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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.

MITCAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission is holding a workshop on innovation and investment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of the FCC’s effort to craft new rules to protect the open Internet.

Free Press, the national, nonpartisan advocacy group, is encouraging members of the public to attend this free workshop on Jan. 13, at 4:30 p.m. at the MIT Media Lab, Bartos Theater in Cambridge, Mass.

"Without strong FCC rules to protect Net Neutrality -- the principle some call the First Amendment of the Internet -- big phone and cable companies would get to pick winners and losers online," said Misty Perez Truedson of Free Press, which coordinates the Coalition. "What we are fighting for is to ensure that the next Internet innovator doesn't need to get permission from the likes of Comcast or AT&T before launching the next great online craze."
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capsearchIn the latest issue of the Arkansas Times, I wrote a short piece about a big idea we have at Capsearch. Our big idea is building a more vibrant high-tech community in Arkansas. I borrowed largely from Paul Graham of Y Combinator, he has great stuff to say about startups here. We are proposing a pretty radical idea – paying web startups to relocate to Little Rock with state/city funds. We have some fantastic local assets to work with – ample private capital, a good university (UALR), and most importantly a strong entrepreneurial spirit. What we need more than anything now is innovative thinking and creative strategies to ensure that we build the type of economic future we want. I would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas or suggestions. Here is the AT piece:
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We all know that the failure of Detroit is tied to its chief industry’s refusal to innovate. I have written here about how the Houston energy industry’s refusal to innovate could doom that city.

But energy innovation is coming. It’s coming fast. As one commenter on my Houston story noted, energy innovation is coming on at a Moore’s Law speed, at an industry that moves on 30-year time frames.
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UK plans unprecedented offshore wind expansionThe UK government gave on Friday (8 January) its green light to the construction of nine new offshore wind farms, which would see Europe's capacity multiply and bring the UK closer to meeting its renewable energy targets.

The so-called 'Round 3' grants announced will deliver 32 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy, supplying a quarter of the UK's total electricity needs by 2020. This adds to the 8GW provided by previous rounds.
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If you’re familiar with Sam Horn’s bestselling book, ‘POP! Stand Out in any Crowd‘, then you will have a head start on appreciating the kind of ‘POP culture’ we’re about to explore together.

An influential personal brand is a heady and unpredictable mix. If it were a recipe, I’m convinced it would be one of those fiercely guarded family secrets dating back hundreds of years. For this reason, while many have tried, few succeed in capturing in writing the essential X-Factor elements for success. It’s a big ask, but I hope to change all of that for you, right here, right now. Ready?
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David BrooksJews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.
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Encouraging the growth of green technology and green jobs has been a priority for the Obama administration. The recent announcement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will fast-track green technology patent applications is a step in the right direction.

According to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke the USPTO pilot program will speed up the process of examining certain green technology patent applications, with the ultimate goal of promoting U.S. competitiveness in the green sector.

“American competitiveness depends on innovation, and innovation depends on creative Americans developing new technology,” Locke said. “By ensuring that many new products will receive patent protection more quickly, we can encourage our brightest innovators to invest needed resources in developing new technologies and help bring those technologies to market more quickly.”
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Adam KnappIts size doesn’t rival the federal health-care bill, or even The Da Vinci Code. But with 80-plus pages dense with facts, figures and proposals, Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s new white paper on innovation-based economic development is hefty reading for the public. Moreover, the world doesn’t need another addition to a shelf already groaning under the weight of numerous “studies” and plans that never amounted to much, and BRAC officials readily admit as much.

Over the years, there have been the Gulf South Research Institute [founded in 1964 and considered ahead of its time], Louisiana Science and Technology Foundation [1984], state Office of Technology, Innovation and Modernization [created in the early 1990s], and “Louisiana: Vision 2020” report [first published in 1999], to name a few.
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Green  ComptuerBell Labs, the research arm of telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent, announced a "bold and daring" target today of overhauling the Internet and other communications networks so they are 1,000 times more energy efficient within five years.

The amount of energy consumed by networks equates to 300 millions tons of plant-warming gases each year, about the same as 50 million automobiles.

If Bell Labs and its new "Green Touch" consortium of partners can spur the technologies to hit that target, the Internet could run for three years on the same amount of energy it now devours in a day.
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Tech Industry NewsThere is no doubt that these are tough economic times. Unemployment is high and credit is tight. Key indicates show that is the worse economy in a generation. Many technology transfer offices have seen potential business partners reduce their innovation portfolios and expenditures. This coupled with a reduction in funding sources, from grants and investors to university sources are blowing the technology transfer research commercialization efforts into the perfect storm.

There are difficulties and challenges, but these times also create opportunities. Here are seven tips to help your technology transfer office succeed in these tough economic times.
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Arctic StartupThe Nordics and Baltics are still very much a wild west when it comes to venture capital and building startups into real growth companies and all the way to the IPO dreamland.

