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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.

New ScientistWhen Unilever wanted ideas for a new TV advertising campaign to sell its Peperami snack food, it decided to try something unusual. It dropped its ad agency of 15 years and turned instead to a little known internet site called, an online marketplace trading in creative ideas. Companies or individuals post topics and then sit back and wait for surfers to send in their best shots. After the closing date, the client selects the best idea and pays the winner.

The challenge generated over 1000 replies and in November last year, Unilever paid out $15,000 for the two ideas it liked best. The new Peperami adverts are due to appear on British TV later this year.
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The Finance for Business North East Fund was unveiled by Rosie Winterton MP, Minister for Regional Economic Development and Co-ordination, to scores of businesses at an event at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham.

The new fund - formerly called JEREMIE - will underpin the growth of business start-ups, technology-based companies and growing smaller businesses, helping to create jobs and prosperity for the region through targeted loans and equity investments.

Over the next five years, it will support up to 850 small and medium-sized North East companies, with the aim of creating more than 5,000 jobs.

Rosie Winterton MP said: "I am delighted to formally launch the North East ‘super fund’.
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The 111th Congress begins with our nation facing challenges on many fronts: a foundering economy; a climate in crisis; a growing need for energy we produce at home; and our scientific leadership slipping. The keys to solving these problems lie in science, technology, and the American spirit of innovation. In the 111th Congress, the Committee on Science and Technology plans to work on issues including energy technology development, climate and weather monitoring, math and science education programs, nanotechnology, the space program, aviation research, and technical standards for industries from energy to health care to telecommunications. The Committee also will work with the new Administration to implement other critical science and technology priorities.

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Business StandardValue innovation can help improve efficiency across the organisation and deliver better results.

In the second decade of the 21st century, it is imperative that governments increase the quality of life for their citizens, and companies drive sustainable, profitable growth to compete effectively in the global economy. They do this through innovation.

Innovation is critically important but is it clear what innovation is? It can be many things: Doing things differently, thinking out of the box, coming up with new ideas and products, taking risks, being creative. The ability of an organisation to innovate is not only a function of processes and tools but also the organisation’s culture and stakeholder behaviour. It is easy to see why innovation is misunderstood.
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Massachusetts marked a sobering milestone last month: For the first time since World War II, the state ended a decade with fewer jobs than it had at the beginning.

The decade started with a technology bust and ended with a historic national recession. Job loss was spread over most of the state’s major employment sectors, as the decade’s quickening pace of globalization, competition, and technological change pressured the Massachusetts economy. Manufacturing took the biggest hit, shedding one job in three.

“The job creation engine for Massachusetts is broken,’’ said Michael Goodman, an economic analyst and professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. “We have a high tech, innovation economy, but one that is not creating enough jobs.’’
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Will your innovation stand up to this 2-minute test?

In the last couple of years I’ve been repeatedly reminded of an essential, yet all too often overlooked, step in the innovation approach. This is my plea for you to blend commercialism with your creativity!

As a brand communication and innovation consultant working globally in the Food & Beverage sector I am privileged to see many innovation approaches. Naturally, there are a huge number of routes to new ideas and many contributing success factors.

But when I’m asked to consult on failed launches, to ‘pick up the pieces’ of a failed new product, I find there is usually 1 question I can ask to get to the root of the problem – and asking that 1 question is the missing step in too many innovation processes:
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As we described last week in State Job Creation Strategies Part I: Finding the Money and Investing in Human Capital and Physical Infrastructure, competing globally for jobs starts with policy makers instituting fundamental investments in education, human capital and physical infrastructure that make their state a productive environment for economic innovation.

