Issue N° 123 - July - August 2014
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


Contact the editorial staff

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

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

the last months were an intense period of change for the INSME Secretariat as we moved our premises to a new place and enjoy now the positive experience of close collaboration with Studio Siniscalco.

What we learned once more was that synergies are always creating added value.

In this regard I'd like to share the following quote with you and let me also wish you an enjoyable Summer break where you might hopefully relax and "charge your batteries" for an active and fruitful Autumn:

"If you want to go fast, go alone -
if you want to go far, go together"

(African Proverb)

The next INSMEnews edition will be available in September!

…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).

Follow us also on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Supporting organisations:


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME and EBN submitting a proposal on Master Classes for Young Entrepreneurs in ENI countries in the framework of the MEDInvest project

INSME contributes as affiliated partner in the EUROMEDInvest project coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member), aiming at renewing the interest of SMEs in the Euro-Mediterranean market, increasing investment and business projects flow and ensuring that EU finds its leading position as a source of foreign direct investment in European Neighbourhood Instrument countries.

In the framework of the EUROMEDInvest project INSME, together with EBN Innovation Network (INSME Member) and targeted local partners, submitted a proposal on master classes for young entrepreneurs in ENI countries to enhance skills and competences in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Master classes will mainly address young entrepreneurs and will focus on relevant topics such as stimulating innovation, open and closed innovation and success stories from local female and Diaspora entrepreneurs.

Learn more about MEDInvest here.

INSMEInsights on "Investment in Sustainable Development and the role of SMEs" elaborated by UNCTAD

On the occasion of the official launch on the 24th of June 2014 of the latest UNCTAD World Investment Report, Mr. Jörg Weber and Mr. Richard Bolwijn from UNCTAD (INSME Member) elaborated a contribution for INSME members on "Investment in Sustainable Development and the role of SMEs".

The contribution presents an action plan for promoting private sector investments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The authors line the importance of the contribution of the private sector out, in particular with regard to infrastructures, food safety and climate change mitigation.

The action plan identifies three main challenges to face in order to boost private sector investment:

  • Mobilizing funds for sustainable development;
  • Channelling funds into sustainable development projects;
  • Maximizing impact.

Furthermore the authors highlighted the necessity of policies for stimulating entrepreneurship, business linkages and supplier development programmes in collaboration with international investors.

Read the whole contribution here.

Welcome to Potential FZ. LLC.!

INSME is delighted to welcome a new Member!

Potential FZ. LCC. with its headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a business support organization aiming at supporting job creation by enhancing business skills of individuals helping them to start-up, expand their businesses or enhance their corporate career through pragmatic learning programs.

Potential is supporting thousands of individuals and hundreds of corporations to kick-start their businesses, improve their performance, boost sales, improve customer service performance, innovate, expand and develop their Next Generation Leaders.

Learn more about Potential FZ. LCC. here.

The INSME Association currently counts on the support of 97 Members coming from 43 different countries.

top of the page

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The European Small Business Finance Outlook, June 2014 issued by the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (INSME Member) recently published the European Small Business Finance Outlook to provide an overview of the main markets relevant to EIF.

The document is divided in three main parts:

  • The first offers an overview on the general market environment containing information related to disparities in access to finance by country or data on economic recovery and unemployment for example;
  • The second part provides insights on the main aspects of equity finance and the guarantees/SME Securitisation (SMESec) market;
  • The third highlights the importance of microfinance to overcome the effects of the financial crisis and support sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

The whole report is available here.

Assessment of Innovation Maturity of SMEs, contribution of Dr. Thota from IBD (INSME Board Member) on the INSMEblog

In this article on "Assessment of Innovation Maturity in SMEs" Dr. Hamsa Thota, President of Innovation Business Development, Inc. (INSME Board Member) defines innovation and applies maturity framework conditions to assess innovation capabilities in SMEs.

Dr. Thota distinguishes between three categories of innovation:

  • Radical Innovation;
  • More innovative Products/Services;
  • Incremental Products/Services.

The innovation capability of SMEs can be assessed, according to Dr. Thota, by using the innovation maturity framework, in which the assessment begins with the evaluation of the SME's focus, values and value proposition followed by the assessment of maturity in the use of strategy, process and tools.

