Issue N° 120 - April 2014
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


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

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

April means Spring, renewed passion, emphasis on innovation!

One month after our successful 10th INSME Annual Meeting at Abu Dhabi the INSME Secretariat is following up on the success stories of the fruitful get-together in the UAE.

A key learning?

Where there is no vision, the people perish
(Bible proverb)

Courtesy of:

...and now as usual enjoy your reading!

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

We welcome contributions, comments and suggestions to furthermore enrich this newsletter and improve our ongoing work, with the aim to support innovation intermediaries, their networking and internationalisation so as to better reach SMEs worldwide and help them to remain competitive on an international scale.

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

INSME at the MIRRIS Policy Dialogue in Cyprus

MIRRIS (Mobilizing Institutional Reform for Research and Innovation Systems) is a Coordination and Support Action aiming at encouraging a better exploitation of European research and innovation programmes participation in the European Research Area of 13 target countries.

The participation of Cyprus in the European Framework Programme 7 has been discussed on the 24th and 25th of April 2014 at Cyprus within the framework of MIRRIS (Mobilizing Institutional Reforms for Research and Innovation Systems). INSME in collaboration with META Group (INSME President) organized the first of Cyprus' 3 policy dialogues foreseen by the project which involved local policy-makers, research managers, programme owners and relevant stakeholders to set the framework conditions so as to provide a European perspective and a shared vision on the target country which will serve as a benchmark for future discussions. During the first round of policy debate the participation of Cyprus has been deeply analysed by taking research and innovation indicators into consideration and providing an overview of the current status, opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the Cypriot participation in FP7. The input collected in the first round of policy debate will be further discussed in the forthcoming policy dialogues.

Read the press releases about the first two policy dialogues in Poland and Malta here and find out more about the MIRRIS project at the following link.

INSME Satisfaction Survey - Analysis

The INSME Secretariat recently launched a satisfaction survey of its activities among INSME Members. Referring to the Annual Meeting, the analysis stressed that the main objective for INSME Members when attending the Annual Meeting remains the access to expert knowledge on innovation and tech transfer issues (63%). One third (31%) considers the networking with colleagues as fundamental added value while 6% expresses the insights into national innovation environments as their priority.
The most striking point is that 60% of respondents had the opportunity to participate in joint initiatives thanks to their Annual Meeting presence.

The positive figures have also been confirmed by the 10th INSME Annual Meeting on "Investing in Innovation: Building a Sustainable Knowledge - based Economy" that took place from the 18th to the 20th of March 2014, at Abu Dhabi, UAE co-organized by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (INSME Vice-President). With more than 500 participants from 35 different countries the INSME Annual Meeting represents a further milestone in the INSME success story.

Further information is available here.

Welcome to Two New Members!

INSME is delighted to welcome two new members joining the network in April!

EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation is a unique venture between the European Commission and the Japanese Government. The Centre is a non-profit organisation established as an affiliate of the Institute of International Studies and Training (IIST). It aims at promoting all forms of industrial, trade and investment cooperation between the EU and Japan and at improving EU and Japanese companies' competitiveness and cooperation by facilitating exchanges of experience and know-how between EU and Japanese businesses.

Learn more about the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation here.


Studio Siniscalco

Studio Siniscalco is an accounting firm based in Rome and New York that offers tax, corporate, company consulting and start-up and entrepreneurial development support by applying an innovative and future-oriented approach and providing suitable solutions even in the most controversial matters under the economic, legal, corporate and tax standpoint. Its strength is the opportunity for clients to avail themselves of professionals who are able to face diverse subjects, assuring expertise, commitment and total assistance, in order to provide an excellence quality level, specifically tailored for every single need.

As of the 1st of April, INSME is hosted at the premises of Studio Siniscalco.

Learn more about Studio Siniscalco here.


The INSME Association can currently count on the support of 96 Members from 42 different countries.

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News and contributions from the INSME Members

The Innovation Curriculum for Entrepreneurship - ICE developed by INNOVABIA won the 2014 GESS Education Awards

This year's edition of the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions Education Awards rewarded the Innovation Curriculum for Entrepreneurs - ICE an educational system developed by INNOVABIA (INSME Member) which intends to prepare future economy by encouraging future entrepreneurs and by nurturing a culture of innovation.

The main problem identified by INNOVABIA deals with the education system's unwillingness to change from a curriculum point of view and the limited school time dedicated to introducing innovation solutions into the teaching system.

