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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.

InformationWeek 500: A Year Of Relentless Innovation

It's the first half of 2009, and unemployment's rising to a 26-year high of 9.5%. Sound like the perfect time to launch an aggressive technology-driven product?

It was for Progressive Insurance, which kicked off its "Name Your Price" Web site tool, letting customers build their own insurance policies, starting with what they think they can afford. It was for Coca-Cola, which tested a prototype fountain drink dispenser IT developed over two years with the company's R&D team, letting consumers mix a variety of new flavors while aligning Coke with a select group of fast-food restaurants to analyze buying data and manage inventories better. And it was for CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange, which partnered with Brazil's top exchange to give traders electronic access to CME products, expanding CME's global presence.

Economic Club heading to Metro

When leaders are looking to communicate with the Canadian people, the Economic Club of Canada is the choice forum. That's why the club has welcomed people such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Senator John McCain, Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko, and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to its podium in downtown Toronto in the past few years, not to mention practically every Canadian premier and cabinet minister.

Next month, that prized podium will hit the road, coming to Atlantic Canada for the first time so that one of the brains behind Barack Obama's epochal social media campaign for president can speak to the people of Metro Moncton.

'Doing Business' Rankings Stimulating Reform

The overview of the Doing Business Report 2010 is now available. Since 2004, the World Bank’s Doing Business project has been tracking regulatory reforms in 10 areas of business regulation that record the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. Each year, Doing Business ranks 183 economies according to these 10 areas. These rankings have stimulated reforms to improve the overall ease of doing business by allowing policymakers to prioritize reforms and learn from global best practices.

Venture capital partnerships expand Pennsylvania economy

Governor Ed Rendell recently announced a shot of venture capital funding for early-stage life science companies in western Pennsylvania. Through a program managed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the New PA Venture Capital Investment Program will provide $5 million to Pittsburgh-based Corridor Ventures to invest in Pennsylvania-related companies within the life sciences sector.

The New PA Venture Capital Investment Program was created by Governor Rendell’s 2003 Economic Stimulus Package after he first came into office. The stimulus package passed the state legislature in 2004, clearing the way for the Venture Capital Investment Program along with other financing programs meant to jumpstart the Pennsylvania economy.

Five Websites Every Entrepreneur Should Use

Today, many businesses are getting large portions of their website traffic from social media sites. It's one thing to bring an audience you already have over to your Twitter account, but the true test is to create growth. The most successful are the ones that network and engage in conversation rather than use their accounts like bullhorns to make announcements.

Belgium: Will its enviable geographic position continue to ensure success in pharma?

Occupying an enviable position both physically and politically in the heart of Europe, Belgium has benefitted extensively from its location in recent years, and the development of the EU has also provided considerable impetus for growth. The headquarters of the EC and home of the European Parliament and NATO, Belgium’s capital, Brussels, is the centre of European politics. With the recent enlargement of the EU, the country is also at the centre of a market of 0.5 billion consumers. A well-developed infrastructure combined with world-class education and technical expertise, as well as a physical proximity to the markets and capitals of Western Europe, lends local firms many advantages and has made the country a highly attractive base for international companies to conduct business in Europe.

US Falls in Global Competitiveness Rankings

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, an assessment of the productive potential of nations worldwide, is now available. Switzerland tops the overall competitiveness rankings, followed by the United States. The U.S. fell to second position after several years at the top of the rankings. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark complete the list of the top five countries.

Brenner Discusses USDA Research, Technology

Few people know that the Department of Agriculture is one of the leading governmental research organizations with a long history of commercializing what is developed in its labs and jointly. Dr. Rick Brenner, who was named the Assistant Administrator in ARS for Technology Transfer in October 2004 and represents the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to management of intellectual property arising from USDA research, and has the delegated authority for licensing inventions developed through intramural research in any of the USDA agencies, provides insights into the enormous impact his agency has on the economy of the country.

Venture Capital: Is it on a Diet Pill?

Venture capital outlook for the upcoming years is as obscure as ever due to many external factors such as the government intervention in the private sector to the state of the economy which is very fragile across various industries and sectors. Capitalism is no longer being conceived in a positive manner and no longer are those values being embraced. It is simple, the working model is broke. We need fresh ideas and blood to re-invent the New American Standards across all different platforms.

Innovation should not be the race for the new-new thing

We’re all searching for the new-new thing. Be it a product or a method, we’re looking for that innovation that will let us stand out from the pack, because in a world where we are all good, we need to be original. If an idea becomes a trend before we’re involved, we are not a leader. When we’re first to market, if we capture first mover advantage, then we can define the rules of the game. But how can we tap into valuable ideas for products, services or method before they are seen as trends, when they are just … random?

Age of Innovation

Kjell Nordstrom & Jonas Ridderstrale in their book Funky Business mentioned " The ’surplus society’ has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices & similar quality."

Startup Uruguay?

VentureBeat has a terrific article today about the first venture capital firm in nation of Uruguay.

The company is called Prosperitas Capital Partners and when it was formed in 2005, there was so little infrastructure that even the lawyers didn't know how to write venture term sheets. The company's first fund was a $10 million dollar fund that invested in healthcare and technology companies. They're working on raising a $100 million fund and partnering with a Bay Area VC firm for another venture fund for Latin America more broadly.