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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.

AiInSiteCreativity serves as the chief currency of the emerging economic age.

As such, a “creative class” of some 38 million people has become dominant in American society, driving fundamental shifts in the work habits, values, desires, and everyday lives of many others.

Those assertions marked the beginning of an influential 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, by urban studies theorist Richard Florida.
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MoneyWeekCan a new government fund to boost investment in innovative start-ups actually help Britain's beleaguered economy, asks Simon Wilson?

What's the new fund all about?
The UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF) will be "bigger than other European venture capital funds", claims the science and innovation minister, Lord Drayson. The aim is to make it easier for start-ups in key sectors, such as life sciences, low-carbon technologies and digital and advanced manufacturing, to get access to equity funding. The new fund will help British scientists and entrepreneurs convert their ideas into flourishing businesses. Once a management team is in place (the government is currently considering tenders) UKIIF will operate as a 'fund of funds', channelling money into other venture capital funds and thus, it hopes, fostering "a climate of innovation and enterprise in the UK and Europe".
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Info WorldEerie parallels to the desktop PC's history suggest that smartphones have reached boring sameness -- or completeness of capability -- even faster

In June 2007, the iPhone instantly obsoleted all previous smartphones (the BlackBerry and Palm families), finally approaching the promise that carriers and device makers had been making about the mobile future for a decade: Real Web access. A touch UI -- that rotates. Accelerometer and location detection. E-mail and instant messaging. Photos and music. A year later came the App Store and the tens of thousands of apps -- from games to time-wasters to serious business tools -- that also made the iPhone into a computing device.
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Asian InvestorThe Instinct Japan Opportunity Fund launched on December 1. The fund is being managed by a new firm of alternative investment managers called Instinct Capital based in Sydney, Australia.

Instinct comprises of two principals -- Fred Eechaute, who is the Investment manager, and Stephen Good, the business manager. They are joined by Anita Lam who is the trading/operations manager. The former two have worked together at Mizuho Securities in Japan, while Eechaute has also worked with Anita Lam at DKR Oasis.
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Iowa PoliticsDES MOINES, IA (December 2, 2009) — Priorities on state and federal issues to stimulate Iowa’s economy were presented by the Iowa Chamber Alliance at a news conference today at the State Capitol. The Alliance, a non-partisan coalition representing 17 chambers of commerce and economic development organizations throughout the state, advocates an economic development agenda to grow the state’s economy through support of proactive programs that stimulate economic growth for the state and its residents.

“During the past year, the global economic downturn has affected everyone including the State of Iowa and the people who live and work here. Now is not the time to retrench economic development efforts but strengthen them. The Iowa Chamber Alliance will continue to provide leadership on issues and strategic policy recommendations to stimulate economic growth in Iowa,” said Debi Durham, Iowa Chamber Alliance Chair, and President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. “The Alliance calls on the Iowa legislature to address key issues which include continuing to balance the state budget each year, preserve Iowa’s business foundation and business climate, consider a pilot program to extend the length of the school day and/or year and continue strategies for sustaining and revitalizing our communities. We are committed to creating an environment conducive to business success which leads to job expansion and increased state and local revenues.”
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WSJVenture capitalists have formed a foundation to stoke entrepreneurial fire among young people in New England cities.

Technology Underwriting Greater Good, founded in October by Hemant Taneja, partner of General Catalyst Partners, Jeff Fagnan, partner of Atlas Venture, and Dana Samuels, Atlas’s head of investor relations, intends to raise about $200,000 in donations in the next 12 months to fund fledgling organizations that help young entrepreneurs.
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Clean Tech BriefPension and sovereign wealth funds are set to be among the investors in the UK government’s planned £1 billion ($1.7 billion) Innovation Fund for the life science, cleantech and digital sectors.

The fund was launched by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June 2009, with an initial government investment of GBP 150 million ($248 million).
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Tech Journal SouthRALEIGH, NC - North Carolina plans to start an equity fund to invest in state-based companies, says State Treasurer Janet Cowell.

At Cowell's request, the state legislature gave her more room to manage state pension fund investments permitting her to start the Innovation Fund.

The fund will invest up to $250 million in companies with "significant operations" in North Carolina.

Cowell's office is palns to name the investment firm that will manage the fund next week.
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Business WeekOn a November afternoon, a dozen executives from companies including investment banks Rothschild and Goldman Sachs (GS) and tech research firm Gartner (IT) ringed a conference table in a brownstone on New York's Upper East Side. They were there to learn how U.S. businesses could develop products more cheaply and quickly by borrowing strategies from India. Speaker Navi Radjou, who heads the recently formed Centre for India & Global Business at England's Cambridge University, summed up his advice in one word: jugaad.

A Hindi slang word, jugaad (pronounced "joo-gaardh") translates to an improvisational style of innovation that's driven by scarce resources and attention to a customer's immediate needs, not their lifestyle wants. It captures how Tata Group, Infosys Technologies (INFY), and other Indian corporations have gained international stature. The term seems likely to enter the lexicon of management consultants, mingling with Six Sigma, total quality, lean, and kaizen, the Japanese term for continuous improvement.
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Clean TechIreland has launched the EUR 26 million ($40 million) Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund to invest in startup and early stage companies.

The fund will focus on export-orientated, high potential startups in the technology (including green technology), food and financial services sectors, in addition to supporting patent and patent-pending projects within Irish universities. It will be managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and the other partners by Kernel Capital
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Venture BeatIBM is opening an innovation center in the Philippines to fuel technology growth in another emerging market.

Big Blue is opening the center in Quezon City in metropolitan Manila. Like recently opened centers in Kazakhstan and Vietnam, this one is aimed at helping local businesses and academic communities to build technology skills. IBM hopes to spur innovation in digital infrastructure projects in banking, energy, telecommunications, transportation, retail and government. Such centers are a big deal in emerging countries and they signal that the country is ready for technology investment.
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Small Business TrendsWhat determines whether a small business succeeds or fails? Well, we don’t have any definitive answers—yet. But the more we learn about this, the more it will help government officials create policies that better support small businesses. With that end in mind, the Kauffman Foundation has just released a new study, The Making of a Successful Entrepreneur, which offers insight into what successful entrepreneurs believe most affects the success or failure of a startup business.

The survey polled 549 founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries, including aerospace, defense, computing, electronics and health care. Here’s what they said:
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