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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.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Initial public offerings will rebound only in 2010, despite a pick-up in activity that some investors say signal a resurgence, the National Venture Capital Association said on Thursday.

For those encouraged by such signs as the $340.4 million raised by battery maker A123 Systems Inc in its recent IPO, the trade association's message in its quarterly report is that total IPOs "fell far short of historical norms."

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MUMBAI, India -- General Electric Co. is restructuring its Indian healthcare business in an effort to boost revenues and develop more products domestically, for both Indian and global markets, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt said Friday.

GE Healthcare will consolidate all its India business within Wipro ( WIT - news - people ) GE Healthcare, a joint venture between Indian technology giant Wipro Ltd. and GE Healthcare set up in 1990, the companies said. The joint venture currently distributes about 85 percent of GE Healthcare's products in India.

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WBAA, EBAN and FNABA congratulate Portugal for the new Business Angels’ Co-Investment Fund.

Brussels, September 1st, 2009

Worldwide Business Angels have increasingly been syndicating and co-investing with public and private funds. This new initiative will represent a global investment of 25 million euros in 60 new start ups.

The new Business Angels (BA) Co-Investment Fund that was announced yesterday by the Portuguese government, brings Portugal to a new era of innovation, risk taking, enabling the development of several early stage projects.

“Portugal is showing how important the Business Angels community is for the development of innovation and a new generation of entrepreneurial companies. Portugal is definitely in the forefront of the World BA community, as they were when hosting the formative first meeting of the World Business Angels Association. Congratulations to Portugal and FNABA for this exciting achievement!”, mentioned John May, President of the World Business Angels Association and Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association (US).

Read the Full Release HERE.

On a per capita basis, federal R&D obligations to U.S. universities and colleges increased by 7 percent from FY 2003 to 2007, rising to $83.80 per person in FY07, according to the National Science Foundation. Total U.S. federal R&D obligations to academia increased by 11.1 percent over the same five years to $25.3 billion in FY07.


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I am quite often asked, in some form or another, “What can [STATE][LOCAL] government do to spur on an innovation-based economy in [SEATTLE][WASHINGTON]?”

Well, as I said on a panel at the Technology Alliance meeting in Leavenworth yesterday, the single biggest correlate to the strength of an innovative biotechnology industry in any geography is the quality of the major research institutions. The two heavyweight biotech hubs are Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. No surprise there:

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The Problem: One morning in 1982, Woodbury was stuck in rush-hour traffic on L.A.'s Interstate 405. Ironically, the day job he was crawling his way to was selling Porsches.

"There was one car per driver, one car per lane," says Woodbury. "But effectively, four times that space was wasted in unused seats and trunks." ...

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The Kauffman Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Miami to help sustain and grow The Launch Pad, a unique career center program that helps students explore and launch new firms while they are still in school.

As the first college entrepreneurship program in the country that is part of a university's career center, The Launch Pad has had phenomenal success in spawning new ventures in its first year. The Launch Pad provides practical skills training and mentoring that is not tied to any academic program - making it accessible to students from any discipline who want to pursue a "career" as an entrepreneur.

For more information about the grant and The Launch Pad, visit

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - I’d like to thank Brookings for hosting me and this discussion about the future of broadband and the Internet.

We’ve just finished a summer of big-ticket commemorations, celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Apollo landing and of Woodstock; 1969 was also a good year to be a kid in New York, with Joe Namath calling the Super Bowl, and the Knicks’ season that ended with the legendary Willis Reed in Game 7. I grew up a long fly ball from Shea Stadium and soaked up every minute of the Miracle Mets’ season. Maybe that’s why I tend to believe in miracles.

But perhaps the most momentous birthday from that famous summer of 1969 went by just a couple of weeks ago with little mention. Just over forty years ago, a handful of engineers in a UCLA lab connected two computers with a 15-foot gray cable and transferred little pieces of data back and forth. It was the first successful test of the ARPANET, the U.S.-government-funded project that became the Internet -- the most transformational communications breakthrough since the printing press.

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Give venture capitalists credit – in the face of some ugly liquidity numbers, they’re finding reasons to be optimistic.

The value of acquisitions of venture-backed companies in the third quarter dropped to $2.3 billion, down from $2.8 billion the previous quarter and from $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2008, according to VentureSource, a research unit of VentureWire publisher Dow Jones & Co. (Those numbers don’t include the Inc. acquisition of Inc. for more than $800 million, which was announced in the third quarter and which VentureSource confirmed Wednesday has not yet officially closed.)

But the picture isn’t entirely without hope – at least not on the IPO side. Though there have only been five venture-backed companies to go public this year and only two in the third quarter, the overall strength of those offerings is making venture capitalists optimistic about the exit potential for their portfolios.

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BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)--The European Commission Thursday blocked a German law that would see venture capital firms receive tax breaks, but allowed private investors to benefit from similar tax support.

The commission found that the proposed changes in Germany's risk capital tax law, which would allow ...

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To save business time and money Government departments now issue all their changes to business regulations on two dates per year – 6 April and 1 October. This is part of the Government’s commitment to promote better regulation, regulating only where necessary, doing so in a proportionate and targeted way, and reducing bureaucracy wherever possible.

From today, new businesses will be able to save valuable time and money with simpler model articles, making it easier to start up and run companies. Other measures will help shareholders and investors by encouraging disclosure of strategic, forward looking information through enhanced business review.


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Despite the economic gloom and doom, the honorees on this year's 30 Under 30 list are building wildly successful ventures with the help of their peers, parents, professors, and patrons. Why enlisting these loyal tribes of support has become so important in the start-up world -- and how the smartest companies foster that same loyalty among their customers.

