Issue N° 137 - November 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,

while Autumn has been rather indulgent with us here in Rome considering the temperature so far, I hope you are all doing fine, have not caught a cold and share the excited anticipation of our 12th INSME Annual Meeting in April at Doha/Qatar with us.

Let me invite you to have a thought on the following quote in the meantime:

“Even though you're growing up,
you should never stop having fun.”

(Nina Dobrev)


Together with my colleagues at the Secretariat I hope we can inspire you during the Annual Meeting on “Enabling Smart SMEs: Knowledge Intensive SMEs as the Key to Boost a Diversified and Sustainable Economy” with interesting talks, networking activities and all the necessary to never let you stop having fun.

…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

INSME and Qatar Development Bank invite you to the 12th INSME Annual Meeting!

INSME and Qatar Development Bank are delighted to invite you to the 12th INSME Annual Meeting in Doha, Qatar in mid-April 2016 where representatives of governmental bodies, financial institutions, public and private support organizations, intermediaries, academics and service providers from around the globe will meet to discuss and share good practices on “Enabling Smart SMEs: Knowledge Intensive SMEs as the Key to Boost a Diversified and Sustainable Economy” by looking at these topics from various perspectives.

A dedicated call for papers will be launched shortly and the website will be online soon to keep interested participants duly informed about all the initiatives running during the three-days event.

Please block you agenda for mid-April 2016 and for any further information about the Annual Meeting, please contact

INSME at the Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurs 2015 awarding eAmbiente

On the 3rd of November 2015, The Centennial Fund (INSME Member from Saudi Arabia) celebrated the Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurs Ceremony to honour the Award Winners from all around the world.

One of the precious Awards has been granted to Gabriella Chiellino, acting CEO of eAmbiente Group convincing the Jury with their innovative approach to make business by focusing on sustainability through Intelligent Energy and Environment related Advisory services. eAmbiente is a prominent example confirming that every entrepreneur has a responsibility to stimulate economic, social and ecologic growth.

eAmbiente has been supported by t2i (INSME Board Member from Italy) throughout the whole process.

The INSME Secretary General contributed as a Jury Member to the Award and was involved in the process since November 2014 attracting applicants with outstanding entrepreneurial ideas and skills and evaluating short listed candidates.

The third successful JEUPISTE innovation workshop in Barcelona

On the 19th of November, the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants -AGAUR (Partner of the JEUPISTE project) in collaboration with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (Coordinator of the JEUPISTE Project and INSME Member) with the support of INSME (Partner of the JEUPISTE project), successfully organized the third JEUPISTE Innovation Workshop under the topic “Smart Cities and Ageing Society” in Barcelona, Spain. More than 50 participants among local professionals and international delegates attended the workshop and shared their thoughts and project ideas with high level representatives from the World Health Organization Center for Health Development, Worldsensing S.L, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation, Acceplan Accesibilidad S.L, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories and Graduate School of System Informatics.

Participants appreciated the synergies established with the Smart City Expo World Congress, representing an additional opportunity to connect with global, regional and urban leaders, academic institutions, research centers, incubators, investors and top-corporations leading the smart cities discussion worldwide.

A delegation of JEUPISTE Consortium Partners also welcomed interested delegates to enhance their networking with Japanese companies and researchers at the Catalonia Government Booth providing information and advice on EU-Japan cooperation, an evident proof of the increasing interest towards strategic partnership building on ageing population and smart communities in Japan and Europe.

For any further information about the JEUPISTE project, please click here.

TO Design 2015: INSME stimulating Design Thinking for Growth

With a speech on “Innovation, Inclusive Growth and Design Thinking”, INSME Secretary General was among the speakers of TO Design 2015, an event organized by the Torino Chamber of Commerce as a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network - EEN on the 6th and 7th of November 2015 in Turin, Italy.

Throughout a workshop dedicated to “The Power Of Ideas: Innovation And Design Thinking For Growth” and a matchmaking initiative, TO Design 2015 gathered a notable number of manufacturing companies and top level designers to strengthen the development of new products and processes and fostering contacts and partnerships among them.

To maximize the impact of the initiative, TO Design 2015 was held within Operæ, a festival focusing on independent design including a sales-exhibition and a rich program of meetings, debates and workshops. Operae represented a way to increase networking among Italian and International designers and companies, distributors and shops.

Learn more here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

INTRASOFT International (INSME Vice President from Luxembourg) successfully completing the second Pilot Phase of the New Integrated IT System of the Hellenic Labour Inspectorate

INTRASOFT International (INSME Vice President from Luxembourg) is finalizing the second and last pilot phase of the new integrated IT system of the Hellenic Labour Inspectorate (S.EP.E), a 3.6 million EUR project funded under the programme “Digital Convergence”. The project aims at upgrading S.EP.E.’s audit cycle, supporting its redesigned administrative procedures and providing advanced electronic services to employees, businesses and the general public by using the ESKORT Compliance Solution as the basic tool in this context.

