Issue N° 129 - February 2015
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,

Greetings from the INSME Secretariat for the Birthday of our Association!
On the 17th of February the Association turned 11 and can currently count on 98 members from 42 diverse countries!

During our Annual Meeting at Cape Town we are looking forward to meeting you and continue our path towards successful collaboration and knowledge transfer to boost innovation in our societies!

In this regard let me share the following:

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing
that it is not fish they are after."

(Henry David Thoreau)


…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 (at least two weeks after its official launch).

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Supporting organisations:


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME celebrates its 11th anniversary: Have-your-say on SMEs!

Eleven years have passed since INSME has been founded with the aim to promote and facilitate the sharing of best practices in the field of innovation and technology transfer to SMEs.

As a knowledge-based network gathering a mix of stakeholders both from the private and public sectors, INSME is steadily growing counting now on the support of 98 members from 42 different countries and is intensely working to implement a service portfolio ever more customized to the Members' needs.

By looking back at this year's achievements, the INSME Association welcomed 19 new members that have enriched the potential and knowledge at the disposal of the network. Additionally the participation in international project initiatives has been intensified to encourage the cooperation and sharing of expertise among Members. INSME Annual Meetings remain the most successful appointments throughout the year; as a matter of fact, the most recent INSME Annual Meeting gathered 500+ participants from 35+ different countries.

The INSME Association is becoming more and more a reference on a global level for stakeholders interested in making innovation happen in SMEs.

Lear more about the INSME Association here and have a look to the benefits&conditions flyer here.

INSME Secretary General intervened as a panelist at UNIDO's First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum

UNIDO (INSME Member) recently organized the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum in Manama, Bahrain, from the 19th to the 21st of January 2015.

The Forum, under the topic "Entrepreneurship and Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development", gathered more than 800 participants from 80 different countries with the aim to discuss relevant topics such as the sharing of best practices to encourage young entrepreneurs to start their own business.

INSME was a co-organizer of this important Forum and Ms. Christin Pfeiffer, INSME Secretary General, actively intervened during the first session on "Fostering Entrepreneurship Development" highlighting how important it is to enhance the role of mentors, tutors and virtual acceleration in order to foster entrepreneurship development.

Learn more about the Forum here.

11th INSME Annual Meeting: the official website is now online!

The 11th INSME Annual Meeting is approaching and the official website has been launched featuring all information related to the event.

The 11th Annual Meeting on "Technology and Innovation for Inclusive Growth" will take place at Cape Town, South Africa from 26th to the 28th of May 2015 co-organized by OSIBA Management (INSME Board Member). The event mainly focuses on the following topics:

  • The right skillset for a globally competitive and innovative enterprise;
  • User driven innovation for sustainable growth in a collaborative and international innovation eco-system;
  • Access to finance to stimulate inclusive growth for SMEs

and is going to gather a mix of international stakeholders offering the unique opportunity to discuss and share ideas, experiences and best practices on innovation and technology.

Get updated on the 2015 must-attend event here!

Welcome to four new Members: Mundi Consulting, The Foundation for European Initiatives (TFEI), The International Council for Small Business (ICBS) and Business Angels Europe (BAE)

Mundi Consulting is a private for-profit company based in Bern, Switzerland working on innovation, with a special attention on clusters and focusing its activities on two different pillars:

  1. the management of special organizations and projects;
  2. the consultancy and the support both to public and private organizations.

Learn more about Mundi Consulting here.


The Foundation for European Initiatives (TFEI) is a not-for-profit network based in the United Kingdom that works on three main activities:

  1. development, coordination and management of European and International projects enabling organizations to work together as partners in the promotion of European initiatives;
  2. development of activities in the area of ICT and disability and development of specialized e-learning products;
  3. capacity building-assistance to NGOs by offering them access to a range of products and services including fundraising.

More information about TFEI is available here.


The International Council for Small Business - ICBS, based in Washington, USA was founded in 1955 to promote the growth and development of small businesses worldwide. ICBS brings together educators, researchers, policy makers and practitioners from around the world to share knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.

