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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.

SydneyHere is a single page highlighting innovation resources in Australia. Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia are all recognized and list specific resources for innovation and businesses.

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ForbesForbes editors and writers take a look ahead at Entrepreneurship & Leadership in 2010. Click on the authors to read what they think will be the big trend, hear their unconventional wisdom, be cautioned against misplaced assumptions, check the watch list and get a bold prediction.
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xconomyLeave it to the Greeks to provide an epic mythology for interpreting the essence of biotech innovation.

As John Maraganore of Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals puts it, drug development is a voyage of Odysseus that requires wily and ingenious problem-solving and extraordinary seamanship. Put another way by Kleanthis Xanthopoulos of Carlsbad, CA-based Regulus Therapeutics, the quest of biotech innovation boils down to a succinct question: “How do you build business in an environment that has been challenging and is likely to continue to be challenging in the future?”
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Cloud AveWhat project management blogs do you read? I’ve assembled a list of blogs that give me substantial food for thought when I write on innovations in project management. The list also includes blogs that serve as great sources of information about Enterprise 2.0, new management methodologies, leadership, motivation, as well as useful project management tips you can use in your day-to-day job. I hope these resources will help you take a look at your management practices from another point of view or perhaps even push you to radical changes in the ways you manage your projects and teams. I wrote a short summary for every blog, so that it would be more convenient for you. Enjoy!
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Business WeekThe innovation industry took a hit this year, as executives dialed back on initiatives—and paid the price. But some encouraging trends also emerged

In 2009 the world was no longer flat; much of it was flat broke. Deflated by slumping sales and income, companies roundly did what innovation consultants say they never should—they cut spending on research and development. The U.S. drug industry, historically one of the most lavish spenders on research and development, announced the elimination of a record 69,000 jobs this year, up 60% from 2008. At many companies, quick hits and line extensions replaced more costly, though potentially more rewarding, investments in game-changing inventions.

Still, creativity lives on. Among fresh or fringe approaches that became mainstream tools in 2009: trickle-up innovation, design thinking, and open innovation. And while innovation may no longer be the golden goose it was in flusher times, the penny-pinching has forced companies to break some bad habits—such as wantonly pursuing every new idea—which could help them roll out new money-making products and services as the recession eases and an economic recovery takes hold.
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CNN MoneyNEW YORK (Fortune) -- There doesn't seem to be a recession on at Fahrenheit 212. Stepping into the boho-chic downtown Manhattan office of this "innovation consultancy" is something like stepping into a time-warp. Cheeky foyer art? Check. (Fahrenheit's is a gorilla beauty queen done in oils.) So many glass walls they ought to be a workplace hazard? Double-check. Completely anachronistic mahogany library, complete with rolling ladder? Does one even have to ask? And everywhere you look, beautiful, bright-eyed people skipping around like it's 1999.

But it isn't, and with 2009 as abysmal a year as most of us can remember, just about the worst thing to be is a consultant, let alone an innovation consultant.
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15/12/2009 - What impact has the crisis had on innovation and spending on research and development? How can innovation help to solve environmental and social threats? How are countries tackling these challenges?

The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2009 provides the data and analysis to answer these questions and others to give policy makers an insight into the trends shaping science and innovation.

The Scoreboard includes more than 200 internationally comparable quality indicators to explore the progress of national innovation strategies and recent developments in science, technology and industry. In addition to data for OECD countries, it provides a broad range of statistics for other major economies such as China, India, Israel and the Russian Federation.

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Open CourseWe continue to challenge the relevance of the college “degree” as being an insufficient measurement for what “educated” is, or is not, in an innovation economy. With the cost of a college degree spiraling upward and the value of the degree spiraling downward, the market will tip in favor of the alternative education measurements.

It is important to note that we do not challenge the existence of institutes of higher education, only the “degree” as a unit of measurement. The four year Bachelor degree and two year Masters degree are irrelevant as a title (there is no legal title since the age of the guilds) and arbitrary in duration to respond to the diversity, speed, and scope at which new technologies become available for deployment.
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ForbesSmall business will pave the road for recovery. What a lovely thought.

