Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

Innovation for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Intellectual Property and Antitrust LawThis is a guest post by Michael Carrier, professor of law at Rutgers University and author of the book, Innovation for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law

In my recent book Innovation for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law (Oxford), I explore the relationship between law and innovation. In particular, I show how U.S. patent, copyright, and antitrust law often stifle innovation.

Dan Harris was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post for China Law Blog. And I am pleased to accept his invitation. But I must state at the outset that it is difficult to condense a 400-page book to a blog post! I don’t have the space here to discuss many of my proposals, including those addressing pharmaceutical mergers, standard-setting organizations, peer-to-peer (P2P) software, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, statutory damages, biotechnology research tools, and material transfer agreements (MTAs).
Read more ...

Brussels, January 22nd, 2010

The European Space Agency (ESA) represented by its Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO), and The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players (EBAN) have recently established a three-year strategic partnership confirming ESA as EBAN ́s new Golden partner.

Commenced in January 2010, this partnership wants to bring to the attention of European business angels and early stage investors the opportunities of innovation originally funded by space programmes. Technologies like geo-information and satellite navigation are the future showcase successes in the field of funding early stage companies with space technologies in Europe.

“The collaboration of ESA and EBAN will stimulate contacts between selected incubators and business angel networks and seed funds. EBAN will support ESA ́s approach to European early stage investors as a provider of quality and exclusive deal flow in the space technology sector” says Brigitte Baumann, President of EBAN.

The main mission of the TTPO of ESA is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications and to demonstrate the benefits of the European space Programme to European citizens. The office is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies, including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding. At the moment the TTPO is supporting the creation of about 80 start-up companies a year.

“Applications based on geo-information are one of the core technologies of the upcoming decade. Our Programme is supporting the companies that will develop these applications. The cooperation with EBAN will enable early stage investors to become aware of our initiative and these start-ups” says Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office.

EBAN has quadrupled in size in the last five years, and is becoming the entry point for international and European stakeholders interested in European early stage investing. EBAN represents circa 250 angel groups via direct or indirect membership, 20.000 angels and 40.000 entrepreneurs. Business angels and seed funds are key contributors to European economic innovation and entrepreneurship. By supporting high risk and high potential start-ups, business angels play a major role in supporting the creation and growth of tomorrow’s gazelles. With ESA, EBAN members will benefit from extensive knowledge on space related market trends and experience in financing space technologies.

EBAN is a not-for-profit association representing the interests of business angels, business angels networks, seed funds and other entities involved in bridging the equity gap in Europe. EBAN was established with the collaboration of the European Commission in 1999 by a group of pioneer Business Angel Networks in Europe and EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies).

EBAN – The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and other Early Stage Market Players Rue Vautier 54 | 1050 Brussels | Belgium T: 32 2 626 20 60 | F: 32 2 626 20 69 | E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | W:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's economic development agency said Thursday that investments by the state's quasi-public venture capital firm in high-technology businesses has helped boost the state's economy, even in two downturns.

The Department of Economic and Community Development said Connecticut Innovations Inc. created an average of 1,610 jobs a year from 1995 through 2008. That included the recessions of 2001 and the current downturn that began in December 2007.

In addition, state economists say venture capital investments generated net state revenue of $209 million, which includes taxes paid by businesses and individuals and accounts for increased spending for state services.
Read more ...

The University of Rochester has created a new position—vice-provost for Technology Transfer Policy—as part of a multi-year effort to increase the number of science and engineering discoveries that can be developed by entrepreneurs and turned into technologies for the benefit of society. The Office of Technology Transfer helps translate scientific progress into tangible products, while returning income both to the inventor and to the University to support further research and education.

Gail Norris, former director of the Office of Technology Transfer for the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, will become the new vice-provost, staying actively involved in technology commercialization.

Corine Farewell, former deputy director of the Office of Technology Transfer, has taken over as director of the office as Norris' technology transfer responsibilities broaden.
Read more ...

Well, not exactly. But it's a wonderful idea! We've only got a week before SBIR fades away or gets extended -- again.

What the Senate did do this week is call upon the SBA to swiftly implement the allocated funds for the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership that provides funding for SBIR outreach support for the States. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) co-signed a letter from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to Karen Mills, SBA Administrator, requesting a schedule by February 12th for the implementation of FAST. View the official Press Release about the letter HERE.

Now, why push for FAST implementation when SBIR's Reauthorization hangs undone? Is this a signal that we can expect some action next week before it expires? I think so. I hope so.
Read more ...

