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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.

WSJ: The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technical Innovation Awards

Just how difficult it is gets highlighted every time an infectious disease sweeps the globe, as the new strain of swine flu did earlier this year. Current methods of testing for disease-causing microbes are pretty effective at discovering whether an infected fluid or tissue sample contains a known virus or bacteria. But trying to detect previously unknown organisms is a whole different story.

US Falls in Global Competitiveness Rankings

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, an assessment of the productive potential of nations worldwide, is now available. Switzerland tops the overall competitiveness rankings, followed by the United States. The U.S. fell to second position after several years at the top of the rankings. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark complete the list of the top five countries.

SBIR Reauthorization Redux? No Such Luck.

Here we are -- just a few days from expiration of the third SBIR Reauthorization Continuing Resolution. Is there any hope for resolution by the end of the month? Nope.

Word from behind the scenes is that discussions are pretty much at a standstill. Staffers on the various Committees are standing firm on their bosses' positions. Provisions to significantly open up eligibility, provide special preferences having nothing to do with technology, eliminate the Phase I vetting process, have multiple Phase II awards possible, and increase funding caps without increasing the funding base just aren't going away. There's as much spirit of compromise here as there is on the health care debate. Nada. Zilch.

Brenner Discusses USDA Research, Technology

Few people know that the Department of Agriculture is one of the leading governmental research organizations with a long history of commercializing what is developed in its labs and jointly. Dr. Rick Brenner, who was named the Assistant Administrator in ARS for Technology Transfer in October 2004 and represents the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to management of intellectual property arising from USDA research, and has the delegated authority for licensing inventions developed through intramural research in any of the USDA agencies, provides insights into the enormous impact his agency has on the economy of the country.

HBS: Financing Constraints and Entrepreneurship

Financing constraints are one of the biggest concerns impacting potential entrepreneurs around the world. Given the important role that entrepreneurship is believed to play in the process of economic growth, alleviating financing constraints for would-be entrepreneurs is also an important goal for policymakers worldwide. In this paper HBS professors William R. Kerr and Ramana Nanda review two major streams of research examining the relevance of financing constraints for entrepreneurship. They then introduce a framework that provides a unified perspective on these research streams, thereby highlighting some important areas for future research and policy analysis in entrepreneurial finance. Key concepts include:

Venture Capital: Is it on a Diet Pill?

Venture capital outlook for the upcoming years is as obscure as ever due to many external factors such as the government intervention in the private sector to the state of the economy which is very fragile across various industries and sectors. Capitalism is no longer being conceived in a positive manner and no longer are those values being embraced. It is simple, the working model is broke. We need fresh ideas and blood to re-invent the New American Standards across all different platforms.

Do You Speak Global Innovation?

We at ReadWriteWeb believe that innovation is a global business (as we noted in an earlier post on the Global Innovation Graph). The "death of distance" - the notion that the Internet makes location irrelevant - may be an exaggeration. Face to face always matters, and that will happen where hubs of expertise and capital emerge. Silicon Valley will likely remain the uber-hub for a long time. But the Internet does dramatically make it possible for an entrepreneur to start from anywhere and assemble a dream team of experts, partners, and customers from anywhere else. Innovation is not just a Valley story or a US story: it is a global story. And we want to write more about this exciting story. In this post, we'll tell you a bit about how we are starting to do that.

Innovation should not be the race for the new-new thing

We’re all searching for the new-new thing. Be it a product or a method, we’re looking for that innovation that will let us stand out from the pack, because in a world where we are all good, we need to be original. If an idea becomes a trend before we’re involved, we are not a leader. When we’re first to market, if we capture first mover advantage, then we can define the rules of the game. But how can we tap into valuable ideas for products, services or method before they are seen as trends, when they are just … random?

Age of Innovation

Kjell Nordstrom & Jonas Ridderstrale in their book Funky Business mentioned " The ’surplus society’ has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices & similar quality."

Foreign-Funded Equity Investment Allowed to Incorporate in Pudong, China

Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the typical model of China's capital market—that both fundraising and exit of private equity (PE) funds/venture capital (VC) are effected overseas—has begun to attract skepticism. In contrast, Chinese currency PE funds have been growing in past months. Chinese authorities have released a series of policies, meanwhile, to promote the development of equity investment.

Startup Uruguay?

VentureBeat has a terrific article today about the first venture capital firm in nation of Uruguay.

The company is called Prosperitas Capital Partners and when it was formed in 2005, there was so little infrastructure that even the lawyers didn't know how to write venture term sheets. The company's first fund was a $10 million dollar fund that invested in healthcare and technology companies. They're working on raising a $100 million fund and partnering with a Bay Area VC firm for another venture fund for Latin America more broadly.