Issue N° 134 - July - August 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,

time has come to take a break, consider the successes of the last months, re-charge proper batteries and brainstorm on the near future.

Together with my colleagues I wish you a peaceful and enjoyable Summer break - with a little time to reflect on the following quote:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

(Marcus Aurelius)

Courtesy of: Gianluca Parisi

INSMEnews will be back in September with fresh energy, information on challenges and hot trends and news on opportunities to network among each other.

...and now - as usual - enjoy your reading!


Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

The 5 days intensive training programme on “The Italian Entrepreneurial Model” - a highly appreciated initiative

The 5 days intensive training programme on “The Italian Entrepreneurial Model” organized by INSME during the second week of June received a very positive feedback from the 32 Branch Leaders of the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSME Member from Saudi Arabia) participating in the initiative. The impact of the training was analyzed with an evaluation survey delivered and collected by the INSME Secretariat at the end of the initiative. The 5-days were perceived as indisputable added value - indeed 32 participants evaluated the training as widely above the expectations (78%). Nearly 4 out of 10 participants evaluated the relevance of the topics and the agenda above their expectations; while only 3% expressed themselves negatively. The remaining 60% considered the selection of topics covered and expert insights useful and relevant to their daily work.

It is worth mentioning that the training initiative was also particularly appreciated for the possibility to meet experts and establish stable business connections and partnerships in the future.

With this first edition of this kind of study visit INSME kicked off a new pillar of activities that will be repeated, enriched and offered globally also in the future.

For additional information and training proposals please contact:

Read the whole report here.

The 3rd round of MIRRIS policy dialogues kicked-off

The 3rd round of MIRRIS policy dialogues has been officially kicked off with a related initiative in Poland organized by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) and the MIRRIS coordinator, META Group (INSME Member) on the 25th of June 2015. By involving all main national stakeholders, the third cycle of MIRRIS policy dialogues aims at prioritizing the measures to be implemented to increase the participation of EU13 countries in EU research and innovation programmes. Part of the dialogues will also be dedicated to address future policy trends envisaged in the European Structural and Investment Funds - ESIF programming period 2014-2020 and relevant issues to be considered in the frame of Horizon 2020. The outcome of the policy dialogues will produce a specific action plan for each country, which will also be supported by a coaching activity provided by the MIRRIS experts in order to take the most out of the priorities identified during the policy dialogue exercise.

INSME contributes as a partner to this initiative and will be especially involved in the organization of the policy dialogues in Cyprus and Malta both taking place in September 2015.

Get the latest news of the MIRRIS project by reading the July issue of the MIRRIS newsletter here.

Find out more about the MIRRIS project here.

Welcome to a new Member: The International Association of Innovation Professionals!

The International Association of Innovation Professionals is a not-for-profit organization based in the United States aiming at developing a catalog of innovation skills and capabilities and supporting professionals in learning the latest innovation methodologies and applying them in their organizations. The Association thus creates events, organizes working groups, provides resources and also offers certification testing to help innovation professionals advance in their careers.

Learn more about IAOIP here.

The INSME Association can currently count on the support of 84 Members from 38 different countries.

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News and contributions from the INSME Members

Dubai SME (INSME Member), Etisalat and Impact Hub Dubai launched the SME - Hub Passport

Dubai SME (INSME Member from the United Arab Emirates) in partnership with Etisalat and Impact Hub Dubai just launched the SME Hub Passport, a new initiative which aims at enabling United Arab Emirates entrepreneurs & SMEs to expand globally.

By getting an SME-Hub Passport, UAE SMEs and entrepreneurs will get access to a wide range of services in 25 cities worldwide such as:

  • 1 to 3 days free access per city per year for workspace, conducting business meetings and market research;
  • Networking with the local community of entrepreneurs and SMEs;
  • Preferred access to learning and social events for entrepreneurs and SMEs;
  • 25% discount on use of meeting rooms at Impact Hub Dubai.

Additionally SME-Hub Passport holders will become part of the Impact Dubai community and work closely together on ideas and new collaboration opportunities.