OVERLAND PARK — Four Wichitans were among the 10 Kansans selected for the Pipeline technology entrepreneurship fellowship — the most since its inception.

The announcement of the 2010 Pipeline Innovators was made Thursday night at Pipeline's Innovator of the Year event at the Overland Park Sheraton, which drew about 400 people, organizers said.

Jason Tatge of Lenexa-based Farms Technology was named the 2009 Innovator of the Year.

The Wichitans named to the 2010 Pipeline class are: Tahir Ahmad, CEO and founder of PetroPower; Nate Gregory, CEO of MoJack Distributors; Jeremy Jones, president and CEO of Nitride Solutions; and Ben Tyson, president and CEO of Time Trails.
Read more ...

Venture capitalists, whose money provides fuel to technology start-ups, last year invested the lowest amount in such companies since 1997, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association released on Friday.

Many in the industry say this sharp decline is healthy. Some have even been calling for a return to the investment levels of the early 1990s, before dot-com mania lured new investors and billions of dollars to venture capital and drove down returns, Claire Cain Miller writes in The New York Times.

“There was too much money in the system,” said Jeff Fagnan, a partner at the investment firm Atlas Venture. “It would be healthier if we can return to the pace and kind of deals that were done in the 1990s.”
Read more ...

I'm a big proponent of fostering more connections between students at Boston-area schools and the companies that make up our innovation economy. Unfortunately, many MBA students tend to have an opportunity to participate in "tech treks" to Silicon Valley, while they aren't as likely to spend time with interesting businesses a few miles from campus.

MIT's Sloan School of Management is one of the few that has consistently given students a chance to visit local companies, but Harvard Business School is joining in this year. Fifty students are participating this week in an IXP ("Immersion Experience Program") that will take them to various Boston companies and venture capital firms.
Read more ...

EurActiv LogoBehind-the-scenes manoeuvring is underway in Brussels as EU governments battle for large chunks of the Community research budget – even though the new funding programme will not kick in until 2014.

A €50 billion pot of cash is currently available for research projects across Europe but there have been constant murmurings that other sources will also be tapped in a bid to boost innovation.

Incoming EU commissioner for research, innovation and science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has already said she wants to ensure that the €86 billion earmarked for innovation in the European Structural Funds is used for research and technology transfer.
Read more ...

Capital under management for community development funds (Community Development Venture Capital Alliance)The law of unintended consequences could apply to at least one aspect of the President Obama’s latest bank regulation plan.

Barring banks from investing in private equity funds, which presumably includes venture capital, would be a perhaps fatal blow to a group of funds aimed at creating jobs in low-income areas. These community development venture capital funds count banks as their largest group of investors, said Kerwin Tesdell, president of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance.

Banks have provided a little over 30% of the capital for the 72 U.S. community development VC funds, which have $2 billion under management. “Right when we’re needed, we’re finding it extremely difficult to raise capital and if this were to go through, it would make it virtually impossible to raise new funds,” Tesdell said.
Read more ...

wile-e-coyote-gravityNow that 2009 is over, we can add up the numbers on how much venture firms invested in startups during all of 2009 — and, well, it was a lot less than in the past. Over the course of the year, VCs invested a total of $17.7 billion in 2,795 deals, the lowest total since 1997, according to the MoneyTree Report from the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

On the bright side, the worst hit came from numbers that we’ve already reported on, since investments really plummeted during the first half of this year. Funding went up in the third quarter, and more-or-less held steady in the fourth. The amount invested went down from $5.1 billion in the third quarter to $5.0 billion in the fourth quarter, but the numbers of deals went up from 689 to 794. So VCs were making smaller bets, but they placed more fo them. Another reason for optimism: There were more seed and early-stage deals in Q4 than in any other quarter this year, so new ideas are still getting money.
Read more ...

dukeNo goofy lead-in or anecdote about my law-school professors here. Let’s get to the heart of it. The National Law Journal reports Friday that:

Duke Law School announced on Thursday that it will launch a new Law and Entrepreneurship LLM program next academic year, while the University of Colorado School of Law is awaiting approval of a Entrepreneurial Law LLM it hopes to debut in the fall.

Now, LBers, before you get all crazy on us and start posting comments about what a boondoggle this is; why law schools, given that college grads are flocking to them in droves as an antidote to their job-seeking miseries, need to take in more money; etc., etc., consider the following:
Read more ...

Huffington PostWhat can we look forward to after the worst U.S. economic and financial crisis in decades, possibly since the Great Depression? As crazy as it sounds at first, I believe 2010 will be the year of the entrepreneur.