Lear more about ICBS here


Business Angels Europe - BAE is the European Confederation of Angel Investing, representing the European Business Angels' Federations and Trade associations in Europe. The aim of the network is threefold:

  • to ensure a supportive fiscal and regulatory framework for angel investing across Europe;
  • to create a connected ecosystem for angel investing across Europe, working with key players across the finance and business marketplace;
  • to promote the growth of the angel market in Europe and raise awareness about angel investing to individuals with the capacity to invest, bringing both finance and experience to small businesses.

Learn more here.


INSME can currently count on the support of 98 Members from 42 different countries

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News and contributions from the INSME Members

Qatar Development Bank (INSME Member) awarded "Best SME Loan" by the Banker Middle East Qatar Product Awards 2014

The Qatar Development Bank (INSME Member from Qatar) has been recently awarded the "Best SME Loan" by the Banker Middle East Qatar Product Awards 2014, one of the most important recognitions for financial institutions in the MENA Region.

110 nominees across 27 categories have been received and QDB was the most successful after four weeks of online voting from more than 30,000 Banker Middle East magazine readers. As declared by Mr. Al-Khalifa, CEO at QDB, the award "reflects QDB's achievements over the past year and recognizes our tireless efforts to support SMEs in Qatar - helping ensure strong, continued private sector growth for the future. Behind this award is an exceptional portfolio of products and services for SMEs and a track record of success in delivering them."

Find out more here.

Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer (INSME Board Member) gave a talk at the Conference of Italian University Rectors

Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer (INSME Board Member - Israel and Canada), President at ICA - International Commercialization Alliance, recently gave a talk at the Conference of the Italian University Rectors held in January in Rome, Italy.

In that occasion Mrs. Swersky Sofer has been interviewed by one of the most important Italian newspapers as an expert of innovation, startup and technology transfer on a global scale. She highlighted how important it is to implement a constructive dialogue among university and industry to foster economic growth.

The whole interview is available (in Italian) at this page.

The BENISI Project Consortium is asking for a feedback about the Social Innovation Database Project

BENISI is a EU funded project which aims at identifying the most promising social innovations that are developed locally - in the public, private, third, social enterprise and cooperative sectors across Europe.

The project consortium, in which EURADA (INSME Member from Belgium) is a partner, identified a database of social innovation projects initiated by the public sector and is now asking for feedback about the novelty of the highlighted practices. Furthermore the consortium is also looking for additional practices to enrich the database.

To contribute to the BENISI project please click here.

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INSME's Picks in the News

Senior Officials Set APEC's 2015 Agenda Priorities

APEC Senior Officials have recently set the priorities to be advanced by APEC during the Philippine's year as Chair. 2015 foci have been established during a two-days meeting held at Manila, Philippines and they are:

  • enhancing regional economic integration;
  • fostering SME's participation in regional and global economy;
  • investing in human capital development;
  • building sustainable and resilient communities.

More information is available here.

The African Development Bank's (INSME Member) Special Envoy in Gender declared "African women can transform the continent"

2015 marks the year of Women's Economic Empowerment and Development and in this framework the African Development Bank' Special Envoy on Gender highlighted the importance of women's role to promote an inclusive growth in Africa.

In the occasion of the Pre-Summit Ministerial Consultative Meeting on Gender that took place from the 20th to the 22nd of January ahead of the 24th Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ms. Geraldine J. Fraser-Moleketi declared that women are a powerful force for growth and development and this is why AfDB will address its efforts in facilitating women's economic empowerment.

Read more here.

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INSME Picks in the Web

5 Things You Need To Be a Successful Entrepreneur

The article deals with how to be a successful entrepreneur highlighting five main elements such as:

  • A companion: right people to work with may make the difference between success and failure
  • Good timing: it is necessary to anticipate the market and the customer's need and to constantly innovate
  • Connection with the audience: it is crucial to build products and services with brand equity and emotional connections. The key is to connect, shape, influence and lead with products and services
  • Create a scalable business
  • Investing time in mental and physical well-being to further increase the chance for a longlasting success.

Read the whole article here.

Develop These 5 Skills to Become a Tremendous Leader

According to a recent Deloitte survey released in October, a high percentage of polled managers believe they do not have access to proper leadership training and it is crucial for a future effective leadership to create a connection among people and to implement a heart-centered communication among owners, employees and managers to realize better performance.

