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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.


(Honolulu, Hawaii & New York, New York, January 20, 2010) – The Intelligent CommunityForum named its 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year today at a luncheon ceremony taking place at PTC'10 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (13:30 HAST, 18:30 EST, 23:30 GMT).  Click here to watch a video of the announcement. The Top Seven announcement is the second stage of ICF’s annual Intelligent Community awards cycle. 

The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year
The following communities, drawn from the Smart21 of 2010, were named to the Top Seven based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts:

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February 3, 2010, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
About This Event

An overwhelming quantity of direct observations and analyses published by scientists in various disciplines around the world demonstrates that human activity has warmed the planet and altered the climate. The severity of the projected impacts of continuing on our current greenhouse gas emissions path has only increased in recent years.

Please join the Center for American Progress for an educational event featuring two respected scientists who have both helped author reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Michael MacCracken and Dr. Christopher Field will explain the IPCC's assessment process, how we know what we know about human-caused climate change, what we have learned since the 2007 IPCC report, and why the science must inform public policy in the United States.

Featured Speakers:
Christopher Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University, and a coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment
Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, Climate Institute, and co-author/contributing author for various chapters in the IPCC assessment reports
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$1.5B for biotech so far and more neededSix years ago Florida began a spending spree on biotechnology, paying out $1.5 billion to eight companies that employ a combined 1,100 people — or an average of $1.4 million per job.

That's an eye-popping figure to be sure. Even more jarring, though, is that we're not done yet. The reality is that the state will need to continue to heavily invest in this sector if it ever hopes to become home to a collection of true biotechnology clusters.

A new report by the state's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability confirmed what many already suspected: the economic downturn has severely hampered the already arduous process of cluster development.
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EurActiv Logo The UK wants to see European commissioners "named and shamed" if they add to the burden on small businesses, as part of a more focused approach to reducing unemployment in Europe.

In a proposal designed to feed into the debate on the EU 2020external strategy, Gordon Brown calls for a "concerted and continuing" effort to move from recovery to growth.

The document says the EU's SME Envoy should be empowered to hold Commission directorates-general to account for their commitment to 'Think Small First' – a pledge contained in the Small Business Act (SBAPdf external ) approved by EU leaders in 2008 (EurActiv 2/12/08) .

"This should include naming and shaming those DGs that fail to apply the SME test to new regulations that place a burden on business, and those that do not apply Common Commencement Datesexternal [for implementing pro-enterprise legislation] and share good practice within the Commission," the UK says.
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Several articles published in the press this past year have emphasized the importance of technology innovation in creating high-paying jobs and fueling our nation’s economy. Janet Rae-Dupree’s aptly titled New York Times piece, “Innovation Should Mean More Jobs, Not Less,” makes the case that investing in innovative technologies is critical to the future of the United States economy. In their New York Times op-ed columns, Thomas Friedman (”Start Up the Risk-Takers“) and David Brooks (”The Protocol Society“) describe the importance of investing in innovation to stimulate entrepreneurship and job creation. These articles (and many others) reiterate that our country’s leadership position in the global innovation economy is dependent on our sustained investment in research and its translation into innovative products.

Historically, the majority of innovative products (many of which stem from federally funded research) were entirely developed by large, fully integrated corporations. This model was highly successful until the 1970s, when certain business practices were introduced that eventually stifled innovation.
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10 Small Business Trends and OpportunitiesWhat are some of the key trends affecting small businesses? And more importantly, what do these trends mean and what kind of opportunities will they lead to for your business?

These are the questions we answered in a recent webinar I hosted for the Intuit Community.

I was joined by a special guest: Ivana Taylor. We discussed 10 trends affecting large groups of small businesses.

Here’s a summary of the 10 trends we covered in the webinar:

1. “It’s the Software, Stupid” – The word “stupid” is not a word I typically use. But I couldn’t resist the play on words to emphasize a point. In this context it describes the accelerating growth of cloud computing, and the de-emphasis on hardware locally in small businesses. Now this does NOT mean we small businesses are going to go out and get rid of all of our servers this year. But it does mean we’re getting closer to the point where one day all we may need to run our businesses is to equip each employee with a computer, browser and Internet connection.
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Lack of a boss.