Entering 2010 we see signs of a U.S. economic recovery and leading economists are calling for economic growth of 2.5-3.5%. Unemployment seems to have peaked at 10.2% in October, housing prices appear to be gradually on the mend and the stock market indexes have regained a significant portion of their losses from the trough of March 2009. But, admittedly, there is lingering uncertainty in the segment of the U.S. economy where innovation and job creation resides - small- and medium-sized businesses.
Read more ...

Thank you Senator Ensign and Committee Chairman Stevens for holding this hearing to discuss building a new century of American prosperity by spurring a new wave of American innovation.

From the Franklin stove to the personal computer, Americans have a strong history of innovation. But we face new challenges. We live in a global age where competition can come as easily from across an ocean as across the street. We got a wake up call earlier this year about how tough today`s challenges are when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that China had overtaken the United States as the world`s largest exporter of high-tech products – shipping $180 billion worth of high-tech goods worldwide last year, versus $149 billion for the U.S.

If this continues, the global high-tech centers could shift from America to China, and with them the high-skill, high-paying jobs that are key to the innovation economy will be lost as well.
Read more ...

BloombergThe other week, two of my colleagues were engaged in a fierce debate about whether a particular business was or not in fact "disruptive." When they asked my opinion, I surprised them by answering, "I don't really care."

"But we're all about disruptive innovation aren't we?" one of them asked.

"Well yes," I replied, "but we're all even more about building successful, sustainable, scalable businesses."
Read more ...

Lately there has been a lot of discussion in Florida about “economic gardening” The term refers to the success of Littleton, Colorado in growing their local economy by equipping, and accelerating the growth of “second stage” companies. Second stage companies have between 10 and 100 employees and usually are doing more than $1 million in sales. They are the companies that are expanding (adding jobs) and usually experience rapid growth. In Florida, that represents only about 10% of our companies, however, those companies produce almost the same number of jobs as the other 90% of the stage 1 businesses! So it makes good economic sense, if you want to create jobs quickly, (other than cutting taxes) invest in this group of companies, provide funding, get them what they need and then get out of their way!
Read more ...

imageWhen it comes to innovation, many executives in the consumer goods industry are chasing Apple. Who can blame them? While most retailers spent the holiday season slashing prices, Apple reported record earnings by enchanting audiences with iPhones. Now, as retailers try to re-engage consumers this year, executives are trying to replicate the "Apple thrill."

But focusing exclusively on product innovation is a mistake for most companies, say executives who gathered recently at Berglass + Associates, my company, to discuss innovation. The attendees included Richard Dickson, general manager, Barbie, and a senior vice president at Mattel ( MAT - news - people ); Melisse Shaban, CEO of Chrysalis, an incubator company for emerging brands; and Bill Brand, executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development at HSN.
Read more ...

RoseAnn B. Rosenthal spoke to the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology with advice for
the Department of Commerce’s new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ben FranklinWASHINGTON, D.C. ( – RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), yesterday testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology’s subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

Rosenthal was asked to testify because of her track record in Pennsylvania’s technology community, expertise in the industry, and role within Ben Franklin.  Since 2001 alone, Ben Franklin has committed more than $50 million to over 500 early stage companies, which have created or retained over 7000 high-tech jobs.  During that time Ben Franklin’s portfolio companies have raised more than a billion dollars in follow-on investment.

Read more ...

Akron Global Business AcceleratorOver the past month or so, I’ve [Chris Mather] taken you through some of the organizations behind the transformation taking place in our region around entrepreneurial development. These last two round out the group quite well — and bring some very unique strengths to the table. And, if you missed parts one through three, make sure to check them out too.

Akron Global Business Accelerator Akron Global Business Accelerator (AGBA) was formed in 1983, and in its nearly 27 years of service, has provided business assistance, highly effective space, and a superb entrepreneurial environment to Akron area technology companies. AGBA’s longevity is largely due to its ability to react to changes in the environment.
Read more ...

LX Innovations, a specialist in the development of low power electronic and wireless designs, has announced the availability of a new government grant scheme beginning in January 2010. The grants can assist businesses with the funds necessary for the development of electronic, firmware and software concepts, prototypes and products.

As announced in the 2009-10 Budget, the Australian Government is establishing Commercialisation Australia to provide a radical new approach to commercialising promising Australian research and ideas. The grants are designed to assist entrepreneurs, researchers and cutting edge firms turn ideas into feasible products and ventures.
Read more ...