Issue N° 136 - October 2015
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

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

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

sometimes being an entrepreneur can be tough and experiences are rather challenging!

In this regard let me share the following thought:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


INSME is ready to put you in touch with inspiring leaders!

A range of such partnering opportunities might result from the inspiring discussions during the 12th INSME Annual Meeting on “Enabling Smart SMEs: Knowledge Intensive SMEs as the Key to Boost a Diversified and Sustainable Economy” at Doha/Qatar.

We are looking forward to keeping in touch with you in this regard!

…and now - as usual - enjoy your reading!



Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

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Supporting organisations:


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Towards the 12th INSME Annual Meeting

INSME and Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) are working closely together to set another important pillar in the success story of the Association: the 12th INSME Annual Meeting on “Enabling Smart SMEs: Knowledge Intensive SMEs as the Key to Boost a Diversified and Sustainable Economy”, planned to take place in Doha, Qatar in mid-April 2016.

The INSME Annual Meeting will gather a mix of stakeholders from all over the world exchanging together with prominent speakers and leading experts knowledge and sharing ideas on the hottest innovation trends.

A dedicated call for papers and all relevant information will be announced shortly throughout INSME’s dissemination channels, so please stay tuned and in the meantime block your agenda on mid-April 2016!

The 3rd round of MIRRIS Policy Dialogues – insights from Cyprus and Malta’s discussion sessions

The 3rd round of MIRRIS Policy Dialogues is currently taking place involving stakeholders and experts from the 13 EU target countries. META Group (MIRRIS Coordinator) and INSME (MIRRIS Partner) collaborated with the Cypriot Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development and the Malta’s Council for Science and Technology (MCST) to set up the Cyprus and Malta policy dialogues respectively. An intense debate was fuelled by numerous national stakeholders involved in both policy dialogues, which prioritized and proposed concrete actions resulting in a roadmap to better address their participation to the European Research Area and thus stimulate economic prosperity for the countries they live in. The skills needed to stimulate the proactivity of the whole ecosystem and nurturing a culture of innovation among all the stakeholders represented common concerns in both dialogues. To meet national stakeholders’ requests, the MIRRIS Consortium will also support the implementation of actions by engaging peers to provide tailored coaching in the areas with the highest priority identified during the dialogues.

The press releases of both the policy dialogues are available on the news section of the MIRRIS website at this link.

MIRRIS (Mobilizing Institutional Reforms in Research and Innovation Systems) is an EU funded project aiming at encouraging a better exploitation of European Research and Innovation Programmes and participation in the European Research Area in 13 target countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

For any further information about the project, please visit the dedicated website.

INSME Secretary General at the EUROMED Invest Conference

The Annual Conference of the EUROMED Invest Project (coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France)) took place from the 7th to the 9th of October in Milan, Italy to present the results and the impact of the first phase of the project implementation and discuss lessons learned. In this frame the EUROMED Invest Academy on the topic “The Mediterranean, a gateway to Africa” has been held gathering around 150 participants from both North and South Mediterranean countries and discussing relevant topics including:

  • Developing solutions to address the specific needs of African territories: value chains and industrial cooperation, presenting existing initiatives and best practices exchange;

  • The role of Diasporas as accelerators of economic development;

  • The promotion of triangular cooperation as catalyzing initiatives.

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer, INSME Secretary General, actively intervened in the event highlighting INSME’s involvement in the Masterclasses held in Egypt and Algeria and in the follow up webinars dedicated to young entrepreneurs, start-uppers and diaspora.

More information about the event and the EUROMED Invest Project is available at this page.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The Research Roadmap on new forms of the Enterprises – an initiative involving INTRASOFT International (INSME Vice President from Luxembourg)

The FutureEnterprise Consortium – including INTRASOFT International (INSME Vice President from Luxembourg) - has recently released the “Research Roadmap on new forms of the Enterprises” summarizing and grouping the major challenges that enterprises and entrepreneurs have to face to transform themselves into new organizations in the Digital Era, where technology plays a vital role and becomes the main driver of all aspects of the human life.

