
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seedlings 4x3SeedStart, a joint effort among several venture firms to spur entrepreneurship, is launching a summer program aimed at technology startups based in New York City.

The early-stage tech startups that are selected to be a part of the eight-week program will each receive a $20,000 investment, as well as mentorship from experienced NYC-based VCs entrepreneurs, administrative and technical help, free office space, and expert guidance in the legal and business aspects of launching a company and a product.
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