Brett NelsonThe Big Trend

More capital starvation. One of many haunting data points: Bank reserves now exceed the U.S. Federal Reserve's regulatory floor by $1 trillion; before the credit crisis, excess reserves (the inert stuff banks hate to hold) came to only $2 billion. It may take another year for things to loosen up. Result: Companies that have neither the huge growth prospects to attract venture capital, nor a river of steady cash to entice skittish banks, will go wanting.
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The Unconventional Wisdom

Spur job growth by nurturing mid-sized businesses. Only 5.8 million of the 25 million businesses in the U.S. have employees, and just 650,000 of those have at least 20 employees. Most small businesses (which politicians and pundits love to laud as the primary engine of job growth) serve local consumers, businesses and governments--many of whom are tapped out at the moment. Midsize businesses can take advantage of national and global markets, and in turn put people back to work. Now.
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Tidal WaveThis is part of my [David B. Lerner] ongoing series on University Entrepreneurship.

As I sometimes like to say- if the licensing side of the university tech transfer business is 29 years old by now, the practice of spinning-out companies based on university intellectual property is still really a teenager. The field is still young enough such that no one has written the definitive book on its application and in the meantime the field simply continues to evolve and grow at a stunning pace. And, like any teenager worth his or her salt, this form of university entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly boisterous, ambitious, somewhat unruly at times and yet is displaying enormous creativity, energy and imagination. As I approach the beginning of my fifth year in this field and with the benefit of having spun-out almost 50 university startups during this period, I have taken a moment to reflect on what I have seen and am seeing occur.

According to AUTM statistics, American universities are now spinning-off companies based on university intellectual property at a clip approaching 600 per year. In addition, as demonstrated in a recent white-paper authored by a team led by MIT's legendary Ed Roberts, this number of 600 per year is actually dwarfed by the thousands of other companies being launched each year by university entrepreneurs forming companies of their own that are not based on their university's intellectual property. Another important development is the well-known fact that as the costs of launching a company continue to decrease due to the advent of cloud computing and the like- so has it steadily become much easier for university-age students to try their hand at entrepreneurship.
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Digital InfluenceMindstorms Big Robot on Campus, the NetFlix Prize, The Electrolux Design Challenge - these are all classic high-profile examples of open innovation challenges or forums that invite "outsiders" in to innovate with companies. This is different than promoting an open-source marketplace like Linux or iPhone application development. These historic examples are not about tapping into a scalable marketplace of innovation (see Nesta's P&G Corporate Open Innovation Challenge as an example), they are about making their internal teams more creative, more productively innovative, and about investing in a culture of innovation (and, therefore, sustainable growth and defensible marketplace advantage). Hard to justify with quarterly earnings releases. But that is why purposeful business culture is hard and requires leadership.

I remember attending the MIT Media Lab on behalf of a funding company I worked for at that time (Discovery). Corporations would fund professors and teams at MIT to explore hugely interesting yet often esoteric-seeming topics. The reality of this program is that it always felt at arms length. I am not sure how many people at Discovery actually knew their company was involved with MIT. The best examples are when everyone knows. Here's what I think you get:
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ChangeLooking back on 2009, it seems clear that the uncertainty of the global economy combined with the general maturation of the social entrepreneurship space made it something of a building year. I [Nathaniel Whittemore] believe that 2010 will begin to materialize some of the innovations that people spent 2009 clearing the way for, with significant long-term consequences. All in all, I'm far more excited about the coming year than I was about the last.

The most common critique I have of myself looking back at my predictions from last year is that I failed to recognize how many of them were in line for a gestation period before the really significant changes. I think that my Trend #5: Mobile Platforms and Trend #3: Blended Value Investing definitely ended up having a building period last year. White House partnership on social entrepreneurship was even more behind the scenes, and it's still unclear exactly who is going to benefit from the Social Innovation Fund.
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