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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.

WILL CHINA INNOVATION WORK?

I have been watching with a great deal of interest the departure of Kai-Fu Lee from Google to form Innovation Works, which has aggregated a $115 million fund that will be invested in tech start ups.

While $115 million is not enormous anymore by Silicon Valley private equity standards, that amount will go many times further in China and should be viewed as most significant. Some of China's most successful tech pioneers have contributed to Innovation works and according to Mr. Lee, the first order of business will be to "recruit talent."

Youth entrepreneur challenge unveiled Tuesday

The details of a national contest to inspire young entrepreneurs will be unveiled next Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Moncton's Capitol Theatre.

Officials from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and locally-founded PropertyGuys.com will be joined by Premier Shawn Graham, several provincial cabinet ministers, Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc and many other special guests and dignitaries for the unveiling. The youth entrepreneurship challenge is a contest aimed at peole aged 18-34 who have always dreamed of starting their own business

Innovation Goal - Growth or Strategic Renewal?

What exactly is the goal of your company's innovation efforts? "Oh, that's easy", senior managers usually reply, "We need to grow the business." The line of logic here is relatively simple: "Innovation leads to wealth creation leads to growth" - which, of course, is fair enough. Based on this logic, companies of every stripe are now racing to pursue the kind of innovation that generates organic growth, new revenues, and wider profit margins.

Breaking down barriers to innovation. Destroy the Hierarchical Organizational Structure.

Some companies have taken the idea of breaking down barriers to innovation one step further. They tear up the hierarchical organization and start with something very different.

The traditional top-down structure in organizations can be a powerful inhibitor to innovation. It is a reflection of a style of leadership based on command and control where orders are issued at the top and followed by the ranks. People lower down the organization who have great ideas can feel inhibited about promoting them. They feel it is disrespectful to challenge the command chain. Most modern businesses try to overcome this with open communication and employee empowerment. But there is a more radical alternative – destroy the hierarchy altogether.

WSJ: Social Innovation as an Art

Bill Strickland turned his love of ceramics into a creative outlet for disadvantaged city kids.

Mr. Strickland started a Pittsburgh program in 1968 called the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild to offer arts classes to kids; now he's CEO of the 138-employee nonprofit Manchester Bidwell Corp., which also provides vocational training to adults. He won a MacArthur Fellowship "genius" award in 1996 for economic development. Edited interview excerpts follow.

Becoming an Innovative Leader

When we take innovation away from the technologists and start to look at innovation as a set of behaviours that can drive change and culture, we start to look at innovation as a leadership model.

Using the Creatrix from the Richard Byrd Co in MN USA, we can identify the eight faces of innovation. All have there place and strength in today’s organisation, however the balance and focus will need to adapt for each need the organisation faces.

NYT: Protecting the Patent System for Entrepreneurs

Recently, a number of companies from the information technology and financial services sectors have been pushing Congress to change the patent system.

The companies have been seeking passage of the Patent Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 1260 and S. 515). So far, the legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has reported out the bill.

Government of Canada invests in small and medium-sized businesses across Southern Ontario

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology and Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), announced today that the Government of Canada is supporting job creation for R&D-intensive small- and medium-sized businesses across Southern Ontario through strategic investments.

“The Government of Canada is investing in innovative companies to create jobs and stimulate the economy in communities across Southern Ontario,” said Minister Goodyear. “We are supporting science and technology at local businesses so that people throughout the region will benefit from increased opportunities as we strengthen the long-term capacity for research and innovation of these firms.”

How About an Entrepreneurship Czar?

As we near the one-year anniversary of our economic recession, we also appear to be approaching a crucial juncture and, of the two likely paths ahead, neither is cause for optimism.

History, economic indicators and the natural business cycle all suggest that we are transitioning out of the Crash of Late-2008 into either a "double-dip" downturn or a slow "jobless" recovery. In other words, our near-term prospects appear to be either catastrophic or merely dreary -- deflation-driven depression or inflation-driven recession, 1932 or 1976.

NSF Announces 2010 SBIR Solicitation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the release of its 2010 SBIR Phase I solicitation. $45,000,000 will be available for 200-300 awards. These competitive research awards will be capped at $150,000 per award. Companies must outline how they will utilize these funds to conduct a 6-month feasibility study. Companies must prepare proposals that will address subtopics found under each of these main Topics...