Issue N° 118 - February 2014
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

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Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

Happy Birthday INSME!

On the 17th of February our Association celebrated its 10th Anniversary and I feel privileged to be able to count on a growing members’ community providing myself and the Secretariat with precious inputs and feedback to enrich our work and contribute to INSME’s further growth.

Having the right spirit when doing networking is fundamental:

“Everybody in this world is somehow connected.
So why not just be nice to everybody.”
(Richard Simmons)

(*courtesy of:

I am looking forward to meeting most of our 100 members from 44 different countries at our 10th INSME Annual Meeting from the 18th to the 20th of March at Abu Dhabi with the topic “Investing in Innovation: Building a Sustainable Knowledge-based Economy” soon!

...and now as usual enjoy your reading!

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

The INSME Team welcomes your comments and inputs for further improvement of this service.

Subscribe to INSMEnews and you will receive it via e-mail as soon as it is available for non-Members (one month after its official launch).

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Supporting organisations:

Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation: Great Then - Better Now!

In the framework of the Bologna Process on SMEs back in 2004, the INSME Association was founded with the aim of promoting innovation of national innovation systems.

Since then the network has been growing continuously and has been facilitating transnational cooperation among a variety of innovation stakeholders successfully, with a view to fostering SMEs’ access to knowledge at international level. The INSME Network is steadily growing and is able to count on the support of 100 Members coming from 44 different countries as of today.

INSME is the only private and public multi-stakeholder and knowledge-based platform that has a truly global outreach to make innovation happen in SMEs.

Learn more about INSME history here.

10th INSME Annual Meeting: the countdown has started!

The 10th INSME Annual Meeting is approaching (18th - 20th of March 2014) and everything is set to give all attendees a warm welcome at Abu Dhabi!

The 10th INSME Annual Meeting will be the place to showcase world’s best practice approaches, ideas and methodologies and foster knowledge sharing among INSME Members to encourage cross-border cooperation by setting the ground for future collaboration opportunities.

Through the Khalifa Fund-INSME International Training participants will learn from innovation leaders how to implement new ideas in the fields of sustainability, innovation and design, commercialization of research and creative communication. The International Training will feature speakers from Google, Larta Institute and MSME Network Malaysia and will bring together leaders, experts and emerging talents to discover cross-sectorial solutions which will make a difference in the innovation ecosystem.

The creative atmosphere will be enriched by the training venue, a place where businesses can thrive and innovation flourish, which is the Masdar City.

The Khalifa Fund-INSME International Training is limited to a maximum of 50 attendees to facilitate interaction and collaboration.

Read the Training Agenda here and register now at the following link.

Welcome to three New Members!

INSME is delighted to welcome three new members joining the network in February!

Larta Institute is a private not-for-profit organization based in the USA aiming at energizing the transformation of ideas into solutions that elevate economic opportunities and make lives better for people around the world.

Larta Institute intends to work side-by-side with and mentor entrepreneurs, industries and governments to help them achieve measureable goals and access specialized expertise and resources. In particular Larta Institute aims at:

  • helping senior executives to discover new and targeted business opportunities more efficiently;
  • guiding entrepreneurs through critical business processes by providing them with market-based feedback;
  • assembling the best resources to assist entrepreneurs supported by governments, economic development organizations and foundations to drive measurable social and economic outcomes.

Learn more about the Larta Institute here.


BizHUB is a co-working space based in the heart of Muscat, Oman designed to facilitate the creation of sustainable impact through collaboration. It is an AlJazeera global services and investments initiative, that aims to promote and support entrepreneurs and startups.

The Bizhub was founded to address the lack of collaboration and support structures to make business ideas concrete by offering a wide range of events to meet key stakeholders, exchange experiences and ideas.

Learn more about Bizhub here.


