Notes from Innovation Policyworks


I want to encourage you to read Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum's new book: That Used to be US. Tom has done it again with a clear discussion of the four biggest issues facing our country today: how to adapt to globalization; how to adjust to the information technology revolution; how to cope with budget deficits and have to manage both rising energy consumption and rising climate threats. The authors argue that we must return to the five pillars that made our country great: public education for more Americans; building and modernization of our infrastructure; immigration; research and development and appropriate regulation. This is a great read that will restore your faith that we can work together to restore our country to its previous leadership position. 


Juice 3.0 Pitch Contest

Sixty-five companies entered the pitch competition held last week at the Juice 3.0 conference in Camden. Ranging from scalable businesses to non-profits and Main Street businesses, the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to meet with coaches and hone their delivery on Friday before the top 25 pitched to the judges on Saturday morning, and the final six endured the "Shark Tank" on Saturday afternoon.


Finalists in the scalable business category included Abierto Networks, Cerahelix, Refill Management, and Ne Naturals (formerly Zum). Two of these companies, and the ultimate winner, Newfield Design, are all graduates of the Top Gun and/or the Campus Ventures program run by Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED). 

SBIR Reauthorization Still in the Offing


The SBIR and STTR programs were extended with the continuing resolution, but will still expire in late November if specific reauthorization is not completed. Insiders say that the White House is pushing for a compromise between House and Senate versions of the reauthorization, and so are key legislators. We'll keep you posted.



Corporate Tax Breaks Don't Create Jobs

A study released by a Senate panel concluded that a law giving US corporations a huge tax break to bring foreign profits back home did nothing to create jobs. The study found that firms that took advantage of the tax break actually cut jobs and research spending, while raising stock buybacks and executive pay. You can read the whole report here  

News from Innovation Policyworks


My colleague, Jim Damicis at Camoin Associates, and I have just completed an Innovation Index for the Rhode Island Science and Technology Council and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. You can read the article about the announcement and click through to the final report here


I have also been in Charlottesville, VA, doing a Technology Asset Inventory for the Thomas Jefferson Partnership region. I visited with old friends at the University of VIrginia and was enthusiastic at the changes they are making in the technology transfer arena. More to come on this.


This week I participated on two panels at the 15th annual State Science and Technology Institute conference, one on infusing technology into manufacturing companies and one on measuring impact through surveys.


Innovation Policyworks, LLC, is an innovation strategy and evaluation firm focused on the development and measurement of effective state and regional technology-based policies and programs.


In This Issue


Juice 3.0 Pitch Contest

SBIR Reauthorization

Corporate Tax Breaks Don't Create Jobs 


To Carbonite, a Boston-based technology company that has just finished moving all of its support operations to Lewiston from overseas. There are now 150 jobs in Lewiston that used to be in India. This is a great example of "on-shoring" and Maine's opportunity. Other companies that have moved their IT back offices to Maine are Boston Financial, athenahealth, NotifyMD, Plum Choice and T4G.


To CashStar who recently closed a $12 million series C financing led by FTV Capital. CashStar is a Portland-based digital gifting company that private labels gift cards for many well-known retailers.


To Dr. Ed Bilsky, UNE's most prolific entrepreneur and Professor of Pharmacology, for his promotion to Associate Provost for Research and Scholarship.


To Kepware, CashStar, PowerPay and Hall Internet Marketing, named among the Top 20 Best Places to Work in Maine for 2011. Other technology companies in the top 40 are athenahealth, the Jackson Laboratory and Tyler Technologies.


To Blue Marble for its recently announced acquisition of Global Mapper, LLC or Parker, CO.


To IDEXX Laboratories Inc. who has put up $43 million in cash to acquire RADIL, a research and diagnostic laboratory business, from the University of Missouri.

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