The lack of a higher authority to give you your next todo item is the single most-important factor that makes entrepreneurship so hard. In school, you have a clearly defined schedule and you have teachers who give you homework which provides something concrete to do everyday. Then they have exams, a definite end point of the whole yearly effort. In college, you have required classes, projects and exams that keep you sane and provide a safety net from being direction less.
Boss is always right, even if he is wrong
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CLEVELAND, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 Venture Capital Report for the Cleveland Plus Region announces that between 2005 and 2009, $1.1 billion has been invested by venture capitalists and angel investors in 183 unique companies in the region. In the last five years, these 183 Northeast Ohio companies have received 348 investments, contributing to the state of Ohio's 2009 ranking as a top ten state for investment deal activity.

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Northeast Ohio has also seen a number of exits over this same time frame, including: Hyland Software's acquisition by Thoma Cressey Bravo in 2007, MemberHealth's acquisition by Universal American in 2007 for $630 million, Brulant's acquisition by Rosetta in 2008, Theken Spine's acquisition by Integra Life in a deal valued up to $200 million in 2008, and AXENTIS' acquisition by Wolters Kluwer in 2009.

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Pennsylvania, like virtually every industrialized state, invests heavily through a large number of economic development incentives and technical assistance programs to promote job creation in high-technology industries. In normal economic times, such a diverse and costly set of expenditures would certainly merit scrutiny; with the nation’s deep recession depressing state and local government revenues for several years, there is far greater urgency now to ensure that such investments are effective.

This study examines the Commonwealth’s high-technology economic development efforts through several lenses, and compares them to those of six primary competitors in the so-called “economic war among the states”—the neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia as well as North Carolina.

The study focuses on industrial sectors that all or most of the seven states have identified as strategic targets, including synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, plastics, computers, semiconductors, electrical equipment, and transportation equipment.

In addition to case studies and program summaries, the study uses two unique analytical tools that have never been applied to Pennsylvania before and have only been used in published studies in a handful of other states.

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WITH the national unemployment rate at 10 percent, and more than 15 million Americans looking for work, ideas to spur job creation are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. While we may represent different political philosophies, we recognize that high unemployment — particularly long-term unemployment — is not a liberal problem or a conservative problem; it’s a national problem that takes a huge toll on families.

The idea for some sort of jobs tax credit is percolating again, but the jobs credit that existed in the late 1970s was of limited success, and it was excruciatingly complicated. Recalling this experience, members of Congress from both parties have been lukewarm to such a credit, and the idea was dropped from the stimulus package last year.
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Kentucky.com9 companies receive nearly $2.2 Million

State officials on Monday announced the recipients of its most recent round of funding for high-tech small businesses.

Nine Kentucky-based companies will share nearly $2.2 million in state funding as part of a program that matches two federal grant programs up to a certain dollar amount. This round of state awards comes on top of more than $6 million in federal funding to the firms, according to state officials.

Kentucky is the only state to match both phases of the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The state offers up to $100,000 for Phase 1 federal awards for the grants and up to $500,000 per year for up to two years for Phase 2 federal awards.

At a recent high-tech conference, "there was a line of people from all around the world wanting to talk to people about this program," said Gov. Steve Beshear who spoke at the press conference recognizing the recipients on Monday.
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homepage.jpgHow do we know if we're building the strength and enhancing the vibrancy of the innovation economy in New England?

Talking with Avid Technology founder Bill Warner earlier this month, we decided that a scorecard might be handy. "If you can get people talking about things using the same terms, measuring things the same way, that's a first step to making progress," Warner said over cappuccinos at Simon's. It was the week after Quattro Wireless had been acquired by Apple for $275 million, and we were debating whether that will ultimately be a positive or negative deal for the local tech ecosystem: could Quattro instead have matured into a standalone company, a significant player in mobile media and advertising? How long will Apple keep the Quattro office in Waltham open?
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The Department of Defense announced topics in its 2010.A STTR pre-solicitation today. There are 30 Army Topics and 45 Navy Topics in this solicitation. Companies may review the topic lists found in the solicitation or utilize the DOD Topic Search engine to search specific details of a topic.

The STTR requires a partnership with a non-profit Research Institute (usually a university, but not always). The Research Institute must be subcontracted for at least 30% of the work, but not more than 60% of the work. Start early to build an appropriate relationship with the researcher and to develop a research agreement with the Research Institute.

