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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.

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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Milken InstituteThis the full report. The executive summary is available here. Arizona has several important resources needed to build a successful high-tech economy, including three large research universities, several high-tech industries and organizations that promote technology growth. However, the state is lagging behind in terms of skilled, educated workers, sufficient capital to fund research and expansion by entrepreneurs; and state-level leadership that is informed and committed to implementing well-considered, long-range development strategies.

If Arizona wants to remain competitive in the post-recession economy, it must move quickly to build a healthy, job-intensive technology sector. This report suggests that strategic planning, virtual and brick and mortar business incubators, retaining high-tech graduates, and creating incentives for green technology are all necessary to keep the state competitive in science and technology sectors.
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azcentralA lack of skilled labor, a meager pool of local investment capital and disjointed economic-development strategies are hindering growth in Arizona's technology sector, a study released Tuesday says.

But state leaders can build on strong resources already here, including universities, federal research funding and business startups, by fostering collaboration among stakeholders, according to the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based research think tank.

Its report "Charting a Course for Arizona's Technology-Based Economic Development" compares Arizona's performance on tech indexes with peer states, including Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.
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WSJWhen it comes to investing, venture capitalists are far more optimistic about next year’s prospects than they were about 2009, but they’re still just as downcast about their industry’s future, according to a survey by the National Venture Capital Association.

As it has done for the past four years, the NVCA asked its members more than a dozen questions about their expectations for the coming year. This year’s survey, conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 8, drew more than 325 responses to questions centered around investing, exits and their partnerships.

VCs surveyed largely expect firms to raise smaller funds in 2010 and for the industry to shrink in the next five years. Fifty-eight percent believe the industry will contract by 16%-30%, while 21% expect a 31%-50% shrinkage. That specific question wasn’t asked in last year’s survey, which took place three months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s demise. But VCs then were equally sour about the industry’s forecast in related queries.
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Small BusinessIf you’re a small business owner who also tweets, Google’s got a new service you may be interested in to help you simplify the process and to give you more data about its results. Who doesn’t love more data? And Twitter!

Let’s start from the beginning.

Google started this week off the same way it started last – by announcing a slew of new products and features. The big story this time around was a brand new Google URL shortener to help SMB owners to share content on the Web. Unlike popular shorteners like TinyURL and, isn’t a standalone service. It sits inside Google Toolbar and Feedburner so business owners can share content they find (via Google Toolbar) or share the content that they create (via Feedburner) directly. If you’re interested in sharing content using the latter approach, well then you’ll also want to meet Socialize.
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