Issue N° 143 - May 2016
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,

I trust you are enjoying the Spring time and share the good memories of our recent 12th INSME Annual Meeting.

At INSME we feel privileged to count on your support and feel the added value of shared brain power and constructive feedback our Members.

This helped our Network to overcome also challenging moments. In this regard let me share the following expressing my gratitude for your constant support and guidance:

"Strength grows in the moments you think you can't go on,
but you keep going anyway"




...and now as usual enjoy your reading!




Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General

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Supporting organisations:


Sustaining Members:


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

The International QDB-INSME Expert Training: Participants' Standing Ovation for both Speakers!

Design Thinking is more than just a cognitive process or a mindset and has become an effective approach to cultivate creativity in an organization based on planning and rational problem solving. On the 14th of April, during the International QDB-INSME Expert Training on "Design Thinking for Innovation in Practice - an Effective Toolkit to Manage Competitiveness", Mr. Rohit Shukla, CEO and Founder of Larta Institute (INSME Board Member) and Mr. David Moore, Industrial Designer, Visionary - Instructor at Stanford's Design Program and Managing Director of Zero Nine Design, provided an in-depth introduction to the main techniques of design thinking to 24 selected policy makers, financial actors, as well as representatives from public and private support organizations both at national and international level. The impact of the half-day training session has been analyzed through a feedback survey by the INSME Secretariat. The results from the survey showed outstandingly positive results with respect to the Trainers' performance and expertise. For instance, 100% of respondents stated that the training matched their expectations given its practice-oriented approach and the applicability of the methodologies shared.

The inspirational element of the training's content has also been recognized as key to success of the initiative together with the clearness of the structure of both presentations.

Respondents also invited the organizers to replicate the initiative by extending it to a full day session.

Given INSME's pool of executive-level experts whose skills and expertise have been recognized and consolidated globally, INSME could take the Doha experience once more as confirmation to be a to-go network for managers of the innovation ecosystem willing to upgrade their abilities and increase the impact of their organizations.

To explore further capacity building initiatives, please contact the INSME Secretariat at secretariat@insme.it.

EUROMED Invest Webinar Series: the INSMEAcademy supports the Project in enhancing Business Partnerships with Southern Mediterranean Countries

The appointments with the webinar series organized by INSME in collaboration with the ANIMA Investment Network under the EUROMED Invest project continue to attract the attention of the entrepreneurs' community from the ENI (European Neighborhood Instrument) countries. The third webinar on "Green Entrepreneurship & Women and the Essential Role of Public-Private Partnerships to Encourage Innovation" held on the 27th of April and designed to deepen and develop professional skills to increase the chances of success of entrepreneurs, was another landmark initiative within the project gathering more than 60 participants from 17 different countries. The positive evaluation of the webinar has been demonstrated by the results of the feedback survey sent out right after the session. 78% of respondents confirmed their complete satisfaction with both content and organizational aspects of the webinar. Special appreciation has been expressed regarding the digital networking opportunities the initiative provided to its participants.

In 2016 two further appointments with the EUROMED Invest webinar series will be set up to treat and elaborate on topics related to innovation management, access to finance, growth management, project pitching and IPR issues.

Further information on the upcoming sessions will be shared through the usual dissemination channels of INSME and the EUROMED Invest Project.

EUROMED Invest is an initiative coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network aiming at developing lastingly business relations, investments and business partnerships between EU Member States and their partners in the Mediterranean Basin: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

To become an active part of future activities, please visit the dedicated website here.

INSME Secretary General contributed to the "Business Innovation Summit 2016: Building and Sustaining Firm-Level Innovation and Commercialization" held in Ottawa/Canada

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer, INSME Secretary General intervened as Speaker during the Business Innovation Summit 2016, organized by the Conference Board of Canada on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario - Canada.

Ms. Pfeiffer explored the strategies and approaches to enable innovative firms to compete both in emerging and traditional markets addressing an audience composed of ca. 200 Canadian business leaders, public policy creators and implementers and other major players from Canada's innovation eco-system.

The Business Innovation Summit 2016 was an important occasion to share and brainstorm on innovative solutions supporting businesses in contributing to sustainable growth. The Summit has also been a major opportunity to discuss a multi-year research initiative aiming at developing an Innovation Action Plan for Canada carried out by the Centre for Business Innovation of the Conference Board of Canada.

To learn more about the Summit, please click here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

World Bank and UNCTAD (INSME Member) announce enhanced Cooperation in Investment and Trade

On the 25th of April, the World Bank and UNCTAD (INSME Member) announced a strengthened partnership on key strategic areas to further boost trade, growth and competitiveness in developing countries.
In the field of investment policy, the World Bank and UNCTAD will collaborate to jointly provide support to the private sector by improving investment conditions for sustainable development.

