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Working across borders is fundamental to UK’s top researchers

Survey of 1,286 researchers underlines the importance of international collaboration and mobility in science and engineering
Having the freedom to move internationally and pursue collaborations in other countries is essential for good research and innovation, according to a survey of fellows and grant recipients of the UK’s four national academies, the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.
In the face of impending Brexit, the academies commissioned a qualitative and quantitative study of their members and grant recipients to better understand their international collaborations and mobility.
In total, 1,286 of the UK’s leading researchers, including 762 fellows and 524 grant recipients across the four national academies, were surveyed.

EU launches ocean research partnership with Brazil and South Africa

New initiative covers a wide swathe of research interests, including climate, marine litter, ocean observation, food security, fisheries management, and ocean technology
The European Commission is teaming up with South Africa and Brazil in ‘the South Atlantic research and innovation flagship’, a partnership which will pool funding for climate science, marine litter, ocean observation, food security, fisheries management and ocean technology, and the development of joint data centres where scientists can share research outcomes.
The agreement was signed by EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Brazil’s minister for science, Gilberto Kassab, and minister of science and technology of South Africa Naledi Pandor at a conference in Lisbon.

Scotland’s first indoor vertical farm to start up in autumn

The purpose-built facility, which is currently under construction on the outskirts of Dundee, will be the first full-scale scheme of its type in the country.
The initial crops to be grown at the experimental unit will be herbs and salad plants, which will be cultivated in vertically stacked layers with hi-tech LED lighting and special hydroponic systems supplying nourishment.
Tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries will be trialled at a later stage.
It’s hoped vertical farming can help solve the problem of feeding the expanding world population and minimise damage to the planet from increased agriculture. Growing in this way can offer a number of benefits over traditional outdoor methods, such as reducing the amount of space required and cutting the need for pesticides.
Controlled conditions allow crops to be grown all year round, with success not dependent on seasons or weather conditions.
Their compact nature also means the farms can be sited in built-up areas, making produce more local and therefore reducing transportation.

In Japan, natural gas and innovation are changing the way homes are powered

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a crucial part of Japan's energy mix: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country is the largest importer of LNG on the planet.

In Japan, one business is looking to harness the power of natural gas and make it an integral part of home life. The ENE-FARM is described by Tokyo Gas as being a residential-use fuel system which is able to "simultaneously produce electricity and hot water using city gas."

The system produces electricity by "extracting hydrogen from city gas and inducing a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air," with water and heat also produced.

Pioneering green energy project switches on at Methill docks in Scotland

A pioneering green energy project that will see quieter, less polluting bin lorries on Scottish streets and provide eco-friendly power to local businesses has become operational. Levenmouth Community Energy Project (LCEP), based at Methill docks in Fife, is one of the first of its type in the world. It utilises renewable electricity produced locally by a wind turbine and solar panels to create hydrogen from water. Some of the hydrogen is then used to run a fleet of 17 low-emission refuse trucks and vans, while the rest is stored in fuel cells and can be called upon to generate low-carbon electricity when output from the renewables devices is poor.

Pakistan plans turbo boost to higher education

Pakistan says it wants to fund scholarships, set up universities and support collaborative research by increasing funding for higher education by more than 1 per cent of its GDP over the next decade.
Vice-chancellors of Pakistani universities were summoned on 31 May to a meeting in the capital Islamabad where the government explained its research ambitions for the next seven years.
The plans for research and innovation include setting up 120 new universities and supporting its six best existing ones to rank among the world’s top 200.
The document was prepared by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, a public sector body that funds and regulates higher education activities in the country.

Commission: The future relies on boosting ‘Smart Villages’

In an effort to revitalise rural communities and make them more attractive and sustainable, together with MEPs, the European Commission on Tuesday (11 April) launched an EU action called “Smart Villages”.
“We speak about ‘smart cities’, but we don’t speak enough about ‘smart villages’,” Slovenian SLS lawmaker Franc Bogovic (EPP) said. “With modern technologies and new concepts, we want to reinvigorate rural areas, reverse the trend of depopulation and protect people against rural poverty,” he added.
 
Speaking at the event, Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Communities, said a working group would be launched on smart villages in the European Network for Rural Development aiming to combine the efforts of policymakers, academics and those with practical experience.

Government of Canada supports young scientists and engineers through PromoScience at Science Odyssey launch

Parliamentary Secretary for Science announces support for program that encourages youth to engage in research fields.
One activity, a Martian Odyssey, in London, Ontario, allows primary and secondary school students to learn how to build and code a robot that could roll across the Martian landscape. Demystifying DNA in Halifax, Nova Scotia, helps to explain how DNA works using everyday materials, like fruit. The Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, south of St. John's, Newfoundland, gives people the chance to learn about and interact with creatures from the sea.
These events are just some of the programs that make up Science Odyssey, a ten-day celebration showcasing the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Tunisia’s #Startup Act catching the wave of innovation

To reduce unemployment and create a more prosperous economic outlook, the Tunisian economy must grow at a faster pace, especially with the rapidly growing pool of young, educated people the country has ready to enter the workforce.

An acceleration of economic growth and the job creation it needs makes a new economic model—one that eliminates privilege, opens up economic opportunity to all Tunisians, and spreads prosperity across the country—all the more necessary.

It also requires new types of businesses with high potential for growth. Traditionally, the country’s economy has been focused on fragile sectors such as tourism.

ERICENA - fast-tracking European innovators access to the Chinese market

Europe is actively engaged internationally to strengthen its leadership in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the global scene as well as to improve international synergies and cooperation. Particularly, one of Europe’s aims is to foster its STI presence in China due to its growing importance and STI opportunities for European actors.
It is in this context that the European Commission encouraged and supported the creation of a network of centres in China - one of the world's most dynamic and innovative country - that will connect and support European researchers and entrepreneurs globally, in order to strengthen the position of Europe as a world leader in STI.

Almost 90% of new energy in Europe came from renewable sources in 2016

Renewable energy made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels. Euractiv’s media partner The Guardian reports.
But industry leaders said they were worried about the lack of political support beyond 2020, when binding EU renewable energy targets end.
Of the 24.5GW of new capacity built across the EU in 2016, 21.1GW (86%) was from wind, solar, biomass and hydro. That eclipsed the previous high-water mark of 79% in 2014.
For the first time wind farms accounted for more than half of the capacity installed, the data from trade body WindEurope showed.

SFI researchers at UCC discover way to boost life of batteries

Everyday use of smartphones and other portable devices has shown us that Li-ion batteries are struggling to keep up with the power demands of today’s consumer electronics. When we develop a wish list for batteries for all our technologies (phones, tablets, wearable technologies, electric vehicles, gadgets etc.) we envision light, safe, environmentally friendly batteries which are capable of fast charging with high capacities and long cycle life. It is a demanding list, but these goals are firmly on research agendas for many scientists worldwide. Often, finding a material that is abundant, non-toxic and safe, that outperforms its counterparts with fewer and milder processing or additives, is a difficult challenge in the search for better batteries. Recently, a breakthrough has been reported using a common material fashioned in an uncommon way, which provides an ultra-long life Li-ion battery.

Wales continues to lead UK in recycling, announces circular economy fund

The Welsh government has unveiled a £6.5m (€7.5m) fund to help SMEs make the transformation towards a circular economy. The Principality leads the UK in recycling targets and would place 4th in the EU if it were a member state.  

The Circular Economy Capital Investment Fund (CECIF), which kicks off in 2019, will assist businesses in various ways; from increasing recycling for hospitality, tourism and food services sectors, to improving the use of recycled content in products manufactured in Wales.

The news was delivered late last week by Wales Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths, who said: “The £6.5m fund underlines our commitment to moving towards a circular economy.

Orgalime: Make Engineering European Again

Orgalime, an association of European engineering industries, has called for an ambitious next Framework Programme (FP9), refocussing on European engineering to attract further research and investment into the sector.

Orgalime calls for collaborative research to continue, with the drive toward digitisation extending into production technologies. The three pillars of the current Framework Programme (Horizon 2020) - Excellent Science, Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) and Societal Challenges - are considered appropriate by the authors. However, Orgalime calls for the LEIT pillar to remain independent but be strengthened in order to create a real strategic vision for European manufacturing. They also suggest that industries’ role in the Societal Challenges pillar ought to be bolstered, along with universities, who supply much of the engineering sector’s human capital.

The authors hold the principle of excellence as key to Europe becoming a more competitive research bloc. Furthermore, they call on member states to meet the Lisbon Strategy’s goal of 3 per cent of GDP going towards research and innovation.

The first EC Innovation Deal focuses on water reuse

On April 7, 2017 the European Commission, together with 14 partners from national and regional authorities, universities, knowledge centres, innovators and end-users, takes concrete steps to address regulatory barriers to innovation by signing the first Innovation Deal on "Sustainable Waste Water Treatment Combining Anaerobic Membrane Technology (AnMbR) and Water Reuse".
The European Commission delivers on its recent commitment to help innovators overcome perceived regulatory barriers and work towards better regulation through the Innovation Deals instrument.

Entrepreneurship growing in Japan, but challenges remain

When Yorick Traunecker, a 31-year-old Swiss expatriate, wanted to rent a workspace to develop his startup idea in Tokyo, finding TechShop, an open-access DIY workshop in Minato-ku District, was a surprise to him.
“There is no way you can find a space that is as big as this with so much industrial-level equipment,” Traunecker said. “They are good at helping you build prototypes at a really early stage, and they are I think the best at that. Nobody else really helps doing that.”
TechShop opened a year ago as the first membership-based DIY studio in Japan. Its mission is to help entrepreneurs bring their innovations to life, with industrial-level machinery and tools, open co-working space, engineering trainings and networking events.

Sasec members chart strategic sub-regional development road map

The seven-member Sasec includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar
In the absence of any substantive deal-making in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) grouping due to the rivalry between India and Pakistan, six of the eight Saarc members, along with Myanmar, on Monday launched Sasec (South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation) vision, charting a new strategic road map to guide sub-regional development through 2025 by enhancing market connectivity beyond physical connectivity.
The seven-member Sasec includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar and will coordinate planning of projects and activities to increase economic growth by building cross-border connectivity, and facilitating faster and more efficient trade.

Digital India Summit 2017: ‘Data is the new oil’

Speaking at the Digital India Summit 2017, the minister said “Digital India is creating a sparkle of hope in eyes of all Indians. Data analysis, management will become thriving areas of growth”. He further said that National Payment Council will be set up soon. Talking about the Bhim app, he said: “1.7 crore people have downloaded the Bhim app.”
Recently he said that Digital economy will require both technological and legal innovations, and law graduates have enormous opportunities to tap in the push for Digital India.

Japan’s First “Startup Visa"

As one of the National Strategic Special Zone Initiatives, Fukuoka City has been approved to implement the “Startup Visa (Entrepreneurial Incentives for Foreigners)” to incentivize foreigners to be business entrepreneurs in Fukuoka. Prerequisites for the “Business Manager” visa, which is required for foreigners intending to start a business in Japan, will be eased for foreigners who found his/her business in Fukuoka (National Strategic Special Zone).
Foreign entrepreneurs are required to open a business office and hire two or more permanent employees or have capital/investments exceeding five million yen upon submitting his/her application to the Immigration Bureau in order to receive approval for the “Business Manager” residential status.