FutureEnterprise has identified four Grand Challenges that will allow enterprises and entrepreneurs to become key players in the economy of the future:

  1. Digitalization and Smart Enterprise Transformation: providing a view on the needed elements that an enterprise should consider to transform itself and develop the necessary readiness level to pursue advanced digital operations and targets;

  2. Pervasive Business Intelligence As A Service: allowing enterprises to better understand their operational environment and their own performances, to identify weaknesses and strengths, to consider the emerging opportunities and threats to be tackled in order to become responsive and context-aware as best as possible;

  3. Collaborative Business Models for New Kinds of Economies: exploring the definition, experimentation and constant evolution of novel business models that challenge traditional ones;

  4. Intelligent Enterprise Collaboration Platforms, boosting productivity and enabling business innovation in consistent lifecycles.

To find out more about the Grand Challenges and the findings included in the Roadmap visit this page.

The Fund for the Development of Youth Projects Development - Sharakah (INSME Member from Oman) and The Public Authority for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development - Riyada signed a Memorandum of Understanding

The Fund for the Development of Youth Projects Development - Sharakah (INSME Member from Oman) and the Omani Public Authority for Small and Medium - sized Enterprises Development - Riyada recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a cooperation aiming at supporting the Sharakah Forum on the role of the media in SMEs development.

The Forum planned for the 14th of December will be the occasion to highlight the key role played by media in SME development as a way to market and promote products and services for a project. By networking with decision makers in the media and entrepreneurship sectors, the Forum will identify the best local and regional practices to take advantage of the various media channels.

More information is available at this page.

UNCTAD's (INSME Member) first inter-governmental meeting to discuss a Roadmap for Reform of the International Investment Regime

A multilateral Action Plan for International Investments Agreement (IIAs) is an urgent issue which has been discussed by policy makers from governments, private sector, international and civil society organizations on the occasion of UNCTAD's (INSME Member) first inter-governmental meeting on a “Roadmap for Reform of the International Investment Regime”.

During the meeting the following key points emerged:

  • The IIA Regime needs to be changed and UNCTAD’s World Investment 2015 offers action-oriented solutions;

  • UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development might be considered an instrument to support policy makers in the issue of new investment policies;

  • Sharing experiences and best practices might help to prevent the risk of a further fragmentation of the IIA regime.

Further actions need to be taken to reach a common understanding of the challenges in the IIA regime; in particular developing criteria and guidelines, together with supporting instruments and institutions are fundamental steps to take towards a Multilateral Action Plan for the IIA Reform.

More information is available at this page.

INSME's Picks in the News

EU and China announced the launch of a new co-funding mechanism for research and innovation

On the occasion of the “Joint Conference in Promoting Excellence through Enhanced EU – China Research’s Mobility and Cooperation” that took place on the 7th of September 2015, a new co-funding mechanism for research and innovation has been launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Chinese side and the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation on the EU side. The new co-funding mechanism aims at supporting joint research and innovation activities on topics in strategic areas of common interest and mutual benefit such as sustainable urbanization, information and communication technologies, mobility for young researchers and others.

To implement the co-funding mechanism during the period 2016-2020, the European Commission expects to spend over 100 million Euros per year for the benefit of Europe-based entities which collaborate with Chinese organizations in joint projects under H2020 while China will match corresponding resources and expects to spend 200 million RMB per year for the benefit of Chinese based entities that will participate in joint projects with European ones under Horizon 2020.

Find out more at this page.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) launched the Business Smart Toolkit

The US Small Business Administration – SBA together with the National Association of Government Guarantees Lenders – NAGGL has developed the Business Smart Toolkit helping aspiring and new entrepreneurs to launch a business idea and building a credit-ready business.

Through three modules lasting ca. 60-90 minutes each, the toolkit provides information on:

  • Basics on Business Startup

  • Essential of becoming credit-ready

  • How and where to find additional small business support and educational resources.

The toolkit - including a Welcome Packet, three PowerPoint presentations, instructor notes/guide and customizable flyers to advertise the workshops – is downloadable at this page.

To get more information please contact the following e-mail address.

INSME Picks in the Web

Seal of Excellence – a new instrument to maximize the impact of R&I

Seal of Excellence is an innovative instrument designed by the European Commission to create strong synergies between Horizon 2020 and other financial support measures such as the European Structural and Investment Funds.

