Fourth Annual Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebrated in 123 Countries

This week (Nov. 14-20, 2011), more than 25,000 organizations in 123 countries will host events celebrating entrepreneurship and connecting entrepreneurs to potential mentors, inventors, collaborators and peers. Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) activities include Startup Weekends, in which groups come together to create a new business in three days, startup competitions and showcases, social entrepreneurship forums and venture capital summits. First organized in 2008 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, GEW activities have spread around the globe and will this year include the participation or support of U.S. President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many other international heads of state.

EU Releases Competitiveness Report, Several Members Form Science Europe

The European Union (EU) released its first competitiveness report on all 27 EU member nations and six associated countries — Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2011. Providing a deeper perspective on European R&D intensity, the report is intended to monitor the progress towards EU and national R&D headline targets and provide economic evidence and analysis to underpin the development of EU and national innovation policies. Twelve key findings are highlighted within the report including:

Report Provides Canadian Government with Recommendations to Strengthen R&D Policies

The Canadian government must focus its research and development (R&D) support efforts on "the goal of growing innovative firms into larger enterprises, rooted in Canada but facing outward to the world and equipped to compete with the best," according to Innovation Canada: A Call to Action — a new report commissioned by the Honorable Gary Goodyear, the Canadian Minister of State for Science and Technology. The authors contends that Canada has a solid foundation to build its knowledge economy. The country maintains several strengths including a strong financial sector, "attractive" corporate tax rates, a diverse, well-educated workforce and significant natural resource endowments. However, they cite empirical evidence that shows Canada lagging behind other highly developed countries including the U.S., several European Union members and some East Asian countries.

New ITIF Report Benchmarks National Policies and Programs Supporting Manufacturers

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released International Benchmarking of Countries' Policies and Programs Supporting SME Manufacturers — a new report that identifies and analyzes manufacturing support programs and practices for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been implemented in ten foreign countries (i.e., Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom), in addition to those of the United States. The authors, Stephen Ezell and Robert D. Atkinson Ph.D., provide a cross-national comparison of countries' SME manufacturing support programs and pratices across five categories:

European Commission Calls for Increased R&D Funding

Europe needs increased and "smarter" investments in both public and private research and development (R&D) to address the European Union's (EU) "Innovation Emergency," according to the European Commission's 2011 Innovation Union Competitiveness Report. The commission contends it is necessary to accelerate investments into R&D to achieve the EU's target of 3 percent of GDP being spent on R&D. EU members currently invest approximately 2 percent of GDP on R&D spending. The increased R&D spending will not only boost economic growth in the medium-term, it will also have a counter-cyclical effect on the current crisis according to the commission. However, due to the current debt crisis faced by several member states, public and private investments must strategically target sectors that the EU maintains a competitive advantage in including the climate change technologies. In 2007, EU researchers and companies filed approximately 40 percent of all patents related to climate change technologies. These are two of the several recommendations outlined in the report to deliver smart sustainable growth across the union.

U.S. Investment in University Research is Slipping behind the World

From 2000 to 2008, the U.S. ranked 18th out of 30 countries in the growth of government-funded university research, according to a new report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). In University Research Funding: the United States is Behind and Falling, Robert Atkinson and Luke Stewart compared the U.S. government and business funding for public university research against 29 other developed countries. The results indicate that both government-funded and business-funded have fallen dramatically behind and will continue to slip further behind several nations including China, Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

DOE Offers $25M for U.S.-India Energy R&D Center

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will commit $25 million over the next five years to support the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center, as part of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy. DOE will provide matching grants to universities, national labs, private companies and others to support research in energy efficiency, second-generation biofuels and solar energy. The $50 million contributed by DOE and award grantees will be matched by an additional $50 million in public and private funds from India. Facilities associated with the program will be located in both countries. Read the announcement...

U.S. Trained Entrepreneurs See Greater Opportunities in Homelands, According to Kauffman-Funded Study

Indian and Chinese immigrant professionals trained in the U.S. are increasingly returning to their home countries with aspirations of becoming entrepreneurs, according to the Grass is Indeed Greener in India and China for Returnee Entrepreneurs — a new report funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Using survey data, the researchers found three significant factors that draw both Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs home including the availability of economic opportunities (60 percent of Indian respondents; 90 percent of Chinese respondents), local markets (50 percent of Indians; 78 percent of Chinese) and family ties (76 percent of Indians; 51 percent of Chinese). In contrast, respondents indicated that an expired U.S. visa (9 percent of all respondents) did not factor significantly into their decision. The authors provide two reasons for this increasing trend:

Philanthropic Efforts Expand University Research, Entrepreneurship in U.S and Canada

Generous individuals and foundations are stepping up to support university-based initiatives designed to expand research and encourage young people to create high-growth jobs at a time when operating budgets for higher education are facing drastic funding cuts across the U.S. Colleges in Michigan and Ontario will establish endowed chairs in medical research and entrepreneurship with funding from individual donors, and a 23-year-old former student of the University of Waterloo is launching a $1 million seed fund for student startups.

Recent Research: International Collaborations in S&T Research Are on the Rise, According to Report

International collaboration in science and technology (S&T) research has risen over the past 15 years from approximately 25 percent to over 35 percent, according to Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century — a new report from the Royal Society Science Policy Center. The special advisory group established by the Royal Society analyzed data that include research articles in international journals, citations in those articles, national rates of patent registration, number of researchers per nation, national expenditures on research and development (R&D) and the impacts of S&T research. Data was collected using several methods and sources including a call for evidence, data mining and face-to-face and telephone interviews.


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