Issue N° 138 - December 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,

Together with my colleagues from the INSME Secretariat I would like to send you our warmest Season’s Greetings!

For some thoughts during your hopefully relaxing Winter break let me share the following:

“And now we welcome the new year,
full of things that have never been.”

(Rainer Maria Rilke)

Courtesy of Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer

I warmly invite you to the 12th INSME Annual Meeting at Doha/Qatar on “Enabling Smart SMEs as Key to Success” from the 12th to the 14th of April 2016 where – together with our Member Qatar Development Bank - we are looking forward to offering you a wide range of networking opportunities, access to new knowledge and expertise and moments to jointly establish successful partnerships for an inspiring future.

…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

12th INSME Annual Meeting: Become an active Part!

INSME and Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) are glad to announce the dates of the 12th INSME Annual Meeting: from the 12th to the 14th of April 2016.

Leading experts and innovation stakeholders will meet in Doha, Qatar to explore and discuss emerging trends and new-frontier ideas on “Enabling Smart SMEs as Key to Success”.

To be an active part of the 2016 must-attend event, a dedicated call for papers has been launched and interested proposers are invited to submit their abstracts for the panel sessions during the International Conference, focusing on the following macro-topics:

  • Ecosystems to Support SME Innovation and Smart Growth;
  • Driving Financial Inclusion for Start-ups and SMEs – Unlocking Investment and Access to Smart Capital;
  • Putting People First – Smart SMEs matching Trends and Talents in the “Fast-Forward-Society”.

Please send your contribution to by the 15th of January at 6 pm (Central European Time).

The guidance note for the call for papers is available here.

For any further information about the 12th INSME Annual Meeting please visit the recently-launched website at (currently in progress) that will be constantly updated to keep all interested participants duly informed about the initiative.

INSME is glad to welcome a new Sustaining Member: the Small Enterprise Development Agency!

INSME proudly welcomes a new Sustaining Member: the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), an agency of the Department of Small Business Development in South Africa.

Its mandate is threefold:

  • Implementing the government’s small business strategy;
  • Designing and implementing a standard and common national delivery network for small enterprise development;
  • and integrating government-funded small enterprise support agencies across all tiers of government.

By following its mandate, SEDA aims at developing, supporting and promoting small enterprises throughout the country, ensuring their growth and sustainability in co–ordination and partnership with various role players, including global partners, who make international best practices available to local entrepreneurs.

For any further information about SEDA, please click here.

The INSME Association can now count on the support of 84 Members from 37 countries across 4 continents.

INSME 2015: Combining Global Knowledge to Make Innovation happen – a Year of Success

2015 has been an important year for the Association, consolidating its standing on a global scale and achieving more and more positive feedback on its growing service portfolio. 2015 attracted the network’s first Sustaining Members, the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics from Switzerland and the Small Enterprise Development Agency from South Africa and welcomed 5 new Full Members, counting now on a total of 84 Members from 37 different countries.

2015 also marks an important year as the network kicked off a new tailor made intensive training programme on the “Italian Entrepreneurial Model” serving a group of 32 branch leaders from The National Entrepreneurial Institute – Riyadah (INSME Member from Saudi Arabia).

The future looks inspiring and together with the strong support of the INSME Board, the Association foresees to conquer new member countries and convince with its quality support also within international project initiatives.

Learn more about 2015’s achievements in the INSME Annual Report (available for INSME Members only) by contacting the INSME Secretariat here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The winners of the International IMP³rove (INSME Member from Germany) Award in Innovation Management 2015 announced

The International IMP3rove (INSME Member from Germany) Award in Innovation Management recognizes companies that have demonstrated sustainable growth based on systematic innovation management. To support businesses in implementing an effective innovation management strategy and identifying where the current gaps and shortcomings are, IMP3rove developed an online assessment tool which benchmarks the innovation performance of a business and identifies the company’s competitive position. To recognize organizations that have demonstrated impressive sustainable growth based on systematic innovation, IMP3rove recently organized the 3rd edition of the International IMP³rove Award within the prestigious frame of the Turkish Innovation Week from the 3rd to the 5th of December 2015. This year’s edition received a very positive feedback by collecting more than 100 nominations from 2.000 applicants based in America, Europa, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The winner for large corporations was a French company, Tarkett, a leader in innovative and sustainable flooring solutions while the Italian company Cosberg, a producer of machinery for the automation of assembly processes has been awarded in the Small and Medium Sized Companies’ category.