Laser Consult Ltd. (Hungary) is a company established in 1992 with the objective of accompanying customers from the innovation idea all the way to selling the intellectual product by providing complex innovation services. Laser Consult aims at promoting the commercialisation of intellectual products, creating a business value out of innovative solutions, assisting the cooperation between science and the business world and developing Hungarian higher education by providing professional support to innovation activities.

Laser Consult Ltd is internationally renowned and works together with 19 strategic partners and over 100 professional contacts all over the world.

Learn more about Laser Consult here.


The INSME Association can count on the support of 100 Members coming from 44 different countries.

INSMEAcademy: one year after its launch

One year has passed since the INSME Association launched the INSMEAcademy, a webinar-based training programme on topics concerning Innovation, Creativity, Strategic Partnerships and Entrepreneurial Spirit. Over the last year much interest was raised towards the INSMEAcademy, which enabled experts and professionals from different backgrounds to engage and discuss relevant topics and share their experiences.

Since its establishment in March 2013, the INSMEAcademy covered a wide range of themes such as “The social media based innovative services: the new value creation drivers”, “The Art of raising money for SMEs”, “Best Practices in Innovation Management for Sustainable Growth”, “Crowdfunding in Europe - Funding Innovation and Growth of SMEs”, “How to drive Innovation with regard to sustainability” and “Entrepreneurship: an Emirati Perspective” and attendees could take advantage of the involvement of high-level trainers from prominent organizations in the field of innovation and technology transfer. On average the online platform welcomes 80 participants from about 40 different countries during each edition.

Forthcoming sessions will step into the successful footprints of the past ones. On the agenda in the next future there are special contributions from the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah - Saudi Arabia), the Innovation Business Development and the World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO (INSME Members).

Register now for the upcoming sessions of the INSMEAcademy through

Learn more about the INSMEAcademy at the following link.

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News and contributions from the INSME Members

IFC and Khalifa Fund launch the Online Toolkit to support Entrepreneurs in the UAE

The International Finance Corporation - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (INSME Member) launched SME Toolkit in the United Arab Emirates, an online solutions platform designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow their business and improve performance. First launched in 2002, the SME Toolkit is now available in more than 40 countries and 18 different languages. Its various websites worldwide receive 5 million unique visitors annually.

Khalifa Fund has invested a great deal in content development for the toolkit, in order to fulfill its mandate of spreading an entrepreneurial culture across the UAE. Entrepreneurs are invited to register and log in online to access expert information and business training curricula on improving management practices and overall business performance using a wide range of webinars and e-learning tools.

The free online service covers all key management areas including:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Human Resources
  • International Business
  • Legal & Insurance
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Operations
  • Technology

For further information on the UAE version of the toolkit and the schedule of upcoming webinars, visit the official website.

UNCTAD, FAO, ITC, UNEP and UNIDO joined forces to create the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards

The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards is a joint initiative carried out by FAO, ITC, UNCTAD (INSME Member), UNEP and UNIDO (INSME Member) to meet a large number of private sector players’ needs and respond to the rapidly expanding environmental/sustainability markets.

The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards intends to create a platform to provide information and analysis on voluntary sustainability standards - VSS. The specific goal of the platform is to exploit the potential value of the voluntary sustainability standards as tools for developing countries to achieve their sustainable development goals. At the same time the Forum addresses the main development obstacles these standards may create, with a particular focus on their impact on small-scale producers and less developed countries.

The platform aims at facilitating the dialogue among intergovernmental actors and key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard setters, certification bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders.

Learn more about the initiative here.

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INSME's Picks in the News

The European Commission set up the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage several EU programmes on its behalf. The new Executive Agency replaces the EACI (Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation) that managed the Enterprise Europe Network, Intelligent Energy - Europe, Eco-innovation and Marco Polo programmes.

EASME will cover most of COSME, the EU programme for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), including Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Your Europe Business and the European IPR Helpdesk. EASME will also handle part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and supervise the programme for Environment and Climate action (LIFE) and, later in 2014, some elements of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund and follow-on initiatives to Intelligent Energy Europe and Eco-innovation programmes.