German Digital Strategy 2025

At the 2016 CeBit, then Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel laid out a ten-point programme for Germany entitled 'Digital Strategy 2025'. The overall target was to be the global leaders in the new wave of technological and business conceptual development, by developing infrastructure, supporting investment and fostering innovation. One year on, at the 2017 CeBit, Germany's ICT sector has responded with some excellent growth in a number of areas. The overall revenues within the sector are forecast to grow by 1.3 percent to a new high of €161.4bn.
However, there will be much faster growth in the areas of software (6.3 percent to €23bn) and IT services (2.3 percent to €39bn), both key foundations of a better and more innovative digital future. Moreover, an additional 21,000 jobs within ICT are set to be created in 2017. Moreover, Germany will present a new global resource efficiency initiative at this year's G20 summit in Hamburg, where digitization will be shown as a key driver for resource efficiency, helping to decouple resource usage from global economic growth. With this in mind, the ICT sector should only continue to grow.

A multi-pronged approach to water economy innovation

The Jewish National Fund has been helping to build Israel’s reservoirs for several years. The number of such reservoirs is now more than 250.

While Israel is already by far the global leader in wastewater recycling, Jewish National Fund (JNF) is determined to see the country reuse nearly all of its sewage in the years to come as its population continues to expand from North to South.

The long-term intention is to increase Israel’s recycled water from 85% to 95%.

Israel introduces ‘Innovation Visa’

The Israel Innovation Authority has introduced an Innovation Visa to encourage entrepreneurs from all over the world set up shop in the Middle Eastern country.

The visa holders will be given access to support initiatives, which was earlier available only to Israelis.

Geektime says that successful entrepreneurs would be allotted a ‘support entity’ to provide them direction and other inputs, including access to venture capitalists, industry captains and attractive business partnerships.

Bloomberg Innovation Index 2017

bloomNordic nations dominate the top 15, while South Korea reigns supreme and Russia is dealt a huge blow.

In the battle of ideas, Sweden climbed to No. 2 and Finland cracked into the top five of the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores economies using factors including research and development spending and the concentration of high-tech public companies.

South Korea remained the big winner, topping the international charts in R&D intensity, value-added manufacturing and patent activity and with top-five rankings in high-tech density, higher education and researcher concentration. Scant progress in improving its productivity score — now No. 32 in the world — helps explain why South Korea’s lead narrowed in the past year.

Silver medal winner Sweden owes most of its rise to improvement in the manufacturing value-added metric, while Nordic neighbor Finland jumped two spots in large part because of the rise of high-tech firms in the country. Norway held its No. 14 spot from last year.

Israeli universities breed next generation of startup nation entrepreneurs

idcbeyond-students2As Israel boasts the greatest number of startups per capita in the world, garnering the title of Startup Nation, entrepreneurship courses have been sprouting at universities and colleges throughout the country, meeting a grassroots demand. These programs aim to arm students with much needed theory along with a toolbox of mentorships, networking and tips on how best to approach investors for funding.
“Can someone talented manage without university studies? Anything is possible. But in life, a lot depends on chances. What are the chances of entrepreneurs succeeding if they don’t have mentors who want to push them forward, if they don’t know how to build a business model, if they don’t know how to build a team and when is the right time to approach the right type of investors?” said Dr. Yossi Maaravi, deputy dean at Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, in an interview. “Eighty percent of success stories can be pinned down to lessons learned, 20 percent on the person itself. Studying, in most cases, can significantly propel you forward.”

Employer’s innovative culture in action or how to become Europe’s best workplace

vincitFinnish software company Vincit is not your typical IT specialist. Over the last nine years, it has risen from near bankruptcy to a stock-listed company and was recently chosen as the best workplace in Europe. How did the company engineer such a turnaround?

The core philosophy of Vincit is that everybody should be ready to work hard, but also love what they do and find their work meaningful. Behind this is a line Mikko Kuitunen, founder of Vincit, wrote on a napkin in 2007 saying ‘going to work on Monday should not piss you off’.

Policy: Boost basic research in China

h 52776435Improving the quality, integrity and applicability of scientific research will underpin long-term economic growth, writes Wei Yang (Wei Yang is a professor of engineering mechanics at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. He is president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China in Beijing).

China's economy relies on innovation. Developing technologies, improving efficiency and creating and implementing new scientific knowledge can invigorate industry and help society. China's recent economic slowdown, however, calls for a gear change in how the nation innovates.

For several decades, short-term and focused technological research and development (R&D) has been the main driver in China. Large public grants were channelled to promising or urgent areas to deliver new turbine engines, high-speed trains, solar panels or drugs in 5–10 years. Now China must take a longer and broader view, and nurture its science roots.

Science in China

china-openerA special "Nature's" issue looks at the country's astonishing scientific trajectory as it seeks to secure its spot among the leaders in innovation.

Chinese science has been moving at breakneck speed for the past few decades, fuelled by vast infusions of cash and a rapidly growing technical workforce. China now boasts more researchers than the United States, outspends the European Union in research and development and is on track to best all other nations in its yearly production of scientific papers. But there have been bumps along the way. Chinese research has generally had low impact, and there have been persistent concerns about quality, which the country is trying to address.

An Emerging Trend of Social Enterprises in China

rejeansDue to the poor performance of some social enterprises in China, the term “social enterprise” has frequently been associated with low efficiency, low capacity, and low returns. Nevertheless, many social enterprises in China are thriving in an ever increasingly competitive market, not only because of their successful marketing strategy, but also thanks to their unique work culture. Many social enterprises in China generate social value by recruiting staff from disadvantaged groups such as laborers, victims of domestic violence, women with little education, and retired farmers. By offering higher wages, insurance and promotion opportunities for their employees, these social enterprises have inspired them to see their jobs as opportunities to create value for society rather than merely as a means for supporting themselves. For instance, Fast Fish is a clothing line that employs rural girls who have dropped out of school as designers, artists and factory workers. It offers its workers opportunities for promotion, high wages, and strong networks in the industry. The spirit of community this fosters among its employees has lead it to high revenues despite fierce competition. Societal recognition of concepts like “social innovation” and “social enterprise” in China is not yet widespread, but an increasing number of social enterprises in China already operate under these guises.

On Thursday, July 2, a youth philanthropy showcase organized by Social Venture Partners drew a considerable crowd in Beijing. Five youth social enterprises – amongst them Philanthropy in Motion – gathered to share their causes, ideas, business models, challenges, and prediction of outlooks for youth philanthropy in China. From agriculture to migrant workers’ re-employment, from environment to youth empowerment, these young social entrepreneurs have demonstrated diverse interests and innovative models of addressing these problems and maximizing social value.

But what are social enterprises, and what exactly is social innovation? Social enterprises are firms (whether profit or non-profit) that see solving social issues and creating social value— rather than maximizing profit—as their top priority. Social entrepreneurship applies the methods and organization of the private sector to philanthropy. Compared with the traditional, more passive model of receiving donations, social enterprises take the initiative and actively create opportunities for revenue. Zhu Xiaobin, secretary-general of the China Social Enterprise and Social Investment Forum, believes that social enterprises can be understood as enterprises where consumers, producers and society at large coexist in a sustainable framework. For example, one of the five social enterprises is Ava Zhu’s ReJean – a project that mobilizes migrant workers to manufacture handbags, crafts and clothes from recycled denim wear. By recycling worn jeans, providing skills training for migrant workers, and inviting young designers to contribute to the product design, ReJean establishes a sustainable framework in which migrant workers are equipped with skills to find higher-paying jobs, fabric waste is reduced, and young designers are provided with a channel in which they hone their skills as artists.

Social innovation, on the other hand, refers to solving social issues through innovative business incentives. Socially innovative businesses have tackled issues across a wide range of public and private sectors, such as poverty, industrialization, waste management, housing, public transport, education opportunities, and social justice. An example would be the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which strives to promote worldwide equality in healthcare and education through funding innovative business initiatives. As Bill Gates explains at the 2014 Boao Forum for Asia, the Gates Foundation aims to carry out philanthropy in the most cost-effective way possible, by introducing business models to philanthropy. Most social entrepreneurship initiatives in China are still in an infant state.

According to a survey by the Social Enterprise Research Center (SERC), in 2013 there were fewer than ten social enterprises in Shanghai that could sustain themselves. Most of these operate on a small scale and few have annual revenues above one billion RMB. Social enterprises in both rural and urban China suffer from a severe lack of funding, resources and experience; most of them are still struggling to find sustainable profit-making models. Professor Zi Zhongyun, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, points out that most Chinese social enterprises have yet to go beyond the initial pilot phase.

Social innovation initiatives also encounter significant issues when implemented. Of all possible challenges, the most pressing is financial – many Chinese social enterprises have yet to discover a business model that maximizes social values but also generates enough revenue to sustain their daily operations. For instance, Ava Zhu shares that ReJean faces the challenge of low revenue from online sales; to pay migrant workers an adequate wage and cover other costs, the ReJean team is compelled to sell their products at a higher price, which makes it almost impossible for them to compete with other sellers of cheap products on online malls like Taobao. Seed Space, an agricultural social innovation initiative presenting at the showcase, also experienced similar financial concerns when trying to develop a sustainable floating bed for fish-keeping villagers in rural Beijing; fortunately, it was able to develop a floating bed out of PVC, which decreased the cost by a third. Seed Space was then able to persuade more villagers to join its program and create a sustainable development model.

Another issue that some social enterprises experience is a lack of adequate support from local governmental institutions. Seed Space was able to receive professional support from the local government when promoting its environmental-friendly floating bed; however, many other social enterprises have not had access to such resources. While the Chinese government plays a key role in facilitating operations and collaborations for social enterprises, and has generally been supportive of local philanthropic initiatives, its efforts are far from adequate in comparison with those of some other countries. Although the Chinese government has implemented laws and policies protecting charity organizations in China, there are very few policies that specifically address the need of the growing social enterprise sector in China. On the other hand, the French government encourages all investors to set aside 5% to 10% of their funds for social enterprises, in exchange for a reduced tax rate from the government. Hopefully, as more social enterprises emerge across China, local and central government will set more concrete rules and regulations to endorse these initiatives.

However, the outlook for China’s social enterprises is far from grim. Faced with the emergence of the internet and growing individualization, Zhu Xiaobin predicts that “in the next five to ten years, we will witness a reinvention of the relation between society and business. Just as the internet has revolutionized business and society, social innovation will also revolutionize all aspects of business and society.” Professor Zi sees the emerging trend of social enterprises as “unstoppable”. She explains that, for Chinese social enterprises to succeed, they must be able to quickly adjust their business strategy to suit market needs. SERC estimates that if social entrepreneurship in Shanghai develops at its current rate, in the next ten years, there will be a few dozens more social enterprises established in Shanghai with annual revenue exceeding ten billion RMB. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants estimates that by the end of 2012, there were roughly 2000 social enterprises in China; by 2018, the number of social enterprises in China will have exceeded 5000.