The press release of the award ceremony is available here.

In the upcoming year, the IMP3rove Academy will also offer trainings to improve business’ performance on a wide variety of topics, such as “Introduction to Action Plan Development”, “Introduction to Innovation Strategy Development”, “Removing Cultural Barriers for Innovation” and much more.

For any further information about the IMP3rove Academy please click here.

10 Free 12-month-subscriptions to INSME Members for TFEP’s (INSME Member from UK) Revised Self-Assessment Tool for Entrepreneurs

The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Participation –TFEP (INSME Member from the United Kingdom) launched CREATE, a Self-Assessment Tool for Entrepreneurs, an important element in the development of entrepreneurial education aiming at testing entrepreneurs’ competencies and determine their “entrepreneurial skill level deficit”.

The tool is composed of 12 Sections including: Cultural Awareness; Finance Management; General Management Skills; Human Resources; Creativity; IT Skills; Legal Expertise; Logistics; Manufacturing Management; Marketing; Overseas/International Experience; and People Skills and offers participants an individualized report assessing their skills and identifying the training needs. It furthermore compares current competencies against those in the entrepreneur’s region and the rest of the World.

Thanks to the insights provided participants will be able to concentrate on the “competency deficits” identified by following targeted training courses specifically designed to meet the “entrepreneurial education gap” and focusing on six key categories: Communication, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Management and Marketing.

The tool supports the “entrepreneurial journey” and offers existing and budding entrepreneurs the chance to identify the right measures to improve their business performances. The self-assessment tool could also assist policy-makers and training institutions in developing appropriate courses to meet the “competency deficit” identified by individuals.

To strengthen the fruitful collaboration among INSME and TFEP, the UK-based organization is offering 10 Free 12-month-subscriptions to INSME Members for the TFEP’s revised Self-Assessment Tool for Entrepreneurs.

For any further information, please contact the TFEP through the following e-mail address or visit this website.

Updates from the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan)

The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan) has launched two interesting initiatives to enhance EU-Japan collaboration: the “MINERVA” EU-Japan Fellowship Programme and the “Vulcanus in Japan” Training Programme.

The first initiative is a 6 month fellowship programme at the EU-Japan Center for Industrial Cooperation to support research and policy analysis on EU-Japan economic and industrial issues. The programme addresses EU+ (EU Member States and Montenegro, Turkey, FYROM, Iceland, Moldova) and Japanese professionals demonstrating strong interest and motivation in Japan and EU-Japan relations. The research fellow is expected to undertake research work on a selected topic of the Centre and support the daily analytical activities of the Centre. The fellowship is worth 1.700,00 Euro per month (paid in JPY) and covers a period of 6 months. The deadline for applications is the 15th of January 2016 and all related information is available at this page.

The “Vulcanus in Japan” Training Programme is open to EU+ (EU Member States and Montenegro, Turkey, FYROM, Iceland, Moldova) students in engineering or science following (1) a one week seminar on Japan, (2) a four months intensive Japanese language course and (3) an eight-month traineeship in a Japanese company. The programme intends to provide relevant insights on advanced technologies employed by a leading host Japanese company and a deep understanding of the Japanese culture.

The deadline to apply is the 20th of January 2016 and further details about the application process and the eligibility criteria are available at this page.

Dubai SME (INSME Member from UAE) and Al Jalila Foundation launch Al Jalila Foundation Healthcare Innovation Center (in2Hc)

Mr. Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME (INSME Member from the United Arab Emirates) and Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation recently signed an agreement establishing a partnership to launch the Al Jalila Foundation Healthcare Innovation Centre - in2Hc, the United Arab Emirates first healthcare incubator. As part of the UAE Innovation Week, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai), this innovative incubator aims at supporting doctors to startup their business in healthcare by providing them with resources, funding and mentoring.

More information about the initiative is available at this page or by contacting the following e-mail address.

INSME's Picks in the News

The launch of the ASEAN Community and ASEAN's vision beyond 2015

On the occasion of the 27th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from the 18th to the 22nd of November 2015, the Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched the ASEAN Community, a further milestone in the ASEAN’s history since its foundation in 1967.