The SME-Hub Passport is an exclusive offer by Dubai SME and Etisalat targeting SMEs in the UAE only.

Read more on how to apply for an SME-Hub passport here.

The Entrepreneurship for Innovative Change II project (E4IC II) just launched - an initiative involving CODEX (INSME Member)

CODEX (INSME Member from Italy) contributes as a partner in the Entrepreneurship for Innovative Change II project (E4IC II) led by Innogate to Europe (a for-profit organization from Spain) and recently launched in the framework of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme. E4IC II targets 87 new or aspiring entrepreneurs, especially university students, post graduate entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs and supports them in finding the adequate host entrepreneurs match to provide practical on-the-job training and exchange of experience. CODEX participates as intermediary organization for the Piedmont Region and was officially appointed by the Executive Agency for SMEs to put new and host entrepreneurs in contact with each other.

CODEX will also be involved in the organization of the first regional info day taking place on the 10th of September at Talent Garden Turin. Additional information will be soon available at this page.

The initiative is promoted in the framework of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme, an EU cross-border exchange programme, giving new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries through a 1 to 6 months stay.

To learn more, please click here.

Fin4Dev - a shared blog platform about finance for development involving the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank (INSME Members)

The African Development Bank (INSME Member), the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group collaborate to the recently launched Fin4Dev platform, a shared blog initiative, aiming at animating the debate on enhancing the understanding of sustainable development.

With a special focus on the Sustainable Development Goals guiding the international community, the blog will share content about success stories, relevant opportunities for collaboration, innovative financing and risk mitigation by targeting a variety of stakeholders, including project managers, policy makers, private sector investors and activists.

The Fin4Dev platform presents and is based on a unique multilateral model which brings together government, the private sector and the civil society in achieving results and transforming lives.

Read the latest posts here.

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INSME's Picks in the News

5 apps launched to boost SME operations in Nigeria

The Bank of Industry in Nigeria announced the launch of 5 digital solutions during a press conference last June in Lagos.

The 5 new services have been developed to meet the country’s increasing demand for digital solutions, given the growing number of internet users in Nigeria.

The offer includes:

  • the SME Mobile App, providing an overview of the Bank and the categories of customers it could assist;
  • the SME Accounting Application (SAAPP) Software, enabling users to keep accounting records of their business transactions;
  • the Online Loan Application Portal, enabling customers to apply for a loan (within a stipulated maximum limit) online, without going physically to the bank;
  • the Loan Application Tracking System, providing customers with online, real time, updates on loan requests submitted to the bank through an innovative loan status tracker on the bank’s website;
  • and the SME Customer Portal, supporting SMEs in showcasing their products and services to the world through the bank’s website.

For further information, please click here.

Luxembourg holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second semester of 2015

Luxembourg - after Italy and Latvia - is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second semester of 2015. Luxembourg’s Presidency will implement a threefold approach focused on listening to the citizens, supporting businesses and cooperating with partners and institutions in order to act in the interests of Europe. By following this approach, Luxembourg will take action with regard to seven different priorities: stimulating investment to boost growth and employment; deepening the European Union's social dimension; managing migration, combining freedom, justice and security; revitalizing the single market by focusing on its digital dimension; placing European competitiveness in a global and transparent framework; promoting sustainable development and strengthening the European Union's presence on a global stage.

By looking at the SME sector, the Luxembourg Presidency stated that the “Think Small First” principle will be applied on a regular basis to make sure that all European Union policies encourage the development of SMEs. The Presidency also stated that the revision of the “Small Business Act” will be treated as a priority.

Learn more about the Luxembourg Presidency on the official dedicated website.

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INSME Picks in the Web

A guide for winning support for your new idea or project

Ms. Rebecca Knight, freelance journalist in Boston and lecturer at Wesleyan University, USA gives some practical advices on how to get people on board to support a new idea or project. In the author’s opinion an idea has the potential to become a successful one if it offers a solution as clear and specific as possible to a targeted problem. Once this has been defined, it is fundamental to pitch the new project to potential customers by tailoring the presentation to the audience and most importantly, by getting a feedback from them. The project could also be presented in informal ways to colleagues or potentially interested people always keeping in mind that it is fundamental to take their feedback into high consideration and incorporate it in the new initiative. A trial run is also usually more than welcome as it reduces the perceived risk and gives the chance to test out the idea.