S.EP.E. has already organized two workshops in Athens and Thessaloniki respectively on the 26th of October and 4th of November 2015 to present the new integrated IT system, its key subsystems, the new electronic services provided, as well as the benefits for employees and employers.

To learn more about the opportunities offered through this new system, please click here.

NOTAP (INSME Member from Nigeria) and RMRDC launching a Partnership on Technology Development in Nigeria

The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion - NOTAP (INSME Member from Nigeria) further strengthens ties with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to promote technological development in Nigeria. Both the agencies, that are under the aegis of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, have agreed on setting up a committee that will come into play to implement a partnership with the aim of reducing the gaps between Industry and Academia and commercializing research results in Nigeria.

In this framework, Dr. Ibrahim Dan-Azumi, Acting Director General at NOTAP, highlighted the importance of the mandates of both agencies and the fundamental role they can play in the acceleration of job creation and economic wealth of their country. Dr. Dan-Azumi also put a special emphasis on the international potential of the partnership, by stressing that it will be crucial to launch Nigeria into the comity of industrialized nations of the world instead of just being a spectator.

Read more at this link.

Innovation Challenge 2016: a joint initiative of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement in Sciences - KFAS (INSME Member from Kuwait) and Cambridge Judge Business School

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences - KFAS (INSME Member from Kuwait) in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Judge Business School have developed the KFAS Innovation Challenge 2016, offering 10 Kuwaiti companies a unique training programme to develop their innovation capabilities. Starting in November 2015, the programme will run over a period of 6 months focusing on real business challenges that each team shall apply to their projects. Building a culture of innovation, generating new business models and design thinking and innovation will be among the topics treated during the programme through a combination of workshops, webinars, site visits and mentoring on a bi-weekly basis.

Teams that will successfully complete all parts of the programme will receive a 'Certificate of Achievement in Innovation' and gain access to the Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education alumni network.

Learn more here.

INSME's Picks in the News

Trade finance availability up in 2014, but gaps increase in emerging economies: the results of a survey carried out by the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member)

A new Asian Development Bank - ADB (INSME Member) survey of banks and companies analyzed that global availability of trade finance improved in 2014, but gaps were increasingly pronounced in emerging economies, including in Asia, driven by banks’ decision to move away from high-risk markets. This also impacted on small and medium enterprises that were consistently underserved by financial institutions and faced the highest rejection rates for trade finance. With compliance measures expected to tighten further, the study notes that this will put more pressure on economies already experiencing gaps in access to financing, with SMEs particularly affected by this process. Surveyed companies stated that if trade finance available to them was doubled they would significantly boost production and exports, hire more staff, raise salaries and invest in other business, highlighting the critical importance of trade credit to economic growth. To overcome market gaps for trade finance, ADB already supported over 6,000 SMEs since 2009 with its Trade Finance Programme -TFP.

Read more here.

“E” is the key for SME training success

In the frame of the SMEs & e-learning project led by EU15 Ltd (United Kingdom), a five Country European survey was carried out from the 1st of May 2015 to the 30th of June 2015 in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and Greece to study the conditions under which SME employees will be more likely to accept and use technology-based learning.

Despite the regional differences identified among the countries analyzed, 65% of respondents reported that the training they received through e-learning would help them perform their job better. However, SME owner/manager respondents had little or no knowledge of the use of e-learning, indicating there is a need to promote the use of the same. A special focus has been put on the fragmentation of the initiatives, the waste of public resources and the lack of a common evaluation system, that together with a lack of communication among e-learning providers represent the main critical factors.

Designing a coherent strategy that foresees the definition of some parameters to plan e-learning courses, common evaluation guidelines and repositories to share good practices and common standards to manage the processes is fundamental to exploit the potential of e-learning at the maximum extent.

The Project Consortium will issue a publication on “Best Practice Guide to e-learning for SMEs” in January 2016, addressing many specific issues raised in this survey.

Learn more about the findings of the survey by reading the press release here.

INSME Picks in the Web

2 reasons the Indian economic tiger will roar

According to Viraj Mehta, Director and Head, India and South Asia at the World Economic Forum, India’s outlook is promising first of all because of its stable government which has a huge mandate for economic growth with a special focus on investor-friendly programmes, including Made In India which for the first time offers a platform for global business and Indian industry to collaborate closely. Secondly, from a macroeconomic perspective, India is positioned much more favorably for the future, even when compared to China. India's growth accelerated this year to around 7.5% and the country jumped 16 places, ranking now 55th in the World Economic Forum’s latest competitiveness index.