As declared by the Secretary General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh “with the launch of the ASEAN Community, ASEAN will become a full-fledged politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible Community.

Together with the launch of the ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Leaders issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together. The ASEAN's post-2015 vision charts the path of the ASEAN Community in the next ten years. It articulates ASEAN's goals and aspirations as the regional grouping enters the next phase of consolidation, further integration and stronger cohesiveness as a Community. The ASEAN 2025’ s key aspirations are built around three main pillars, among which the “Economic Community” foresees:

  • A well integrated and connected economy within the global economic system;
  • A business-friendly, trade-facilitative, market driven and predictable environment which inspires investor confidence;
  • A region with a key role in global value chains and increasing participation in high value added and knowledge-based activities;
  • A community where the benefits from economic integration are equitably shared among and within ASEAN Member States, including with micro, small and medium enterprises, youth, and women entrepreneurs.

The press release is available here.

The European Commission launches New Mechanism to strengthen Scientific Advice for Policy Making

After the official announcement made on the 13th of May 2015 by the President of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker and the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) has been officially launched on the 10th of November.

The new mechanism aims at supporting the Commission with high quality and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities. Seven experts have been selected through a dedicated call for nominations. Furthermore a grant of €6 million has been foreseen for European Networks of academies and learned societies to support SAM to collaborate across Europe in providing science advice for policy-making activities.

Find out more about the Scientific Advice Mechanism at the following page.

INSME Picks in the Web

Circular Economy – The Future of Europe?

Circular Economy is more and more considered as a key to face the challenges of the modern world. While traditional economy is based on a linear concept of “extract, process, use, discard“, the circular model has the objective to preserve the resources and the energy used to create a product and to minimize waste.

A transition towards a circular economy requires crucial changes in the way of thinking business and industries and this implementation needs incentives.

As declared by Zbigniew Kamieński, Deputy Director of the Department of Innovation and Industry in Ministry of Economy of Poland on the occasion of the Conference “Circular Economy: Opportunities and Threats for Poland and Europe” organized by “The philosophy of circular economy as such has no drawbacks”, and he considers it to be an “optimisation of socio-economic process, including use of resources”.

Read the whole article here.

Start-ups and Small Vendors are driving Innovation in the Internet of Things

Forbes recently published a contribution by Gartner Inc. about Internet of Things and its future perspective. According to the article, 50% of IoT solutions will be generated by start-ups less than three years hold by 2017. If growth of small vendors will fill important technology gaps, it will also raise some important issues for enterprises as for example:

- enterprises should look to larger vendors to integrate the offerings of smaller vendors into their solutions;

- a further concern is privacy, since the existing cyber security policies have to be revised to support IoT.

To benefit from the impact of the Internet of Things at its maximum extent, on one side “makers” (start-ups and small vendors) must create a new ecosystem and innovative solutions for a competitive market, on the other side major players must partner, acquire or invest in start-ups to remain competitive.

The whole contribution is available at this page.

INSME Interviews

"In evidently destructive times the international community needs knowledge, cooperation, wisdom and a really innovative drive for rapidly taking off" - Interview with Prof. Irina Boyko from Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), Russia

The INSME Secretariat recently interviewed Prof. Irina Boyko from Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technology, Mechanism and Optics (ITMO), Russia.

Prof. Boyko highlighted the fundamental role of innovation and economic players by stating that innovation is the only decisive tool in overcoming the global economic crisis, undermining the peace and stability in the world.

Read the whole interview here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

OHIM launches DesignEuropa Awards

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market – OHIM announced the first edition of the DesignEuropa Awards to celebrate the importance of design in Europe.

Firms and/or individuals holding a valid Registered Community Design – RCD, a unitary intellectual property right administered by OHIM and valid throughout the EU28 are invited to present their submissions in accordance to the following categories:

  • Industry: firms with more than 50 employees and over €10 million turnover;
  • Small and Emerging Companies: firms with less than 50 employees and less than €10 million turnover, or companies established after the 1st of January 2013;
  • A Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

OHIM will open the application procedure on the 1st of February 2016 and a related guide for entrants will be published on that date through the OHIM’s website.

The Award Ceremony will be held in Milan, Italy in December 2016.

For any further information about the Awards, please click here.

