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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.

Steve Ressler, a former IT auditor with the Department of Homeland Security, spent a lot of time studying the world’s terrorist networks. He later developed a keen interest in different kinds of networks, and founded Young Government Leaders, Washington, D.C.’s premier professional organization for government employees. Ressler also started GovLoop, an online social network for government workers that numbers about 20,000 members.

This week, GovLoop merged with GovDelivery Inc., a venture-backed government communications platform that has seen its business take off with President Obama’s open-government mandate. As a prescient social networker, Ressler has been tapped to head up GovDelivery’s social-networking component. He talked to Dow Jones this week about the future of social networking and how citizen participation in government might be transformed through technology.

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What have the British-based multinational Unilever, oil firm BP, pharmaceutical giant GSK, and electronics manufacturer Philips got in common? The answer is they have all embraced Open Innovation (OI) as way of developing new products or accessing new technologies.

Now Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) has produced a new guide to show how other companies can follow in their footsteps.

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September 30, 2009

Family planning research must inform clinician training, argues Wayne C. Shields this week. Also, Jonathan Zuck explains the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and we look at recent news on the social implications of synthetic biology.

students in medical school lecture

Continuing Medical Education

By Wayne C. Shields
With a bold investment of federal resources into clinician education during their academic training years and throughout their careers, we can improve reproductive health care.


Google search results for ICANN

Keep the Same Address*************

By Jonathan Zuck
At the end of the month, the agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and the U.S. Department of Commerce expires. Hopefully, not much will change.


Tell Me a Story About Synthetic Biology

More Americans know about synthetic biology, according to a survey from the Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Some 22 percent of adults indicate they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology—that’s up from only 9 percent last year. But nearly half, 48 percent, have heard nothing at all about the technology.


The Coolest Platform Raises the Hardest Questions

A recent New Yorker article on synthetic biology is a showcase of candid, effective, values-based discussions about the social implications of an emerging technology.


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The Department of Energy released a 2nd SBIR/STTR solicitation for this Fall. Grants from this Phase I award will be made in FY 2010 for up to $100,000. DOE expects to make 360 Phase I and Phase II awards. Proposals will be due by 8:00 PM on November 20th.

There are over 300 topics and sub-topics in this solicitation. The Technical Topic listing provides full descriptions of these topics. Proposal details and instructions can be found in the solicitation.

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"History should be our guide. The United States led the world's economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener; the challenge is tougher; and that is why innovation is more important than ever. It is the key to good, new jobs for the 21st century. That's how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations. With these investments, we're planting the seeds of progress for our country, and good-paying, private-sector jobs for the American people."

-President Barack Obama, August 5, 2009

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VOL 7. No 38  SEPTEMBER 28 2009

An imressive collection of top global experts participated in the National Energy Summit and International Dialogue, organized by the Council on Competitiveness (COC), and held Sept.23-24 in Washington DC. Over 350 invited participants took part in the summit, which was also webcast.

Under a theme of Driving Competitiveness Through Sustainable Energy, the event first explored how future US economic prosperity is inextricably tied to the ability to create a sustainable and balanced energy system, and the pivotal role to be played in this transformation by the private sector in terms of speedy action and scale.

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Six decades later, nearly half the U.S. economy is driven by industries that depend heavily on intellectual property rights. If we are to jumpstart a second economic renaissance, then we must begin by protecting and stimulating the lifeblood of America’s economy: its ideas.

This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center —whose mission is to champion IP — is hosting its sixth annual IP Summit. Jobs are the issue of the day as speakers from a wide array of IP-intensive industries, along with members of Congress and senior administration officials, discuss how protecting and promoting strong IP rights in the U.S. can lead to economic transformation.

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A SEED capital fund has been launched to support start-up companies in the Heads of Valleys.

Supported by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Heads of the Valleys strategic regeneration programme it is designed to support entrepreneurial activity and meet the demand for early-stage funding for start-ups.

The fund will run until 2013 and have the capacity to support up to 170 businesses, leading to the creation of up to 190 jobs.

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Usually, franchisers don't want to gamble on young entrepreneurs—they prefer seasoned managers who have built up lots of savings to plow into the venture. Now a host of companies are rethinking that logic. They're aggressively recruiting twentysomethings through franchise brokers, marketing themselves in youth-friendly venues like Facebook, and in some cases offering financial lures to get young people on board—such as deep discounts on franchise fees, which many beginners can't afford.

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A NEW era of encouraging inventions and research results in Nigeria is set to unfold as different government agencies involved in the sector are tidying up plans to jointly work together to ensure maximum results.

Noting that intellectual property had become a critical element in modern strategy for the promotion of innovation, inventiveness, and transfer of technology, the bodies are fashioning out more imaginative patenting strategies to be able to fully and fruitfully arouse innovative and inventive activities.

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“Activity breeds innovation,” Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of Finland told an eager panel. “New things are not created without taking risks.” And never has there seemed a more urgent need for new ideas than now, with the world’s economies still reverberating from the worst slump in generations and public debts expanding almost beyond control. The key to a sustainable recovery will be entrepreneurship and innovation, he said, and in Finland, “it is in times of crisis when governments have to be particularly active” in promoting them. Finland’s experience, he continued, shows that extraordinary difficulties can be overcome with the right policies and enterprise; so too for the rest of the world, “in the coming years governments will play a bigger role than before.”

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