Read the full article here.

Soft Skills: the way forward for SMEs

The term cognitive skills refers to emotional or social skills or broadly soft skills such as team work, collaborative skills, ownership and responsibility, resilience, problem solving and critical thinking, presentation skills, communication skills, etc. According to Ms. Saira Nikhat Imam, the transformation of workspaces from traditional offices to dynamic and customer-centric environments was made possible thanks to the arrival of soft skills in the organizational environments. Once these soft skills are put into practice in the working environment, an SME can start to perceive that: the competitive gap between SMEs and Multinational Corporations starts diminishing; employee job satisfaction at SMEs starts increasing, which directly helps in retaining the skilled workforce; fresh graduates will be keen on getting involved in the SME.

Read the article here.

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About China

Using customs to protect IPR in China

According to this article by the China IPR SME Helpdesk (INSME Partner), it is strongly recommended (although it is not compulsory) for a company moving goods in and out of China to record its IP rights with the General Administration of Customs (GAC) in Beijing. By going through the process of recordal at the GAC, Customs has the power to detain at will any suspected infringing consignment of goods. Additionally, local customs offices will be far more proactive if IP rights are recorded with the GAC mainly because the recordal provides Customs officials with easy access to internal IP databases and makes it easier for them to determine whether goods passing through Customs are genuine or not.

Learn more about the process and documents to submit at the GAC here.

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Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The International IMP³rove Award 2015

IMP³rove (INSME Member from Germany) - European Innovation Management Academy has launched the International IMP³rove Award 2015, which aims at highlighting and promoting leading management practices for innovation management.

The Award will be granted to organizations that have demonstrated impressive sustainable growth based on systematic innovation management. Companies of all sizes and at least 5 years in business that grow profitably from innovative products, services, processes, organisational or business models are eligible to participate in the International IMP³rove Award.

The winner will enjoy international visibility as innovation champion in the media, on the IMP³rove Academy and A.T. Kearney websites as well as during the Turkish Innovation Week and will win an exclusive full-day innovation management workshop with an internationally re-known expert.

The deadline for submissions is the 30th of September 2015.

More information regarding the application process and the award ceremony is available at this page.

Call for proposals to support networks of young creative entrepreneurs: EU and third countries

The European Commission has recently launched a call for proposals to support networks of young entrepreneurs active in the cultural and creative sectors in EU and third countries. This is a pilot project based on a number of Commission and European Parliament initiatives which intends to create a platform gathering existing networks of young entrepreneurs and encouraging them to create new ones in order to: support them to operate transnationally and internationally; exchange experiences on new business and management models; enhance entrepreneurship, innovation and creative potential for international cooperation.

Some of the eligible activities for the call are the development of a virtual platform; training activities; actions aiming at providing sustainable networking activities, exchanges of good practices, peer learning and many others. Applicants must be public or private organizations, single or legal entities with their registered legal office in one of the 28 EU Member States.

The total budget available for the call is € 800.000 and the financial contribution of the Commission is limited to 80% of the total eligible costs.

The deadline for submitting proposals is the 15th of September 2015.

More information is available at this page.

The Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2015

The Western Cape Government launched the Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2015, an initiative aiming at promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in Western Cape and supporting the creation of jobs and opportunities by small and medium enterprises.

The competition is open to twelve different categories, among them:

  • Emerging Business;
  • Social Enterprise;
  • Most Innovative Business;
  • Business with Global Reach.

The total award to be divided among the different categories is 1.880.000 Rand (ca. € 138.000). Winners will also benefit from media coverage and business networking with entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Winners and finalists will be invited to the award ceremony taking place in November 2015.

The deadline for applications is the 14th of September 2015.

To find out more about the award please visit the official website.