Large international venture firms such as Credit Suisse, LGT Group and IDG Ventures are also looking into social enterprises in China for investment opportunities. Bankers have realized that the majority of their clients are socially-aware young people who, apart from focusing on their asset returns, also place significant consideration on the social value of their investments. For instance, in 2007 LGT Group established its first venture philanthropy group to improve the standard of living of disadvantaged groups in developing countries. Meanwhile, large Chinese companies such as Alibaba and SF Express have also recently begun to consider making investments in Chinese social enterprises to achieve a win-win in both finance and benefit for society.

In a word, an increasing number of people in China no longer see creating social values and making money as contradictory to each other, social entrepreneurship and social innovation are indisputably expanding and flourishing in China.

Web-site: http://pimchina.org/jul-3/

China to boost scientific and technological innovation

gsThe State Council issued a national scientific and technological innovation plan in a bid to build China into an innovative country and a scientific and technological power.

As the world’s second-largest economy undergoes economic transition for further development, technology innovation has never been more significant, the plan said.

Based on the idea that innovation is the prime development driving force, the plan is a blueprint designed for technological innovation development during the period of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).

The plan aims to substantially improve China’s technology and innovation capabilities, and lift the country’s comprehensive innovation capabilities into the world’s top 15.

Why China is on the Way to Being a Global Innovator

androidAs part of the transformation of the Chinese economy, attested by many elements of the recent news, China is fast transitioning from low-cost manufacturing to a higher value innovation-led economy. Anticipating the next few years is fraught with difficulties. China is a huge and diverse country going through major transitions. After extensive field work and time spent in China for the new book Created in China, it is clear that China is on its way to become a major, global power for innovation. This is mainly due to private firms, essential engines of the wealth-creation process. These, however, operate in a unique environment, in which the public sector is extremely powerful.

It’s also an innovation environment that’s difficult to measure with metrics. Innovation is about quality of output and not quantity of input. It is therefore extremely difficult to describe and to anticipate. Several of the metrics commonly used are interesting indicators but not always the most reliable.

South Korea has a plan to mitigate Brexit impact

2852054Asia's fourth-largest economy intends to bet big on innovation to mitigate any potential economic damage from the United Kingdom's decision to quit the European Union.

"We will pre-emptively respond to the Brexit impact through creative endeavors for innovation," Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Tianjin, China.

South Korean growth has long been weighed down by stubbornly low consumption, tumbling exports and a rapidly aging population. But new technologies, including cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT), dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, can help change that, the PM said.

Happy Donation, MiRiNAE Movement

5SLt9aoI73P0zkXjfHpwehCm"Suspended coffee" - To leave a cup of coffee in a coffee shop for the homeless or disadvantaged.

The ‘Suspended Coffee’ movement came about over a century ago, in Italy, and was designed as a social movement to provide coffee for people who could not afford it for themselves. This practice has now been widely introduced and enthusiastically carried out in Korea since 2013. Adopting the name ‘MiRiNae’ movement, more than 430 stores across the country have participated since ‘Whoo Whoo coffee shop’ led the way, and joined as the first store in May 2013. Then followed ‘The Happy plus store’, located in Seoul City Hall, and today there are MiRiNae stores located in Japan, Sri Lanka and the U.S.A.

Social Enterprises: A Growth Engine to Steam Korea’s Unemployment Crisis

MYSCgroupWhile Korea’s development success is renowned, less known are its current development challenges. These include: an aging population, gender inequality, growing disparity, and a slowing economy. Eight out of 10 Korean adults said in a recent poll they would leave Korea if they could, with the highest percentage in their 30s followed by those in their 20s. Coupled with the highest suicide rates in the OECD, Korea is being referred to as “Hell Joseon,” a reference to a feudal past during the Joseon dynasty when Confucian hierarchy dictated one’s life path to serfdom or prosperity.

The “Miracle on the Han” has given way to a youth unemployment crisis and an economic slump. While the formula for prosperity in Korea previously meant attending an elite college, finding a job at a large conglomerate, and having a family, today’s youth struggle to find any employment – the jobless rate for youth reached 12.5 percent in February, the highest in 15 years. Although net national income increased from $21,286 in 2006 to $27,119 in 2014, an estimated increase of 27.4 percent per capita, the proportion of young breadwinners (34 years or under) who live below the poverty line increased from 10.7 percent in 2006 to 12.2 percent in 2014, despite their high levels of education and academic qualifications. And problems of unemployment and poverty are not reserved for youth: the elderly poverty rate in South Korea is also the highest among OECD countries.

Why South Korea is the world’s biggest investor in research

KAIST AXION 01-CMYKThe Asian nation is spending big in the hope of winning a Nobel prize, but it will need more than cash to realize its ambitions.

Behind the doors of a drab brick building in Daejeon, South Korea, a major experiment is slowly taking shape. Much of the first-floor lab space is under construction, and one glass DOOR, taped shut, leads directly to a pit in the ground. But at the end of the hall, in a pristine lab, sits a gleaming cylindrical apparatus of copper and gold. It's a prototype of a device that might one day answer a major mystery about the Universe by detecting a particle called the axion — a possible component of dark matter.

If it succeeds, this apparatus has the potential to rewrite physics and win its designers a Nobel prize. “It will transform Korea, there's no question about it,” says physicist Yannis Semertzidis, who leads the US$7.6-million-per-year centre at South Korea's premier technical university, KAIST. But there's a catch: no one knows whether axions even exist. It's the kind of high-risk, high-reward project that symbolizes the country's ambition to become a world leader in basic research.

South Korea is attracting top scientists in the hope of boosting basic science

536S22a-i1International weekly journal of science Nature published an article about how South Korea is attracting top scientists in the hope of boosting basic science.

When computer scientist François Rameau made the decision to pursue his career abroad, he did it more quickly than most. After looking up the research output of the robotics and computer-vision laboratory at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea, where he had been offered a position, he instantly rejected the three postdoctoral fellowships on offer back home in France. “I realized it's probably one of the best in the world,” he says. “I went without hesitation.”

South Korea aims for creative economy to end reliance on chaebol

sksGovernment rolls out funding and infrastructure to aid start-ups and revitalise SME sector
There is a network of 17 such institutions being rolled out across the country that offer workspace, funding and advice to start-ups and budding entrepreneurs. One of them is the creative economy centre at Bundang, south of South Korea’s capital.
Along with a new ministry of future planning, the centres are the most visible manifestation of the government’s “creative economy” agenda — President Park Geun-hye’s drive to foster start-ups and ease the country’s economic reliance on a small number of large business groups, known as chaebols, such as Samsung and Hyundai.
The push follows four consecutive years of growth below 4 per cent — unusually slow by South Korean standards — sparking concern that the country may struggle to close the gap with the world’s richest economies. Attention has focused on the weakness of the small and medium-sized business sector, which has fallen steadily behind the country’s manufacturing giants in terms of productivity.

SOUTH KOREA INNOVATION DAYS

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Two weeks in November will be dedicated to the news of innovative South Korea!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative south korean companies!

Platform China Holland Innovation Center launched in The Hague

HaagaThe Hague, 24 May 2016 – Prior to the opening of Europe Startup Fest, a festival where startups, investors, developers and companies meet, the China-Holland Innovation Day took place yesterday in the WTC in The Hague.
The participating Chinese delegation headed by Mr. Zhanshan Han was officially welcomed by His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, on behalf Startup Fest Europe.
The collaboration with innovative Sino-Dutch clusters and creating business opportunities were the main topics at the China Holland Innovation Day. The event was therefore for InnovationQuarter an appropriate moment for signing an MoU with the Chinese company HopeFull Grain & Oil Group and a Confirmation Letter with the China Holland Innovation Center (CHIC).

Intrinsic ID – winner of Innovation Radar Prize 2016

inovation-radar-1-300x200The Innovation Radar (IR) is a European Commission initiative to identify high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation ICT projects.
28 000 votes shortlisted 16 innovators from around Europe. Their innovations cover a wide range of markets from video production to data management to transport logistics to augmented reality.The winner was announced at the European Commission's ICT Proposers Day in Bratislava, Slovakia on 26 September.
The three Dutch innovations are:
Intrinsic ID
The Physical Unclonable Function technology provides security for smart devices so even the smallest smart chips and devices can be secured in order to protect its users in their day-to-day lives.
The Netherlands Cancer Institute
An automatic software framework brings personalized radiation therapy for prostate cancer to the clinic using medical resonance imaging to guide dose painting decisions.
Roessingh Research and Development BV
Langgezond.nl is using ICT supported services to deliver intelligent, personalized and motivational services that aim to prevent frailty and functional decline among citizens. This approach could transform our care system into one that is more sustainable, personalized and proactive.

Amsterdam is the European Capital of Innovation 2016

bigstock-Zeeburg-Amsterdam-290WIDE14 April 2016, by Thomas Lundberg The European Commission awarded the title of European Capital of Innovation 2016 to Amsterdam for its holistic vision of innovation related to four areas of urban life: governance, economics, social inclusion and quality of life.
Amsterdam was chosen by a panel of independent experts in a close competition with eight more finalists that included much larger cities such as Berlin and Paris. The Netherlands had one more finalist with Eindhoven.
Europe's most innovative city Amsterdam's 950.000 euro prize will be used to scale up and expand the city's efforts on innovation. Turin and Paris were selected as runners-up, winning second and third prizes respectively.

Social innovation in the Netherlands

2Contrary to European views, in the Netherlands social innovation is interpreted primarily as innovation in the workplace, or smarter working. Europe uses a broader definition. The Guide to Social Innovation (European Commission 2013) includes the following definition of social innovation: ‘The development and implementation of new ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations’. Therefore the Netherlands has no active progressive social innovation policy, as opposed to other countries like the United Kingdom. Of course the lack of policy in this field does not mean that there are no examples of social innovation in this wider sense to be found in the Netherlands. And the attention for social innovation in the Netherlands is increasing.

Agriculture and Food in Holland

The Netherlands is one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural and food products, thanks to its innovative agrifood technology. The Dutch agrifood sector is a sustainable source of healthy, safe food that is produced with respect for nature and the environment.

Encouraging innovation

The government supports companies that develop innovative products through tax benefits, innovation credit and grants. There are also a number of EU grant schemes for innovation.

Innovation creates opportunities

Innovative businesses can help develop solutions to major social issues like global food security, ageing populations or life-threatening diseases.

NETHERLANDS INNOVATION DAYS

Two weeks in September and October will be dedicated to the news of innovative Netherlands!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative dutch companies!

First scientists move in to London’s new world-leading research lab

New £650 million laboratory welcomes the first researchers to begin their collaboration and help strengthen the UK’s world-leading reputation in science.
Backed by £350 million of government investment, the first scientists are moving in and beginning to work in the new Francis Crick Institute – one of the most developed facilities for medical research in the world.

It will support 1,250 scientists in investigating and understanding biological processes that could lead to pioneering drugs and treatments for illnesses such as cancer, stroke and motor neurone disease.

UK to merge research and innovation in a single agency with £6B budget

The new body will absorb seven research councils, covering all scientific disciplines, and the innovation agency Innovate UK, with the aim of creating integrated funding system
The UK government is to create a single research funding body, bringing together seven research councils, the innovation agency Innovate UK and research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The new body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will command a £6 billion budget.