INNOVABIA tries to overcome these obstacles by keeping the main education system's elements untouched (curriculum, classes, time, subjects and teachers) and by proposing 6 learning principles (Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Money Cycle, Incubation and Research and Development) which will be introduced to students every now and then during the traditional lessons (science, geology, math, history, etc.). On a regular basis, the teacher will take 5-10 minutes from the class to talk about a specific innovation case that relates to the specific lesson. Each learning area will be tailored to the students' age and curriculum status. There is no text book learning rather than gaining the concepts from clear obvious examples that are absorbed by students in all ages.

INNOVABIA foresees to implement the ICE in hundreds of schools every year.

Find out more information about the ICE here.

Asian Development Bank's Inaugural Edition of the Asia SME Finance Monitor

The Asia SME Finance Monitor reviews the SME sector and the state of finance in 14 countries from the five ADB regions of Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific with the intent of supporting the efforts of those countries to design a comprehensive range of policy options that promote innovative instruments and services in SME finance through the provision of timely and comparative SME data with in-depth analyses.

The report states that small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the economies of Asia accounting for 98% of all enterprises and 66% of the national labor force on average during 2007-2012. Many of the countries analyzed view SMEs as a key to developing a resilient, inclusive economy and as a source of job creation, therefore many measures need to be implemented to improve SME access to finance also by developing policies on nonbank financing avenues and capital market financing for SMEs. The report clearly states that there is no single solution for financing SMEs and that new financing demands are being brought from the increasingly globalized economy which will force Asian policy makers to take more flexible and holistic policy approaches for SME financing into consideration, that go beyond what has already been established.

Download for free the inaugural edition of the Asia SME Finance Monitor here.

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INSME's Picks in the News

Overview of the World Economic Forum on Latin America

From the 1st to the 3rd of April 2014, hundred leaders from different sectors gathered in Panama City for the 9th edition of The World Economic Forum on Latin America. The meeting focused on the region's efforts in maintaining its economic growth by addressing three key issues facing Latin America.

First of all Latin America must diversify proper sources of growth, therefore action is needed to implement new policies to promote specialization and innovation to unleash the power of SMEs. Secondly, notwithstanding the efforts towards poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability, much has still to be done to reduce the degree of inequality in the region. A particular focus has been put on providing high-quality social services in the field of health, education and public security. Finally, promoting institutional governance, transparency and the rule of law are essential for a healthy business environment. Deeper integration and harmonization of regional trade agreements and investment in digital and physical infrastructures, such as energy grids, logistics and transportation systems, will enhance trade and investment flows as well as supply chains, and contribute to fuel the region's competitiveness.

Find out more about the 2014 World Economic Forum on Latin America here.

Global Innovation is shifting towards China and Asia faster than anticipated

According to Dan Steinbock by looking at input indicators such as Research and Development (R&D), international R&D rivalry is no longer driven by the U.S., Europe or Japan, but Asia and particularly China.

Since the early 1990s, Chinese growth has been fueled by increasing R&D investment, which is aligned with the current 5-Year Plan 2011-15. At the moment, China's R&D as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase to almost 2 percent of Chinese GDP in 2014 and is aimed at 2.2 percent by 2015. Today, China's innovation capabilities are closing up with advanced nations, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, and by mid-decade, the core euro economies, including France. What makes this world-historical performance even more spectacular is that it occurs in a colossal nation. As a result, the potential spillover effects are of an entirely different magnitude. According to the author the problem is not that emerging economies are catching up with advanced economies in global R&D investments but rather, the challenge is that the advanced economies, including America, invest too little on R&D while seeking cost efficiencies that are ultimately undermining U.S. innovative capabilities.

Learn more here.

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INSME Picks in the Web

Why Silicon Valley's Success is so Hard to Replicate

In this article Mr. Barry Jaruzelsky questions himself about the reasons that make Silicon Valley's success hard to replicate. A joint study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and Booz & Co. found that the special trait that distinguishes Silicon Valley's companies from ordinary ones is the ability to integrate their innovation strategies with their business strategies.

Read the whole article here.

How to Reinvent Your Business Model

In some cases executives and entrepreneurs are not totally conscious of what their business model actually is. If the way in which a company makes money and offers value to consumers is not completely explicit, the business is likely to be overtaken quickly. According to the article, it is essential to get clear on the business model - and perhaps to reinvent it. Your business model does not have to be necessary new, but as long as the idea is new in your industry or sphere, it might be the ticket to your company's future success.

Read the complete article here.