Interreg MED Programme opens first call for Horizontal Projects

The Interreg MED Programme is a transnational European Cooperation Programme aiming at promoting sustainable growth in the Mediterranean area by fostering innovative concepts and practices and a reasonable use of resources, as well as by supporting social integration through an integrated and territorially based cooperation approach.

The Interreg MED Programme just opened its first call for Horizontal projects of the 2014-2020 programming period related to 3 Priority Axes:

  1. promoting Mediterranean innovation capacities to develop smart and sustainable growth;
  2. fostering low-carbon strategies and energy efficiency in specific Med territories: cities, islands and rural areas;
  3. protecting and promoting Mediterranean natural and cultural resources.

The indicative European Regional Development Fund - ERDF allocation for this call is €9.0 Million (€3.6 Million for priority axis 1; €3.0 Million for priority axis 2 and €2.4 Million for priority axis 3) and the indicative Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance - IPA allocation for this call is €370.000 (€50.000 per each project under priority axis 1 and 3 and €40.000 per each project under priority axis 2).

The application process will be carried out in two phases:

  • A pre-application phase closing on the 11th of January 2016
  • A full application phase will be carried out starting from March 2016.

To learn more and download all related documents, please click here.

The 11th International EuroTransBio Call

The EuroTransBio Consortium just launched its 11th transnational call for proposals for innovative, near to the market R&D&I projects in the following fields of modern biotechnology:

  • Health;
  • Agro-Food;
  • Industrial Biotech;
  • Environment;
  • Marine/Aquatic Solutions.

Consortia have to be coordinated by an SME and consist of at least two enterprises belonging to two different countries participating in the call: Austria, Belgium (represented by the regions of Flanders and Wallonia), Finland, France (represented by the region of Alsace), Germany, Italy and Russia. Large industries and research organizations belonging to the participating countries/regions can also apply and the consortium can be composed of as many additional partners as necessary to achieve the project goals. Applicants from other regions/countries that do not take part in the call can also be part of the consortium at their own costs if their contribution is essential for the achievement of the project goals.

Funding for the partners is provided by the proper national agencies according to their national regulations. The list of national funding agencies is available here.

The deadline for the submission of project proposals is the 29th of January 2016.

Learn more here.

Interesting Initiatives

Mission Innovation – Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution

In the framework of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) held in November 2015, twenty countries have come together to launch “Mission Innovation”, an initiative aiming at reinvigorating and accelerating public and private global clean energy innovation with the objective of making clean energy widely affordable. The initiative is based on three main pillars:

  • Government Leadership: each of the 20 participating countries committed to double their governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years, with a special focus on transformational clean energy technology innovations that can be scaled to varying economic and energy market conditions that exist in participating countries and in the broader world;
  • Private Sector and Business Leadership: business needs to play a vital role in the commercialization and cost-effectiveness of clean energy breakthroughs, and participating countries committed to work closely with the private sector as it increases its investment in the earlier-stage clean energy companies that emerge from government research and development programs;
  • Implementation and Information Sharing: participating countries committed to implement Mission Innovation in a transparent, effective and efficient way and provide data and analyses to promote commercialization and dissemination of clean energy technologies into the global market.

Learn more on how to get involved here.


World Intellectual Property Report 2015 – Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth

Economic growth is a driving force in terms of reducing poverty, creating jobs and improving general living standards. Over the years, a central point in scholarly research was that lasting economic growth relies on continuous technological progress and policy makers continuously strive to improve the enabling environment for future growth.

Given the global financial crisis, a serious debate continues to be animated as to whether innovation can continue to deliver rates of growth matching those before the crisis.

The World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO (INSME Member) issued this report to contribute to the ongoing debate and explore the channels through which innovation promotes growth and the ecosystems in which innovation flourishes, with a special attention to the role of the intellectual property system supporting innovative activity.

The report reviews historical patterns of growth and the linkages between innovation and growth, and provides 6 case studies of breakthrough innovations. In particular, it focuses on three historical innovations: airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors and three innovations which currently hold breakthrough potential: 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics.

The report shows that innovators in all six cases relied on the patent system to protect the fruits of their innovative activities and that IP protection contributed at least partially to R&D appropriation, indicating that IP rights were of paramount importance for innovation incentives.

Read the report here.

The Missing Entrepreneurs 2015 – Policies for Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship

“The Missing Entrepreneurs 2015 - Policies for Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship” is a recently published OECD report providing data and policy analysis on inclusive entrepreneurship with a special focus on business start-up and self-employment activities that contribute to social inclusion as well as to economic growth, covering entrepreneurship activities by social groups.