Learn more about EASME here.

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INSME Picks in the Web

Six ways to make Innovation a Reality

Courtesy of Seth1492

According to Ms. Dhawan, Founder and CEO of Cotential, in the changing job market and in an expanding interconnected world, there is increasing room for new talent and creativity that will make innovation a reality.

In this environment, Ms. Dhawan outlines 6 main ways to unleash the power of innovation:

  1. Become a platform for connections and networks;
  2. Invest in potential, not just expertise of individuals;
  3. Make “exception handling” a priority in recruiting;
  4. Shift the notion of intellectual property;
  5. Start with the experimental side of the business;
  6. Turn the Employee Resource Groups into Business Innovation Groups.

Read the whole article here.

Debunking the Left Brain and Right Brain Myth

In this article Mr. Skillicorn unmasks the Left Brain and Right Brain Myth by giving insights on how the brain actually comes up with ideas. According to the author the environment in which people were brought up seems to determine someone’s creativity. Upbringing is in fact the number 1 factor which influenced people’s view of their ability to generate original thoughts, and it is based on schooling and the work environment. The author thus states that people should move from classifying people as “left” or “right” brained, into one camp or the other, and instead think about how to enhance creativity. According to the author by focusing on structured training, it is possible to generate new, useful and valuable ideas which would enable everyone to be more creative.

Check the article here.

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INSME Interviews

IF I SAY COOPERATION YOU SAY: MUTUAL CONFIDENCE! Interview with Dr. Toshiyasu ICHIOKA, Project manager from the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

The INSME Secretariat recently interviewed Dr. Toshiyasu ICHIOKA, Project manager at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation. According to Dr. ICHIOKA innovation is achievable by turning newly discovered knowledge, invention, new ways of applying existing technologies and new methodologies into usable and beneficial forms. In Dr. ICHIOKA’s experience innovation, especially disruptive innovation, likely comes from two sources. One is basic/frontier science, where discoveries and inventions take place. Another is from SMEs. Networks like INSME play a pivotal role by connecting different stakeholders across apparently distant fields to create a common ground where innovation can flow.

INSME and the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation contribute as partners in the JEUPISTE project aimed at promoting EU-Japan cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) through support to policy dialogues, deployment of bilateral information services and organization of networking events.

Read the whole interview here and learn more about the JEUPISTE project here.

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Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The 2014 Coller Awards: call for research papers

The Coller Institute of Venture (CIT) at Tel Aviv University launched a call for research papers on Venture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to give a step forward in understanding and shaping the venture ecosystem.

The main topics of interest include:

  • new models for investment in one of the value chains in the Venture ecosystem (Public Authorities, Institutional investors, Venture capitalists, Entrepreneurs);
  • in depth case studies related to Venture, Innovation or Entrepreneurship;
  • the essential roles of public authorities in the making/funding of Venture or encouraging innovation;
  • the venture socio and macroeconomic ecosystem, IP and regulatory aspects in venture etc.

The award consists of two categories: the Coller Venture Senior Award to holders of a Doctoral degree, which will grant 10,000$ and the Coller Venture Budding Award to B.A., M.A. and Doctoral Degree students, which will grant 5,000$. Moreover, the winners will be invited to the “World Venture Forum” conference in Israel, 18-22 May, 2014.

The deadline for submission is the 15th of March (midnight Israel Time) and winners will be announced by the 1st of April.

For more information visit the website or write to

A call for tender for the European IPR Helpdesk

The DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission launched a call for tender for the European Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk (currently INSME Partner).

The Helpdesk shall provide support in the management, diffusion and/or valorisation of technologies and other intellectual assets by allowing beneficiaries to develop their own capacities to deal with IP and bring technologies to the market, specifically to participants of Horizon 2020 and COSME projects. Furthermore it shall reach the potential target group better and offer services by following the recommendations prepared by the European Commission. The duration of this action will be 48 months.