Dr. Thota offers an insight of the innovation maturity framework and shows the phase of SME's lifecycle and the corresponding innovation maturity levels.

The whole article is available at this page.

The Second Round of the Direct Support Programme 2014-2015 organized by Zubair Corporation, Sultanate of Oman

Zubair Corporation (INSME Member) recently organized the Second Round of the Direct Support Programme 2014-2015.

The programme supports Omani small and medium enterprises and aims at investing in new projects that will enhance business opportunities and economic growth in the Omani area.

During the event, that took place on the 23rd of June in Muscat, Oman, Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Zubair declared that one of the most important objectives of Zubair is to "enforce the efforts towards developing capabilities and raise the culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship amongst Omani youth".

The press release of the event is available here.

top of the page

INSME's Picks in the News

Six Western Balkan Countries and the Republic of Moldova sign up to Horizon 2020

On the 1st of July five Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and the Republic of Moldova signed association agreements securing full access to Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation programme.

The agreements will enhance regional cooperation and strengthen research and innovation capabilities.

Considering that one of Horizon 2020's foci is the entire innovation chain from lab to market, the increasing participation of SMEs will be an important step towards a successful participation in the programme.

Find out more here.

Malaysian Prime Minister announces Four High Impact Programmes to Accelerate SMEs Growth under the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Master plan

Mr. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysian Prime Minister recently announced Four High Impact Programmes (HIPs) under the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Master plan in order to accelerate the SMEs sector annual growth from 6.3% to 9.3%.

The Prime Minister also announced strategic collaborations related to productivity and innovation, involving SME Corp and Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) with universities and SMEs, between Germany's Fraunhofer Institute and SIRIM Bhd, and between Steinbeis Institute and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM).

The SME Master plan, established in 2012, aspires to raise the contribution of small and medium enterprises to the economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and exports with the target to achieve 41% of GDP by 2020.

Read more here.

top of the page

INSME Picks in the Web

The Link between Leadership and Innovation

In this article published on Forbes Mr. Kim Girard offers an overview of the book "Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation" that aims at answering the following question: why are some companies able to invent continuously while other don't?
The author, through the analysis of 16 innovative companies and their leaders such as for example Pixar or the India-based IT company HCL Technologies, found out that innovation is not the product of one single person, but has to be considered as a team sport. As such the author states: "truly innovative groups are consistently able to elicit and then combine members' separate slices of genius into a single work of collective genius".

Read the whole article here.

South Africa first in Africa for Investment

According to the latest UNCTAD World Investment Report South Africa has been the best FDI performer in 2013, both for inflows and outflows FDI.

On the one hand, FDI inflows to South Africa increased from $4.5 billion in 2012 to $8.1 billion in 2013 and investments in infrastructures have been the main attraction. On the other hand, South Africa's FDI outflows almost doubled from $2.9 billion in 2012 to $5.6 billion in 2013 with investments in telecommunications, mining and retail.

The Report identifies main trends in FDI in Africa:

  • An intensification of the regional integration efforts;
  • FDI growth driven by a consumer-oriented sector;
  • Intra-African FDI focused on manufacturing and services;
  • New companies investments in research and development in agriculture in the African continent as well as technology.

More information is available here.

top of the page

About China

Registering New Top Levels Domain Names in China

The increasing availability of broadband technology and the growing trends towards online shopping and purchasing made Internet an attractive business and marketing platform for many European SMEs. The China Internet Network Information Centre has also removed barriers for companies who are willing to register their domain in China. To benefit most from this opportunity, European SMEs should take care to register proper companies and trade marks as early as possible.

Read the full article here.

top of the page

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The 28th Khwarizmi International Award (KIA)

The Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST) invites researchers, inventors and innovators from all over the world to submit their candidatures for the 28th Khwarizmi International Award.
The award aims at recognizing outstanding scientific achievements falling under one of the following categories: Applied Research; Fundamental Research; Research & Development; Invention & Innovation in one of the following fields:



Basic Sciences



Information Technology

Material Sciences


Medical Sciences

Nanotechnology and

Renewable Energy

The deadline for submission is the 10th of November 2014.

KIA Laureates will be announced during the second week of January 2015. The award will consist of a sum of money, a trophy and a certificate. A special award ceremony will be held in February 2015.