However to carry on this path, India must keep on building foreign investor confidence, something that has been a variable in recent months.

Read the article here.

You too can now invest in startups! What could go wrong?

Courtesy of Getty Images

The US Security and Exchange Commission - SEC recently voted to approve the equity crowdfunding rules for investors, an important step marking a shift in the kind of capital startups and small businesses can raise, as the vote is designed to open up investments to all investors rather than just accredited ones.

A set of rules have been drafted to limit how much a non-accredited investor can invest. People with an annual income or net worth below $100,000 can invest no more than $2,000 or up to 5 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth. For those who make at least $100,000, the SEC agrees they can invest 10 percent of either their annual income or net worth (whichever is less). On the other hand, startup founders or small business owners are allowed to raise up to $1 million per year through crowdfunding and they need to disclose some basic financial details depending on how much money they are willing to raise.

Learn more here.

About IPR…in South-East Asia

Jollibee’s recipe for growth: creating and protecting your brand in South-East Asia

Courtesy of Arne Kuilman

Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC), is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines and since its establishment in 1970 has grown into a multinational company with a total of 801 Philippine outlets and 81 international branches today in countries as Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. As stated by the company’s founder, Mr. Tony Tan Caktiong, the secret of this success lies in the constant enforcement of its Intellectual Property Rights and in the ability of the company to react promptly to trade mark infringement to avoid brand dilution. Additionally a strict franchising model including a three-month training programme is implemented in order to protect JFC’s rights.

Read the article here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Start-upper of the year by Total

Start-upper of the year is an initiative launched by Total to support young entrepreneurs under 35 from 34 African countries (Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Reunion, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe) to support business ideas and projects in any type of business or activity, that are established less than two years ago. A pre-selection phase is foreseen: in each of the 34 African countries a jury from a variety of business sectors will be set-up to evaluate the innovativeness, boldness and originality of the projects, along with their social and economic impact, feasibility, sustainability and potential in terms of growth, development and employment. Ten finalists will then be selected and invited to present their projects to the jury.

The jury will select up to three winners offering them individual coaching and at the end of this period they will also receive financial support for their projects.

The deadline to apply is the 31st of January 2016.

Find out more at this page.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a call for applications for the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) Program

The Development Innovation Venture (DIV) Program is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supporting the piloting and rigorous testing of innovative approaches to solving international development problems and transitioning innovations with evidence of impact and cost effectiveness to scale.

In this frame USAID has launched a call for applications open to all those organizations creating innovations that improve the lives of millions of disadvantage people around the world.

DIV will fund projects in three stages:

  1. Proof of Concept/Initial Testing;
  2. Testing and Positioning for Scale;
  3. Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale.

Innovations could include new technologies, new ways of delivering/financing goods and services, more cost-effective adaptations of existing solutions etc.

The amount of resources made available under this call will depend on the concepts received and the availability of funds. USAID encourages to consider providing reasonable cost sharing, leverage, or other exchange of resource arrangements. Creative approaches to resourcing projects are also more than welcome.

USAID will not accept applications from individuals. Interested organizations are invited to submit their expression of interest to by the 1st of October 2016.

More information is available here.

Co-Creation for Growth and Inclusion: a call under Horizon 2020

Europe needs to progress at socio-economic, political, educational and cultural levels and to do so it is crucial to adopt a new approach encouraging creativity and collaboration among the different societal actors. The potential for societal and innovative development through co-creation is widely recognized in all sectors. In this frame the European Commission has recently launched a call under Horizon 2020 promoting co-creation for growth and inclusion. In particular four different topics are at the core of the call:

  1. User-driven innovation: value creation through design-enabled innovation;
  2. Piloting demand-driven collaborative innovation models in Europe;
  3. Better integration of evidence on the impact of research and innovation in policy making;
  4. A European map of knowledge production and co-creation in support of research and innovation for societal challenges.

Find more details about the budget available for each call and the deadline for submission here.

Interesting Initiatives

An agreement to create the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, an initiative supported by UNIDO (INSME Member) and the Austrian Development Agency

On the occasion of a recent two-days meeting organized by UNIDO and the East African Community to discuss current gaps in the provision of sustainable energy in the EAC countries, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization - UNIDO (INSME Member) and the Austrian Development Agency agreed on setting-up the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - EACREEE. The Centre will be established at the Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda) and will effectively support the East African Region to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All and the Sustainable Developments Goals. As declared by Jossy Thomas from UNIDO’s Energy Branch “the EACREEE is an important platform to help all EAC countries meet the ambitious targets of achieving affordable, reliable and clean energy in the near future. This will also help create jobs and improve education and health in the region”.