The report shows that European labour markets continue to face many challenges as the jobless recovery made it very difficult for young people to enter the labour market for the first time and difficult for unemployed and inactive people to move into employment. More emphasis is needed on self-employment and start-up advice, financing, consultancy and training on promoting and sustaining growth rather than promoting start-ups as an end itself.

Additionally more people can be encouraged to start growth-oriented enterprises, for example by building self-confidence and stimulating motivation for growth. Coaching and mentoring play a fundamental role as effective ways of helping entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills for success. To increase the efficiency of these tools, training to coaches and mentors and using a matching process that considers both individual and business characteristics must be taken into consideration.

The report also highlights the importance of peer-coaching, as participants are more likely to identify with their peers than professional coaches.

Read more insights here.

Recommended Website

New version of HEInnovate just launched

HEInnovate is a self-assessment tool designed to provide Higher Education Institutions with advice, ideas and inspiration for the effective management of institutional and cultural change.

The main purpose of this initiative jointly developed by the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture and the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme is to identify HEI’s current situation, respecting the local and national environments and from that, agreeing on potential areas for action. On the 18th of November a new version of HEInnovate has been released with updated functionalities and new content.

Among the innovative features, the HEInnovate Training Package has been introduced, allowing higher education institutions to organize their own workshops stimulating users to apply the HEI methodology to their longer-term institutional strategy.

Browse the new HEInnovate website here.

Recommended Newsletter

The Centre for Innovation Management Studies Newsletter

The Center for Innovation Management Studies (CIMS) is a global, virtual research center based in the US focusing on how to manage innovation and identify new ways of increasing top-line growth, whether through new business models, processes, services or product innovations, with a special attention to fostering collaborative environment among scholars, researchers and business executives.

The Centre issues a bi-monthly newsletter providing updates on active CIMS funded research projects, as well as current trends, challenges and solutions in managing innovation within organizations today.

To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.


Highlighted events

Global Ag Innovation Network (GAIN) National Forum on "Down to Earth: Farmers & Growers"

1st – 31st of January 2016
Palo Alto, St. Louis, Durham and Los Angeles, United States
Organized by Larta Institute (INSME Board Member)

Larta Institute’s (INSME Board Member from the US) Global Ag Innovation Network (GAIN) is a national leadership forum of agriculture industry influentials to help spur new investments in cutting-edge agricultural technology.

In particular, Larta’s GAIN quarterly series consists of a series of briefings and networking events around trends, deals and companies shaping the new “AG” today, taking place from the 1st to the 31st of January 2016 in the following locations: Palo Alto, St. Louis, Durham and Los Angeles. 2016’s programme will look closely at farmers and growers, women in ag, GMO’s, and showcase four ag related start-ups from the LA region for LA’s Innovation Week.

Learn more on the dedicated website.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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

1st – 5th of February 2016
Startup Europe Week
Organized by Startup Europe
28 European Countries

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

21st – 24th of February 2016
The Advanced Institute for Materials Research International Symposium
Organized by The Advanced Institute for Materials Research International
Sendai, Japan

3rd – 6th of March 2016
Istanbul International Inventions Fair - Inventions, Ideas and New Products
Organized by AFANYA and hosted by the Turkish Patent Institute under the patronage of the International Federation of Inventors' Associations
Istanbul, Turkey

9th – 10th of March 2016
The 1st EU-GCC Collaboration Forum in Science, Technology and Innovation
Organized by the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF)/ Innovation Lab
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

13th – 16th of March 2016
ISPIM Innovation Forum
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)
Boston, USA

23rd – 25th of March 2016
Sustainable Energy and Technology Asia 2016: Securing Asia’s Energy Future
Organized by Ministry of Energy, Thailand and the Nuclear Society of Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

14th of April 2016
1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2016 on "Smart Urban Development and Blue Growth opportunities for cities, communities and islands in the Mediterranean basin"
Organized by University of Cyprus – KIOS Research Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks, National Technical University of Athens, School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, Dept. of Geography and Regional Planning, the Smart Cities Mediterranean Cluster, the CNE Business Development Ltd and Papadopoulos and Schinis Production Ltd
Limassol, Cyprus

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