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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.

Main Street: Innovation ideas are all around us by Don Daake and Edward Piatt

Have you noticed in the last few years many hotels have installed a new style of shower curtain? About three-fourths the way up there is a "see out window," that still gives privacy but allows you to keep an eye on any would-be visitors. Do you realize Norman Bates (the nefarious villain in Alfred Hitchcock's chilling movie "Psycho") may have been the inspiration for this brilliant innovation in shower curtains? Anyone who has ever seen the movie would agree Janet Leigh may have survived ole Norman had this innovation been in place in 1960?

EPA Accelerates Green Innovation with EcoCar Competition

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has joined the EcoCar consortium of government, industry and academic leaders dedicated to advancing clean, efficient automotive technology. The consortium hosts EcoCar,The Next Challenge, a three-year competition among 17 universities in the U.S. and Canada to redesign and reengineer a 2009 Saturn VUE to further minimize fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to EPA, major sponsors include U.S. Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, Environment Canada and General Motors.

ASUs Biodesign Institute Launches Impact Accelerator to ... By Ben Butkus

Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute last week announced a new initiative designed to increase the number and success rate of life sciences spinout companies from the institute.

The initiative, called the Impact Accelerator, will create startup companies based on promising Biodesign Institute discoveries and incubate those companies on campus, allowing free access to university intellectual property and use of the institute's research facilities.

The Index of Small Business Optimism lost 1.3 points, falling to 86.5 (1986=100) still 5.5 points higher than the survey’s second lowest reading reached in March. Four of the ten Index components posted gains, 6 declined. The loss, small in magnitude, was primarily a result of weaker expectations for improved business conditions. The NFIB data indicated an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent for the second quarter, pretty close to the mark of 9.2 percent. The July labor market data indicate an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent for the third quarter, an improvement consistent with the start of economic recovery. The data indicate that the recession is ending, but the economy is only now making the turn and substantial progress yet to be made. But the direction is clear.

For the full report, click here.

Patents Should Require Commercialization To Remain In Force

Many proposals to reform the U.S. patent system are on the table, but for Penn Law professors Polk Wagner and Gideon Parchomovsky most of them do not achieve a balance between improving patent quality and promoting innovation.

Since the mid-1980s, the number of patent applications has soared, creating a huge backlog and resulting in the approval of inventions that don’t meet the basic criteria of being useful, novel or non-obvious to a person skilled in the relevant field.

The trouble with venture capitalby Brad Cherniak

There have been plenty of stories in the press in recent months quoting well-respected industry leaders and practitioners prescribing fixes for the undeniably parched and struggling Canadian venture capital industry.

For the most part, these prescriptions involve finding additional sources of capital to buttress dwindling investment volumes. Inevitably, one of the key sources suggested is government. To be fair, few are asking directly for a bailout, but still there are variations on the theme that are equally harmful to the long-term prospects of the industry.

The circumstances leading to SSTI's 13th Annual Conference make this year's event critical. We encourage you to join us in Overland Park, Kansas October 21 - 23, 2009 to Seize the Moment. As you scan the conference website, you'll discover we're putting together our most complete and complex conference yet.

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Buzz Article: Venture Capital Survey - Silicon Valley Second Quarter 2009 by Barry J. Kramer, Partner, and Michael J. Patrick, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Fenwick & West LLP., a national law firm that provides comprehensive legal services to technology and life sciences clients of national and international prominence, has analyzed the terms of the venture financings in the Bay Area for the second quarter of 2009. In this week's Buzz article you will be able to take a closer look at the results of the Fenwick & West survey by Barry J. Kramer and Michael J. Patrick which found down rounds exceeded up rounds 46% to 32%, with 22% flat. This was slightly better than 1Q09 when down rounds outpaced up rounds 46% to 25%, with 29% flat.

To view the entire Fenwick & West survey, or to sign up to receive the survey on a quarterly basis when published, please go to www.fenwick.com/vctrends.htm.

Innovation and Creativity by Steven Strauss

What does it take to create an innovative breakthrough product? It is not an insignificant question because business innovators typically invest a lot of time and money getting their big idea to market. For those who make it, the rewards— financial and otherwise—can be incredible. The so-called “first mover’s advantage” is real and means the successful innovator just may dictate the terms in a whole-new field.

Innovation more than just a word by John Riddell Jr.

Have you noticed how common it is these days for any article focusing on improvement in today's challenging business environment to include the need, even the requirement for, that magic word "innovation?"

From presidents of companies to the president of the United States, innovation is positioned as the key for economic survival and prosperity. It appears that if we, collectively, can just get enough of this innovation thing, then all our problems will disappear.