Innovate UK: A closer look at the government’s reform to grants funding

Daniel Tenner: Grants for ground-breaking innovation should notice little change. 

In his latest column for Business Advice, co-founder of GrantTree and contributing grants expert, Daniel Tenner, takes a closer look at what the proposed government changes to specific grant funding options in last year’s Autumn Statement may mean in real terms for small business.

State of play in UK innovation policy

High level changes in government

Proposed reforms to the UK research and innovation landscape, coupled with the UK’s decision to leave the EU, has led to speculation around how commercialisation and capitalisation of UK discoveries may be impacted. In May 2016, the Government White Paper Success as a knowledge economy set out plans to include the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK in the newly established overarching body for research, innovation and knowledge exchange – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The UK Higher Education and Research Bill which will bring these reforms to life is currently under consideration in the House of Commons and recently passed its second reading; these changes are discussed in an earlier blog post.

Does the UK’s Science & Innovation Strategy go far enough?

Dr. Ramsay Richmond is Executive Manager at the QMB Innovation Centre in Whitechapel. He has spent over 25 years in the European life sciences industry covering research, consultancy and business development. This article gives the views of the author and is not the position of Queen Mary BioEnterprises Ltd. or Queen Mary University of London.

Does the UK’s Science & Innovation Strategy go far enough?

Oxford University Innovation – the new name for Isis Innovation

The company Isis Innovation was established in 1987 as Oxford University Research and Development Ltd and was renamed Isis Innovation a year later. Isis Innovation and its sub-divisions manage the University's intellectual property portfolio, working with University academics and researchers who wish to commercialise their work by identifying, protecting and marketing technologies through patenting and licensing, spin-out company formation, consulting and material sales.

UK INNOVATION DAYS


Two weeks in April will be dedicated to the news of innovative United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative British companies!

GII 2016 Theme: “Winning with Global Innovation”

The GII theme this year is “Winning with Global Innovation.” The report explores the rising share of innovation carried out via globalized innovation networks, finding that gains from global innovation can be shared more widely as cross-border flows of knowledge and talent are on the rise. The report also concludes that there is ample scope to expand global corporate and public R&D cooperation to foster future economic growth.

What Makes a Country Innovative?

Each year INSEAD team up with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Cornell University to produce an innovation league table for the countries of the world. It’s designed to rank the infrastructure and support environment for innovation around the world.

Global Innovation Index 2016

China joins the ranks of the world’s 25 most-innovative economies, while Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 rankings in the Global Innovation Index, released on August 15, 2016 by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China’s top-25 entry marks the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the Global Innovation Index (GII) throughout its nine years of surveying the innovative capacity of 100-plus countries across the globe.

32 incredible food innovations that will change our lives

Weird, wonderful, inventive, eco-friendly, life-saving and technologically brilliant – these are just a few of the words used to describe the advances taking place in the food industry at the moment. Read on to learn more.

DNA DIETS
As people become more aware of how their bodies respond to certain foods, and diets such as the Paleo increase in popularity, so genetic tests are emerging that allow us to streamline a diet that’s best suited to our individual genetic make-up.

Visit www.dnafit.com for more info.

NSW EPA invites applications for food waste reduction grants

The NSW EPA has opened applications for the fourth round of its ‘Love Food Hate Waste grants’, aimed at projects to reduce food waste in NSW.

The program is being delivered in partnership with the Environmental Trust, as part of the $465.7 million Waste Less Recycle More program.

About Australian SMART Farm

The University of New England has transformed 'Kirby-Newholme', a 2,900 ha commercial farm located 10 km north west of the campus, into a SMART Farm (Sustainable Manageable Accessible Rural Technologies Farm). Kirby-Newholme is part of the university's Armidale commercial farms. The SMART Farm showcases the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, environmental sustainability, safety, workflow and social/business support networks on Australian farms.

With $2 million SMART Farm Innovation Centre perched atop a knoll in the middle of the farm, and linked via AARNet and the national broadband network (fibre, terrestrial wireless AND satellite), the predominantly grazing SMART Farm is a national demonstrator site.

Ramsey's committee looks at smart farming

Grey MP Rowan Ramsey, chairman of a standing committee on agriculture and industry, tabled the committee’s report on farm innovation and predicted a “boom” in the industry. He told parliament that “Australia has always been a world leader in agricultural innovation”. The key to huge development of agriculture was the application of new technology to individual farms, backed by government.

Mr Ramsey said the committee members had been excited the potential of agriculture and the “almost endless” opportunities for efficiencies, improvements and increased production as a result of new technology.

Government to launch $28 million taxpayer-funded ad campaign to sell innovation policies

The Turnbull government will spend $28 million on a taxpayer-funded advertising blitz to spruik its innovation agenda and trigger a "cultural shift" in the economy.

The new sales pitch brings the total cost of four major advertising campaigns under the Abbott and Turnbull governments to at least $84.5 million.

Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne said the government's innovation agenda

AUSTRALIA INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in May will be dedicated to the news of innovative Australia!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative Australian companies!

Sweden drops down innovation rankings

Swedish small and medium sized companies are lagging behind their competitors in Europe and further afield when it comes to innovation, according to a fresh report.
According to the Innovation Indicator 2015, Sweden reached just 10th place in the worldwide innovation stakes, behind countries including Finland, Germany, Austria and the United States.

Investment Plan for Europe: SEK 2.7bn of EU finance for Swedish companies

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Almi Företagspartner (Almi) and Svensk Exportkredit (SEK), have signed guarantee agreements to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Sweden. Two of the transactions benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The agreements allow Almi and Svensk Exportkredit to provide around SEK 2.1 billion (around EUR 210 million) of loans to innovative companies in Sweden

10 Innovations You Didn't Know Were Swedish

From Anders Celsius’s thermometer in the 1700s to Skype in 2003, Sweden has long been a country that breeds innovation. Here are ten innovations that, in very different ways, have changed the world – and they’re all Swedish.

1. Automatic identification systems
Getting completely lost is difficult today thanks to global positioning systems (GPS), which are now an essential part of our daily lives;

Billion kronor investment in Swedish next generation biologics

Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg and Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson presented a national programme for protein research, method development and biologics production.

The research programme, which aims to make Sweden a leader in the development and production of biologics, will be established at VINNOVA, the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems,

SWEDEN INNOVATIONS DAYS


Two weeks in April will be dedicated to the news of innovative Sweden!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative Swedish companies!

Super-sweet sugar and fruit fly protein powder: Israel’s next tech

Israeli technology is set to make a mark on gastronomy.

“Food is the next big area for Israeli tech,” according to entrepreneur and investor Ron Antonovksy. “We are moving from Start-Up Nation to a Foodtech Nation.”

That food tech was on display Wednesday at a conference of the same name. The first Foodtech Nation Conference, held in suburban Tel Aviv, brought together entrepreneurs, academics, and corporate executives from Israel and abroad

What Are The Secrets Behind Israel's Growing Innovative Edge?

Israel is quickly becoming an innovation giant. With just over 7.7 million people, Israel has an estimated 4,800 startups, many of them high tech. These companies are sources of groundbreaking innovation that is catapulting Israel to global tech prominence. The combination of Israel’s culture, environment and keen strategy has led to a tech boom that rivals Silicon Valley.

It’s not only the sheer number of entrepreneurial companies; it’s their astonishing, innovative edge. 

Israeli Life Science Innovation and Technology Continues to Change Lives for the Better

Israel’s dynamic life sciences sector is growing at a rapid pace, contributing enormously to the global healthcare market. Today there are over 1,200 active life science companies in Israel with some 40 new companies formed each year. In 2013, Israeli life science exports reached $8 billion and a rich pipeline of seed companies in the field promises to perpetuate current growth. There is no other country in the world with such a concentration of life science companies.

Innovation Program For Promoting Start-Ups In The Arab Sector Launched In Nazareth Together With 8200 Alumni

Hybrid, a new and innovative program for promoting startups in the Arab sector, at the Nazareth Business Incubator Center (NBIC), launched by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, in cooperation with the 8200 Alumni Association. The program aims to help advance new initiatives in the Arab sector, with the goal of significantly increasing the number and quality of start-ups in the Arab sector.

To this end, the program will operate in association with a large number of partners from the high-tech industry, including Bank Hapoalim, EMC, Coca-Cola, SAP, and the Nazareth software company, Galil Software.

Technology in Israel: 5 Best Innovations From Jewish Nation

From aerospace engineering to pharmaceuticals and from environmental science to computer innovations, Israel, like Silicon Valley, is one of the world's hot spots for everything tech. Scientists in the Jewish Nation have contributed to a wide variety of innovations in technology that play important roles in everyday living. Here is a list of five of the best tech creations to come from Israel:

  1. Jump Drive
 - The jump drive, also known as a disk on key, rendered floppy disks obsolete. The portable storage device is produced by SanDisk Corporation, a company with offices in Kfar Saba, Omer, and Migdal Tefen, according to its website. The company even won a platinum Maala Award, Israel's prize for excellence in corporate and social responsibility, according to eJewishPhilanthropy.com.

ISRAEL INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in March will be dedicated to the news of innovative Israel!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative israeli companies!

New Israel-Japan agreement follows in wake of Sony deal

Unable to resist the tide of history — and the big deals between companies — Israel and Japan have begun to openly embrace each other

When a huge company like Sony buys an Israeli start-up for a rumored $220 million, the Israeli and Japanese governments — even if they had been reluctant in the past to do so — can no longer keep trade between the two countries a secret.

Land Of The Raising Startup – 7 Japanese Startups To Watch

Japan has a reputation as one of the most high-tech nations on earth, but its startup scene has never quite lived up to this reputation, with much of the tech industry under the control of massive, often family-owned, mega-corporations such as Sony and Mitsubishi, whose roots stretch back before the dawn of modern technology. However, it still boasts a more robust startup scene than most and today it got its first unicorn, in the form of marketplace startup Mercari, which raised USD75m. Here are the key figures to know for the Japanese startup ecosystem:

Japanese researchers generate major eye parts from iPS cells

A Japanese research team has succeeded for the first time anywhere in generating a set of major parts of eyes, including retina and crystalline lens, from human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.

The team also transplanted corneal epithelial cells onto the eyes of rabbits to recover their healthy condition, raising hopes for future regenerative medical treatment of human eyes that have complex structures.

Science and technology plan

The government’s latest Science and Technology Basic Plan, adopted last month by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet, will guide national policy for the next five fiscal years. It seeks to turn Japan into the world’s most innovation-friendly country and build a “supersmart society” to cope with the nation’s various socioeconomic challenges. It calls for government spending of ¥26 trillion over the five years starting with fiscal 2016 — or 1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product each year — on science and technology investments.

However, as the plan acknowledges, Japan’s research competence as a whole has declined over the years.

Japan's Emerging Culture Of Innovation: The Invisible Things Can Be The Hardest To Change

Over the past 50 years, Japan has helped to shape the world’s technology landscape. Looking at the massive global impact made by companies like Sony and Toshiba , we can see an interesting comparison to the nature of technology developments in Silicon Valley and the United States. While Silicon Valley is populated by companies that have emerged from startups over the past decade or so, Japan’s technology landscape is still very top-heavy with little to show of ‘idea-to-company’ success stories.

