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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.

Got Science? We Do, But Things Are Very Different Forty Years After Apollo by Chris Mooney

Seeing a moonscape on the cover of Time magazine as I walked through Chicago’s O’Hare airport this morning cemented for me the fact that we’re in a ripe moment for introspection about the place of science in U.S. society. It’s not just a marker-in-time like Monday’s 40-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s one small step. It’s the bombardment of new survey data from Pew and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, showing the vast gap between science and the public. It’s the ongoing bloodletting in the science blogosphere over how we should deal with the sensitive topic of America’s religiosity. It’s the continual strangulation of science journalism in the traditional media.

Venture capital rebounds slightly: Is Startup Nation back? by Alex Salkever

According to the MoneyTree Report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters, venture capitalists invested $3.7 billion in 612 deals during the quarter. That constitutes a dollar increase in investment activity of 15 percent over the same period last year. However, the number are likely skewed upwards by a handful of very large deals in the life sciences sector and on a normalized basis VC fundings likely would not show as much improvement.

Change is in the air for venture capitalists by Adeo Ressi

A lot of changes are in-store for venture capitalists in the second half of 2009, and recent data published by the National Venture Capital Association shows concerning trends. Venture capital firms raised a meager $1.7 billion in the second quarter of 2009, almost six times less than the $9.2 billion raised in same quarter last year. Meanwhile, firms invested $3.6 billion in Q2 ‘09, more than twice as much as they were able to bring in. With more money going out than coming in, here are some predictions for the coming months.

Venture capital investing just half of what it was last year, by Tracy Seipel

Venture capital investing nationwide in the second quarter rose modestly from the previous quarter but still totaled only $3.7 billion — half of what it was the same time last year. And it is on track to end the year at the lowest level since the mid-1990s, according to a venture industry report released Monday.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area's share of the national total declined, according to the MoneyTree report. Venture capitalists invested $1.18 billion in Bay Area companies during the quarter, down 8 percent from the first quarter and down 61 percent from the second quarter of 2008. Th e sum represented 32 percent of total fundings, the Bay Area's smallest share since the third quarter of 2003.

Innovation Policy in an Innovation-Driven Economy by Brian Kahin

Everybody agrees that innovation is important to our nation’s economic growth and future prosperity, but what can the government do to promote it? The consensus of four years ago focused on remedying our perceived competitive shortcomings in science education and research, especially in the physical sciences. Today, the question takes on new urgency with the recognition that much of the economic growth experienced over the past decade was illusory. For the long term, we need to take a closer look at the institutions that enable innovation, not only to see how they can be better coordinated but also how they can respond to the evolving forms and practice of innovation.

A New Revolution Among Latin American Pension Funds? by Cate Abrose

One of the key issues affecting the development of private equity and venture capital investment in Latin America is the availability of capital from local pension funds – private capital firms in Brazil, Colombia and Peru have succeeded in raising new funds in 2009 even as institutional investors in the US and Europe have remained on the sidelines.

In Peru and Colombia for example, pension funds have backed local emerging firms, driving the creation of a domestic PE/VC industry in both of those markets in the space of about five years.

Federal CTO Says U.S. Lagging In Innovation, By J. Nicholas Hoover

The United States has fallen behind other nations in innovation, but has the capacity to regain its lead, federal chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra said Tuesday.

"We have failed to translate the power and potential in our nation's capacity to compete in a more globally competitive marketplace," he said in a keynote address to the Open Government and Innovations Conference in Washington, D.C. "Our public policy has failed to keep up with all we have around us."

Are Manufacturers Also Too Big to Fail?, by Louis Uchitelle

Peter Wynn Thompson for The New York TimesIf the Obama administration has a strategy for reviving manufacturing, Douglas Bartlett would like to know what it is.

Today's Business: Louis Uchitelle on the Obama Administration's Approach to Manufacturing Buffeted by foreign competition, Mr. Bartlett (pictured at right) recently closed his printed circuit board factory, founded 57 years ago by his father, and laid off the remaining 87 workers. Last week, he auctioned off the machinery, and soon he will raze the factory itself in Cary, Ill.

“The property taxes are no longer affordable,” Mr. Bartlett said glumly, “so I am going to tear down the building and sit on the land, and hopefully sell it after the recession when land prices hopefully rise.”

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Markets or Communities? The Best Ways to Manage Outside Innovation by Sean Silverthorne

"But the art of managing these external innovation models is far from mastered—just ask Boeing. The airline manufactuer's 787 Dreamliner, designed and built using more than 100 outside partners, is perhaps the most-watched example of the use of innovation networks. But already almost two years late, the project was dealt another blow last month when Boeing again delayed the first flight of the aircraft after identifying a structural weakness."