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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.

Durham, NC, December 08, 2009 --( Judges, led by Google's Bill Maris, select Biogenic Medical Devices and the audience selects The Produce Purity Project from 74 original contenders.

The 10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge, the premiere entrepreneurship competition at Duke University, announced today that Biogenic Medical Devices, led by Garrett Muramoto (MBA'11), took home the Judge's Choice award of $1000 and The Produce Purity Project, led by Stephanie Fruth (MBA'11), won the Audience Choice award of $250 and a special gift of $500 from lead judge Bill Maris, Co-Founder of Google Ventures. A standing room only crowd of more than 500 packed Geneen Auditorium for the Elevator Pitch Competition Final showdown on Friday November 20 where 14 teams pitched and the winners took home the prize money. The event was broadcast live on the Internet and is now available on the Duke Start-Up Challenge website at

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Washington PostNew Montgomery County council president Nancy Floreen is pushing the idea of creating an economic development authority to try to spur job growth in the county.

She said Monday she wants officials to look at the experiences in Fairfax and Prince William counties and elsewhere, but didn't have specifics on what a Montgomery authority might look like.

"Montgomery County needs to get in the game," Floreen said. "There are best practices in the region--well, at least there are practices across the region. Are they the best?"
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WSJAn inside look from VentureWire at high-tech start-ups and their investors.

The venture capital industry is engaged in an urgent effort to ward off Congress from significantly increasing the taxes on profits made by venture firms.

The House today voted in favor of the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 that would raise tax rates on carried interest earned by investment managers – including venture firms – to ordinary income rates, or around 35%, from a lower capital gains rate of 15%. While venture firms collect management fees of about 2% committed capital, carried interest - or the profits made when portfolio companies are sold or go public - is the big money maker for VCs.
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NYTWASHINGTON — If negotiators reach an accord at the climate talks in Copenhagen it will entail profound shifts in energy production, dislocations in how and where people live, sweeping changes in agriculture and forestry and the creation of complex new markets in global warming pollution credits.

So what is all this going to cost?

The short answer is trillions of dollars over the next few decades. It is a significant sum but a relatively small fraction of the world’s total economic output. In energy infrastructure alone, the transformational ambitions that delegates to the United Nations climate change conference are expected to set in the coming days will cost more than $10 trillion in additional investment from 2010 to 2030, according to a new estimate from the International Energy Agency.
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Washington Business JournalGov. Tim Kaine has formed an Innovation and Entrepeneurship Investment Authority in Virginia, consolidating two existing groups that work on state research and development.

The Innovative Technology Authority, established in 1984 and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission comprise the new authority. The General Assembly signed it into law earlier this year.

The group has a 13-member board of state business leaders including Ted Cahall, chief technology officer of AOL LLC; Ray Johnson, senior vice president of Lockheed Martin Corp.; and representatives from The George Washington University, George Mason University and James Madison University.
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Editor's ChoiceWe are excited to announce the Editor’s Choice edition of the 2009 Small Business Book Awards.

The following books were chosen by the Editors of Small Business Trends, along with expert input from a 27-member Advisory Panel (see the Advisory Panelists listed at the end of this article). The combined input was impassioned and invaluable, and the decisions all the more difficult due to the quality of this year’s business book releases.

Without further delay, here are the Editor’s Choice winners, listed in alphabetical order:
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Quality MagazineWASHINGTON, D.C.—President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced that five organizations are the recipients of the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for innovation and performance excellence.

The 2009 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:
  • Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, Kansas City, Mo. (manufacturing)
  • MidwayUSA, Columbia, Mo. (small business)
  • AtlantiCare, Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (health care)
  • Heartland Health, St. Joseph, Mo. (health care)
  • VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center, Albuquerque, N.M. (nonprofit)
“The road to greatness in America has been, and always will be, traveled by those who embrace change and work hard every day to be the best; the organizations we honor today with the Baldrige National Quality Award exemplify that spirit,” President Obama said. “This year's recipients have shown how quality, innovation, and an unending quest for excellence help strengthen our nation and brighten the future of all Americans.”
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PeopleBack when it looked like the global financial system was circling the drain, I kept seeing news stories that spoke of the future as though it might not happen. “If we recover from this crisis” was the usual phrase. And my usual response was to shout back, “Of course we’re going to recover, you idiot!” It’s one of life’s few certainties: when times are good, they will get worse. When times are bad, they will get better sooner or later. Of course it never feels that way, but then, feelings are not facts.

We’re all a bit more confident that “when we recover” can now take the place of “if we recover.” But the leaders of the next wave of growth will not be companies that stand on the sidelines, waiting for certainty. They will be companies that make rational bets on the direction of government policy, business restructuring and social trends. On January 27, Alan/Anthony will present an event for those companies, focusing on what they should be doing today to position themselves for the recovery tomorrow.
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CNET NewsPatent requests related to green technology will get the equivalent of the carpool lane at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent office on Monday introduced a pilot program to accelerate the reviews of green technology-related patents. The goal is to shave as much as one year off the process, which now takes on average of 30 months for an initial action from the USPTO and 40 months for a final decision.

The first 3,000 patent petitions to be filed will be eligible for the sped-up review program, and about 25,000 already pending applications are eligible, said Undersecretary of Commerce David Kappos, according to GreenWire.
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Silicon Ally InsiderThis decade is the decade of gadgets.

From the tiny USB thumb drive introduced in 2000 to the iPhone 3G in 2008, a bunch of revolutionary devices have been brought to the market.

Check out the 15 best gadgets of the decade →

Of all the contraptions sold between 1999 and 2009, mobile phones were the most popular. At the turn of the millenium about 1 billion people worldwide had cellphone subscriptions. Today it's closer to 4.5 billion.
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Triple PunditIn the glorious Past Before Television, adventurous men and women gained fame and fortune by testing their skills in competitions designed to expand the limits of human knowledge and innovation. Several organizations are bringing back this kind of “innovation prize” in a big way, with competitions designed to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, and expand its horizons beyond terrestrial limits.

One of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in history was the result of a prize offered by the British government in the 18th century. At that time, many ships were being lost due to the inaccuracies involved in calculating their longitude at sea. The previous method, dead reckoning, introduced greater errors the farther the ship got from a known point, usually ending in loss of life and heated discussions about the velocity of various types of swallows. The British Parliament offered the modern equivalent of $4.56 million for a solution to the Longitude Problem.
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Live MintVenture capital firms that traditionally invest in niche-technology-backed start-ups have turned their attention to robotics.

Pune-based Precision Automation and Robotics India Ltd (PARI) received Rs41.4 crore recently from investment management firm Axis Holding Pvt. Ltd’s India Strategic Opportunities Fund. PARI, one of India’s biggest robotics firms, provides automation solutions for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing processes.

IDG Ventures India Advisors Pvt. Ltd, which manages a $150 million (Rs696 crore) fund and makes early-stage investments in technology-enabled companies, is also eyeing the robotics business.
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