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Articles of Interest

The Four Technologies You Need to Be Working With

What do Netflix, Zipcar, Mint.com, Nike+, Amazon, the Nintendo Wii, and the Apple iPhone all have in common? They all take advantage of four technologies that once were scarce and expensive but are now plentiful and cheap. These technologies can be combined in numerous ways, and we are just starting to see companies really taking advantage of the possibilities. These four technologies will have a disruptive impact on your business, almost regardless of which industry you're in. The question is whether you will choose to adopt them before a competitor does.

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Internet matters: The net's sweeping impact on growth, jobs, and prosperity

It has become obvious that the Internet is changing our lives-the way we work, shop, search for information, communicate, and meet people. Two billion people are now connected to the internet, and this number is growing by 200 million each year. But the magnitude of the economic impact of Internet-related activities is not obvious. Indeed, debate rages about what transformational effect the Internet is having and how best to harness its power for the common good. 

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Canada slips further in innovation rankings

Canada is now a mid-level player in the global innovation race, passed by rising powers China and South Korea in some categories and falling further behind long-time rivals such as the United States, Germany, Norway and Sweden.


In a report being released Tuesday in Ottawa, the Science, Technology and Innovation Council says Canada's innovation performance has slumped on most key measures in the two years since its last report card.

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The Impact of Clean Energy Innovation

Examining the Impact of Clean Energy Innovation on the United States Energy System and Economy

Our need for energy must be balanced against the often competing interests of the economy, environment, and national security. Clean, sustainable, safe, and secure sources of energy are needed to avoid long-term harm from geopolitical risks and global climate change. Unless fully cost-competitive with fossil fuels, the adoption of clean technologies will either be limited or driven by policy. Innovation in clean energy technology is thus needed to reduce costs and maximize adoption. But how far can energy innovation go towards meeting economic, environmental, and security needs? This analysis attempts to estimate the potential impact clean energy innovation could have on the US economy and energy landscape.

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Six Questions Every Would-Be Innovator Should Ask

We often make innovation more complicated than it needs to be, analyzing everything only to miss the critical factor that would lead to success. Companies invest time and money only to find they've missed the mark. Afterward, they wonder how they could have overlooked the one or two things that clearly would have made a difference between success and failure.

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Wanna Solve Impossible Problems? Find Ways to Fail Quicker

1959 was a time of change. Disney released their seminal film Sleeping Beauty, Fidel Castro became the prime minister of Cuba, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower made Hawaii an official state. That same year, a British industry magnate by the name of Henry Kremer wondered: Could an airplane fly powered only by the pilot's body?

Like Da Vinci, Kremer believed it was possible and decided to try to turn his dream into reality. He offered the staggering sum of £50,000 for the first person to build a human-powered plane that could fly a figure eight around two markers set a half-mile apart. Also, he offered £100,000 for the first person to fly across the English Channel. In modern US dollars, that’s the equivalent of $1.3 million and $2.5 million. The Kremer Prize was the X-Prize of its day.

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Types of Innovation

There are threetypes of innovation that an organization can choose to pursue: incremental, breakthrough, transformational. On type is not better or worse than another but they may require different processes to achieve success.

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Big Innovations Question the Status Quo. How Do You Ask the Right Questions?

What if someone sold socks that didn’t match? In his new book Disrupt, Luke Williams, a veteran of frog design, talks about how that offbeat question was the impetus for the launch of Little Miss Matched, a company whose purposely mismatched socks proved surprisingly popular with young girls. It’s one of a number of examples Williams cites of new business innovations that began with what he calls “a disruptive hypothesis.” Another better-known one is Netflix, whose business model provided an answer to the question, What if a video rental company didn’t charge late fees?

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Innovation Research

The Innovations Systems Research Network (ISRN) is a network of researchers examining innovation in various cities and regions across Canada. The members of the network are loosely associated with four sub-networks: in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Western Canada. The ISRN's goal is to better understand how economic, social, and political conditions influence innovation and hence economic development at the local, regional, and national level. The knowledge resulting from this research is intended to assist policy-makers at all three levels of government to better understand innovation dynamics and craft more effective policy.

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Intellectual Property: Patent or Padlock: Patents and Trade Secrets Form the Heart of an Effective IP Strategy

The intellectual property (IP) of a company is often its core asset. Acquiring, protecting, and enforcing IP involves decisions at the highest levels of the company, and IP commands a significant portion of the company's resources. For most life sciences companies, patents are usually considered to be the principle IP asset. In practice, however, these companies usually have extensive know-how, most often kept as trade secrets. If a direct comparison could be made, a typical life-sciences company probably keeps more than two-thirds of its proprietary information in the form of trade secrets. In early stage companies, particularly in relatively new technology areas such as nanotechnology, the proportion of trade secrets to patents is much higher.

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NRC-CISTI Introduces Pay Per Article Service

Ever searched endlessly on the Web trying to find the full-text article you need? The new Pay Per Article service offered by NRC-CISTI, the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, can help. Pay Per Article allows any researcher to search a database of more than 11 million articles and pay by credit card to view and print those selected. No pre-registration, user name or password required.

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Is Just-In-Case Replacing Just-In-Time?

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States and Canadian governments have implemented a number of joint and unilateral border security policies. These include programs to fast-track pre-approved cargo and to require that advance notice of cargo contents be sent to border officials. There have also been changes to infrastructure and staffing. New border policies continue to be announced.

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The Innovation Rules

By Steve Strauss | American Express OPEN Forum
Dec 09, 2009
About five years ago I wrote what I thought was a really great book. No, it didn’t sell nearly as well as some of my other books, but we have all had that experience haven’t we – we have a product we think will be hot that turns out to be, well, not so hot?

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