Innovation nation: 13 technology advancements made in Japan

Japan has fallen off the radar in recent years, but it's still a vital if quiet place of creation
Japan is still the third-largest economy in the world after the U.S. and China, impressive for a nation of just 120 million. You don't hear about it anymore, but that doesn't mean it stopped innovating. Here are 13 areas where it's blazing trails.
Recycling radioactive waste into rare metals
The Japanese government set up a fund worth over US$530 million dollars to help make Japan more competitive. Among the 12 research proposals they selected was one of a group of researchers who want to find a way to recycle highly radioactive waste into rare metals. The group is looking to extract these rare metals from radioactive waste.

JAPAN INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in January will be dedicated to the news of innovative Japan!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative japanese companies!

Entrepreneurship education on the increase in Europe

Teaching schoolchildren the skills to turn creative ideas into entrepreneurial action is on the rise, with the most comprehensive entrepreneurship education in place in Nordic countries and Estonia. However, the subject is not entrenched in the curriculum.
A survey of 38 education systems across Europe shows that eleven had specific strategies on entrepreneurship education in place in 2014/15, while 18 included entrepreneurship in broader plans and nine systems had no relevant national strategies.
The European Commission-funded Eurydice study, ‘Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe’ found the most comprehensive plans for entrepreneurial teaching in schools are in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Estonia. However, no education system in the survey has robust funding streams in place for this kind of teaching.

Singapore through the eyes of local startups

A country that is the smallest in physical size among the ten ASEAN nations, but yet holds the highest GDP per capita at US$52,000, Singapore is known to be one of the four Asian tigers. With no natural resources except its people, its resilience and the need for constant upgrading and innovation have been pivotal in keeping Singapore ahead of the curve and ensuring its survival.

This is prevalent in its macro policies for innovating ahead: a 5-year US$12b R&D research budget, a Smart Nation vision, upgrading and equipping its citizens with new skills via the SkillsFuture program, and many added bold infrastructural plans to build a great tech ecosystem.

Russia has outpaced China in the ranking of the Most Innovative Economies of the world

Bloomberg has updated the Innovation Index which reflects data for 50 countries.

Russia took the 12 place in the ranking of the most innovative economies in the world. The experts analyzed 200 states, but they did not have enough information about all of them.

Countries were compared by seven criteria. These are: activity of research and development, intensity of innovations use, productivity, diffusion of new technologies, patent activity, effectiveness of technologies in the consumer spheres and the concentration of researches.

Bolivian Government Seeks to Promote Scientific Innovation

The Bolivian government agrees to promote scientific innovation in the country. The Bolivian government reiterated his commitment on Friday to adopt new measures to increase scientific and technological innovation within the country.

Following the conclusion of the first Conference of Bolivian Scientists, the country’s president Evo Morales promised to review many of the proposals put forth during the two-day event, which include the creation of a new Ministry for Science and Technology along with the launch of a fund to finance technological research and development.

The largest solar park is opened in Switzerland

Energy company Romande Energie in cooperation with the Federal Polytechnic school of Lausanne (EPFL) have created a visually impressive city Park potential of solar energy in the Confederacy.

Institutions jointly built the Park on the territory of EPFL campus and integrated it in the complex of existing buildings. Park has an area of 15 500 square meters and is situated on the roofs is 25 buildings, - is noted in the communiqué of Romande Energie.

ASU tops U.S. News & World Report list of most innovative schools

Arizona State University tops the list of “most innovative schools” in the newly released U.S. News & World Report college rankings for 2016. Wrigley Hall at ASU U.S. News and World Report listed Arizona State University at the top of “most innovative schools” list in the newly released U.S. News & World Report college rankings for 2016. ASU's Wrigley Hall, pictured, is home to some of that innovation as it houses the School for Sustainability. 
“Most innovative” is a new category for the widely touted set of annual rankings by the news magazine, which compares more than 1,500 institutions on a variety of metrics.ASU topped the list based on a survey of peers. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans around the country nominated up to 10 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements to curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.Though, it’s not just college officials who are noticing ASU’s innovative atmosphere.

Tech innovation need not be 'Made in the USA'

In the fast-paced world of technology, innovation need not be limited to one side of the Pacific Ocean. Advances are clearly happening all around the Pacific Rim. But Asia policymakers should, and can, do more to encourage the freer flow of ideas and capital across the Pacific to the benefit of American and Asian entrepreneurs, companies and economies.
This goes beyond the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which would connect the United States and other Asia-Pacific countries; together they account for 40 per cent of global gross domestic product. California offers several lessons that Asian nations can build on if they, too, are to become centres of global invention and innovation. America's "Golden State" has been associated with the rewards of risk-taking for decades. Those California dreams of tech success have since gone global, capturing the imaginations of would-be tech entrepreneurs everywhere.

2016 U.S. Federal Budget Bodes Well for Innovation

In recent years, research universities across the country have faced squeezed public financial support as the agencies that channel funds through them, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dealt with sequestration and the 2013 cuts in federal government funding.
So what does the $1.5 trillion spending measure that passed in Congress in December mean for scientific research and the so-called innovation deficit in the United States?

5 Innovative Tech Products Coming in 2016

Welcome to the future! It is easy to see that the past few years have been revolutionary in the development of new technology. For that reason, it’s exciting to see what 2016 has in store for us and how technology will better our lives even more. Whether it’s by helping us live a healthy lifestyle, or by improving the quality of entertainment, technology promises to bring us many great things this year. Here are just 5 of the great, new tech products to expect this year:

Here Are the Most Innovative States in America

The Boston area's Route 128 eked out a victory over Silicon Valley, as Bloomberg's ranking of the most innovative states in the U.S. illustrates how universities can juice local economies.
Massachusetts is the most innovative state, with California scoring a close second and Washington, New Jersey and Connecticut rounding out the top five states, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. Mississippi, West Virginia and South Dakota are the three least innovative states. "You've got these major, world-ranked institutions that have played a big role in terms of churning out some very, very well-qualified, bright people," feeding an innovative atmosphere, said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts.

 

USA INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in January will be dedicated to the news of innovative USA!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative american companies!

How Finnish robots could save the world

ZenRobotics, an environmentally conscious Finnish startup, is bringing in robots to help save us from drowning in waste.
A colossal sign atop a building near Helsinki Central Railway Station marks the headquarters of ZenRobotics, an award-winning startup company that has steadily gathered media momentum since its appearance in 2007. Its product is a highly intelligent robot whose “brain” is inspired by that of a human, making the waste recycling process more efficient than was ever thought possible.
“We all know the world is drowning in waste and resources are running out,” says Jufo Peltomaa, marketing director at ZenRobotics.

Finland reaches for the solar switch

FinSolar is spotlighting solar power. If you thought Finland wasn’t ideal for solar panels, you have to read this. A project aimed at changing attitudes about solar power – as well as its financing and legislation – involves Aalto University, the city of Helsinki and more than 40 Finnish companies and other partners.
A few panels installed on summer cottages to catch the midnight sun – that used to be the extent of Finnish solar power. Otherwise it has not traditionally been taken very seriously in Finland. Too expensive, with too short a season, said the sceptics.

Finnish bioeconomy making amazing future

Finland has an important role in the new bioeconomy, in which recent developments are shaping the world’s future.

Imagine clothes made of wood, plastic made of trees and car fuel that is excreted by microbes. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, yet this technology is available to us today – and much of it has been developed in Finland.

Pop the scientist's bubbles!

Helsinki Challenge is a science-based idea competition launched to celebrate the 375th anniversary year of the University of Helsinki.
Helsinki Challenge is a new science-based competition and idea accelerator which looks for solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Teams are studying climate change, the future of learning, urban development and even the morality of machines.

Michael Laakasuo is thinking about killer robots. This isn’t in regards to a new game or scifi novel; he is thinking about modern robotics and artificial intelligence. Robots are gaining more and more power: they are able to fly us, drive us and even kill us. But few people have considered the implications.

Finland Moves to Interdisciplinary Curriculum Model

Finland is leaving behind traditional subject teaching in schools in favor of topic teaching. School subjects such as math, history and science won’t be taught distinctly anymore, and the line between subjects will be more fluid as students will be exposed to several subjects at once as proposed ‘phenomenon teaching’ sets forth.
Finland, which consistently ranks highly in literacy and numeracy achievement worldwide, challenged only by China and Singapore, is taking a unique approach to learning with an aim to activate a broader understanding of phenomena to adequately prepare students for adult working life.

Top 5 Finnish climate change solutions

Solving problems comes as second nature to Finns. This skill with finding a way to resolve some of the world’s most pressing problems is a real asset during the United Nations’ Climate Change conference which was held from November 30 to December 11 in Paris. Here we have gathered some groundbreaking Finnish ideas and innovations to reduce energy consumption and harness renewable energy sources.

Finnish innovation environment

Finland has proven an excellent location for testing out new products and services. Finland has ranked high in different international comparisons relating to competitiveness and innovation throughout the 2000s.

Finland has developed the innovation policy consistently. One of the strengths of the Finnish innovation environment is the active and successful dialogue involving companies, research institutes and the public sector.

FINLAND INNOVATIONS DAYS

 

Two weeks in January will be dedicated to the news of innovative Finland!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative finnish companies!

5 amazing healthcare innovations coming out of Singapore

Thanks to world-class hospitals, an emphasis on public/private partnerships and increased investment in med-tech startups, the world's biotech community has grown accustomed to calling Singapore the "Boston of Asia," an allusion to the North American city's robust medical and engineering sectors.

Between 2011 and 2015, in fact, Singapore gave $11.2 billion to support research, innovation and enterprise projects, according to the country's Economic Development Board.
With those funds, resources and support, Singaporean medical and healthcare innovators have tackled local issues and exported global solutions.
Here are five discoveries and innovations that Singapore is sharing with the world's medical and scientific communities.

Principles of Swiss innovation

Switzerland is more innovative and entrepreneurial than generally known. Generous investments have created an efficient ecosystem of education, research and innovation. The country has been top-ranked in innovation for many years in a row.
Key factors for innovation
Switzerland has all the characteristics required for successful innovation:
• Well trained working force
• Excellent academic institutions
• Fully developed infrastructure

Germany's Diverse Research Landscape

Science and research in Germany are characterized by a distinguished infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines, well-equipped research facilities and competent staff. Germany offers various forms of research locations: universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university institutes, companies and federal as well as state Institutions. All in all, there are approximately 750 publicly funded research institutions in Germany, plus research and development centers run by industrial corporations.

Research in Germany – Information Portal

Let us present you information platform for scientists “Research in Germany” which we found very useful and informative!
The “Research in Germany” portal is an information platform and contact point for all looking to find out more about Germany's research landscape and its latest research achievements. The portal not only informs researchers and scientists about research in Germany, but also addresses a whole host of other players from politics and government, business and industry. One key goal of the portal is to provide an overview of the research and funding opportunities in Germany.

