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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.

success

The biggest challenge these days doesn’t seem to be in starting a new business, but sustaining it against the onslaught of market changes and new competitors that emerge every day. Yet, as an angel investor, I still see too many new business owners who are convinced that their biggest challenge is to get money to start, and once launched with some initial success, they can relax.

 

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ecommerce

As people across the globe are spending more time in the virtual sphere, businesses are also making a robust digital shift. Other than cutting costs, e-commerce is giving businesses higher visibility than brick and mortar stores ever could. Increasing their reach both nationally and globally, the e-commerce sales grew 13 per cent in 2017, hitting an estimated $29 trillion as reported by UNCTAD. A similar surge was seen in the number of online shoppers, which jumped by 12 per cent and stood at 1.3 billion people, or one-quarter of the world’s population.

 

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pixel - Good Report

The Internet has empowered creators—writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other content creators—to showcase their creativity. The “disintermediation” of traditional publishing houses and record label companies due to the digital distribution model is old news. But how much have independent creators tangibly benefited from the digital economy? A recent case study by the Re:Create Coalition of nine platforms that are popular among creators—Amazon Publishing, eBay, Etsy, Instagram, Shapeways, Tumblr, Twitch, WordPress, and YouTube—suggests that 16.9 million creators in the U.S. earned an estimated $6.8 billion on these platforms in 2017.

 

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buddy

Bringing a new employee onboard is both an exciting and stressful time. And while managers play a critical role in shaping a new employees’ first weeks and months, a broader team effort can ensure the experience is both positive and productive.

Over the last few years, Microsoft has been working to improve its onboarding process. At the outset, we learned that a seemingly simple action — managers having one-on-one meetings with their new hires during their first week on the job — has outsized benefits. Through our continued research, we’ve also come to another conclusion: Onboarding buddies play an important role in ensuring a successful onboarding experience.

 

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News Staff s Profile Science 2 0The movie version of scientists is a lone scientist having a "Eureka!" moment in a laboratory - thanks, Archimedes. In modern times, for example, ecoterrorists attack because humanity is a plague, science creates a cure, we are saved, or a scientist is a myopic tinkerer who creates a virus and government wants to weaponize it, etc.(1) 

In reality, academic inventions are rare, the private sector in the US instead funds almost all applied science and half of basic research. And before they happen there are often large teams with long cycles of testing, validation and regulatory approvals before they can be turned into something useful, such as a new vaccine. Since inventions are not the strong suit of universities, how do technology transfer offices pick and choose winners to support?

 

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canadian flag

There has been a Canadian consensus on the merits of foreign direct investment (FDI) for decades that cuts across sectors and partisan lines. In our traditional industries, it makes perfect sense. When foreign investors put up a hotel or finance resource development, there are obvious positive economic spillovers to the benefit of Canadians.

However, as the driver of wealth creation in the global economy shifts from tangible assets such as infrastructure to intangible assets such as algorithms, data sets and software-as-services, the national benefits of FDI into the domestic tech sector become opaque.

 

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failure

Whenever we talk to executives and ask how their past innovation efforts have succeeded, we usually get quite a muted response.

Most have tried at least some innovation initiatives or programs, and many have had positive experiences from some of them, but overall the end result often seems to be a bit of a disappointment.

These executives aren’t alone. According to McKinsey’s Global Innovation Survey, only 6% of executives are satisfied with their innovation performance.

 

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turtle

Nearly four decades ago zoologist Michael Thompson, then at the University of Adelaide in Australia, made an alarming discovery: invasive red foxes were gobbling up more than 90 percent of all the turtle eggs laid along the banks of Australia’s Murray River. Thompson’s surveys also revealed a disproportionate number of older turtles, suggesting that fox predation had already reduced the amount of juveniles in the river. If no one took action, he warned, the formerly abundant turtles would eventually disappear.

 

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NIH Logo

The great American political divide shows no sign of ending as the United States lurches toward the 2020 presidential election. However, one of the few areas where the parties have joined together in recent years has been where NIH funding is concerned.

Days after President Donald Trump proposed a 12% cut in NIH funding, to $34.368 billion, as part of his proposed $4.75 trillion budget for the 2020 federal fiscal year, leaders in Congress—on both sides of the proverbial aisle—made it clear they wouldn’t go along.

 

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midwest

Those working to accelerate economic growth in the Heartland must face some stark realities. The Great Lakes region continues to export wealth to coastal economies, even as investment leaders try to equalize growth between the coasts and the Heartland. The region sees only a tiny fraction of venture capital (VC) deals, despite producing one quarter to one third of the nation’s research and development, new patents, and top talent. Great Lakes VC funds are currently seen as too small or too unknown for investors—at a time when VC is funding fewer firms with bigger exits.

 

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whiteboard startup

It is said—and widely accepted—that culture eats strategy for breakfast. Company culture is also an important driver for innovation. According to a 2016 Gartner Financial Services Innovation Survey, “The biggest threat to innovation is internal politics and an organizational culture which doesn’t accept failure, doesn’t accept ideas from outside, and/or cannot change.” Another MIT Sloan School of Management study found that corporate culture was a much more important driver of radical innovation than labor, capital, government or national culture.

 

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innovation

OK, raise your hand if you remember the travel industry before Kayak (millennials, you are excused from the question). Planning a trip was tedious, right? You had to find a travel agent and exchange a gazillion emails and phone calls. You had to check your voicemail, and there were even (gasp!) faxed itineraries for your trip. Not the best of times. Except for the part about how amazing it was to have a relationship with a great human being -- the travel agent -- who would patiently wade through your budget and time constraints.

 

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