Read more about the 28th Khwarizmi International Award here.

Kauffman Foundation Accepting Proposals for 2014-2015 Entrepreneurship Dissertation Fellowship Grants

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is accepting proposals for the 2014-2015 Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program awarding dissertations addressing research issues of theoretical and practical importance to the domain of entrepreneurship.

For 2014-2015's initiative the Kauffman Foundation is particularly interested in regional dynamics, human capital dimensions of entrepreneurship, economic growth, entrepreneurship policy and programmatic research.

Ph.D., D.B.A., or other students seeking doctoral degrees from accredited U.S. institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for a Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship grant. Up to 15 Dissertation Fellowship Grants of $15,000 each shall be awarded.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 10th of September 2014.

Further information is available here.

Call for Proposals for the management of the China, Latin America and South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

This call for proposals aims at providing advice and support services to EU SMEs facing intellectual property rights difficulties in or arising from China, South-East Asia and Latin America.

The helpdesks are requested to provide expert advice, state-of-the-art online publications, training sessions as well as e-learning tools, partnering services and awareness raising activities concerning protection and enforcement of IPR in the territories covered by the action.

This action will finance the operation of the China and South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesks for a period of 36 months and the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk for a period of 30 months.

The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 90% of eligible costs and the maximum grant awarded will be:

China IPR SME Helpdesk: €2,400,000

South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk: €2,600,000

Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk: €2,000,000

The deadline for electronic submission is the 10th of September 2014.

Additional information for applicants is available here.

top of the page

Interesting Initiatives

The Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme

The Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme is a new initiative supported by the Australian Government to provide Australian businesses with practical support through three main streams: business management, research connection and commercializing ideas.

The programme has a phased delivery and since the 1st of July 2014, two services are available for applicants within the business management stream. Those are:

  1. Business Evaluations- an assessment carried out at business' premises, resulting in a detailed report and recommendations for the business to make improvements;
  2. Business Growth Grants- small, co-funded grants to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended by their Business Evaluation.

Australian businesses can apply for a Business Evaluation at any time during the life of the Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme. Only those who received a Business Evaluation report in the last 6 months can apply for the Business Growth Grants.

The Research Connections and Commercializing Ideas streams of the Programme will go online in late 2014.

Learn more about the initiative here.

top of the page


The European Service Innovation Scoreboard

The European Service Innovation Scoreboard analyses the impact of service innovation in terms of changing sectors in 27 EU Member States and demonstrates how these services might help regions to introduce positive structural changes. The European Service Innovation Scoreboard (ESIS) consists of three scorecards including 59 indicators, which present a statistical profile of each region, showing its performance related to each of the indicators. ESIS shows that there is a certain variety in performance on service innovation across the Member States of the EU both at national and regional level.

Statistical data can be easily accessed also through an interactive map. This map can be used to select a particular country or a region in Europe to compare the values for each indicator. In addition, users may also move to the regional level by clicking a country on the map. The map also allows to perform a comparison of the performance of a Member State/region with another region.

Learn more about it here.

Measuring Open Innovation

Studies have shown that around 90% of a company's innovation efforts never result in commercialized products and services. Innovation still seems to rely on random incidents rather than on a result of clearly defined performance measurement procedures. Ernst & Young in this article outlines an easy-to-apply framework for Open Innovation performance measurement. E&Y singled out three main principles that companies must consider in order to successfully implement a metrics-based performance measurement system for their Open Innovation (OI) projects.

These are:

  1. use unique metrics for each OI method;
  2. consider different types of measures: input, process, output and outcome;
  3. think how to utilize your OI metrics effectively: the way in which a OI metrics is utilized is strictly interconnected with proper project goals.

Read more about the performance measurement here.

2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer

Based on a survey carried out among senior business executives in 26 different countries, the 2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer aims at better understanding the way in which international businesses adapt their innovation practices and strategies in a challenging economic environment.

According to respondents, innovation is increasingly becoming a global game. Merging and combining talents, ideas, insights and resources across the world represents the only way to be successfully innovative. 64% of respondents agree that to be successful in innovating, companies must encourage creative behaviours and disruptive processes in the business. Nevertheless 59% of respondents consider it highly difficult to come up with radical and disruptive ideas as a key challenge killing the business' ability to innovate efficiently, independently from the company profile.

