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Facebook’s Open Compute Project

Facebook’s Open Compute Project

Apr-13-11 By Aminda
Facebook announced last week the formation of their Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative to share specifications and best practices for creating the most energy efficient and economical data centers.




As a first step, they published the specifications and mechanical designs for the hardware used in their new data center, which uses 38 percent less energy to do the same work as Facebook’s existing facilities, while costing 24 percent less. The 147,000 square foot facility is built in Prineville, Oregon, where the naturally cool climate eliminates the need for air-conditioning, instead using filters and fans to pull cool air from outside.

U.S. Considers Changes to Crowdfunded Capital

Apr-12-11 By Aminda
As reported last week by the Wall Street Journal, “Federal securities regulators are moving toward easing decades-old constraints on shares issue by private companies, in a sweeping review that could remake the way American startups raise capital.” Among the proposed changes are relaxed limits on rules related requiring a private company with 500 investors or more to disclose its finances.
The SEC is also considering calls to relax its rules to make it easier for companies to use crowd-funding without having to undergo the full array of disclosure and other legal requirements for share issues. These changes would impact the availability of equity-producing crowdfunded capital, as opposed to crowdfunding efforts currently coordinated by companies such as Kiva.
Inspiration from TED Talks

Inspiration from TED Talks

Apr-11-11 By Aminda
The TED 2011 conference was held last month in Long Beach, California and a selection of featured talks has recently been posted on-line. As usual, the presentations do not disappoint, with plenty of inspiration to invent and connect. Here are a couple of highlights.
Accelerating Unique Designs

Accelerating Unique Designs

Mar-26-11 By Aminda
From architecture to fashion, most anyone can appreciate great design. Whether sleek or ornate, functional or artistic, great design is a thing of beauty. The growth of open innovation has been valuable in accelerating the adoption of unique consumer products and technologies and also some creative designs as seen in these stories.
Defense Vehicles
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a U.S. agency dedicated to strengthening U.S. national security and supporting the U.S. military. The Agency is the primary innovation engine for the department of defense, with research that ranges from laboratory efforts to the creation of full-scale technology demonstrations in the fields of biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, material sciences, social sciences, neurosciences, and more.
The Future of Healthcare Innovation

The Future of Healthcare Innovation

Mar-25-11 By Aminda
What place does open innovation have in the healthcare industry? Here are two examples of how innovators are working to transform the industry on a global scale.
Drug Development
A couple of doctors recently posted a thought-provoking article suggesting that drug development companies could benefit from innovation initiatives such as done by Procter & Gamble’s “Connect and Develop’’ open initiative. “A thoughtfully constructed open innovation platform built around existing medications could offer enormous value in the development of new therapeutics,” they said. Such efforts are blocked by regulators, not entirely to our detriment, according to one commentator, who predicts that “a lot of nonsense would emerge in such online communities, and some of it would actually cause harm.”
Lifesaving Networks

Lifesaving Networks

Mar-23-11 By Aminda
Innovators are committed to making the world a better place, from developing energy-saving technologies to designing creative ways to engage customers in corporate social responsibility. A couple new grassroots efforts show how effective some simple initiatives can be in saving lives.
Helping Citizens Help Each Other
There’s a hero in all of us, according to a California fire department who this year launched a free iPhone app called fire department that could make heroes out of many more of us. Users trained in CPR can sign up to be notified if someone nearby is a victim of sudden cardiac arrest and may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the application, using sophisticated GPS technology, will alert citizens in the vicinity of the need for CPR. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Global Innovation Centers

Global Innovation Centers

Mar-22-11 By Aminda
Several new innovation centers have either been open or announced, with the goal of stimulating innovation in diverse countries and in varied industries.
Technology in Canada
This month, Toronto based technology consultants, UNIS LUMIN, launched a national Innovation Office, dedicated to exploring and analyzing trends in business and technology, and developing roadmaps to open innovation opportunities for companies pursuing leadership positions in their industries. According to a company press release, the center is designed to a place where customers and UNIS LUMIN to validate and develop fresh business strategies with the potential to drive competitive advantage and differentiation. A cross-section of business partners have been invited to participate in an inaugural Innovation forum, to learn, debate and exchange strategic ideas.
Aiding Recovery in Japan

Aiding Recovery in Japan

Mar-21-11 By Aminda
For the past week, the world has been fixed on news of the devastation in Japan; the initial damage from the earthquake and the subsequent nuclear threat. In addition to traditional aid, several innovative technology-based efforts have been undertaken to help the country in this time of crisis.
Patent Wisdom

Patent Wisdom

Mar-18-11 By Aminda
A previous post discussed the process individual patent owners could take when looking to sell or license their patents. Legal issues are also a big concern for companies endeavoring for increased openness.  Here are some words of wisdom from the experts.  

Don’t Ignore Licensing
Patent lawyer Patrick Anderson writes that in order to embrace open innovation, businesses need to “embrace technology licensing as a legitimate business in and of itself, and dropping the ridiculous notion that owners of IP shouldn’t receive credit for innovations they don’t personally commercialize.” Particularly for small businesses, licensing has the advantage of requiring less up front cash and putting some of the risk on the patent owner.
Capitalizing on Customer Service

Capitalizing on Customer Service

Mar-17-11 By Aminda
“If you build it, they will come.” The statement might be one of the biggest myths in today’s crowded business environment. Most businesses must follow a careful process to bring the right product to the right market and then follow through with exceptional customer service that will both encourage repeat purchase and incentivize new customers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a valuable skill for any innovator looking to share their idea with the world. “Just as you don't have a performance without an audience, you can't have innovation without customers”, according to an HBR article. Here are some tools.

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