Find out more here.


Doing Business 2016. Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency

Since 2003 the World Bank Group annually releases Doing Business, a report measuring the regulations that enhance and those that constraint business activities.

This year’s edition analyses 189 economies and measures business regulations and the protection of property rights.

Doing Business 2016 takes 11 areas of business such as starting a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency into account.

The report collects data covering one year (until the 1st of June 2015) and analyses which regulation reforms have worked where and why.

Among the most important findings:

  • The report documented 231 business reforms across the 189 economies; the most common are in the area of (1) starting a business, (2) paying taxes, (3) getting electricity, (4) registering property;
  • The best 30 performers are those with good rules that allow efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets while protecting the public interest;
  • Europe and Central Asia have the largest share of economies that implemented at least one reform and account for 3 of the 10 top improvers;
  • Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, Cyprus, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Senegal and Benin are among the economies that improved the most in 2014/2015.

The report also includes seven case studies on:

  • Starting a business: Third-party involvement in company formation;
  • Dealing with construction permits: Assessing quality control and safety mechanisms;
  • Getting electricity: Measuring reliability, prices and transparency;
  • Registering property: The paths of digitization;
  • Trading across borders: A new approach to measuring trade processes;
  • Enforcing contracts: Measuring good practices in the judiciary;
  • Resolving insolvency: New funding and business survival.

The whole report is available here.

OECD-UNCTAD Report on G20 Investment Measures

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD (INSME Member) recently released a report on investment measures in G20 countries monitoring the commitment of G20 countries to avoid introducing new barriers to trade and investments.

The document collects all measures included in the 14 reports on G20 investment measures, with a special focus on the ones taken between the 2nd of April 2009 and the 15th of October 2015.

Section one reports the investment policy measures related to FDI and section two is dedicated to the measures not related to FDI. This 14th OECD-UNCTAD report found that almost all of the investment policy changes introduced by G20 members since May 2015 enhanced openness for international investment.

To find out more about the measures adopted by the G20 countries between 2009 and 2015 please check the report available at this page.

Recommended Website

L2Pro: an online training platform supporting SMEs to protect their IP

L2Pro is an initiative promoted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) in cooperation with QUALCOMM Wireless Reach to support SMEs to understand how to best extract value from their Research and Development by effectively managing their intellectual property transaction.

L2Pro is an online and free of charge platform offering:

  • Practical materials and supporting content at any time through a dedicated mobile/wireless device;
  • Easy to use and commercial relevant information;
  • Solution oriented and structured answers to key questions;
  • Networking and communication features.

Find out more at this page.

Recommended Newsletter

The Yunus Social Business Newsletter

Yunus Social Business (YSB) - Global Initiative acts in several countries to sustain entrepreneurs in solving social problems in a business way. YSB applies business approaches to the world of social development, bridging the gap between social businesses and philanthropic lenders and donors.

YSB identifies the most promising entrepreneurs and provides them with different services such as: accelerator programs, coaching, access to markets and providers connection with a community, investment readiness support and it also offers assistance in the financing process.

To get updated information about YSB’s activities on social entrepreneurship you may subscribe to the newsletter here.


Highlighted events

Eight session of the Team of Specialists on Innovation and Competitiveness Policies

16th - 17th of December 2015
Geneva, Switzerland
Organized by UNECE

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - UNECE (INSME Member) will host the Eight session of the Team of Specialists on Innovation and Competitiveness Policies from the 16th to the 17th of December 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In this frame a substantive segment will be dedicated to the Applied Policy Seminar on “The Innovation Adoption Gap - Strategies and Policy Options for Accelerating the Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations”, where good practices and policy recommendations will be discussed with the aim to address gaps in the adoption of innovations.


More info at this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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

3rd - 4th of December 2015
Understanding the EU Budget: Less of the Same Until 2020?
Organized by The European Institute of Public Administration
Maastricht, the Netherlands

7th – 8th of December 2015
Euro-Med Green Energy Business Roadshow
Organized by the German Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Cairo, Egypt

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

14th – 18th of December 2015
5th Green Standards Week
Organized by ITU
Nassau, Bahamas

14th - 15th of January 2016
Big Data Information and Networking Days
Organized by the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

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

21st of January 2016
Supporting Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe: Towards Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
Organized by Public Policy Exchange
Brussels, Belgium

18th - 22nd of February 2016
Women for Success: "Women Leaders for Economic prosperity"
Organized by Business Women of Egypt 21 and League of Arab States
Cairo/Gouna, Egypt

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

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