The ASEAN People’s Award

Under the theme “Building a Vibrant and Resilient ASEAN Community” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN has launched an award to honor citizens and organizations from the ASEAN Region which have contributed or are contributing to the creation of a united and prosperous community.

In particular the National Focal Point of each ASEAN Member State will select organizations or individuals such as public and private organizations, economists, business organizations and many others promoting community development and empowerment in the areas of political, social and cultural development, economic integration and others.

Nominations might be sent by the 30th of September and each national winner will be awarded with a trophy and a cash grant of $ 10,000.

More information is available here.

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Interesting Initiatives

The Make in India Initiative

Make in India is a programme of the Government of India launched in 2014 aiming at boosting job creation, attracting capital and technological investment in India and enhancing skill development in 25 different sectors, among them: biotechnology, IT, pharmaceuticals, media and entertainment, renewable energy and many others.

The Make in India website in particular offers the possibility to consult a data sheet including relevant information on the reasons to invest, the growth drivers, the investment opportunities and the agencies to get in touch with to start a business in India for each of the 25 different sectors.

Additionally it is also possible to get useful information on the current national policies in the Foreign Direct Investments, Intellectual Property and National Manufacturing sectors.

Find out more here.

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The European Small Business Finance Outlook

The European Investment Fund - EIF (INSME Member) has recently released the European Small Business Finance Outlook (ESBFO) which is an update of the December 2014 edition, edited by the Research & Market Analysis Team.

The publication firstly discusses the general market environment highlighting (1) how Europe’s recovery is continuing to be uneven and gradual (2) that the labour market is expected to register a double digit unemployment rate (3) that disparities in the access to finance persist in the different countries - in Greece, Ireland and Netherlands access to finance is considered a very pressing problem for SMEs, while in Germany and Austria only 7% of SMEs considers access to finance as a pressing problem. Secondly the main aspects of equity finance and the guarantees/SME Securitisation (SMESec) are shown. Among these aspects, the publication reports that: the SMESec Market is still suffering from the crisis, but in 2014 the overall issued volume of SME deals (€ 33.3 billion) was higher than in 2013 (+64%); a strong and smart regulation is needed; several new initiatives have been implemented and others are under preparation to support guarantee amounts.

Finally the Report briefly analyses the young European Microcredit Market.

Read the whole report here.

UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2015 on Global FDI Trends

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD (INSME Member) has recently released the World Investment Report 2015 on Global FDI Trends which highlights some important data and figures related to Foreign Direct Investments. In 2014 while GDP, trade, gross fixed capital formation and employment grew, the FDI inflows fell to 1.23 $ (16% globally) due to three main reasons: (1) the fragility of the global economy (2) the policy uncertainty for investors (3) geopolitical risks.

The perspectives are quite positive, in 2015 Global FDI flows are expected to reach $ 1.4 trillion, while a further growth is expected for the forthcoming years ($ 1.5 trillion in 2016 and $ 1.7 trillion in 2017). This could be positively influenced by macroeconomic and firm level factors, such as the gradual improvement of macroeconomic condition, in particular in North America, in BRICS Countries and in emerging economies. Furthermore a survey carried out by UNCTAD and McKinsey&Company among 1000 top managers in 89 different countries shows how also executives expect an increase of the global FDI activities in the forthcoming years. Nevertheless this positive perspective might change due to several economic and political risks including the uncertainty in the Eurozone or the vulnerability of the emerging economies.

To find out more information please read the whole publication at this page.

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Recommended Website - The Global Home of the Islamic Finance Industry is a platform recognized as the Global Home of Islamic Finance Industry and together with an initiative aiming at developing the Sharia compliant financial sector.

The platform is updated with news, publications, country profiles, market news, trends and industry standards, a database of qualified industrial professionals and services firms.

Have a look at here.

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Recommended Newsletter

Russia’s Presidency in BRICS newsletter

BRICS is an informal group of States including the so-called emerging economies: Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa (which became a member country in 2010) which had its first ministerial meeting in 2006 expressing their interest in expanding a multilateral cooperation.

Russia will chair BRICS until the 15th of February 2016 and Russia’s Presidency in the BRICS newsletter can be considered a valuable communication channel to be updated on all relevant initiatives and meetings carried out within this period.