The total call budget is € 4 million and the deadline is the 2nd of April 2014.

More information at the following link.

Call for proposals 2013 EU ICI-ECP Programme - For Joint Mobility Projects (JMP) and Joint Degree Projects (JDP)

The Call for Proposal supports co-operation with Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea by means of Joint Degree projects and Joint Mobility projects. The initiative supports EU-partner country consortia of post-secondary vocational and training or higher education institutions, to carry out joint study and training programmes and to implement student and faculty mobility. The latter intends to develop and implement dual/double or joint degree programmes. All projects must address the development of innovative international curricula, student services, language and cultural preparation, organisational frameworks for student mobility and faculty members' mobility, evaluation, sustainability and dissemination.

The call is open to applicants from EU countries and from partner countries.

The total budget available for the co-financing of projects is approximately € 2.2 million. The deadline for application is the 15th of May 2014 and activities are planned to start in October 2014.

More information here.

Call for Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award is now open

The Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award (SEA) is an international award aiming at supporting sustainable business practices and establishing the concept of Sustainable Entrepreneurship as the economic model of the future. SEA includes two categories: Best Project and Best Idea and targets entrepreneurs who have recognized a social problem and linked its solution with an innovative and profitable business idea. Eligible participants can submit projects, measures and business ideas which both have already being implemented and which are still in a planning stage.

All companies - irrespective of the size of the company, the industry or the country they represent, can submit their Sustainable Entrepreneurship ideas, projects and business models.

The best project will receive an award of € 10,000. For the Best Idea, a special prize is granted including media coverage and presentation in the course of the Gala, which will be held on the 7th of October in Vienna.

The deadline to present the project is the 30th of April 2014.

Read more here.

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Interesting Initiatives

Creating Communities of Innovation - Custom Programs taught by Community Innovation Experts

The Association of University Research Parks launched a custom program taught by experienced park directors and university-led economic development experts with the aim to find the path to high technology economic development endeavours.

The Creating Communities of Innovation seminar is delivered on site to university administrators, city officials and other stakeholders to improve each team’s ability to support and develop research and science parks.

By focusing on the region’s unique strengths, experts will provide participants with advices to face the current challenges and tailor their innovation efforts to the area to create a “Community of Innovation”.

More information available here

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Entrepreneurial Ecosystems around the Globe and Early-Stage Company Growth Dynamics

The World Economic Forum issued a report on “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Around the Globe and Early-Stage Company Growth Dynamics”, in collaboration with Stanford University and Ernst & Young. Based on a survey of about 1,000 entrepreneurs from around the globe, the report aims at better understanding how successful entrepreneurial companies speed access to new markets and become scalable, high-growth businesses.

According to entrepreneurs, three areas of an entrepreneurial ecosystem are of pivotal importance - accessible markets, human capital/workforce and funding & finance. In addition entrepreneurs themselves can play multiple important roles in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by means of mentorship, inspiration, investment, new founders and new employees while governments and regulatory policies are viewed by entrepreneurs as both potential growth accelerators and growth inhibitors.

By analyzing executive case studies for 43 early-stage companies from 23 different countries, the report intends to enrich the feedback from the survey and underline the importance of entrepreneurial enterprises as important sources of innovation, productivity growth and employment.

Read the publication here.

The Missing Entrepreneurs: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe

The OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) published a report on “The Missing Entrepreneurs: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe” analysing the central role of entrepreneurship in the European economic recovery.

Entrepreneurship development is the key to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and the report examines how public policies at national, regional and local levels can promote business creation and self-employment by focusing on disadvantaged or under-represented people.

The analysis shows that there is substantial potential to combat unemployment and stimulate social inclusion by promoting entrepreneurship in under-represented sectors populations such as women, youth, seniors, the unemployed, and migrants, if the specific problems they face can be addressed and if entrepreneurship policies are opened up to all. The report details the barriers in the areas of institutions, entrepreneurial skills and entrepreneurial financing, provides guidance on how policies can intervene and offers the inspiration of existing good practices from across the European Union.