The two organizations expressed their intention to join forces regarding services policy by providing better advice and reform support to developing countries. They envisage to adopt specific actions to increase transparency on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and regulations for trade by building on the successful joint initiatives the two organizations have already implemented in Tajikistan, Central America and several countries in Sub Saharan Africa. Last but not least, they are in the course of collaborating to offer new opportunities for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

This renewed framework of cooperation shall be fundamental for the execution of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the fulfillment of the World Bank's goals of ending poverty and improving prosperity and well-being.

Learn more here.

Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) and the International Trade Centre (INSME Member from Switzerland) working together on Qatar's Strategic Trade Development Roadmap

The International Trade Center (INSME Member) and Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) are collaborating on Qatar's Strategic Trade Development Roadmap to diversify Qatar's economy and boost job creation throughout the country with a special attention to small and medium enterprises.

By complying with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the International Trade Center with the support of Qatar Development Bank will carry out a series of consultations involving a diversity of national stakeholders including the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Ministry of Energy and Industry as well as the Qatar Tourism Authority and the General Authority of Customs. The results of the consultation process will be discussed on the occasion of a workshop with representatives of the business community to identify the most promising sectors, actions and interventions for the country and finally kick-off the initial phase of the five-year roadmap.

Check the complete information here.

The Network for Business Sustainability (INSME Member from Canada) recently published the Results of a Survey on "Business Challenges for Sustainability"

In March 2016, the Network for Business Sustainability - NBS (INSME Member) released its annual report on "Business Challenges for Sustainability" based on the feedback received from Canadian leaders who identified and ranked the top sustainability challenges faced by Canadian businesses. Following its publication, NBS asked global professionals to provide a feedback on the same challenges by rating how important those are with regard to their businesses. The long-term impact of the actions developed to achieve sustainability is the issue on which the views differ the most. The global community assigned a top priority to the long-term orientation of the organization while Canadian professionals ranked this challenge last. This might be due to the fact that Canadian businesses identified climate change as the most pressing issue for their businesses. A similar ranking position has been registered for topics such as Sustaining Sustainability Programs, Measuring and Reporting Sustainability, Educating Consumers for Responsibility and Collaboration for Sustainability. On the basis of the comments received from diverse members of the NBS Community, this might depend on the fact that these topics are strictly connected and working on one issue might necessarily implicate working on the others.

Find out more here.

INSME's Picks in the News

Too poor for a Patent? A new Scheme gives Inventors a Helping Hand

The World Economic Forum and the World Intellectual Property Organization (INSME Member) with the support of Governments, law firms and corporate supporters developed a new initiative called the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP). This new scheme offers support by linking inventors and small businesses that cannot afford legal assistance in developing countries with qualified pro bono patent attorneys able to guarantee protection for their inventions.

The pilot phase of the programme has already been launched last year in Colombia and received high interest from the community of inventors, academics and entrepreneurs of the country. Afterwards, the scheme was implemented as well in Morocco and the Philippines with plans to extend its activity on a global scale, enabling a higher number of inventors to express their creative potential thanks to the support of a patent system.

Both inventors and attorneys residing in one of the countries participating in the IAP and willing to apply for the programme are invited to check this link to learn more about eligibility criteria and submission procedures.

Read more about the initiative here.

Israel and Singapore sign a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly provide Training in Innovation, Sustainable Development, Health

Following the discussions and dialogues started in Singapore in 2013 and taken forward in Jerusalem in 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding has recently been signed by Ambassador Gil Haskel, Head of MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation and Ambassador Winston Choo Wee Leong, Singapore's Ambassador to the State of Israel for the provision of trainings in various fields ranging from economic development to innovation, health and sustainable development.

Israel and Singapore have already contributed to a first successful joint training on public health that took place in November 2015 in Singapore gathering experts from both countries as well as professionals from the Caribbean and Pacific area.

Both parties are in the course of organizing an additional joint initiative taking place from the 9th to the 26th of May 2016 in Haifa, Israel. The training is supposed to focus on the empowerment of women in politics and foresees the active participation of 15 trainees from Africa.

For further information, please click here.

INSME Picks in the Web

Unlocking Innovation in the Middle East through Financial Inclusion

In this article published on the World Bank blog, the expert Mr. Simon Bell explores the challenge of financial access in the Middle East. A new Findex policy note issued by the World Bank states that nowadays only 14% of adults own an account at a financial institution or through a mobile provider in the Middle East, covering in this study Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. The high level of financial exclusion furthermore increases by taking women, poor and young people into consideration. This means that those people cannot borrow money to set-up a small enterprise which might represent a significant source of employment and economic opportunities for the region.

Find out more about the challenges related to financial inclusion that Middle East countries need to address here.