The full report is available here.

top of the page

Recommended Website

Connect Americas

Connect Americas is the first online business community of companies in Latin America and the Caribbean dedicated to international trade and investment opportunities. The platform allows companies to grow their international business in just three steps:

  • LEARN: to access practical information to carry out international trade transactions and comply with the requirements of each country of the region;
  • CONNECT: to get in touch with other Connect Americas users and find reliable business opportunities by checking their professional profiles;
  • FINANCE: to obtain information about financial products and services offered by the banks in the company's country and access the most complete database of service providers for each stage of the company's international business transaction.

Have a look at the platform here.

top of the page

Recommended Newsletter

Asia Briefing News Bulletin

The weekly Asia Briefing Newsletter provides readers with precious insights on how to do business in China, India, Vietnam and emerging Asia. The digital publication provides regularly updates about tax and accounting changes that might affect a business, investment events and opportunities around Asia, access to the latest resources and business intelligence.

To subscribe to the newsletter please click here.

top of the page


Highlighted events

Nigerian Raw Materials Expo 2014

The Raw Material Research and Development Council (INSME Member) organizes the Nigerian Raw Materials Expo 2014 taking place from the 28th to the 30th of October 2014 at Lagos, Nigeria. The event intends to be a platform to discuss and ensure sustainable means for sourcing industrial raw materials locally in line with global best practices and standards.

The event aims at bringing together senior policy makers, high-powered representatives from the Nigerian presidency, Federal, State and local Government officials, stakeholders from the raw materials value chain, chieftain of manufacturing industries, especially from the extractive and downstream industries from all sectors, NGOs, academia and students from the tertiary and secondary institutions to develop collaboration opportunities and share experiences and ideas about primary and secondary raw materials.

Learn more about the event here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

25th - 26th of September 2014
Organized by East Marmara ABIGEM
Kocaeli, Turkey

29th of September - 3rd of October 2014
Organized by TII
Aarhus, Denmark

29th of September - 1st of October 2014
International Good Practice Event 2014
Organized by University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) and Technical University Madrid (UPM)
Madrid, Spain

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

5th - 8th of October 2014
ISPIM Americas Innovation Forum
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)
Montreal, Canada

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

16th of October 2014
European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE)
Organized by Eurochambres
Brussels, Belgium

16th - 17th of October 2014
International Conference on Smart Specialization - Strategies for Sustainable Development
Organized by UNECE
Geneva, Switzerland

20th - 22nd of October 2014
International Training Workshop cum Conference on Desalination Technology - IORA Members Perspectives for Cooperation
Organized by IORA RCSTT (INSME Member)
Tehran, I. R. Iran

19th - 22nd October 2014
IASP World Conference
Science parks: where technology goes to work

Organized by Qatar Science & Technology Park
Doha, Qatar

28th - 30th of October 2014
10th World Islamic Economic Forum
Organized by the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

30th - 31st of October 2014
Days of Clusters 2014
Co-organized by Cluster House and Trakya Development Agency
Tekirdağ, Turkey

11th - 14th of November 2014
2014 Daejeon Global Innovation Forum
Organized by World Technopolis Association (WTA) (INSME Member)
Daejeon Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea

17th -18th of November 2014
EBAN Winter University
Organized by EBAN (INSME Member)
Helsinki, Finland

19th - 21st of November 2014
6th Africa Public Private Partnership Conference and Showcase (APPP 2014)
Organized by Ametrade Ltd
Abidjan, Cote D'ivoire

7th - 10th of December 2014
ISPIM Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)

top of the page

You are receiving this Newsletter because you are included in our mailing list of recipients who are involved or interested in INSME.
Please feel free to forward this Newsletter to others you think might find it interesting and useful.
You are also welcome to partly or fully reproduce and disseminate the contents of this publication
provided that you acknowledge the source.
To subscribe/unsubscribe to the INSME Newsletter, please visit the page

INSMEnews is edited by the INSME Secretariat. We welcome contributions as well as comments and suggestions.
For enquiries please contact the INSME Secretariat at
Previous editions of INSMEnews are available at

INSME Secretariat
Via Giosué Carducci 4
00187 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06-68806803


Join us on Follow us on