Russia: 2 new solar power plants begin to operate in Orsk and Abakan

Department of press service and information of the Cabinet reports that Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, December 21, 2015 in the framework of the teleconference started into operation solar power plant in Orsk and Abakan. Run power plants was held on the eve of the power engineers ' Day, celebrated on 22 December. 

"On December 21 Medvedev will participate in the teleconference, which will take place on commissioning of solar power plants in Orsk and Abakan", - was stated in the message.

Germany-Israel Innovation Day 2015

The Germany-Israel Innovation Day held in Tel Aviv provided a platform for the exchange of ideas, to further develop working relationships in the areas of sustainability, the life sciences and ICT. As part of the events marking 50 years of Israeli-German diplomatic relations, the Germany-Israel Innovation Day was held in Tel Aviv on June 29, 2015. Organized by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Israeli Ministry of Economic Affairs, and by the Israel Trade Center in Berlin, it provided a platform for the exchange of ideas, to further develop working relationships in the areas of sustainability, the life sciences and ICT.

GERMAN INDUSTRY 2015 innovation prize: industrial company Trumpf the overall winner

Laser and machine tool producer Trumpf is the overall winner of the GERMAN INDUSTRY 2015 innovation prize. The winner in the Product category is the family-owned industrial enterprise Rittal. Schmalz, a medium-sized enterprise specialising in vacuum technology, receives the award for the Best Innovation System. With the first award of the GERMAN INDUSTRY innovation prize, the Staufen AG consultancy recognises outstanding, application-oriented innovations by medium-sized enterprises.

"Trumpf receives the prize for an entirely new business model which is pioneering in its orientation to Industry 4.0," explains Martin Haas, Executive Board member of Staufen AG. "The company thus serves as an example to the industry which in its entirety still predominantly banks on product innovation, as confirmed by the Innovation 2015 industrial monitor."

German Research and Innovation Platform

The Research and Innovation Platform acts as an advisory body for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, hosting a dialogue on the strategic direction of energy research with the national stakeholders in the Federal Government and the business and scientific communities. With a view to facilitating the rapid market launch of new energy technologies and innovative procedures, the aim is to pinpoint how the various research activities in Germany can become better networked and used more effectively.

GERMANY INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in December will be dedicated to the news of innovative Germany!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative german companies!

12 most innovative countries in the world

Innovation is one of the most exciting ways to move a country forward. But for that to happen, a country must create an environment conducive to creative activity that is supported by both the public and private sectors. More concretely, we're talking about having high-quality scientific research institutions, sufficient investment in research and development, and protection of intellectual property, according to the recent report by the World Economic Forum.

We took a closer look at the 12 countries that have successfully fostered such environments and are leading the way as the most innovative countries in the world, according to data in the WEF's report. Check them out below.

In Global Innovation Race, Taiwan Is Tops in Patents, Israel Leads in R&D

South Korea may have bragging rights as the all-around most innovative country in the world, but when you look at the individual factors that were weighed, other nations came out on top.

In determining who was the most innovative, Bloomberg Rankings evaluated more than 200 countries and sovereign regions based on seven factors, such as R&D expenditure, the percentage of public high-tech companies and patent activity. While South Korea's total score was the highest, the Asian nation actually wasn't the leader in any of these categories.

5 Innovations That Will Transform India in the Next 5 Years

Following USA and China, India is the world’s third largest Internet population. The country is projected to be home to 243 million Internet users by June 2014 – but that’s still only a fraction of the country’s 1.2 billion population. 
As access to the Internet penetrates deeper into the Indian population, it is changing the ways politicians campaign, companies lead and people connect.
Here are five key takeaways, which dive into the country’s powerful online potential.

Young innovators who deserved the National Indian Child Awards 2015

Thirty children from across India received the National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement, 2015, on the occasion of Children’s Day. The awards were presented by President Pranab Mukherjee, in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement was introduced in 1996 and is awarded by the Department of Women and Child Development every year to recognise children for their abilities and achievements in various fields. This year, the winners were aged between nine and 16. These are children who have shown outstanding talent in different fields ranging from innovation and sports to singing and acting.

Indian Bank of Ideas & Innovations

Innovation is the driver of growth and is a key source of competitive advantage, a multiplier of economic activity, employment and development. The importance of innovation cannot be over-emphasized in the context of the development challenge faced in the rural areas, where widespread poverty, infrastructural limitations and complex socio-cultural issues pose formidable challenges.

The Ministry of Rural Development is committed to embrace these innovations in order to accelerate development. A concerted effort will therefore be made to identify, evaluate and promote the innovation as it happens in the rural areas, and thereby open up pathways for prosperity of the rural poor.

Top 20 entrants for the Innovate for Digital India Challenge

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Intel India today announced a shortlist of 20 teams participating in the Innovate for Digital India Challenge. 20 teams from across India will receive grants of INR 200,000 per team to develop prototypes in the final stage of this nation-wide contest.

The challenge aims to help bring technology to every household in India through grassroots innovation. It has tasked the participants with the creation of intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that can increase access to critical services for development in two broad areas.

INDIA INNOVATIONS DAYS

Two weeks in November will be dedicated to the news of innovative India!
We would be pleasured to receive from you any news about collaboration with innovative indian companies!

Kazakhstan noted contribution of European funding of innovations



The official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan informs that at the seminar titled "EU-Kazakhstan: innovations through cooperation" in Astana

Minister of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan Asset Issekeshev said that program of European Union "Horizon-2020" on financing of research works will help to develop the innovation potential in Kazakhstan.

"We hope that "Horizon-2020" and the State Program on Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development of Kazakhstan will allow Kazakhstan to speed up the process of reaching the innovation and energy-efficient future" – Minster noted.

Taiwan technology institute wins 4 'Oscars of Invention' awards

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has received four prizes at this year's R&D 100 Awards in Las Vegas, winning for the eighth consecutive year at the "Oscars of Invention," as they are widely known.

The ITRI awards were given for the most innovative products in two categories -- IT/Electrical and Mechanical Devices/Materials -- at a ceremony on Nov. 13, the government-sponsored ITRI said in a statement Monday.

Innovations unite!

Innovations really unite! On November 13, 2015 took place visit of representatives of the Moscow Taipei Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission. As Russian technological development is highly appreciated abroad, Taiwan is interested in creation of mutual projects with Russian scientists. Today one of priority innovative problems of Taiwan is implementation of technological transfer projects in cooperation with foreign countries. During this meeting the general questions of cooperation in the sphere of a technological transfer, interaction of scientific institutes of Taiwan with scientific institutes of Russia were discussed. In closing ways of cooperation in development of the joint projects aimed at exchange of experience between young scientists of Taiwan and Russia were planned.

Israel government sets up Technology and Innovation Authority


Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon: Maintaining Israel's position as a technological powerhouse is an existential duty.
The Israeli government has approved the establishment of a National Authority for Technology and Innovation (NATI). The authority will function as the executive arm of the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

Brazil tech hub’s big ambitions

It’s one of Brazil’s biggest tech hubs, but Recife’s Porto Digital (Digital Harbour) is no gleaming expanse of shiny metal and glass. Instead, this tech park of more than 200 firms is located within the city’s historical neighbourhood.

Launched with much hype in 2000, Porto Digital made headlines in the likes of Wired и Bloomberg Businessweek, a regional hub making a concerted effort to become a big noise.

South Korea is 2015 world’s most innovative country

At the beginning of the year Bloomberg released their 2015 Global Innovation Index which compared 50 of the world’s most innovative countries and listed South Korea as number one.
The report focused on six tangible activities that contribute to innovation, including the number of high-tech companies, R&D expenditure per capita, gross value added by manufacturing, the number of patents and research personnel per capita and post-secondary education levels.

Innopolis – Russia's first IT University

The Innopolis project involves the creation of a new city. The new city is designed to bring together young highly qualified specialists from all over the country, thus strengthening the innovative capacity of the Russian Federation.
The prospective population of Innopolis is 155 000 people, of which 60 000 will be highly qualified specialists. Innopolis will be a smart city with an extensive business infrastructure (technology parks, development centers, etc.), Russia's first IT University (in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, USA), a full range of social and commercial infrastructure (schools, kindergartens, hospitals, shopping centers, restaurants, etc.) and accommodating a diverse social spectrum (from multi-family houses to townhouses and cottages), most of which will be provided to employees of the resident companies for rent with the right to purchase.

“Innovation and Commercialization”

In the beginning of September a seminar for the international training programme “Innovation and Commercialization” for increasing qualifications was held in Saint Petersburg. The programme was based on the course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Boston) and is brought into action in Russia by ITMO University with support from the Russian Venture Company (RVC).

The Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP 2015) Conference

On Saturday 5 September 2015 the international large Hadron collider Physics (LHCP) conference has concluded in Saint Petersburg. The meeting was dedicated to the work of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other subdivisions of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN. More than three hundred specialists from thirty five different countries met in Saint Petersburg to discuss the latest theoretical and experimental results gained from the LHC.

A detailed report can be found in our "To Discuss" section.

The Second International Forum “Social Innovation Studies. Youth League”

In the beginning of September more than a hundred delegations from Russian and foreign cities will meet in Vologda to share their experiences in the field of innovational municipal practices. The organisers of the event hope that the forum will become an effective platform to discuss the newest methods in the sphere of social planning and creative urbanism, as well as to present successful projects. The main focus will be given to the issue of the participation of youth in the urban development, formation of an active citizen position by taking part in various social programs and volunteering as a form of social activity.

Regional Innovational Activity Rating

The National Association of Innovation and Development of IT (NAIDIT) published the “Regional innovational activity rating” for 2014. The rating, which all the subjects of the Russian Federation took part in, is meant to give an objective understanding of the current condition of the innovation sphere in Russia and determine the regions which have achieved outstanding results in the area of sciences and high-tech industry.

Nigeria Innovation Cluster Mapping

The project is managed by African Institution of Technology with Milonics Analytics providing the statistical modelling and data analytic tools. Professors, universities, individuals, and some staff of federal agencies in Nigeria are providing assistance on this project.

Russian Day at the MWC 2015 Shanghai

On 16 July, in Shanghai, “Russian Day”, a special event held within the Mobile World Congress Shanghai (MWC 2015) for the leading Russian IT companies in Russia, was a huge success. The visit from the Russian delegation in Shanghai from 14 - 16 of July was organised by the RVC in cooperation with RUSSOFT with support from the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation Trade Representative in China and the High Technology Industry Development Center “Torch”. The activities were coordinated by the Interregional Innovative Development Center INNO-MIR.

B2B Software days 2015

Picture-B2B-Meetings-4On the 26th to the 28th of April 2015, Vienna hosted the annual B2B Software days event, run with support from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. This year, the company INNO-MIR, together with Russfort, acted as coordinators for participating Russian IT-related companies, such as ‘Arcadia’, ‘Kentor’, ‘SimbirSoft’, ‘Expert-System’ and ICL Services. The Russian delegation had the opportunity to take part in a major industry conference, immerse itself in relevant modern developments in the IT-business and find new international partners. The involvement of Russian companies in B2B Software Days is part of an Export Support Programme.