The next step, as this Dispatch will describe, is helping the private sector leverage opportunities for job creation and technological innovation. Too often, some state leaders treat economic development as merely a bidding war between states to give away the most tax breaks or economic subsidies to big corporate bidders. Not only do most studies show such tax-giveaway approaches to be ineffective -- fundamentals like labor productivity and physical infrastructure are more critical in site selection for most global businesses -- but they end up devoting most state resources to a few large businesses while ignoring investments in start-ups and smaller homegrown firms that are the heart of long-term local prosperity.
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“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” While Winston Churchill’s famous words are typically attributed to political and social reform, they also carry great value in business. Partnerships provide great opportunities for entrepreneurs to create larger impact. It is way to share risk, exchange ideas, build capital and pool resources. For instance, if two like-minded entrepreneur’s contribute $500k, it could ladder up to a $1 million goal.

We can learn from all types of partnerships — from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to lesser known partnerships, such as J.P Morgan, the Vanderbuilts and Edison. Partnerships of entrepreneurs and thinkers have shaped the way we communicate, and inspired innovation. By analyzing the greatest partnerships in history, we give you the top five reasons to form a partnership:
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Bill Gates' dance moves during a John Legend/The Roots concert at Sundance over the weekend are grabbing their share of headlines and tweets this morning, and no doubt it was quite the sight to see. But if you're interested in something more consequential, like the future of the world, it's worth reading Gates' second annual letter in his role as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair, issued earlier this morning.

"Although the acute financial crisis is over, the economy is still weak, and the world will spend a lot of years undoing the damage, which includes lingering unemployment and huge government deficits and debts at record levels," Gate writes in the introduction. "Despite the tough economy, I am still very optimistic about the progress we can make in the years ahead. A combination of scientific innovations and great leaders who are working on behalf of the world’s poorest people will continue to improve the human condition."
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ASTRADr. Good has appointed the following individuals to an ASTRA Innovation Advisory Task Force that will assist the Board in assessing the many challenges we face regarding Innovation Policy developments.  Members to date include:

Richard Bendis, President & CEO, Innovation America (Philadelphia, PA)
John Kenny, Esq., Chief Operating Officer, Eliminate Group (Washington, D.C.)

Project Summary:
What text should be included in the main part of the logo?
'' - we want this to be the stylized logo. Below it, should say 'The Innovation Economy'

What type of product or service do you offer?
The Innovation Economy is an initiative focused on strengthening the innovation cluster in Inland Southern California.

What do you hope to accomplish with your new identity?
Branding ''.

When is the deadline for final entries before choosing a designer?
Jan 29.
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In a previous article appropriate steps to start a home based business were discussed.

This important article will review the 5 top mistakes many home based business owners make that might evolve into a great success story.

Warning! This approach is not for everyone. One theory is readers will learn a new way of thinking and perhaps propel their business ideas into motion.

Let’s get started with the list!
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BloombergJan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, aiming to support his argument that the government should continue spending to bolster the economy, will this week announce details for 125 million pounds ($200 million) of venture capital for low-carbon businesses.

The first slice of money from the Innovation Investment Fund, announced in June, will be awarded Jan. 26, the prime minister said in a podcast on his official Web site today.
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The most striking feature of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency was the amazing, young, Internet-enabled, grass-roots movement he mobilized to get elected. The most striking feature of Obama’s presidency a year later is how thoroughly that movement has disappeared.

In part, it disappeared because the Obama team let it disappear, as Obama moved to pass what was necessary — the economic stimulus — and what he aspired to — health care — by exclusively playing inside baseball with Congress. The president seems to have thought that his majorities in the Senate and the House were so big that he never really had to mobilize “the people” to drive his agenda. Obama turned all his supporters into spectators of The Harry and Nancy Show. And, at the same time, that grass-roots movement went dormant on its own, apparently thinking that just getting the first African-American elected as president was the moon shot of this generation, and nothing more was necessary.
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TexasAs a young girl, Brett Anitra Gilbert wanted to be a doctor.

Her dream came true, in a way: She earned a doctorate in entrepreneurship.

Now, the assistant professor of management at Texas A&M University has won a 2010 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Fellowship in entrepreneurship research and $50,000 to support her work.

Gilbert, 34, researches the effect of geographic clustering on new ventures. That means she studies whether bunches of similar businesses in one region, such as Silicon Valley, help or hurt the creation of companies and technologies.

