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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.

WSJ: Qiming Joins Growing List Of VC, PE Firms Mulling Yuan Fund

Chinese venture firm Qiming Venture Partners has added an executive director and venture partner to its staff as it considers a move to enter the country’s venture market with a local-currency fund.

Janet Yu, who joins Shanghai-based Qiming as an executive director, previously worked as the general manager in the fund investing department in China Binhai New Area Venture Capital Guiding Fund, according to her biography published on Qiming’s Web site.

BusinessWeek Blog on Corporate Tax Reform:
Turning Corporate Taxes into an Innovation Spur

As Michael Mandel has written in BusinessWeek, the current U.S. recession is due in part to a shortfall in innovation and competitiveness.  Those lags, in turn, can be traced to the U.S. corporate tax code.  U.S. statutory and effective corporate tax rates are high compared to those of other nations.  Moreover, the code provides only minimal incentives for companies to invest in the building blocks of innovation: research, new capital equipment, and labor skills.  It is time to redesign the tax code to help turbocharge the U.S. innovation engine.  Doing so will improve U.S. competitiveness, not only by reducing international tax differentials, but by also spurring more domestic investment in research and development, productivity-enchancing capital expenditures, and worker training.

Read the BusinessWeek Blog.

Innovation boost for UK business as companies invited to bid for £6m investment

British businesses have been invited to bid for a total of £6m of investment in a drive to boost technological innovation across the UK. The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is working to encourage UK business to continue to innovate through the recession, in order to be in a strong position as the economy starts to recover.

Boston Innovation Culture 4 -- Equity Culture

A few posts back I reported on work I’ve done comparing innovation in Boston and California. I argued that Silicon Valley beats Boston by a mile in it’s “recombination” capability: quick focus of energy and resources on new opportunities like the PC and the internet. Recombination is enabled by three things: an entrepreneurial community, “open” systems, and an equity culture. [There is a link to the complete presentation, Strengthening the Massachusetts Innovation Culture, at the end of this post.]

What Tweaks Me…

So I am just sitting here in the rain – actually I am in our house and it is raining outside – just thinking about a couple of things that really tweak me. Here is my current Top Five list…

NASA Selects 16 Small Business Research and Technology Projects

The SBIR program selected 12 proposals for negotiation of phase II contracts, with a total value of approximately $7.2 million. The awards went to 12 small, high technology firms in nine states.

The STTR program selected four proposals for negotiation of phase II contract awards, with a total value of approximately $2.4 million. The awards went to four small high technology firms in four states partnered with three research institutions in three states.

Seed is the new Series A for VCs

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that VCs have, over the past few quarters, been reluctant to put term sheets down on new investments. Most venture folks have instead been preoccupied with tending to their portfolio companies, either ensuring that their most promising companies have enough capital and resources to weather the downturn, or trying to sell off the others.

French for Entrepreneur

Could the French fondness for a single job for life be giving away to a new spirit of entrepreneurialism? The number of new private businesses launched in France is soaring. June saw an all-time record, and figures in July were only slightly off that pace. French officials estimate that by the end of 2009 France will be about half a million new firms better off. In 2008 just 328,000 small companies were created, and in 2007 the figure was 321,000.

Digital 21 - Entrepreneurship: Cultivating the art of the start

Now that we have realised the false economy that comes with selling houses to one another, the nation is in a fight for economic survival and amongst the 430,000 people now on the live register there are surely entrepreneurs who can be encouraged to establish their own businesses.

But small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the Irish economy, are battling against a situation whereby the banks that their own Government has bailed out are refusing credit. This does not bode well for entrepreneurs who need to access start-up capital. So creative means must be identified as a matter of urgency to ensure that access to seed capital and supports to enter overseas markets exist.

Govt committed to supporting R&D

Ms Ayittey said this in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the Fourth Biennial National Delegates' Conference of the Senior Staff Association of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Bunso in the Eastern Region. The Minister said government was committed to ensure increase in agriculture production so as to achieve food security and employment. She commended the CSIR for its contribution in agricultural research in respect of varietals trails, crosses research techniques, yield improvements and pest control.

Entrepreneurship as a Safety Net

Is entrepreneurship the new safety net? In a viewpoint column this week, Chris Farrell suggests that corporate careers have become more uncertain than ever, and young people are looking to microenterprises for stability.

Corporate loyalty used to work both ways, with loyal employees being rewarded with long-term job security. That model began to fall apart with mass layoffs in the 1970s, Farrell notes. Now that pay cuts and furloughs — once shunned even by corporations laying off workers — have become commonplace, he suggests, workers see less value and stability in corporate careers. Along with bolstering savings, workers are looking to microbusinesses as a hedge against the risk of layoffs or pay cuts:

Israeli Innovation

The latest issue of the City Journal includes an article on the unmatched economic and scientific accomplishments achieved by Israel in its short history. The high-tech industry dominates the Israeli economy and the author includes some interesting statistics regarding the country’s global standing in the technology sector. As of 2007, Israel houses more foreign NASDAQ-traded companies than any other country. Notably, the author writes:

Entrepreneur investors launching a $5 million investment fund for new ventures in medical devices and health care services.

Wealthy entrepreneurs who made their mark in the region's health-care sector want to seed a new wave of business growth.

Up to 20 investors, led by some of the region's most successful health care executives, are launching a $5 million investment fund for new ventures in medical devices and health care services.

U.S. Continues to Tread Water in Global R&D Tax Incentives

Although once offering the most generous R&D tax credit in the world, the United States now ranks 17th out of the 30 OECD countries.  The United States’ R&D credit has fallen so far behind compared to other nations it would have to increase the Alternative Simplified Credit from its current value of 14 percent to 47 percent to once again be the world leader in R&D tax generosity.

Read the WebMemo.

EDC Expo speaker (Richard Bendis) to discuss capital, mentorship value

An experienced hand at developing capital resources will headline the Entrepreneurial Development Center’s fourth annual Expo.

Richard Bendis, president and CEO of Innovation America, a national private/public partnership focused on entrepreneurism, will talk about capital fundraising challenges at the Sept. 1 event at Kirkwood Center for Continuing Education in southwest Cedar Rapids.

Larta Institute Wins National Science Foundation (NSF) Contract

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 27, 2009 -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that Larta Institute (www.larta.org), one of the best-known and largest commercialization services companies in the U.S., has been tapped to design and manage a commercialization assistance program aimed at small-company grantees across the U.S. NSF joins other U.S. agencies, specifically the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Telemedicine Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), in recognizing the Institute's work on behalf of innovation and commercialization.