International Year of Light in Russia

On the 3rd of April 2015 in the First Cadet Corps Manege in St. Petersburg a crowd gathered for the festive opening of the International Year of Light and Light Technologies. The event was organised by the ITMO University, which acts as the curator for the national program of events within the ‘International Year of Light’ project, initiated by UNESCO. The project’s main mission is to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to modern day challenges. For the duration of the year, more than 80 events are planned to run in St. Petersburg, ranging from scientific conferences to art competitions, all of which somehow connected to light and light technologies.

Belgium Federal Innovation Policy


In Belgium balanced regional innovation policy and an elaborate system of financial support for innovation activities at the Federal level are the key success factors in the innovative development.

Kista ICT Cluster (Sweden)

The Kista ICT cluster is located in the north-west quadrant of Stockholm, about 15 km from the Stockholm city centre. As the home base of ICT giant Ericsson and other cutting edge firms and universities, Kista has been the world’s leading cluster in wireless ICT for over two decades. Kista is one of the major knowledge hot spots of Stockholm, which as a whole shows a strong innovation performance and was selected as Intelligent Community of the Year 2009. 

Technology Transfer: A Glance On Indian Scenario

Universities worldwide play a leading role in advancing the frontiers of science and technology. In recent years, a key concern for policy-makers has been how to ensure that the wealth of knowledge generated within universities can be transferred to industry so that society in general, and local businesses in particular, can benefit from university scientific and technological expertise.
The time, therefore, seemed ripe for embarking on an analysis of university-industry partnerships for technology transfer in Asia, with a view to identifying some of the lessons that may be learned for the future.

In South Africa Innovations Solve Real Problems

Today the government of the Republic of South Africa is committed not only to export raw materials, but also to develop the technologies independently. The Minister of science and technology of South Africa Naledi of Pandora believes that her home country needs innovation as well as the Western world. In the most developed country in the African region the problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment are still relevant, and innovations help to solve them.

The role of innovation in the South African economy:
In 2013, the South African government adopted the national development plan, whose main objectives were:

6th University Business Forum

Last week the Interregional Center of Innovation Development (INNO-MIR) took part in the “6th University Business Forum” held in Brussels, Belgium, at the Crowne Plaza “Le Palace” Hotel on 5-6 March 2015.

The report about our visit is coming soon!

 

Official website:  http://ubforum2015.teamwork.fr/

Finnish Startup Ecosystem Goes International

Just a few years ago the Finnish startup ecosystem was relatively small and inward-looking, but now it is drawing in the brightest high-tech minds and most innovative companies from around the world. What has changed?

  1. Innovative programs such as Startup Sauna and New Factory encourage and groom young, high-tech startups for competition on the global market.
    Startup Sauna was created to solve a problem: Finland has great researchers and technology, but not many globally successful companies. So the main purpose is to increase the number and the quality of startups in the region.
    New Factory is the innovation and business incubation centre of choice. It has helped to create dozens of startups and hundreds of jobs and projects so far.
  2. Slush Helsinki – one of the leading tech and startup events in the world is organized every autumn for thousands of small, high-tech company companies around the globe.

The Current Innovation System in Spain

The Spanish innovation system is not working effectively enough to ensure an adequate level of technological development and value generation, both of which are needed in the current competitive environment.

Main problems:

  • Amount of investment in R+D+I (innovation) by Spanish companies is low,
  • There is only limited permeability between the public research system and corporate and social sectors.

Scientific Innovation Technozone in Khabarovsk

Scientific innovation technozone probably will be created in Khabarovsk. The project was presented by Director of the scientific-production enterprise "DIAVEL in summer 2014 at the meeting of the City administration’s investment Council.

Development of small innovative companies in the region is not yet sufficient and quick. One of the main reasons is the lack of infrastructure for real promoting of this type of business, in other words, there are no conditions for the work of such organizations.

Recommendations for Creating Successful Innovation Systems

(From the Barclays created by the Economist Intelligence Unit)

Policymakers should:

  1. Increase cross-border collaboration
  2. Create places where young people feel they have “cultural self-confidence” and where they can meet face to face, as experts sau that is when successful innovations emerge
  3. Ensure a friendly regulatory environment
  4. Lower barriers to innovation by encouraging “balanced risk-taking” and providing financial incentives to entrepreneurialism (such as matching private investment in start-ups’ research and development and providing tax incentives for funding start-ups)

Argentina Unveils Plan to Boost Science Investment

Argentina's government has launched a research and development (R&D) strategy. Former medium-term plan on science, technology and innovation ended in 2010. At that time, the ministry started work on the new plan, including holding roundtable discussions with 300 researchers in 2011.
The general aim of the document, 'Innovative Argentina 2020', is to boost inclusive and sustainable productive innovation, based on the expansion, progress and the full utilization of the scientific and technological capabilities of our country, thus promoting a quantum leap in terms of economic growth, including improvement of social and living conditions of the population.

Science Development in India

This year has been one of change for India. In May, some 800 million eligible voters went to the polls in an election that was won by the Bhartiya Janata Party. Led by Narendra Modi, the party went on to form a coalition government called the National Democratic Alliance.

This special report “2014 India” is published by Physics World – the member magazine of the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Here is a rundown of what is in the special report.

Contest of Russian-Chinese Research Projects 2015

The Russian Fund of fundamental researches and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) based on the "Memorandum on scientific cooperation between the Russian Foundation for basic research and national National Natural Science Foundation of China" announced a Contest of initiative research projects 2015.

The aim of the Competition is to support the initiative research projects carried out jointly by the Russian and Chinese scientists.

Projects of fundamental research in the following fields of knowledge may be submitted at the contest:

2015 - International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind.
The International Year of Light is "a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health."
UNESCO delegates from Ghana and Mexico introduced the proposal to the Executive Board, explaining the motivation and mission underlying the International Year of Light. The resolution was adopted by the Executive Board joined by co-signatories from a further 28 Board Members.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Dear friends!

May your Christmas time be bright from the moment it starts,
With many wonderful things that bring joy to your heart,
And may each day, throughout the year, bring even more gladness and cheer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!

Global Innovation Index 2014

The international business school INSEAD, Cornell University (Cornell University), and the world intellectual property organization (World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO) presented an analytical report on "Global innovation index 2014" (Global Innovation Index 2014).

Five input pillars capture elements of the national economy that enable innovative activities: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication.

The World in 2025

Thomson Reuters analysts made a research about the major innovations impacting our world in 2025, using the company’s patent and scientific literature solutions.

10 innovation predictions for the world in 2025

  1. Dementia declines
  2. Solar is the largest source of energy on the planet
  3. Type I diabetes is preventable

World Science Day

Dear scientists, colleagues!

We congratulate you heartily on World Science Day for Peace and Development!

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on November, 10 each year. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate to the wider public why science is relevant to their daily lives and to engage them in debate on related issues.

Rating of Innovative Regions of Russia

Rating of innovative regions has been developed by the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia in 2012 together with the Ministry of Economic Development, with the participation of representatives of regional administrations and leading experts in the country for the purposes of monitoring and control. AIRR team conducts regular updates rankings following the publication of new statistics.
The rating leaders are 11 regions in which innovative development index value exceeds 130% of the national average.

The results of GenerationS 2014 Contest announced

GenerationSOn the 15th of October in Moscow, the winners of the contest of the Federal startup-accelerator contest “GenerationS” were announced. This year the competition was held within the program of the III Moscow International Forum of Innovative Development "Open Innovation". Competition GenerationS, is run by the Russian Venture Company and the Moscow Centre for Innovative Development, with support from the Government of Moscow and provides an opportunity for young companies to turn the ideas into a successful businesses, and offers the investors a chance to find the most talented and promising projects in four main areas: industrial solutions, information technology, biotechnology and medicine, energy efficiency and resource conservation.

UniverStartUp 2014

univer startupFrom the 20th of October to the 31st of January there will be a collection and examination of applications for the participation in the UniverStartUp 2014 competition. The contest is held by the Fund "Skolkovo" with support from State Corporation "Rosatom", State Corporation "Rosteh", "Enegroprom" group, NRNU MEPhI and the Consortium of major Universities in the nuclear industry. This competition aims to find and support innovative projects carried out by students, post-graduates, researchers and academics, as well as an universities’ innovative spinout enterprises that are interested in bringing their intellectual findings to business.

"Human Rights for animals" – for or against?

Fight for the animal rights is one of the most progressive international social movements calling for a deeper, more fundamental changes in our society.

At the moment there are hundreds of societies for the protection of animals all over the world, some of which protect certain groups of animals (for example animals used in experiments or wild animals in zoos and circuses), others protect all animals.

Today the cultural level of the human society in each country can be judged by the way the animals are treated. Thus the change in the position of animals in developed countries is inevitable.

Heavenly Energy

AirHES testThe search for alternative renewable green energy sources is at the forefront our world. A group of Russian scientists and engineers, led by Andrei Kazantsev, have presented the concept of a blimp-hydroelectric station Air HES, which collects moisture from the atmosphere and will use it to produce electric energy.

About a quarter of all solar energy that reaches the earth's surface goes to the evaporation, and accumulates in the atmosphere.

'Global Innovation Award' Finalists Announced

Global Innovation Award  logoThe commission of innovation experts have announced the finalists of the 'Global Innovation Award', which is part of the international Berlin 'The Innovation Connection - Science|Business' summit, held on October 7th. Participants in the summit include scientists, politicians and industrial representatives who will discuss directions and methods of development of innovational technological potential in Europe.

The goal of the 'Global Innovation Award' is the recognition and support of young businesses outside the EU, implementing innovational methods and technologies and bringing new products and services to the market.

Asia Social Innovation Award

Asia Social Awards logoIn mid-July the “Social Innovation Award” competition started in the countries of the Asian region. Anyone can participate; all it takes is filling in an online entry form, in which you need to summarize your idea and its applied uses in society. The competition focuses on the problems of modern cities, including poverty, ageing populations, ecology and socialization of the younger generation. The “Asia Social Innovation Award”, awarded yearly, is intended to generate a sustainable development of a culture of social innovation in the region and to attract the public to solve issues faced by a quickly developing metropolis.

The “Floating University” is Setting Off on a New Expedition

Плавучий ун-тOn the first of August the “Arctic Floating University” will set off from the Sea-River Station in Arkhangelsk on its second trip this year. The “Floating University is a unique innovational project based on the  Northern (Arctic) Federal University, whose goal is to integrate educational programs and modern fundamental and applied interdisciplinary scientific research. Both scientists and students from the countries of the Arctic region: Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway participate in the project.

III Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development «Open Innovations»

openinnovations2014logoThe III Moscow international forum for innovational development “Open Innovations” and the Open Innovations Expo will run between the 14th and 16th of October 2014. This year, Russia’s partner in running this large event will be China. In the history of Russian-Chinese relations this is the first example of such an extensive partnership in the area of innovation.
The key problem in the two countries’ economies is the transition to an innovational model of development, transforming and modernizing existing structures. 

Creativity - Is Not Just For Geniuses!

cert1From the 7th to the 10th of July, Paris was host to the 11th International Centre for Innovation and Education (ICIE) Conference, which the Centre for International Innovational Development "INNO-MIR" participated in. This year's central theme was focused around development of creative ability and innovativeness in both middle and high school.