All the countries have their peculiar histories when it comes to VC landscape and so does Finland. Will Cardwell, the CEO of Techopolis Ventures, wrote a very enlightening post called “Reeling in the last decade in Finnish VC” (here) on how the scene has developed in Finland what factors have influenced it.
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Based on Appleton, Wisconsin, the NEW Capital Fund focuses on high growth businesses in agriculture, manufacturing, information technology, and life science industries. The Fund supports early-stage companies through equity investment and seed capital financing that can help them achieve initial company milestones to further attract subsequent funding from venture capitalists and other angel groups. With 76 topical partners and roughly $10M worth of capital, the Fund aims to invest in 12 to 14 businesses three years from now.

NEW Capital Management, Inc. oversees the primary operations and usage of the Fund along with its Investment Board that is comprised of five ace members that facilitates the investment process. Also, it allocates the group's resources to alleviate the risks involved in financing start-up companies and gaining an above-average rate of return as well.
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IN VIVOThe 2010 JP Morgan conference kicked off yesterday with Celgene and Roche taking honors as one and two at the podium in the Westin's Grand Ballroom. It was standing room only--after all Celgene is the stock to watch for certain analysts and EVERYONE wants to know how the privatization of Genentech has succeeded. But the squeeze was more a function of half the room's chairs being spirited away than a whopping attendance.

What did this blogger learn?

Celgene put up some pretty astonishing numbers: 20% revenue growth ; 30% earnings growth; $1 billion in operational cash flow. And it was all, unsurprisingly, thanks to its multiple myeloma drug Revlimid.
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Holy CowI [guest author] received a letter by courier yet again last week from a well known financial institution. It took me a while to reach the letter since the envelope in which the letter was enclosed had been fortified by no less than 9 staple pins. In addition, the envelope was tightly sealed with gum and two strips of sticky tape. I finally retrieved the letter but not after some cursing and a bruised finger. This was the nth such letter I had received from the company, complaints notwithstanding!

Why did this company deem it fit to send me a letter that was so cumbersome (not to speak of, painful!) to retrieve? Clearly, security for their letter was a high priority but was it necessary? Did they pause and think about their customer’s experience at all? Am not sure they did because then they might have considered emailing me the letter. Or were they simply following an age-old practice mandated in response to a case where someone’s letter was pilfered? In all probability, a ritual that had come into being on account of a stray incident in the distant past had become established practice. This practice was now being meaninglessly practiced as part of standard operating procedure.
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Napkin DealWhen pitching a business to a venture capitalist, the presentation should be so simple it can fit on a square napkin. Well, actually seven napkins, according to Tech Coast Angels, a group of Southern California angel investors.

“Southwest Airlines business plan was conceived on a cocktail napkin. Compaq Computers “portable” design was originally sketched on a restaurant napkin. An investor presentation can equally be simplified by following some guidelines that offer thoroughness with simplicity,” the angel group says.
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MaRSAt just over three years old, the MaRS Blog is already topping some “best blogs” lists (see “You’re reading a top 5 biotech blog” and “Top 150 Blogs for Entrepreneurs“).

For those who are just joining the fray and want to know what we’re talking about — and for those who read every day and were just curious! — here’s the list of the most popular blog posts of 2009.
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StefanThe “not invented here” culture is a problem at Sony. James Surowiecki addressed this in a 2005 article in which he stated that the Betamax video tape recorder failed in part because the company refused to cooperate with other companies.

Sony was also late in making flat-screen TVs and DVD recorders, because its engineers believed that, even though customers loved these devices, the available technologies were not up to Sony’s standards.
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Clean Tech CenterThe innovation economy got another big boost this week with the announcement of a proposed $25 million New Technology Seed Fund -- a recommendation that came out of both the Governor's Small Business Task Force and Higher Education - Industry Task Force, and which has been strongly championed by business groups around the State.

The fund will help commercialize emerging technologies and put NYS on par with states like Pennsylvania, California, Maryland and Texas in terms of directly supporting entrepreneurial development. Investment decisions by the Fund will be made by independent, professional investors and state funds will require matches of at least 1:1 from federal or private sources to leverage and maximize the impact of State investments.
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Wisconsin's most innovative company doesn't engineer stem cells, create virtual worlds or manufacture touch-screen cell phones.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. makes diapers. And paper towels and toilet paper and reams of other products that never existed until someone at its Fox Valley campus thought them up.

The company, which moved its headquarters to Dallas in the 1980s but kept its main research campus in Neenah, is by far Wisconsin's leading recipient of patents - considered one of the best measures of innovation.
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Become Your Own BossDo you fantasize about starting your own business? Have you recently been let go from your job and decided to become your own boss? Do you have a great business idea, but don't know where to start?

What if you could start your own business with a small business coach walking you step-by step through the process for FREE? Well, have I got a deal for you.

Inspired by the fantastic movie Julie & Julia and in celebration of my new book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works, I am announcing the $25,000 "Become Your Own Boss" Entrepreneur Challenge.
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