It is awarded to those applicants considered as meriting funding (above the threshold) that were not originally funded and that can now receive funding according to the available Horizon 2020 budget. In this first pilot phase the action is dedicated to proposals applying for the SME instrument and in particular all those SME instrument proposals evaluated above the quality threshold (13 or more out of 15 in Phase 1, or 12 or more out of 15 in Phase 2) but not receiving Horizon 2020 funding. Once the Seal has been received, the holder can approach alternative funding sources (regional, national and private) and present the certificate as a label of high quality project proposal.

Detailed information is available at this page.

4 ways to boost SME access to finance from commercial banks in ASEAN

SMEs in ASEAN Region play a key role in the region’s economy as 74% of the total employment and about 41% of GDP come from SMEs even though this is not reflected in trade, where SMEs account for only 21% of direct exports across the region.

One of the biggest problems for SMEs is the lack of access to finance from commercial banks as they mainly have to count on proper resources for their financial needs such as personal savings, moneylenders and non-bank instruments.

In an article recently published on the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member) Blog, solutions to respond to those needs are proposed as follows:

  • Expanding banking system, encouraging competition among commercial banks;

  • Changing collateral laws, allowing non-fixed collaterals;

  • Investing in financial literacy, to provide entrepreneurs with the ability to prepare business and financial plans;

  • Improving credit assessment for SMEs, by establishing a domestic credit bureau for SMEs as a public-private partnership.

To read the whole post please click here.

About IPR…in China

Marking Your Territory: Choosing a Trade Mark in China

This article by the China IPR SME Helpdesk highlights some important issues to be taken into consideration when an enterprise decides to enter the Chinese market, among them:

  • Investing time to choose a Chinese name, making sure that nobody else is already using the same one;

  • Register the trade mark as soon as possible since China operates a “first-to-file” system, meaning that legal protection is granted to the first person who registers a trade mark. Registering is also important from a time perspective since protection can take as long as 18 months to come into effect.

Read the whole article here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The European Foundations Award for Responsible Research & Innovation

The European Foundations Award for Responsible Research and Innovation aims at celebrating excellent research practices in which the process requirements of Responsible Research and Innovation – RRI have successfully been integrated throughout the research process.

Shortlisted candidates and winners will be chosen according to the following criteria:

  • Diversity and inclusion: the research must include a wide range of stakeholders throughout the research process; differences have to be respected and taken into consideration;

  • Anticipation and reflection: the research should have an adequate analysis of backgrounds; address legal, ethical, societal and environmental aspects; envisioning plausible future and facilitating deliberation on needs, perceptions and interests;

  • Openness and transparency: the research should communicate appropriate, honest and clear information about processes, roles, results and give public information to facilitate fast innovation, constructive collaboration among peers and productive dialogue with civil society;

  • Responsiveness and adaptive change: the research should be flexible so to change practices in response to feedback, new circumstances and insights and to changing values of stakeholders.

Participants must meet all the following criteria:

  • The project must have been conducted by a university, research centre, industry, civil society organization or other type of organization;

  • The research coordinator must be located in the European Research Area;

  • The research must be ongoing or have been finalized not earlier than 2013;

  • The research coordinator and the team must agree to participate in a case study analysis if shortlisted by the Award Committee;

  • The research team endorses the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

Three awards of Euro 20.000,00 each will be offered.

The deadline to apply is the 7th of December 2015.

More information is available at this page.

The African Innovations Award

The African Innovations Award aims at recognizing innovative thinkers between 18 and 40 years in the African continent in order to encourage the young generation in creating businesses which might serve as a solution to major growing challenges faced in Africa.

The winners will be selected among those having the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact, scientific/technical aspect and a clear business potential in one of the following key sectors:

  • Science/technology

  • Agriculture

  • Healthcare

  • Education.

Winners will be announced and awarded during a special ceremony as part of TEDx Accra, Ghana 2016.

The deadline to apply is the 30th of November 2015.

Find out more about the Award at this page.

