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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.


It is 5 P.M. in Santa Clara, California. Elodie Rebesque, a senior at Los Altos High School, is rushing out of class. She has a medical appointment of sorts. A few blocks away, she pushes open the door of BioCurious, a community lab whose mission is to create a space for amateurs, inventors, entrepreneurs and anyone else who wants to learn and experiment with biology in a friendly, educational environment. Eric Espinosa, Elodie’s mentor, quickly assesses the results of her last experiment to identify next steps.


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Industry funding of university research is an important component of U.S. academic research and industrial innovation, especially as federal funding for universities continues to decline and companies cut back on basic, intramural research. However, U.S. states vary dramatically on the extent to which their research universities attract industry support. In part, this is because of policy and administrative choices states and universities make. All states, but especially the laggards, would benefit from policies to attract more industry research funding, particularly as such funding appears to generate technology-based economic activity at the state level.


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Students with the potential to be America’s next Einstein can be identified in elementary school, yet most won’t grow up to be innovators. So where’s the disconnect? Researchers from the Equality of Opportunity Project examined patents, tax records, and test scores to determine which kids grow up to become inventors in the United States—and which ones do not. According to the findings, limitations that begin early in life help dictate whether a given American will contribute transformational ideas to society.


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The nonprofit sector is being stirred up my new digital tools and dynamic social marketing strategies capable of raising more funds than was possible a decade ago. Social change is no longer limited to nonprofit enterprises. Social entrepreneurs are discovering new ways of thinking about their roles as changemakers. The traditional NGO business model is still as relevant as it always was, but awareness of new options can help directors to think creatively about their business model.


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Starting a new business is a serious undertaking. Yet many aspiring entrepreneurs I know approach it as a fun project, get-rich quick scheme, or perhaps an expensive hobby. Others quit their day jobs and commit everything to their new passion, without regard for their own well-being, or the welfare of others around them. Neither of these approaches bodes well for success.


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“Every morning I wake up and think of what I need to do, and I’m afraid,” Ayse Birsel confesses. “What if I don’t come up with a good idea? The only remedy to that is to start doing it.”

But Birsel, who’s the cofounder and creative director of design studio Birsel + Seck and the author of Design the Life You Love, knows it isn’t easy pushing past that fear in order to get started on something.

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Angel investors from around the world will meet in Istanbul in February to explore the role of family offices and wealth management institutions in fostering innovation and delivering more business value.

The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), which will be held between Feb. 18 and 20, will host presidents and leading angel investment figures from 75 countries, which fund entrepreneurs with a transaction volume of $50 billion around the world.

This year’s forum will be gathered under the theme of “Unlocking the Potential for Innovation: Angel Investors Partnering with Family Offices and Wealth Management Institutions.”


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For loggers, fishers and pilots, the risk of life-threatening accidents in remote locations comes with the job. High rates of workplace fatalities kept those occupations atop the latest list of America’s most dangerous jobs, according to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS).


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crypto-currency mining computer

Mark was a sophomore at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he began mining cryptocurrencies more or less by accident.

In November 2016, he stumbled on NiceHash, an online marketplace for individuals to mine cryptocurrency for willing buyers. His desktop computer, boosted with a graphics card, was enough to get started. Thinking he might make some money, Mark, who asked not to use his last name, downloaded the platform’s mining software and began mining for random buyers in exchange for payments in bitcoin. Within a few weeks, he had earned back the $120 cost of his graphics card, as well as enough to buy another for $200.


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In a celebrated 1995 article in Newsweek, astronomer Clifford Stoll blasted Internet visionaries. “Do our computer pundits lack all common sense?” he asked. “The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

Clearly, he was mistaken, but Stoll was no Luddite. In fact, he was an early adopter of the Internet who had spent years online. His article merely reflected what he saw: a complex technology meant for highly technical people like him, not a easy-to-use service for ordinary consumers.


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