What are the main characteristics of a collaborative form of leadership? The article published on lists among these peculiarities: Being a good listener and offering support removing barriers to success.

Read the whole article here.

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Tenders, Calls & Consultations

ISPIM Grand Prize 2015

In order to recognize the outstanding management work that innovation professionals do to deliver great innovations to the market, ISPIM (INSME Member from the United Kingdom) has launched the ISPIM Grand Prize 2015. The Prize is open to companies and not-for-profit organizations who have short case studies on initiatives that have significantly improved their innovation performance in any domain during the last three years. Eligible initiatives include optimizing the management of technology transfer to give a higher product output; making innovation more efficient through new processes; new approaches for customer closeness for R&D teams and more effective portfolio management.

The official entry form available at the following link has to be submitted to by the 20th April 2015.

For any further information, please click on the following link.

The European Parliament launched a Call for Expression of Interest to compile a list of scientific/academic experts to assist the Committee on Regional Development (REGI)

The European Parliament is looking for experts to support the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development (REGI) by providing independent and hands-on external expertise in all the issues within the scope of interests and the responsibilities of the Committee. Eligible experts shall: have at least six years of professional experience in scientific/academic research, including at least four years clearly related to research in the field of regional development and/or EU cohesion policy; have a publishing record in the specialized field, including publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and/or monographs accepted for publication after a similar review process; have achieved scientific/academic distinction, clearly relating to research in the fields relevant to this call for expression of interest; have an excellent command of English and have the economic and financial capacity to provide the service set out in the call.

Interested experts may submit their applications at any time until the 30th of June 2019. It is however strongly recommended that applications be submitted as early as possible.

For any further information, please click here.

OFID-UNDP Cross-Regional Grants Competition

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invite not-for-profit organizations from Europe, Central Asia and the MENA region to submit their project ideas to the OFID-UNDP Cross-Regional Grants Competition. The competition focuses on two thematic priorities: affordable energy and water solutions; economic governance and employment. Eligible project proposals are those who will meet the following criteria: have a cross-regional coverage, deal with implementing innovative approaches and demonstrate the potential for community-level impact and have the potential to be scaled up into larger programs.

Expressions of interest have to be submitted no later than the 30th of March 2015.

After a successful initial assessment, selected participants will be requested to send the full application form no later than the 31st of May 2015.

Projects will be awarded with a grant ranging from a minimum of US$ 20.000 to maximum of US$ 55.000 to support the project over a period of 12 months.

For further information, please click here.

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Interesting Initiatives

Kinawataka Women Initiative

The Kinawataka Women Initiative is a Uganda-based project focused on recycling used straws into bags, mats and jewelry to reduce the amount of discarded plastic waste. Incomes generated from the straw products allow women to purchase schoolbooks, pay school fees and cover food and healthcare costs.

The work of KIWOI is having a very positive environmental impact across Uganda not only by creating reusable eco-friendly bags but above all by training community groups on the benefits of recycling.

For further information about the initiative, please click here.

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Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation: A Global Perspective on Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Development

Building on two unique data sets - the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index data, which ranks the economic competiveness of 144 economies and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's assessment of entrepreneurial activity across 70 economies - the report examines three aspects of entrepreneurial activity: early-stage entrepreneurial activity, the proportion of growth-oriented or ambitious entrepreneurship and the proportion of innovation-based entrepreneurship.

It is worth noting the fact that generally less competitive economies have higher early-stage entrepreneurial activity than more competitive economies. Conversely the proportion of ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs is more frequently high in more competitive economies. More competitive economies also have higher rates of intrapreneurship, also known as entrepreneurial employee activity.

To download the whole report, please click here.

UNCTAD Global InvestmentTrends Monitor on "Global Investment Trends in 2014 and Prospects for 2015"

In late January 2015, UNCTAD (INSME Member) released the latest issue of the Global Investment Trends Monitor.

The monitor examined that in 2014, global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows declined by 8% to an estimated US$1.26 trillion due to fragility of the global economy, policy uncertainty and geopolitical risks. A large divestment in the United States also lowered the global level of FDI flows.

