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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.

The Power of Daydreaming (Daydreams as a Source of Innovation & Motivation)

Barack Obama certainly had a dream . . . that one day he would be president. I'm sure that in his younger years many people would have mocked him for this audacious dream, but he followed his inner vision and now he's the 44th President of the United States.

The most dynamic and innovative people in any endeavor--business, science, athletics, politics, or the arts--are visionaries. And what exactly is a "vision?" At the end of the day I argue that a "vision" is just an upscale word for "daydream," and "visionary," an upscale word for daydreamer.

SSTIArgentina, Iran Push TBED Strategies

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $750 million in financing over the next five years to Argentina's federal government for the country's Technology Innovation Program.

Argentina's R&D intensity as gauged by the ratio of R&D expenditures to GDP has increased in recent years, from 0.4 in 2003 to 0.51 in 2007. However, compared to a R&D intensity of 2.3 percent of GDP for OCED countries, Argentina lags considerably behind.

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Does cloud computing affect innovation?

Earlier this summer, Jonathan Zittrain wrote a New York Times OpEd piece that discussed his concerns with the cloud computing paradigm. Zittrain stated that, while it may seem on the surface that cloud adoption is as "inevitable as the move from answering machines to voice mail," he sees some real dangers.

Zittrain covered the usual concerns about data ownership, privacy, and the access that data placed in the cloud gives governments all over the world--a concern I certainly share. He went on to point out that these problems are solvable "with a little effort and political will," a view that I also adhere to.

Kauffman: New Business Will Bring Economic Recovery

The Kauffman Foundation, a pro-entrepreneurship foundation out of Kansas City, Mo, has released a nationwide poll that brings to light the importance of entrepreneurship in our economy.

Entrepreneurs were ranked more highly than either big business and the government when it comes to job creation, with nearly 80% of respondents stating that entrepreneurship played a critical role in creating jobs.

BusinessWeek: What Government Innovations Have Proven to Work?

The 2009 winners of the Innovations in American Government Awards, given each year since 1986 by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance & Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, have been announced. They represent inventive public-sector programs that local, state, or federal governments might want to emulate. And they answer the question, “what government ‘innovations’ have proven to work?” Companies could also learn from their ideas, or at least seek them as public-private partners.

After Lehman: How Innovation Thrives In a Crisis

The economic shocks that reverberated through the economy a year ago could easily have marked the end of the nascent "Innovation Movement." After all, how could companies prioritize developing innovation programs in the face of very real questions of fundamental survival?

A year later, it is clear that innovation has never been more important. And, in a strange way, the scarcity forced on many companies has been a hidden accelerator of efforts to systematize innovation.

Who "owns" Innovation? Where does it "live" in an organization?

Braden Kelly has asked a number of us to respond to the question "Who owns innovation and where does it live in an organization?" This is actually a question we are asked quite frequently by our clients. The answers are based on the strategic goals of the firm.

First, let's consider who "owns" innovation. Many firms will argue that the CEO "owns" innovation, and they are correct, to a point. Anyone with any amount of experience working on innovation will tell you that an engaged, involved executive team is vital to success when innovating. However, a CEO simply doesn't have the time or bandwidth to get involved in every decision and manage all the disparate teams and activities that are involved. A CEO needs to make clear strategies and declarations about innovation's purpose, and ensure the work is conducted effectively and measured. OK, if the CEO doesn't "own" innovation, who does? I've written before that larger firms may need a Chief Innovation Officer, but only if that role is accurately defined. Since innovation can happen anywhere in the organization at any time, we certainly don't want to place all the emphasis on one person or team.

U.K. Startups Face Crisis as Venture Funding, Deals Dry Up

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Stuart Evans says he hasn’t seen a worse time to be a startup entrepreneur in the U.K.

The 59-year-old was able to raise funding for Cotag International Ltd., a maker of radio-frequency scanners, two weeks after Black Monday in 1987. By contrast, it took him a year to secure about 1 million pounds ($1.66 million) in August for his latest project, Novacem Ltd, a London-based producer of cement that can absorb carbon dioxide.

WSJ: VCs Increasingly Keeping Young Start-Ups To Themselves

At a time of modest exit expectations, venture investors are increasingly likely to avoid syndicating first rounds, according to new data from VentureSource.

In the first half of this year, 63.2% of first rounds had only one venture investor. That’s close to last year’s 62% rate. The frequency of one-VC deals has been climbing steadily since 2003 when 41.8% of first rounds had just one venture investor.

NASA Innovation Partnerships Program

Much of what we gain from our space exploration is in the scientific and technological progress that comes in the process of doing it. Many of those technologies are the direct result of NASA supported funding for both internal R&D projects performed at NASA centers and external research from the small business community. As a result of these expanding needs for new capabilities to explore space, NASA missions often result in technologies which have applications beyond aerospace. These technologies while targeted for integration into the mainstream NASA flight programs, can also be commercialized creating new marketplace products and provide opportunities for improving the quality of life for the American public right here on earth.

New Business Will Bring Economic Recovery

The Kauffman Foundation, a pro-entrepreneurship foundation out of Kansas City, Mo, has released a nationwide poll that brings to light the importance of entrepreneurship in our economy.

Entrepreneurs were ranked more highly than either big business and the government when it comes to job creation, with nearly 80% of respondents stating that entrepreneurship played a critical role in creating jobs.