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About China

Copyright Protection in China: part II

This article is the concluding follow-up to Part I which can be found in the March edition of the INSME newsletter. Part I described what can be protected as copyright and why taking care to do so can prove beneficial to your business in China and this second instalment outlines how copyright ownership is determined, how copyright can be registered and details how you can enforce your rights in China.

Read the article here.

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Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation with the aim to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the sub-Saharan Africa.

Considering the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development, the Prize encourages engineers from sub-Saharan Africa and from all engineering disciplines affiliated with a university or a research centre to apply their skills to develop solutions to local challenges.

A shortlist of innovative applicants will be selected for a six month period of training and mentorship. After this period they will be invited to an event held in Africa and a winner will be selected to receive 25,000 pounds.

The deadline for applications is midnight GMT on Friday 30th of May 2014.

For more information visit the following webpage or write an e-mail to

WIDER Innovation Vouchers for SMEs

The WIDER Project launched a call for innovation voucher with the aim to fund innovation projects that allow SMEs repositioning on the market towards the eco-smart-housing for elderly taking the energy aspect and end-user approach into account.
The call addresses start-ups, micro, small and medium sized enterprises from Algarve, Catalonia, Rhone-Alphes, Marche, Slovenia, Sarajevo, Central Macedonia.

For the purposes of this initiative, an innovation project is defined as one that transfers knowledge of a scientific, technological or innovative nature that it is new to the enterprise. The enterprise may then use the new knowledge to innovate a product, process or service. Innovative service development, business model generation, customization of products/services for elderly and worldwide certification are just some of the potential eligible activities.

The participation in the call offers therefore a concrete opportunity for SMEs willing to innovate to benefit from up to € 10,000 financial contribution value.

The deadline for applications is the 31st of May 2014.

More information available at this page.

Call for Integrating Society in Science and Innovation: supporting structural change in research organisations to promote Responsible Research and Innovation

The DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission launched a call in order to support structural change in research organisations to promote Responsible Research and Innovation - RRI. This topic aims at developing a Responsible Research and Innovation Plan covering five RRI keys (societal engagement, gender equality and gender in research and innovation content, open access, science education and ethics) in each participating institution.

The action plan shall:

  • Conduct impact assessment/audit of procedures and practices in order to identify RRI barriers at organisation level;
  • Implement innovative strategies to address RRI barriers;
  • Develop the RRI dimension in research content and programmes;
  • Set targets and monitor progress via indicators at organisation level.

The proposals should also include an international dimension in particular with the following countries: Brazil, Republic of South Africa, India, Canada, Australia, Russia, United States of America, Japan and China.

The total call budget is € 10,300,000 and the deadline is the 2nd of October 2014.

More information available at the this page.

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Interesting Initiatives

Inteligencia Creativa: Develop and Systematize Creative Thinking to Produce an Innovative Organization

Inteligencia Creativa is an online platform with the aim to develop and systematize Creative Thinking to produce an innovative organization by providing support for companies during the different stages of the process of creativity management.

The initiative intends to:

  • Generate ideas with creative techniques and transforming them into specific concepts ready to be put to work;
  • Implement the culture of Training, so that creativity and innovation come to form part of the company's DNA;
  • Organize workshops tailored to the client's need and carried out using real cases from the company.

Find out more at this link.

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APEC Economic Trends Analysis: Innovate for a Better Future with Sustainable Growth

APEC published the report on "Economic Trends Analysis on Innovate for a Better Future with Sustainable Growth" providing an overview on emerging trends and offering an in-depth analysis on recent macroeconomic and financial developments in the APEC region.

The report highlights that APEC's economic recovery is proceeding, but at varying speed, as activity above all in Emerging and Developing APEC economies (EM&Ds), was held back on the difficult backdrop of rising financial tensions and slower trade. Therefore governments have put a special focus on encouraging innovation as a means to promote increased productivity and higher standards of living. Nevertheless figures show that while there have been increased efforts in developing economies, there is an urgent need to prompt up the appetite for R&D in developed economies. At the same time, there is still room for developing economies to strengthen their innovative capacity.

Read the whole report here.

Innovation in Access to Finance for SMEs

ACCAGlobal - the Global Body for Professional Consultants released a paper on "Innovation in Access to Finance for SMEs".
The financial crisis has had a significant effect on the ability of the conventional banking system to fund SMEs. This paper reviews innovations in access to finance for SMEs and highlights examples of good practices in developed and emerging economies.