Proposers are HIGHLY encouraged to make contact with the topic’s Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) prior to February 23rd to confidentially ask technical questions not found in the topic description (contact information for each TPOC is found in the topic description). After this date, questions may be asked publically in the DOD’s SITIS system. Final proposals are due no later than 6:00 AM on Wednesday, March 24th.
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Venture capital supply in Britain should shrink to prove itself says Atlas Ventures partner

THE supply of venture capital in Britain should shrink so that fund managers become more picky about which companies to back and more investors start to see positive returns, one prominent player in the industry has said.

Fred Destin, a partner with Atlas Ventures, which announced last week that it was relocating its investment team to the US, said that there were "too many average funds in Europe".

This meant that institutional investors like pension and insurance funds had rightly rationalised the number that they were prepared to back.
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Post PicOver the past year, I have been scouring the Internet for resources to help me grow my businesses. It is quite refreshing to discover and learn from others and hear stories from fresh perspectives, rather theory out of a book. Of course there are many ways to build a businesses and while many are figuring it out, the way we communicate is evolving right in front of our eyes. With the ammunition of a blog and a Flip cam, we are seeing many young entrepreneurs becoming prominent voices and in some cases niche leaders while building profitable businesses. In months and years not decades.

The team at Unstrapp’d has learned a great deal from our peers and we wanted to award and recognize our industry leaders. We have put together a list of blogs that have a message that can help a young entrepreneur grow their business and are written from the perspectives of young entrepreneurs. When you take a look at some of these blogs, you may find yourself scratching your head on how they make it look so easy and a few may just downright piss you off! However, after taking an open look into these bloggers experiences, you will find that much of their road is just like yours and their level of success is fully obtainable.
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3For some reason, I like wordsmithing and trying to make phrases smaller (while still retaining some meaning). Not long ago, when I was up much too late, I tried to come up with some of my best startup advice and see if I could reduce it down to exactly three words.3

One thing led to another, and I became obsessed with it. So obsessed, in fact, that I had put together 47 before I was able to make myself stop. While it’s likely not the most brilliant startup advice you’ve ever read – it has a decent chance of being the shortest.

Startup Triplets: Startup Advice In Exactly Three Words
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IT World Canada Logo The Ottawa-based Canadian Advanced Tech  nology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is using social networks to launch a discussion about the country’s innovation gap and amass feedback from the general public as to how to address it.

Taking a broad holistic approach to Canada’s state of innovation will ensure the discussion reaches beyond CATA and the IT community, said John Reid, president and CEO of the CATA Alliance. That will ensure, said Reid, that the issue is “embraced as a vision and a leadership theme that would be debated and discussed across the nation.”

In addition to reaching out to elected officials and businesses, CATA Alliance is taking advantage of the popularity and viral nature of social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook upon which to maintain the discussion.

Engaging the broad public will also mean that a multitude of facets regarding innovation will get covered in the dialogue, said Reid.
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MainframeMost people don’t realize this, but Northern California actually has two giant technology centers: Silicon Valley and Sacramento. Silicon Valley is the world’s entrepreneurship capital, and Sacramento is California’s State capital. They are less than 100 miles away from each other. But technologically, they’re light-years apart. While Silicon Valley’s workers conceive the next revolution in technology, Sacramento’s workers toil away at maintaining computer systems that were built in the tech equivalent of the Mesozoic era. Both depend on each other: Sacramento workers maintain the State’s infrastructure and public services, and the Valley’s workers generate the revenue to pay Sacramento salaries. The irony is that while the valley entrepreneurs desperately look for problems to solve, Sacramento has problems aplenty and no saviors in sight.

Witness the problems that the state experienced last November when it couldn’t issue checks to unemployed workers whose benefits had run out before Congress authorized a payment extension. Workers had to wait for up to two months to receive their checks, because the Employment Development Department couldn’t make timely changes to its computer systems. Like most of the State’s systems, these were built in the ’70s and ’80s in now antiquated computer languages like COBOL, Adabas Natural, Assembler, and PL/1. They run under operating systems like CICS and IMS.
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Suite101 Entrepreneurship and salesmanship have one thing in common. They both need to convince someone that a new product or service is needed. The entrepreneur does it by bringing his ideas to reality and the salesman sells it.

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? While the world has advanced rapidly from what it was a mere hundred years ago, there is yet room for improvements and the entrepreneur is as much demand as he ever was. It's rare to find the man or woman that is willing to take a chance, sometimes to risk life and stake everything they have to bring a unique idea to life.
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