Nada importante sucedió hoy...

2009.11

Pending since some time ago: Barack Obama Loves Startups: New Federal Office for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

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On the topics of this blog

If this is the first time you visit this blog, you first need to know that it has been very difficult to keep the site updated. I started the blog in 2004, when I was still living in Santa Fe, Argentina. The blog was very active during its first two years of life, but then, in 2006, I moved to Atlanta, GA to start my Ph.D.... I has spent a lot of time in front of the computer since then, but no time for blogging though.
You will see that "Blog on entrepreneurship, technological innovation and venture capital" (at the top of the page) still reflects the main contents of this blog in its early days. I am still interested in those topics (indeed, my research is related to those topics) but the blog now has a much broader coverage (and it is bilingual, partly to keep an archive of all the Spanish content already created).
Hopefully, I will continue writing on those topics, so come back regularly if you share the same interests. In particular, I may share some thoughts on the topic of my dissertation, inducement prizes and their effect on technological innovation (which is even more interesting!)

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A short article about the process of creating a new company has been recently published by Nature: Start up and succeed. For those that do not have too much knowledge about the process, it is interesting. It is oriented toward scientists who want to create a company, so it includes a few paragraphs on university spinoffs.

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ScienceWorksForUS has data on stimulus research projects across the US and profiles with money invested and research organizations for each state.

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I did not check it in detail yet: Time Magazine published a list of top-50 inventions of 2009 along with some related stuff too. You may find some interesting things there.

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9th Annual Roundtable for Engineering Entrepreneurship Research (REER), Oct 13-15, at Georgia Tech!

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Prizes and the US innovation policy

Interestingly, prizes are suggested as “high-risk, high-reward policy tools to solve tough problems” in the white paper A Strategy For American Innovation: Driving Towards Sustainable Growth And Quality Jobs (which describes the new President Obama's innovation agenda). However, prizes are not widely used yet. Targeted federally-funded prizes have offered total rewards worth only about $50 million since 2004, first year of prize implementation for US agencies (see Federally Funded Innovation Inducement Prizes). That figure may increase notably in the future if, besides those targeted prizes, prizes with purchase commitment are used.

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Some media coverage of the recently announced MIT Clean Energy Prize 2010 (MIT offers cash for top clean energy idea - Boston Herald) and related (Using Prizes to Drive Energy Innovation - NYTimes)

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More prize money, more innovation?

Prizes for innovation are not new, but are increasingly attracting everyone’s attention since a few years ago. It is difficult to know how many innovation prizes have been offered, for example, in the last five years.

The idea that prizes can induce innovation has been more supported by recent practices than theory. Although academic research has contributed knowledge to this area, most of the attention has been paid by the broader economics literature on mechanisms to encourage innovation, where prizes are analytically compared with patents and other incentive schemes. We know little about how prizes work in practice.

That is the main reason why I decided to focus my doctoral dissertation on innovation inducement prizes. In particular, my research looks at how teams respond to prize incentives, perform R&D activities, and come up with innovations. Hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to provide some insights on how (and to what extent) prizes induce innovation. In the meantime, I will try to post more comments on this and keep my blog updated!

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Diario de un
emprendedor en
Argentina
(now based in
Santa Barbara, CA)

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