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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.

WSJWith more people emailing and fewer people sending physical mail in recent years, the U.S. Postal Service is taking steps to move into the digital world – and using a venture-backed company to do so.

Goodmail Systems Inc. has partnered with Epostmarks Inc. to launch a product, Postmarked Email, that has the approval and protection of the U.S. Postal Service.

The deal will essentially make emails handled by this service the legal equivalent of physical mail. That’s important for businesses that are seeking to cut the costs of physical mail while also improving communication with customers and become more environmentally friendly.
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Kauffman(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), Nov. 19, 2009 – As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 16 – 22), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today unveiled the first indications of how the economic slump has impacted entrepreneurship in the United States and 11 other countries in 2008 and most of 2009. The report, Timely Entrepreneurship Indicators, shows that firm formation declined and exits increased, which economists say could have significant implications for job creation.

"Our research shows that new and young firms have been the primary source of new jobs in the United States over the past three decades," said Robert Litan, vice president of Research & Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which funded the study. "While business exits are a normal part of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, this study shows a concurrent increase in exits and decrease in formation throughout OECD countries as a whole. This should send a giant red flag to policymakers around the globe to pull out all the stops to encourage and support business startups so we can create new jobs and sustain a worldwide economic recover y."
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HBPA recent Economic Times story detailed IBM's new "spoken Web" technology, which will allow users to browse the Internet and access information by speaking in their local language without having to type or otherwise use the computer keyboard. An IBM India lab is currently developing the technology and performing real-world tests with rural dairy farmers in India. The idea is that if IBM can remove barriers to accessing its enterprise resource planning technology, Big Blue may be able to unlock a large market selling ERP software to companies that source dairy and other foodstuffs from rural Indian farmers.

This sounds like a technology problem. After all, using technology to create the opportunity to sell to nonconsumers — that is, people who have been totally shut out of a market — is a classic way to build substantial new growth. But in reality, this is a business challenge.
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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $18 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support small business innovation research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies.  In this first phase of funding, 125 grants of up to $150,000 each will be awarded to 107 small advanced technology firms across the U.S.

"Small businesses are drivers of innovation and are crucial to the development of a competitive clean energy U.S. economy," said Chu. "These investments will help ensure small businesses are able to compete in the clean energy economy, creating jobs and developing new technologies to help decrease carbon pollution and increase energy efficiency.

 

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CNBC network, which aired an interview with Dan Senor about his book entitled “Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle”

The interviewer opens by presenting Senor, formerly a foreign policy adviser in the Bush administration, and asking him to sum up what his book is about.
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Henrik Fisker doesn't obsess over door handles. He doesn't focus-group his designs with soccer moms or hire a layer of vice presidents to insulate him from the day-to-day functioning of his company. Instead, Fisker--former head designer for BMW, Aston Martin and Ford--broke away from the giant automakers and their way of doing business to create a streamlined, cutting-edge carmaker based in Irvine, Calif.

Fisker Automotive has only 50 people on the payroll--versus tens of thousands for other carmakers--with most of the workload outsourced to 80 suppliers around the world and final assembly in the same Finnish plant where the Porsche Boxster is made. This coming summer, after less than three years in development, the company's first car will roll off the line: A jazzy, plug-in hybrid sports car called the Karma.
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UPIWASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- NASA says it has selected 368 small business innovation projects for development from among more than 1,600 proposals.

The projects -- designed to address the space agency's technology needs -- include research to minimize the aging of aircraft, new techniques for suppressing fires on spacecraft and advanced transmitters for deep space communications.
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ITIFRising Tigers, Sleeping Giant:
Asian Nations Set to Dominate the Clean Energy Race by Out-Investing the United States

Developing better and cheaper clean energy technology will be central to addressing climate change, securing U.S. energy independence and to the creation of new clean energy jobs. Increasingly, nations are seeking to gain competitive advantage in this rapidly growing, high-technology sector and the stakes for the U.S. are significant: will the U.S. largely be an importer of these clean technologies, and lose the jobs related to them, or can the U.S. emerge as a global leader, driving exports and high-wage jobs?

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(11-23) 11:54 PST -- Here is my [Michael Friedenberg]  countdown of the top 10 trends to watch in 2010:

10. Social media is a reality. Drives more GRC headaches as we see it unfold on Facebook.

9. Desktop in question. Win7, desktop virtualization, netbooks, thin-client, refresh cycle. Who wins?

8. Where will nxt Heartland-style breach hit? How safe R U?

7. IT budgets flat in the U.S. but "flat is the new up."

6. Windows 7 exceeds expectations, Vista just a bad memory. Did it really happen?

5. SaaS, cloud, virt, open source, social media, netbooks, mobile, etc. offer new alternatives, gain broad acceptance.

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Equity financing has never been easy to source in Canada. But now it's getting worse.

Statistics from the Canadian Venture Capital Association show venture investing in the third quarter of 2009 fell 50% from the previous year, to just $191-million. In fact, total venture-capital investments could fall below the $1-billion mark this year for the first time since 1995– the year Netscape went public and kicked off the Internet gold rush.

But there is hope. The recession is easing, more Canadian cleantech companies are emerging, and the strengthening initial public offering market is restoring venture capitalists' hopes for more successful "exits" from investments. (Ironically, the company that breathed new life into the IPO market last month is Dollarama, the low-end retail giant that's the very antithesis of most VCs' ideal investment.)
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IndependentIRELAND has dropped out of the top 20 best countries for venture capital and private equity investment because of credit shortages and the lack of modern industries, according to a report by the Spanish-based IESE Business School and Ernst & Young.

The country fell to 21st place this year from 16th last year in a survey of 66 countries because business in Ireland is dominated by the retail, leisure and construction sectors rather than the new industries favoured by venture capitalists and private investors, the report said.
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TPM LiveWireThe White House issued the following statement regarding President Obama's launch of the "Educate To Innovate" campaign for excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Here's the full text:

President Obama today launched the "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort to help reach the administration's goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.

Speaking to key leaders of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) community and local students, President Obama announced a series of high-powered partnerships involving leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies dedicated to motivating and inspiring young people across America to excel in science and math.
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