29th Khwarizmi International Award (KIA)

The Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology – IROST, affiliated to the Iranian Ministry of Science Research and Technology has launched the 29th Khwarizmi International Award - KIA to recognize outstanding researchers, inventors and innovators from all over the world, involved in several fields such as Information Technology, Nanotechnologies, Industry and Technology Management and many others. Additionally research should fall under one of the following categories: applied research; research and development; fundamental research and invention & innovation.

The award is issued with the sponsorship of international partners, among them UNIDO and IORA - Indian Ocean Rim Association Regional Centre for Science & Technology Transfer (INSME Member from Iran).

The deadline for submission is the 10th of November and the winners will be announced within the 3rd week of January 2016.

To apply visit this page.

Interesting Initiatives

WeHubs - the First European Network of Women Web Entrepreneurs

WeHubs is the first European Network of Women Web Entrepreneurs, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and launched by a consortium of 8 partners led by the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN). The Network aims at:

  • Supporting women to create and scale up their web enterprises;

  • Encouraging web entrepreneurship eco-systems in Europe to provide dedicated services to women;

  • Supporting the implementation of the StartUp Europe Initiative through specific directions for engendering relevant policies.

WebHubs offers a wide range of services both for women entrepreneurs and for organizations supporting web entrepreneurs as networking opportunities, support services and e-mentoring services.

Find out more about WeHubs at this page.


G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance

The Principles of Corporate Governance originally developed by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) in 1999 were updated in 2004 providing a globally recognized benchmark to assess and improve corporate governance. The latest version of the updated Principles has been recently launched at the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held in Ankara, Turkey on the 4th and 5th of September 2015 and intends to provide a concrete contribution to the G20 priorities in 2015 to support investment as a powerful driver of growth. As there is no single model of good corporate governance, the Principles are built around elements embracing the existing models that offer inputs and recommendations across six different chapters: ensuring the basis for an effective corporate governance framework; the rights and equitable treatment of shareholders and key ownership functions; institutional investors, stock markets and other intermediaries; the role of stakeholders in corporate governance; disclosure and transparency and the responsibilities of the board.

Special emphasis has been placed on inclusiveness to address the rights of millions of stakeholders around the world (namely households and publicly listed companies) and their ability to participate in corporate wealth creation.

Read the Principles here.

How 21st-Century Longevity Can Create Markets and Drive Economic Growth

Population ageing is one among the most relevant challenges shaping the 21st century social, political and economic environment and data are inarguable on this regard: by mid-century, there will be more people on this planet over 60 than under 15 years of age. For some OECD countries this is already a reality. The World Economic Forum, which is a leader in thinking about healthy and active ageing, released a white paper on “How 21st-Century Longevity Can Create Markets and Drive Economic Growth” providing examples of companies that have recognized the potential of the market opportunity for products and services targeting people 60+ years old. Among them, Fujitsu, Japan’s leading information and communications technology company, developed the Raku-Raku smartphone designed to enable users not acquainted with a touchscreen to use the phone with the same ease-of-use as a conventional mobile phone.

Many companies are well on their way to showing the rest of the world how to take the most out of this new historical shift, but still many challenges need to be overcome above all regarding workplace environments and retirement policies.

Read the white paper here.

Recommended Website

Research Qualification (INSME Member from Italy) just launched a new website

Being registered in the list of certified incubators, R.Q. Srl (INSME Member from Italy) launched a new website with a set of features providing information about the best opportunities available in supporting businesses through their startup, development and consolidation phases, based on every company’s specific needs. In particular the website targets startups, innovative SMEs and entrepreneurs and offers an overview of R.Q.’s support services ranging from business model planning and redesigning, feasibility assessments, mentoring, enhancement of intellectual property rights, internationalization and funding opportunities just to list some of them.

Browse the new R.Q. Srl website here.

Recommended Newsletter

ideaCONNECTION Newsletter

IdeaCONNECTION is a company based in the United States and Canada, composed of a network of experts, thought leaders and industry veterans offering a variety of open innovation services to solve challenges for companies of all sizes to single individuals. IdeaCONNECTION issues a weekly newsletter reaching 40,000+ subscribers which represents a summary of innovation resources including relevant information about innovation conferences, conventions and events, new inventions and products, patent marketplace, inventions for sales, innovation articles, books and videos, innovation success stories and innovation contests.