The paper analyses a range of innovations in SME finance that have emerged in recent years, such as:

  • New lending and equity funding initiatives;
  • Innovative financing structures and instruments;
  • New proxies for credit information;
  • Legal and regulatory infrastructure.

Furthermore the paper points out some barriers in the adoption of innovations in SMEs finance, such as the lack of financial education among SMEs and limited financial infrastructure.

The paper is available at this page.

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Recommended Website

ClusterCollaboration is an instrument provided by DG Enterprise & Industry of the European Commission to enable cluster organisations to play an active role on the international cluster arena.

The platform provides information and networking support for clusters in order to improve their performances and increase their competitiveness through the stimulation of transnational and international cooperation.

Find out more at the following link

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Recommended Newsletter

The JEUPISTE Newsletter

JEUPISTE is a bilateral project aiming at promoting EU-Japan cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) through supports to policy dialogues, deployment of bilateral information services, organisation of networking events focusing on specific technologies and/or societal challenges, operation of help desk services and contribution to the development of human resources for collaborative projects.

The consortium published the first issue of the JEUPISTE newsletter that offers an overview of the evolving collaboration between EU and Japan and provides readers with all the main information about the project and related event.

INSME contributes as a partner in the project, coordinated by the EU - Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member).

To read the JEUPISTE newsletter please click here.

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Highlighted events

EBAN 14th Annual Conference and 9th Annual Awards

The EBAN 14th Annual Congress will take place from the 19th to the 20th of May 2014, in Dublin, Ireland under the theme "The Power of the collective: Business Angels, Seed Funds, Accelerators & Incubation Space" and will be co-organized by EBAN (INSME Member) in collaboration with the Halo Business Angel Network.
As the title of the Congress highlights, the event will focus on the right interaction between complementary early stage stakeholders by featuring Europe's leading experts and some of the hot topics that make Europe such an appealing market.

As part of the EBAN annual Congress, EBAN and HBAN will host the 9th EBAN Awards Ceremony in the evening of May 19th. This event will celebrate individuals and organisations that have made a successful and significant contribution to the early stage investment market in Europe in 2013/2014.

Further information about the event are available on the official dedicated website.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

2nd - 5th of May 2014
The 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors
Organized by Asian Development Bank (INSME Member)
Astana, Kazakhstan

5th - 6th of May 2014
OECD Forum on "Resilient Economies for Inclusive Societies"
Organized by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Paris, France

6th - 7th of May 2014
2nd Annual APAC SME Banking Conference
Organized by Fleming Gulf. Media Partner MSME News Network Malaysia (INSME Member)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

12th of May 2014
Defence Industry Workshop
Organized by EURADA (INSME Member)
Brussels, Belgium

14th - 16th of May 2014
ASTP - Proton Annual Conference
Organized by ASTP - Association of European Science & Technology Transfer Professionals (INSME Partner)
Oslo, Belgium

19th - 20th of May 2014
3rd Annual Private Equity Latin America Forum
Organized by Latin Markets
New York, USA

21st - 22nd of May 2014
ENCADEAR - National Meeting on Business Linkages - Small and Large Enterprises Working Together
Organized by SEBRAE (INSME Board Member)
São Paulo, Brazil

23rd - 25th of May 2014
Regional Senior Officials Meeting cum Exhibition on Innovation and New Technology, R&D and Commercialization In IORA Region
Organized by IORA RCSTT (INSME Member)
Tehran, I. R. Iran

8th - 9th of June 2014
XXV ISPIM Conference
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)
Dublin, Ireland

25th - 27th of June 2014
Centres Workshop 2014: Building Centre Capacity
Organized by the Network for Business Sustainability (INSME Member)
Boston, USA

17th - 19th of July 2014
International Seminar/Workshop on "Halal Food Standardization, Commercialization, Application of Food Encapsulation Technology and Food Nano Processing"
Organized by IORA RCSTT (INSME Member)
Tehran, I. R. Iran

2nd - 3rd of October 2014
Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy
Organized by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Tokyo, Japan

2nd - 3rd of October 2014
Colombia Startup
Organized by Wayra (Accelerator startups Telefonica group), IE Business School and FCP (First Communication Platforms)
Bogotá, Colombia

13th - 16th of October 2014
World Investment Forum
Organized by UNCTAD (INSME Member)
Geneva, Switzerland

28th of October 2014
Nigerian Raw Materials Exposition 2014
Organized by RMRDC (INSME Member)
Lagos, Nigeria

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