Developing economies saw their FDI reaching a peak of more than US$ 700 billion, 4% higher than 2013, with a global share of 56%. At a regional level, flows to developing Asia increased, those to Africa remained flat, while FDI to Latin America declined.

It is also worth pointing out that in 2014, China, with a modest increase of 3%, became the world's largest recipient of FDI while the United States fell to the 3rd largest host country with almost a third of their 2013 level. Additionally among the top five FDI recipients in the world, four are developing economies.

Learn more about it here.

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Recommended Website

The EUROMED Invest Project website

The EUROMED Invest Project is an initiative coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) with the aim of boosting private business and investment within the Euro-Med area to contribute to an inclusive economic development of the region.

The EUROMED Invest Project Consortium has launched the dedicated website of the project through which potential stakeholders can get further information about the partners involved, the main activities carried out (mainly roadshows in the Mediterranean and Europe; master classes for young entrepreneurs; mentoring for entrepreneurs and BSOs and academies) and forthcoming events taking place in the European Union and the 10 South Mediterranean countries of the European Neighbourhood Instrument.

INSME contributes as an affiliated partner to this initiative with special regard to master classes for young entrepreneurs in Algeria, Egypt and Palestine.

Have a look at the website at the following link.

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Recommended Newsletter

The Angel Capital Association Newsletter

The Angel Capital Association - ACA is a USA-based professional and trade association supporting angel investors in high-growth, early-stage ventures.

The Association issues a monthly newsletter to keep current on angel investing news, events and other important information.

To read previous editions of the newsletter, please click here.

To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

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Highlighted events

Global Entrepreneurship Congress

16th - 19th of March 2015
Milan, Italy
Organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Week, META Group (INSME President) and the Kauffman Foundation

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress is an inter-disciplinary gathering of startup champions from around the world where entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, thought leaders and policymakers come together to bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

During the wide array of fringe events, delegates from over 130 different countries will discuss topics such as experiential education, startup cities, financing growth, smart top-down government policies and strategies for scaling up.

The Congress will take place from the 16th to the 19th of March 2015 in Milan, Italy and is co-organized by Global Entrepreneurship Week, META Group (INSME President) and the Kauffman Foundation.

Learn more about it on the official website at the following link.


Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

2nd - 4th of March 2015
1st International Conference on Industrial Networks and Intelligent Systems
Organized by the European Alliance for Innovation - EAI (INSME Member)
Tokyo, Japan

4th of March 2015
Smart Specialisation and less favoured research and Innovation systems: challenges and opportunities
Organized by the SmartSpec Consortium
Prague, Czech Republic

5th of March 2015
The 2015 European Circular Economy Conference
Organized by Forum Europe
Brussels, Belgium

11th - 13th of March 2015
Smart Cities - Intelligent Buildings, Energy, Mobility, ICT & Emergency Management
Organized by Via Expo
Sofia, Bulgaria

26th of March 2015
Innovation Forum 2015
Organized by The Economist
Chicago, U.S.A.

22nd - 24th of April 2015
10th International Conference on Economic Integrations, Competition and Cooperation
Organized by the University of Rijeca - Faculty of Economics
Rijeka/Opatija, Croatia

22nd - 24th of April 2015
Efficient Interfaces in Eco-Innovation
Organized by greenXpo, EURADA (INSME Member), JYKES and the City of Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä, Finland

23rd - 24th of April 2015
Smart City Startups 2015
Organized by Smart City Startups 2014
Wynwood-Miami, USA

27th - 28th of April 2015
Grow your Region: Delivering Smart Specialisation and Economic Transformation Through Clusters
Organized by DGs GROW and REGIO of the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

2nd - 5th of May 2015
48th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank
Organized by the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member)
Baku, Azerbaijan

5th - 7th of May 2015
INNOVEIT 2015 - The EIT Innovation Forum
Organized by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology
Budapest, Hungary

19th - 20th of May 2015
5th Annual Africa Banking & Finance Conference
Organized by Aidem Business Solutions
Nairobi, Kenya

20th - 22nd of May 2015
eLearning Africa 2015 - 10th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training
Organized by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

26th - 28th of May 2015
11th INSME Annual Meeting
Organized by OSIBA Management (INSME Board Member) and INSME
Cape Town, South Africa

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