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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.

Science BusinessThe European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has chosen climate change, sustainable energy and information and communication technology as the subjects of its first three programmes, following a hearing with six short-listed candidates in Budapest yesterday (16 December).

“Today is a great day for innovation in Europe,” said Martin Schuurmans, chair of the EIT’s governing body, announcing the three winning bids to form Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). These entities, each co-located at several centres in Europe, will bring together industry and academics to work together and become world experts in each of their fields. They will be reference points not only for other academic groups, but also for companies and for investment in these areas of technology.
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PluggedInThere are innumerable articles and templates for preparing a business plan for start-ups. But what I found is that most of them are too exhaustive and so a strong de-motivator for an enthusiastic individual who wants to pen down his ideas and present it to his potential investors/advisers.

Immaterial of the scale of the business viz., financial size or employee size, the below business plan is a good starting point. When one has got this right, a large part of planning has been accomplished. Depending on one’s purpose, additional information and more details can always be added.
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WASHINGTON, DC, December 16, 2009 (ENS) - At a Middle Class Task Force meeting today which focused on manufacturing, Vice President Joe Biden announced the administration's support for up to $5 billion in additional funding for a successful Recovery Act program that will accelerate job growth in Clean Energy Manufacturing.

This increase would more than triple the funding of the Recovery Act's Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit.

The program covers a number of clean energy technologies, providing a 30 percent tax credit for investments in factories that manufacture products used in clean energy technology.
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KeystoneIt might be a bit of an understatement to say 2009 was a challenging year. I imagine there are a few who will be celebrating less that a new year is coming and more that this one is ending.

But the truth is, despite the recession and all its attendant trials, a lot of good things happened in Pennsylvania in the past year--the kinds of things that highlight the unique strengths of our state and our ability to position it for a competitive future when the economy recovers.
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EuractivResearchers have sought to speed up the ongoing Copenhagen climate talks by gathering evidence of the catastrophic impacts of accelerating global warming. But climate science has been disputed by sceptics who say such claims are unfounded.

Recent research suggests that the scientific consensus within the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may have been too optimistic.

A group of researchers, most of whom are authors of previous IPPC reports, said last month that sea levels are set to rise much more quickly than expected.
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Energy CollectiveAgain and again, high-level experts confirmed what we're hearing on the ground, at side events, press debriefs and happy hours - REDD is going to be the big winner this week.

Unless progress on finance and emissions reduction deals completely collapse here at Copenhagen, which is not likely, we are " on the verge of a major breakthrough on protecting tropical forests," said Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

WWF US President Carter Roberts added: "This may be the most important moment in the history of forests ever in the world...we are within reach of the ability to save magnificent places."
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BBCA team of scientists from an American university say they have reinvented the bicycle wheel.

WheelThe Copenhagen Wheel is a hub containing motor and batteries which can be fitted to the rear wheel of almost any bike, providing a boost to the cyclist whenever needed, say developers.

It has been unveiled at the UN Climate Summit by the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Commentary from the BBC's Martine Croxall.
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WitichaWichita-based NetWork Kansas needs to sell a little more than $400,000 in 75 percent state entrepreneurship tax credits before the end of the year.

The program allows donors to buy the tax credits, which are used as seed capital for entrepreneurs and small-business owners, said Steve Radley, director of NetWork Kansas.

Donors will receive $75 of every $100 they contribute to directly offset income tax liability. If the credits aren't sold, they are lost, Radley said.

"We're again trying to wrap up our year," Radley said. "It's been a successful year, utilizing about $1.5 million with some of our e-communities working on raising some funds."
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WSJSome – but not too much – government involvement is good for venture capital.

That’s a conclusion of a Globalization of Alternative Investments report issued Tuesday sponsored by the World Economic Forum. The research project, led by Harvard Business School Professor Josh Lerner, examined more than 28,800 enterprises based in 126 countries that received venture capital from 2000 through 2008. They represented a wide range of industries, but many were high-technology companies. The researchers divided the enterprises into three groups: those with only private venture capital, those with less than 50% of their venture capital from government-supported venture groups and those with 50% or more of their venture money from government-supported groups.

The main finding is “the striking result that the strongest performance is associated with moderate levels” of government-supported venture capital. These enterprises generally did better than those with extensive government venture capital and those with none. Performance measures were based on whether the enterprise went public or was acquired and the value of the enterprise at that liquidity event. Researchers also scored enterprises with moderate levels of government support highest for innovation based on patents filed.
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KauffmanAuthors say a free agency for inventors will get innovations to the market faster and create jobs, benefit consumers, researchers and universities

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Dec. 17, 2009 – Creating an open, competitive licensing system for university innovators is one of Harvard Business Review's "Ten Breakthrough Ideas for 2010" and the brainchild of researchers at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The free agency solution is one of the 10 ideas that HBR says "will make the world better."

Current restrictions imposed by U.S. research universities on the ways their faculty can commercialize federally funded discoveries are slowing the diffusion of new technologies, according to the article by Robert E. Litan and Lesa Mitchell published this week in the January-February 2010 issue of HBR. These limitations are detrimental to the U.S. economy and universities themselves.
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You’ve got your business off the ground, you’ve secured some financing, you’re cash flow positive, and business is good. Great! But you need to expand into a new market and to do that you need cash.

Your 3f’s (friends family and fools) are all pretty much exhausted, and Angel Capital’s already been spent in your national expansion efforts. So now it’s either debt or venture capital…

And while we won’t go into the semantics of why we’re recommending an VC injection rather than debt acquisition (just yet), we’ll just say that this option is the better one for your business at its present juncture.
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