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"History should be our guide. The United States led the world's economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener; the challenge is tougher; and that is why innovation is more important than ever. It is the key to good, new jobs for the 21st century. That's how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations. With these investments, we're planting the seeds of progress for our country, and good-paying, private-sector jobs for the American people."

-President Barack Obama, August 5, 2009

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voice of the technology business community September 2009 Issue
In this Issue
IP Profiles Summit NewsFeatures SubscribeArchive
Welcome to the TechConnect Newsletter! The TechConnect community provides a powerful solution for catalyzing commercialization, partnership and licensing of emerging technology. Each month, we will feature exciting technology profiles and leading news items from the global business technology community.
TechConnect Summit 2009Save the Date!
TechConnect Summit 2010
June 21-25 • Anaheim, CA, US
Anaheim Convention Center

Submissions open Fall 2009.
Click here to learn more.

IP Profiles
IP Profile: Mg2Si: Environmentally benign semiconductor material for energy conversion, Toyko University of Science, JP
At our laboratory, we have developed a direct thermal-to-electric power generator using environmentally-benign semiconducting material. [more]
IP Profile: Compositions and methods for polynucleotide extraction and methylation detection, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, US
The invention features methods and compositions for methylation detection, as well as a novel method for polynucleotide extraction and sodium bisulfite treatment. [more]
TechConnect Summit
TechConnect Summit News:
Calling all Innovators and Entrepreneurs! Submissions Open Next Month for TechConnect Summit 2010
TechConnect Seeks Technology and Company Submissions Focused on Nanotech, Cleantech, and Biotech/Pharma Markets [more]
TechConnect Summit 2010 Banner ad
Features News:
Federal labs critical to spurring entrepreneurial innovation**************************
House Small Business Subcommittee members examine how federal labs partner with small companies to spur technology R&D, new product development, and support local economic activity. [more]
US Government to Create Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
US Department of Commerce will also create a National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship[more]
Serious Materials Raises $60 Million in Third-Round Financing
Cleantech Start-Up's Innovative Energy Efficiency Solutions Attracts Strong Investor Interest [more]
DiscoveryBioMed, Inc. Awarded Phase 2 SBIR Grant
NIH Grants Company $750k to Continue Their Innovative Research [more]
Share your technology, licensing, and investment stories with us! Please contact Jennifer Rocha with your news item, and we may feature it in an upcoming edition.
Become a Newsletter Sponsor! Reach thousands in the global technology business community today! ContactJennifer Rocha for more details.

TechConnect TechConnect is a global technology outreach & development organization. We are dedicated to locating the world’s most promising advanced technology sectors and assisting in the development of ecosystems focused on accelerating the flow of technologies from the research phase to the viable market phase.
Published by
Jennifer Rocha
Publishing Director
955 Massachusetts Ave. #313
Cambridge, MA 02139, U.S.A.

Abu Dhabi will undertake the first geothermal project in the Gulf region, drilling 4km beneath the city this year. The government hopes to tap enough cheap, clean energy to meet up to half the needs of its zero-carbon development Masdar City, reports The National newspaper.

“We have found that Abu Dhabi has a very good chance to generate energy from geothermal sources,” Sanad Ahmed, a senior project manager at the government-owned Masdar, told the daily. “It’s one of the cheapest sources for renewable energy available.”

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In my last post, I explained the motherlode of innovation hidden in the huge stacks of patents and discoveries backlogged at our universities and research labs. While entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley trip over each other to create the next iPhone app, they ignore the early-stage discoveries which could lead to the next Internet, a revolutionary memory device, or a cure for infectious diseases. Researchers in university labs find vast numbers of breakthroughs which can better the world. Most of their work never sees the light of day. Hardly 0.1% of all funded basic science research results in a commercial venture.

To boost our economy, we need to bridge this gap and improve the university research commercialization system. Many are working on solutions. Unfortunately, things change slowly in academia and those solutions are years off, at best. In the meantime, there are opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs to do what some smart VC’s do — tap into this goldmine.

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We published an article, "How GE is Disrupting Itself," in the October 2009 Harvard Business Review, co-authored with Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric. The article introduces the phenomenon of reverse innovation. Several people have asked us about the relationship between reverse innovation and disruptive innovation, as defined by Clay Christensen.

There is an overlap between reverse innovation and disruptive innovation but not a one-to-one relationship. In other words: Some, but not all, illustrations of reverse innovation are also illustrations of disruptive innovation.

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Relative to the amount of capital invested, venture capital backed companies have disproportionately contributed to the creation of jobs, market value, and revenue to their local economies. As a result, states and municipalities are competing for the establishment of venture capital investors’ offices in their communities.

In Buy Local? The Geography of Successful and Unsuccessful Venture Capital Expansion (NBER Working Paper No. 15102), authors Henry Chen, Paul Gompers, Anna Kovner, and Josh Lerner examine the location decisions of venture capital (VC) firms and the impact that venture capital firm geography has on investments and outcomes. They analyze data for 2,039 VC firms in the period 1975 to 2005, including their office locations and that of the businesses in their investment portfolios.

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Making cars and trucks is a capital intensive business with high barriers to entry. It naturally benefits from mass production and economies of scale.

But I don’t understand why there isn’t more a more dynamic relationship between established automakers and entrepreneurs. Imagine if the auto industry had an ecosystem like the biotech industry. Thousands of startups develop new drugs, devices, and therapies. Successful innovations get licensed or sold off to larger players with mass production capacity.

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