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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.

Speaking at the Bruegel think-tank in Brussels today, Business Secretary and former EU Trade Commissioner Lord Mandelson set out what he sees as the challenges facing Europe.

Lord Mandelson spoke about Europe’s role in the world; how we need to get our economic, political and institutional act together, whilst outlining some new ideas on how the work of the European Commission could be reorganised, particularly in the wake of the economic crisis.

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Today, the United States is the leader in innovative health care. Most major medical breakthroughs, new procedures and drug treatments are invented, developed, tested and offered in America first.

Some claim that our higher cost of medicine is not matched by measures of national health such as rates of infant mortality, life expectancy and diabetes. These statistics do not measure the quality of health care but rather the choices Americans make in diet, exercise, pregnancy and lifestyle.

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Here are two items about Israel's enormous success in the sphere of technological innovation. Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, talks about the book's findings in this transcribed telephone conversation and this short video clip. Business success is not likely to do the country's reputation any good with many of its critics, and with some of them it will only confirm their prejudices. But letting this be how it may - in the phone call with Jeffrey Goldberg, Senor identifies amongst the problems for 'entrepreneurial culture' in the Arab world...

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On Thursday after a month of consideration, the Senate approved the $64.9 billion Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill by a 71-28 vote. The Senate initially began considering the bill on October 5th, but tabled the debate after failing to invoke cloture on October 13th.

Included in the bill are the following appropriations for federal science and engineering agencies:

  • $6.9 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), a $426 million increase over FY 2009 and $128 million below the President's request.
  • $878.8 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), a $59.8 million increase over FY 2009 and $32.7 million increase over the President's request;
  • $18.69 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in FY 2010, a $903 million increase above the FY 2009 and equal to the President's request.
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The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) has named Mike Volker, executive director of SFU’s University/Industry Liaison Office (UILO), as its 2009 Canadian Angel of the Year.

NACO is Canada’s industry association for "angel investors"—typically affluent individuals who invest their own funds in promising business start-ups in exchange for a stake in the enterprise.

Volker is a high-tech entrepreneur who has spent more than 40 years developing early-stage technology-based businesses, as a founder, investor, director, officer and mentor.

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A bombastic war of words is under way in Silicon Valley.

In one corner, Internet entrepreneur and TechCrunch50 co-producer Jason Calacanis has declared “jihad” on the Keiretsu Forum, accusing the angel group of taking advantage of startup companies and calling the fees the forum charges companies to pitch for investments from its members “payola.”

In the other corner, a mystified Keiretsu Forum finds itself defending a record that includes its Northern California members investing $1.4 million in seven companies this year alone.
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(Fortune magazine) -- First and foremost, Steve Jobs is an entrepreneur. And that is how history will long remember him. Not primarily as a fiduciary or an institution builder or an administrator (though he has worn all those hats), but rather as an individual who relentlessly pursued new opportunities.

From the first Apple computers to the breakthrough innovations of the past eight years -- the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and his Apple stores -- he has chased new possibilities without being deterred by whatever obstacles he encountered.

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Chicago, IL - As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to revive local economies, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today visited a job training center in Chicago benefiting from private sector investments made through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. As part of his visit, Geithner announced $5 billion in NMTC awards, including $1.5 billion made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), for more than 90 organizations in communities around the country.

“We must rebuild our economy on a firmer foundation, one that equips our workers with the skills and education they need to compete,” said Secretary Geithner. “We must make sure that the advantages of this new, stronger economy are broadly shared. Too often, communities are left behind by economic growth. The Recovery Act and the New Markets Tax Credit program help break this vicious cycle to ensure the benefits of growth reaches all corners of the country.”

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When the team at Twitter Inc. hatched the idea of producing a mobile device dedicated to “tweeting” they contacted Jonathan Kaplan, founder of a gadget company that experienced one of the most successful exits for venture investors in 2009.

The TwitterPeek Kaplan, who sold Flip camera maker Pure Digital Technologies Inc. to Cisco Systems Inc. for $590 million in stock, told the team the man to talk to was Amol Sarva.

Sarva is the founder of Peek Inc., a company that coincidentally aims to be the Pure Digital of mobile email. The company builds a sleek, simple, affordable gadget that allows people to send or receive email.
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Today we are beginning to accept nominations for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will take place in Washington, D.C. next spring.

This event is the direct result of President Obama’s speech in Cairo last June.

In that speech, the President sought to establish a new beginning built on the basis of mutual respect, the pursuit of partnerships in areas of mutual interest, and the shared principles and aspirations that bring us together as human beings.

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Motley Fool Holdings Inc. this week announced it raised $25 million in venture financing. Good for The Fool.

But pulling back the curtain, there’s more than just a simple round of financing here. The deal points to creative ways in which venture firms are finding liquidity other than the standard acquisitions, IPOs and secondary sales.

The funding comes from mezzanine investor BIA Digital Partners and growth investor Patriot Capital, new shareholders in the online investing site. Motley Fool’s early investors - venture firms Maveron and Mayfield Fund, which invested during the dot-com bubble - and secondary firm Saints Capital, which bought shares in 2005, did not reinvest. Instead, they will eventually be bought out.

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The day is finally here, and we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards! These are global awards that celebrate new ideas and innovative approaches to the enhancement and delivery of intranets. Winning entries in 2009 include CRS Australia (Australia), IDEO (USA), IBM (USA), SunGard (USA/NZ), NYK Group (UK), Sabre (USA), COWI (Denmark), ChTPZ (Russia), Prophet (USA) and AEP (USA).

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