Subscribe to the newsletter here.


Highlighted events

Internet of Things in the Ageing Smart City – a Focus on Healthcare

19th of November 2015
Barcelona, Spain
Organized by the JEUPISTE Consortium

The JEUPISTE project aims at promoting EU-Japan cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) through the support to policy dialogues, deployment of bilateral information services, organization 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. INSME contributes as a partner to this project, coordinated by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member).

Within the JEUPISTE project, a series of innovation workshops focusing on “Smart cities on a broader term” are organized to further encourage active partnership building. After the first two successful innovation workshops held in Brussels, Belgium and Turin, Italy, a third initiative will be held on the 19th of November 2015 in Barcelona, Spain to discuss about “Internet of Things in the Ageing Smart City – a focus on Healthcare”. The event will especially focus on the innovation value chain and on bringing results into market in a EU-Japan comparative perspective.

The workshop will take place within the Smart City Expo World Congress from the 17th to the 19th of November 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, a world leading smart city event which will offer the opportunity to connect with global, regional and urban representatives, thought leaders, academic institutions, research centres, incubators, investors and top-corporations having the decision-making power that drives smart cities and empowers their citizens.

The JEUPISTE Project will also be present at the Catalonia Government booth with diverse parallel activities including a match making initiative with Japanese companies participating through the Hasekura Mission.

To get more information about the project, please click here.

Fostering Cohesion with Innovation

25th of November 2015
Dusseldorf, Germany
Organized by IMP³rove - European Innovation Management Academy

IMP³rove - European Innovation Management Academy (INSME Member from Germany) organizes an International Roundtable on “Fostering Cohesion with Innovation” taking place on the 25th of November 2015 in Dusseldorf, Germany. The objective of this International IMP³rove Roundtable is to create awareness on the gaps between the innovation/smart specialization strategies of the regions and the most effective approaches and tools to achieve the defined targets and to get on a sustainable growth path. The Roundtable will serve as a platform to discuss possibilities to fill these gaps by understanding partners’ needs and how to address them. The event will also be an excellent opportunity to establish and deepen relationships with public institutions interested in developing projects financed by the European Cohesion Funds.

In addition, non-European approaches will be presented to learn from their success. As keynote speakers Giuseppe Gramigna, Expert in SMEs and Chief Economist, U.S. SBA and Christian Saublens, Secretary General at Eurada (INSME Member from Belgium) have already confirmed their participation.

The participation at the International IMP³rove Roundtable 2015 is free of charge. To register and confirm your participation, please send an email to by the 2nd of November 2015.

For any further information and to download the preliminary draft agenda, please click here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

16th – 18th of November 2015
EBAN Winter University&Creative Business Cup
Organized by EBAN (INSME Member) and Creative Business Cup
Copenhagen, Denmark

17th - 18th of November 2015
AFRICA SME Champions Forum
Organized by Africa SME Champions
Nairobi, Kenya

18th of November 2015
X Micro and Small Enterprises Forum
Organized by PROPAIS (INSME Board Member)
Bogotá, Colombia

20th - 21st of November 2015
2015 EFMD GN Asia Annual Conference
Organized by the EFMD Global Network Association
Phuket, Thailand

24th - 25th of November 2015
5th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum
Organized by AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

27th of November 2015
7th Mediterranean Women Entrepreneurs Forum
Organized by AFAEMME in collaboration with the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation and the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce (ASCAME)
Barcelona, Spain

3rd - 4th of December 2015
10th Edition of the IP Summit
Organized by Premier Cercle
Berlin, Germany

7th - 10th of December 2015
7th European Innovation Summit
Organized by Knowledge4Innovation
Brussels, Belgium

10th - 11th of December 2015
The Geographical Names Conference: Protecting and Enforcing Geographic Names, GIs, Trademarks and Domain Names
Organized by the International Trademark Association
Rome, Italy

18th - 19th of January 2016
IIPLA 2nd Dubai IP Congress 2016
Organized by the International Intellectual Property Law Association
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

13th - 16th of March 2016
ISPIM Innovation Forum
Organized by ISPIM
Boston, USA

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