The conference posed an opportunity for various educators and psychologists from around the world to express their views and demonstrate original, innovational approaches to the problem, as well as exchange ideas and experience. 

AAAS Launches Open-Access Journal

The nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher ofScience, announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year. The new journal, called Science Advances, will give authors another outlet for papers that they are willing to pay to make immediately free to the public.

Students from Ulyanovsk School Created Telescope to Study Black Holes

Students of Solaris research and creative team, which operates on the basis of the Ulyanovsk Physics and Mathematics Lyceum number 40, have made meridian telescope. The telescope can be used to develop a more accurate model which could be used in space. Also, this technology will provide new information about the disclosure of black holes.

Ulyanovsk young inventors have made significant improvements to space technology.

Youth of Russia and France will Cooperate in Science

In the context of Year of Science of Russia and the European Union Russian-French scientific and practical conference Development and Implementation of Research Projects of International Youth Research Teams was held in Paris. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation with the support of the French Embassy in Russia, the Russian Embassy in France and the Russian Science and Culture Center in Paris.
Boris Zhelezov, the Deputy Director of the International Department of the Russian Ministry, greeted the participants.

Innovative Schools Festival in Togliatti

21-25 April 2014 Innovative Schools Festival will be held in Togliatti.

The festival program includes a presentation of the five network projects of educational institutions. The experience of innovations gained during the following project directions will be also presented: RUSNANO School League, Naturalist Forum in the Science City, Togliatti - City of Peace, Educational Robotics. IT- education and others.

The aim of the Festival is to improve the work with gifted and talented children, as well as the development of science and engineering areas of education, creating conditions for the development of intellectual and scientific research activities of the students of Togliatti.

Ministry of Education and Science of Russia published the main goals for 2014

The main objectives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia, published on the official website today, April 10, are the following:

  • Improving the professional level of teachers
  • Correspondence of general education with the expectations of students and their families
  • Support for working mothers by reducing queues in kindergartens
  • Increasing international competitiveness
  • Development of young talents

“We are all in the same boat!” Innovation Convention 2014

Last week the Interregional Center of Innovation Development (INNO-MIR) took part in the Innovation Convention 2014 held in Brussels on 10-11 March 2014. The event, organized by the European Commission, initially focused on the European Union members. However, non-European participants could also learn much, not only from the content, but also from the way such a big international event was organized.
According the organizers, the event was intended to provide "a platform to debate and inform policies that will contribute towards the building of a research and innovation eco-system in Europe that can support this objective." The mission of the Convention – creation of a  innovation-friendly environment that promotes open communication, sharing of information and experience within European innovation community, politicians, representatives of the young generation and with other regions and countries interested in cooperation.
During the meetings and parallel sessions, a wide range of questions on innovation culture, education, political support of innovations, international cooperation were discussed.

Commission on Information Support of Innovations Created in the State Duma

On March 19 in the State Duma the installation meeting of Commission on Information Support of Innovation Activities.

Commission on Information Support is headed by Robert Schlegel - State Duma deputy, member of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots and co-chair of the Commission assigned to Alexandr Ishchenko - Deputy of the Russian State Duma, member of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, who led the first meeting .

Best Innovative project and best scientific and technical development of the year

The International Exhibition and Congress High Technologies. Innovations. Investments (Hi-Tech), which was held in St. Petersburg last week, summed up the challenge "Best Innovative Project and the Best Scientific and Technical Development of the Year".

In 2014, 227 projects were received. Winners became companies and universities of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, Moscow region, Stavropol region, Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous okrug, Far East, Belarus and Ukraine.

Barcelona is "iCapital" of Europe

The European Commission has awarded the European Capital of Innovation ("iCapital") prize to Barcelona (Spain) "for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens". Barcelona was chosen by a panel of independent experts in a close competition with Grenoble (France) and Groningen (The Netherlands). The €500,000 iCapital prize will be used to scale up and expand Barcelona's efforts on innovation. Barcelona was announced as the winner today at the closing ceremony of the Innovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event.

Moscow recognized as leader of innovative development of Russia

This is the conclusion of the rating of innovative development of the Russian Federation subjects from the Higher School of Economics. Moscow is followed by Tatarstan, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Kaluga regions. The highest concentration of “innovative regions” is in the Volga Federal District.

Evaluation was carried out with the support of subjects on 36 indicators grouped in four thematic blocks: socio-economic conditions, the impact of innovation, scientific and technological potential, the quality of regional innovation policy. Rating reflects the dynamics in the period from 2008 to 2012.

http://www.strf.ru/

Modernization, efficiency and innovation - the main topics of Russia Power 2014 and HydroVision Russia 2014

XII Exhibition and Conferences Russia Power and IV Exhibition and Conferences HydroVision Russia took place in Moscow, from 4 to 6 March 2014, and were attended by more than 5300 experts from Russia, CIS, USA, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Among the results of the events are the latest technological solutions, dozens of agreements and discussions on the key issues of the industry.

At least 300 social innovations should be identified by the Europe-wide network

The BENISI partners seek to build a Europe-wide network of networks of incubators for social innovation. This network will proactively identify at least 300 social innovations that are identified with high potential for scaling successfully, and ensure the delivery of necessary support services to those social innovations.

INSITE agenda for social innovation

INSITE - a coordination action sponsored by the European Union program DG Connect on the innovation society, sustainability and ICT -  have proposed a coherent and structured agenda for social innovation. Nowadays social innovation has become a bandwagon, attracting attention from many national and local governments, inspiring many young people to explore new career opportunities that combine entrepreneurialism with the desire for social relevance, challenging traditional patterns of social engagement as practiced by cooperatives and civil society organizations. But “social innovation” is more a rallying cry than it is a coherent vision or strategy for societal level social transformation.

Deal for 2016 Mars lander is signed between USA and France

The deal on sending an unmanned lander to Mars was signed by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the National Center of Space Studies of France (CNES) in Washington.

The mission is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and would arrive on Mars six months later.

The aim of the project, called InSight (Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) is to study the deep interior of the planet. This should help researches to understand more about how Mars first formed. And with the new information scientists would enable to understand more about how Earth, its rocky neighbor, evolved.

http://phys.org/ 

Regional Engineering Center is creating in Yekaterinburg

Regional Engineering Center in Yekaterinburg is one of 11 pilot projects of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for the creation and development engineering centers at leading technical universities of the country. Regional engineering center established on the basis of the Ural Federal University.
The main activity of the new center is going to be production of technological equipment and software products and services using laser, additive and other latest technologies. 

Innovative capital of Europe

The European Commission announced the six cities - candidates to be an in innovative capital of Europe (iCapital), selected from 58 candidates. They are Barcelona (Spain), Malaga (Spain), Espoo (Finland), Grenoble (France), Groningen (Netherlands) and Paris (France).
The winner will get € 500 000, which will go on "innovation ecosystem creation" to unify citizens, organizations, universities and businesses.  

Bill Gates predicts there will be almost no poor countries by 2035

In their foundation’s just-released annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates attempt to debunk three pervasive myths in development economics:
1. “Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.”
2. “Foreign aid is a big waste.”
3. “Saving lives leads to overpopulation.”
From the letter’s introduction:
We hear these myths raised at international conferences and at social gatherings. We get asked about them by politicians, reporters, students, and CEOs.

February 8 is the Day of Russian Science

The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded by Peter’s the Great order on February 8, 1724. In 1925 it was renamed to the USSR Academy of Sciences, and in 1991 – to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

June 7, 1999, the Russian Science Day celebration was established with date on February 8 by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation. The decree states that the festival was set up "taking into account a prominent role of the national science in the development of the state and society, following the historical traditions and in commemoration of the 275th anniversary of the founding of the Academy of Sciences in Russia."

2014 is declared the Russia-EU Year of Science

The opening ceremony of the Russia-EU Year of Science took place in November 2013 in Moscow.

Russian delegation, headed by Education and Science Minister VeniaminKaganov, presented a program of activities of the Russia-EU Year of Science in Brussels January 23.

During the meeting the main directions of strengthening Russian-European cooperation in thescience and technologyfield were highlighted.

The UN chief urged the use of scientific potential to create a new model of human development

UN Secretary-General called modern excessive consumption era an "Anthropocene Epoch" on January 30 in Berlin at the Scientific Advisory Board inauguration, which is tasked to make recommendations for reducing social inequality and eradicating of extreme poverty.

Pan Gi Mun urged to search for a new development model that will provide a balance between the economic well-being of humanity and the environment.

Russian Science Foundation will be the largest investor in fundamental science

Yesterday ITAR-TASS held a press conference with Alexander Khlunov, Russian Science Foundation Director General. RSF was created late last year by the President decree to support original research projects on nine fundamental science areas. According to Alexander Khlunov, grant amounts will range from 5 to 100 million rubles, projects terms should be from 3 to 5 years. Thus, the Russian Science Foundation will be the largest investor in basic science. Its budget for 2014 - 2016 years. Is about 47 billion rubles.

Web-site: http://www.strf.ru/

Yamal is going to become world leader in Arctic studies

altThe state program of  Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug "Development of Scientific, Technological and Innovation Activities for the years 2014 – 2020” was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district December 25, 2013.
According to this program, series of measures will be taken to develop scientific and innovative potential of the region, the formation of advanced research and innovation infrastructure and the development of new industries. 

A new book by Fritjof Capra will be released in March 2014

altNew book by physics and systems theorist Fritjof Capra "The Sistems View of Life. A Unifying Vision", coauthored with biochemist Pier Luigi Luisi , will be released in March 2014. The book was originally written as a textbook for high schools, but will also be useful to researchers interested in understanding the new system concept of life and its impact on a wide range of professional fields: politics, economics, medicine, psychology, law, etc.

http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/life-sciences/genomics-bioinformatics-and-systems-biology/systems-view-life-unifying-vision

INNO-MIR have joined to the organizing committee of the International Conference on Vacuum Electron Sources IVESC-2014

altINNO-MIR have joined to the organizing committee of the International Conference on Vacuum Electron Sources IVESC-2014, combined with the three conferences in related areas of science. The United Conference IVESC-ICEE-ICCTPEA-BDO-2014, will take place from June 30 to July 04, 2014 in Saint-Petersburg on the basis of the hotel Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya Congress center.

The 10th International Vacuum Electron Sources Conference – IVESC-2014 will be combined with the 2nd International Conference on Emission Electronics – ICEE-2014, with the International Conference on Computer Technologies in Physical and Engineering Applications – ICCTPEA-2014 and with the 20th International Workshop on Beam Dynamics and Optimization – BDO-2014.

Registration for the educational program "Distance education. Innovative culture of Spain" is available

altRegistration for the educational program "DISTANCE EDUCATION. INNOVATIVE CULTURE OF SPAIN" (Barcelona, 02.03.14­—08.03.14) is available.
Program "Distance education. Innovative culture of Spain" - the UOC (Open University of Catalonia) case - provides an opportunity to plunge into the detailed study of the on-line educational process, which is one of the perspective directions of higher and secondary education institutions existence and development.
The program provides an understanding of the process of distance education, after complete immersion and direct involvement in this process throughout this educational program.  

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