She's one of five junior faculty members named as Kauffman fellows and the only one from a Texas school. Kauffman's 2-year-old program is designed to recognize and nurture university scholars involved in cutting-edge research in entrepreneurship.
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Report suggests more commercial development in ManhattanvilleAs locals and University officials wait for the New York State Court of Appeals to determine the fate of Columbia’s planned Manhattanville expansion, a guest commentator for the Center for an Urban Future think tank is calling on the University to increase the economic benefits of the project.

In a policy brief released on Thursday, David Hochman—an expert in technology-based economic development—said Columbia should amend its project plan to include more emphasis on private-sector jobs, as opposed to jobs exclusively within the University.

While it is “unquestionably a project of transformative scope,” Hochman wrote in the brief, “the Manhattanville plan has included no discernable emphasis on jobs other than in the university itself and in retail or service businesses that mostly offer low wages and limited advancement potential.” He compared Columbia’s plan to the expansion models of other universities—such as Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—in which, he said, commercial researchers “operate cheek-by-jowl with new academic space, sparking the growth of a sustainable regional technology cluster and the creation of jobs that pay relatively well.”
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It's now UWC4C: Technology Transfer becomes the Center for Commercialization The UW Office of Technology Transfer is changing its name to the Center for Commercialization, or UWC4C, thus better reflecting what its leader sees as its expanded role at the University.

"I think a name conveys a lot, and I hope this one conveys a proactive, full-service group of commercialization experts committed to long-term relationships with UW researchers," said Linden Rhoads, vice provost and executive director for UW Technology Transfer.

University Tech Transfer was largely created by the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. Under the terms of that act, intellectual property coming out of federally funded research -- which previously had gone back to the federal government -- was allowed to remain with the research institution, provided the research institution followed certain rules. After it was passed, tech transfer offices sprang up at universities across the country to handle intellectual property and pursue licensing opportunities for it.

Since 1980, however, the practice has continually evolved, and the UW office has been striving to find successful models for supporting researchers with their commercialization goals.

"With the support of the University's senior administration, our office is building on and learning from our past successes," Rhoads said. "We are challenging ourselves to provide unparalleled service to UW investigators."
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Those who are readers of on a regular basis are familiar with the jousting that goes on in the comments between myself and a core group of patent believers and those who are, shall we say skeptical of the value of patents and would prefer that patents simply not exist, or at least not exist in certain areas, such as software. Without getting into that debate directly here and now allow me to observe that if you are an independent inventor, start-up or small business one successful way to responsibly move forward is to pattern yourself on successful companies. There is no mileage in following the lead of a company in decline, so lessons can be learned by observing successful companies and weaving together a strategy that will lead to market success. Perhaps no other company today so aggressively pursues patents on core technologies and products than Apple, and they enjoy enormous success. So why not take a page from the Apple playbook? Innovate, patent, commercialize and dominate.

It is hard to characterize Apple as anything other than wildly successful, as indicated by their market dominance and copy-cat products that seek offer substitutes for the iPod and iPhone. So if a highly developed patent strategy is appropriate for Apple, why wouldn’t a patent strategy that fits within your budget be a bad idea for you? The short answer is that if patents work for Apple they can work for you too. Stop thinking that Apple is in a different league and start remembering that like Microsoft, Apple was at one point just two guys. The dynamic duo of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and the dynamic duo of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, are but two illustrations of the American dream. Starting off small and growing into a mega-giant corporation. In the tech sector these stories are real, and in all cases innovation is followed by proprietary protection.
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The year 2020 seems far away.

But when we consider how much we need to achieve over the next decade, 2020 will arrive in a blink.

Arizona is a state of independent thinkers. Yet, when polled, most of us agree on key issues. We value our communities, treasure our natural resources, and want the best for our state: a first-rate education system, access to good, stable jobs, and infrastructure that supports current and future residents.

With our economy struggling, these may seem like lofty goals, but they are not. These are achievable if we invest wisely in our future and put our differences aside.
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