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Highlighted events

UNECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships

2nd - 4th of September 2015
Geneva, Switzerland
Organized by UNECE

The Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - UNECE (INSME Member) will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of September 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first day will be dedicated to a high level international conference on “Unlocking the Economic Potential for Sustainable Development” while during the two following days the Committee will discuss and analyze its role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reviewing, adapting or creating - if necessary - tools and activities.

More information can be found here.

Internet of Things 360 Summit (IOT360° Summit)

27th - 29th of October 2015
Rome, Italy
Organized by EAI in partnership with INSME

The European Alliance for Innovation - EAI (INSME Member from Belgium) is currently organizing the 2nd edition of the successful International Summit on Internet of Things (IOT360°), under the patronage of European Commission, which will be held from the 27th to the 29th of October 2015 in Rome, Italy.

IOT360° will connect three different perspectives, three different ´worlds´ - the industrial, the academic and the institutional points of view. IOT360° will bring together industry representatives, makers, vendors, experts, developers and others to plan, learn, network, collaborate, strategize and more effectively tap into the immense potential of the IoT domain.

IoT experts such us Giulio Coraggio (Partner DLA Piper, Technology lawyer), Maurizio Pilu (Executive Director, Collaborative R&D at Digital Catapult), Matt Hatton (Founder and CEO Machina Research) and others will intervene by sharing their expertise and knowledge. Pressing issues and hot topics such as IoT privacy and safety, IoT and big data, the future of IoT and more will be discussed within the three-day event.

INSME is partner of the initiative together with other 7 institutions.

The registration for IOT360° Summit is already available, find out all relevant information at this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

21st - 23rd of August 2015
XIII Triple Helix International Conference
Organized by Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Beijing, China

27th of August 2015
Crowd Dialogue Europe - United Knowledge
Organized by the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce, the City of Helsinki, the EU Commission, the CrowdfundingHub and DIGILE
Helsinki, Finland

9th - 10th of September 2015
The Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit
Organized by M.I.C.E Quotient
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

16th of September 2015
Roving seminar on the Chinese patent system
Organized by IP Key, SIPO, Italian Patent and Trademark office
Rome, Italy

21st - 22nd of September 2015
1st Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Innovation in SME Finance
Organized by IIC - Inter-American Investment Corporation (INSME Member)
Medellin, Colombia

22nd - 25th of September 2015
UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop on "Establishing the Regional Innovation Platform based on STP"
Organized by UNESCO (INSME Member) and WTA (INSME Member)
Daejeon, Korea

24th of September 2015
Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe: Creating Sustainable Employment and Growth
Organized by Public Policy Exchange
Brussels, Belgium

29th - 30th of September 2015
UIA Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific 2015
Organized by the Union of International Associations
Bangkok, Thailand

13th - 15th of October 2015
5th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy
Organized by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Guadalajara, Mexico

13th - 16th of October 2015
Smart City 360° - The Gateway to Innovation
Organized by the Slovak University of Technology and Alliance i-Canada
Bratislava, Slovakia & Toronto, Canada

14th - 16th of October 2015
Culturallia 2015
Organized by Hainaut Developpement, the Chamber of Commerce and the Exporters' Club of Belgian Province of Luxembourg, SPI, BEP and in partnership with AWEX (INSME Member)
Mons, Belgium

19th of October 2015
Forum on Internet of Things: Empowering the New Urban Agenda
Organized by ITU
Geneva, Switzerland

19th - 22nd of October 2015
World Entrepreneurship Forum on “Global Entrepreneurship: Connecting Continents, New Opportunities”
Organized by the World Entrepreneurship Forum and the Hanghzou City
Hanghzou, China

22nd -23rd of October 2015
6th Balkan & Black Sea Conference “DAYS OF CLUSTERS 2015”
Organized by The Cluster House and The Innovation and Technology Cluster Alt Brasov
Brasov, Romania

27th - 29th of October 2015
The Global Trade Development Week
Organized by KW Group under the patronage of H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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