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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.

SSTI: Time to Seize the Moment? Will States and Regions Lead U.S. into Next Economy

This week's Digest covers two new independent reports that separately assess two critical aspects to how well nations are prepared for the economic recovery: competitiveness and educational attainment. The news, obvious in our choice of headlines, may suggest the past year - actually several years - has not been kind to the United States relative to other nations. Reading the articles one will see, however, that it isn't time that is working against the U.S. but rather our progress on several indicators of preparedness for a future based on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. The reports show other nations are succeeding in laying a more solid foundation for their future than the U.S. is preparing for itself.

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SSTI: U.S. Slips from First Place in Global Competitiveness Rankings

The United States fell from its position as the most competitive national economy according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) recently released annual Global Competitiveness Report. Switzerland took the top spot as the U.S. fell to a close second place in the weighted ranking system. The report attributed the switch in positions to a number of growing weaknesses that have plagued the U.S. over the past year, while the Swiss economy remained relatively stable. Though the U.S. continues to perform well in measures of innovation, the country declined in indices of its institutional effectiveness and macroeconomic stability. The U.S.'s persistent fiscal deficits and trade imbalances were noted as a particular threat to the nation's mid- and long-term competitiveness.

 

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WSJ: Entrepreneur Cuts Back Amid Recession

As chief executive of Perfect Commerce, which made business software, he figured the collapse of the dot.com boom meant he could pick up foundering competitors cheaply. "Company after company was folding, and they had wonderful technology," he says. Flush with venture-capital funding, he built his customer base by acquiring a dozen competitors rather than by adding to his sales force.

Jobs' Return Brings Ovation: Where's the Innovation?

Steve Jobs' return to the spotlight at yesterday’s Apple music innovation event brought down the house: the legendary CEO received a standing ovation from his crowd. While thin and slightly hoarse, he seemed energized to be back. Jobs got right down to brass tacks and told his audience about his recent liver transplant, much-discussed in the tech tabloids and media as a whole. Said Jobs, “I had a liver transplant five months ago and now I have a liver from a mid-20s person, who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. I wouldn’t be here without such generosity.” Despite Jobs’ enthusiastic welcome home, Apple’s conference seemed more about ovations than innovation.

Our recent features include a major report from Jonathan Sallet, Ed Paisley, and Justin Masterman on how the federal government can support innovation clusters. As well, Ruth Faden and Jonathan Moreno describe the ethical imperative for healthcare reform; Ricardo Rossello explains new possibilities for flu vaccines; and Eli Adashi argues that in spite of recent controversies over in vitro fertilization, we should not lose sight of the pioneering research that has helped millions of infertile couples.

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Hawaii: Innovation and Diversification Key to Future Growth

Hawaii has seen its tourism industry severely impacted by the economic downturn, but there have been some signs of stabilization. Pearl Imada Iboshi, state economist and economics research administrator, says signs of stabilization have shown up in the visitor count data that her department closely watches. “The slight increase in domestic passengers somewhat offsets the international, largely Japanese, market,” she says.

SBIR Agency Profile – USDA

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes competitively awarded grants that are to qualified small businesses to support high quality, advanced concepts research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefit if successful.

Bendis to appear on three panels at NASVF Converence (Sept 14 through 16) in Oklahoma City

The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds conference in Oklahoma City is Sept. 14-16 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. This year is the 16th annual event from NASVF, a global nonprofit that promotes investments in seed and early-stage companies by supporting entrepreneurs and creating jobs from innovative capital programs. The organization connects investors, economic development organizations and tech transfer professionals all looking to create stronger economies and jobs. Presenters and attendees at the two-day event get the chance to share ideas and discuss strategies. The conference regularly draws seed and early-stage fund managers, fund-of-fund managers, state venture capital leaders, angel investment leaders, institutional investors and tech commercialization experts. For an agenda of the conference, including times for sessions and speakers, go to www.nasvf.org/confapp.php.

WSJ: It’s Official: Solyndra Is First Solar Co. Awarded Federal Loan

The Obama administration on Friday used the California site of a planned solar-panel factory to complete the first-ever loan guarantee for a renewable-energy project, a $535 million deal that will allow Solyndra Inc. to create hundreds of jobs.

The announcement, outlined by Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a region battered by an auto-factory shutdown, comes as Obama administration officials are hoping to show that investments in clean energy projects can help reverse almost two years of job losses.

WSJ: The Daily Start-Up: Emily Melton Moves Up On Sand Hill Road

Moving Down The Street- Emily Melton toiled for nine years at venture firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, investing in a bunch of Internet start-ups like Meebo Inc. and MyShape Inc. But she never reached partner status. Now, with DFJ downsizing expectations for its newest fund, Melton gets that chance at rival firm Mayfield Fund, which has seen three of its managing directors scale back their roles, VentureWire reports. Melton, 32, gives the Mayfield team a little bit of youth, writes the Bits blog. She’ll have an easy move, considering Mayfield is right down the street from DFJ on Sand Hill Road.

Middle East Entrepreneur Training Inspires Next Generation of Business Leaders

As part of this plan, the President offered several critical areas where we can build partnerships: women’s empowerment, education, technology, and health, to name a few. I want to highlight an especially important topic that I was excited to hear the President address in Cairo: The vital role that entrepreneurship plays in supporting economic development and opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Obama Education Speech: Innovation, Problem Solving, and Twitter

Look past all the controversy and President Obama's education speech is an evocation of the heart of the American mythology; work hard and you can achieve. The speech is an interesting case study in entrepreneurial role models.

The main thrust of the content is about the fact that while parents, teachers, governments all have a responsibility to help in our education, how we use what we've been given is ultimately a matter of personal responsibility and initiative.

Science, Technology and Innovation play major role in EU economy

R&D expenditure in the EU27 stable at 1.85% of GDP in 2007 while researchers account for almost 1% of total employment

In 2007, the EU27 spent 229 billion euro on Research & Development 1 (R&D). R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP equalled 1.85% in 2007, stable compared with 2006. Germany (62 bn euro), France (39 bn) and the United Kingdom (37 bn) accounted together for 60% of total R&D expenditure in the EU27 in 2007.