The report also contains country profiles and is available additionally in French and German.

Read the whole report here.

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Recommended Website

Social Innovator: Ways to Design, Develop & Grow Social Innovation

The Social Innovator is a project born from the collaboration of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts (NESTA) and the Young Foundation and hosted by the Social Innovation eXchange or SIX - a global community of over 700 individuals and organisations committed to promoting social innovation and growing the capacity of the field.

Its objective is to bring together ideas, resources and case-studies to find practical solutions to social problems and to explore and discuss ways to support social innovation. The website is intended to guide and support the practice of all those who can contribute to the social economy: policy‐makers who can help to create the right conditions; foundations and philanthropists who can fund and support; social organisations trying to meet needs more effectively and entrepreneurs and innovators themselves.

Visit the website here.

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Recommended Newsletter

SME Advisory daily

SME Advisory daily is an online magazine that gathers interesting articles regarding SMEs in the Middle East and provides readers with useful advices for their businesses.

The magazine is divided in sections, among them:

  • Education;
  • Business;
  • Technology;
  • Smallbiz.

To receive daily updates, please subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Highlighted events

Innovating Method: Researching Gender and Entrepreneurship

The “Innovating Method: Researching Gender and Entrepreneurship” event will take place on the 13th of March, in Belfast, UK and will be co-organized by ISBE (INSME Member).

This one-day-event is part of a series of events co-sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS) and will focus predominantly on innovating research methodologies through the gender theory lens to encompass the breadth and depth of entrepreneurship studies, informing research on the entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial process, the entrepreneurial organisation and entrepreneurship theory.

The event targets scholars undertaking research across the business and management disciplines e.g. entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, human resource management, and marketing. In addition, the event will be of interest to scholars researching entrepreneurship within other disciplines such as geography, sociology, economics, education, science and technology.

Read more and register at the following link.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

3rd - 5th of March 2014
Hamdan Bin Mohammad e-University (HBMeU) Congress 2014
Organized by Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

5th - 7th of March 2014
10th Smart Cities International Exhibition and Forum
Organized by Via Expo
Sofia, Bulgaria

5th - 6th of March 2014
The 4th Annual Africa Banking and Finance Conference
Organized by Aidem Business Solutions
Nairobi, Kenya

10th - 11th of March 2014
The Innovation Convention 2014
Organized by the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

18th - 20th of March 2014
10th INSME Annual Meeting
Investing in Innovation: Building a Sustainable Knowledge-based Economy

Organized by INSME and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

20th - 22nd of March 2014
Euromed Business Opportunities Roadshow
Organized by the ANIMA Investment Network, Berytech and Beirut Creative Cluster
Beirut, Lebanon

9th - 10th of April 2014
Middle East Investment Conference
Organized by the CFA Institute
Dead Sea, Jordan

9th - 11th of April 2014
Industrial Technologies 2014
Organized by FORTH/ICE - HT, Spinvers Ltd, Sev Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, LMS at the University of Patras, SYROS'Shipibuilding and Industrial Enterprise S.A., FRIGOGLASS, CNR ITIA, The Chamber of Achaia and ATHENA RIC
Athens, Greece

23rd - 25th of April 2014
2014 University-Industry Interaction Conference: Challenges and solutions for fostering entrepreneurial universities and collaborative innovation
Organized by University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)
Barcelona, Spain

12th of May 2014
Enhancing dual-use technologies and products/services as a regional competitiveness factor”
Organized by EURADA
Brussels, Belgium

14th - 16th of May 2014
ASTP-Proton Annual Conference
Organized by ASTP-Proton
Oslo, Norway

19th - 20th of May 2014
EBAN 14th Annual Congress & 9th Annual Award
Organized by the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and other Early Stage Market Players - EBAN
Dublin, Ireland

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