In Latin America, a Digital Community of Media Startups hopes to make Entrepreneurship easier

Mr. Ricardo Bilton, a staff writer for the Nieman Journalism Lab, highlights in the article the creation of a digital community of media start-ups in Latin America. The establishment of such an online platform derived from the need of media entrepreneurs in South American countries to dispose of a central place to meet with other entrepreneurs facing the same challenges that nowadays might be mainly related to identify the funds to start or grow proper business. SembraMedia aims at filling this gap by featuring monthly case studies and video interviews with people who manage media startups in the region. The platform also plans to extend its services by establishing an online forum for entrepreneurs to share ideas and learn from others' experiences.

Learn more here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Inter-American Development Bank launched the INTALENT Competition for Innovators in Creative Industries with Regional Impact

INTALENT is an initiative promoted by the Institute for the Integration of Latin American and the Caribbean - INTAL (part of the Integration and Trade Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank) with the support of the Spanish edition of the MIT Technology Review to support technology-based projects that potentially impact trade and integration in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs from one of IDB's 26 borrowing countries and special consideration will be given to projects addressing issues related to international and intraregional trade and internationalization of SMEs among others.

The winner will be awarded with $ 10,000 and will also have the opportunity to participate to Emtech 2016 (an event on emerging technologies organized by the MIT Technology Review) and experience a week in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem. The second prize is a trip to the United States to attend ‘Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Lives', a competition organized by IDB bringing together the most innovative startups in the creative and cultural industries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Moreover a special category for the best photograph on climate change is foreseen and the winner will be awarded with a prize of $ 2,000.

The deadline for submissions is the 8th of June.

For more information please visit this page.

The Real Innovation Awards, an initiative supported by London Business School, Management Today and Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

London Business School together with Management Today and Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched the Real Innovation Awards to recognize all those people and organizations that demonstrated the way in which real innovation works.

Individuals or organizations can be nominated in seven different categories, among which:

  1. the "Before-Its-Time" Award, celebrating a product or technology with a high potential for success but that didn't succeed as the market wasn't yet ready;
  2. the "If At First You Don't Succeed" Award, addressing an individual or a team that created an innovation that didn't work out in the first place but paved the way for the successful launch of a colleague's project;
  3. the "Fast Follower" Award, recognizing the company that improved most quickly and is well building on someone else's idea;
  4. the "Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award", celebrating the innovator that came up with a bright idea in the most unexpected and surprising way.

Winners will be celebrated through an award ceremony taking place on the 10th of November at the London Business School and a special feature in Management Today. Visibility through the London Business School Review will also be given.

Please use this link to nominate an individual, a team or a company for the Real Innovation Awards by the 14th of June.

To have access to more information about the Awards please visit the following page.

The 9th edition of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program

The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program is an annual competition, currently in its 9th edition, addressing women entrepreneurs whose businesses have a real potential to be scaled and offering them coaching and advisory services to support the growth of their entrepreneurial activities.

The competition is open to women entrepreneurs who are founding CEOs, owning at least 51% of private companies that are less than 10 years old and based in Canada or the US.

Winners will be awarded with a customized executive leadership development program, that is specifically designed to:

  • expand women's knowledge with the latest information, research and executive dialogues about business strategies and practices;
  • identify potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers as well as prospective sources of private capital;
  • provide access to informal, one-to-one guidance and support;
  • strengthen executive leadership and business skills and identify opportunities to grow through meetings with senior advisors and expert entrepreneurs;
  • increase national and regional visibility for themselves and their companies among corporate executives, investors and the media.

Interested women entrepreneurs are invited to submit their applications by the 27th of June via this link.

Visit this page to get more information about the Program.

Interesting Initiatives

The European Commission launches a Public Consultation for Start-ups in Europe

From the 31st of March to the 31st of July 2016 the European Commission will collect entrepreneurs, start-uppers and stakeholders' opinions on how to improve the start-up ecosystem in Europe through a public consultation. The ‘Start-ups in Europe' questionnaire includes queries related to the three phases of the life cycle of a company:

  • The stand-up phase
  • The start-up phase
  • The scale up phase.

The consultation will help the European Commission to identify solutions and potentially design new policies and support measures to meet start-ups' needs during their life cycle with the general aim to create serial entrepreneurs ‘who will try again when they fail, reinvest when they succeed and support a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout'.

To answer the questionnaire please click here.


Development Effectiveness Report 2014-2015 - Private Sector Operations: the sixth Annual Report on the Development Effectiveness of ADB's Private Sector Operations

It is well recognized that the private sector plays a key role in the long way to economic growth. Based on this assumption, the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member) expanded its support to the private sector by implementing financing and investment operations to better meet the needs of a rapidly changing region.

"Development Effectiveness Report 2014 - 2015 - Private Sectors Operations" is a publication gathering the work and achievements of the Asian Development Bank's Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD) in 2014 and 2015. Data show an impressive commitment, indeed in 2014 and 2015 the approvals of private sector transactions reached the record level of about $ 1.9 billion and $ 2.6 billion respectively, representing a growth of 20% in 2014 and 37% in 2015.

It is worth mentioning that the PSOD has significantly contributed to assisting the private sector in addressing the development challenges in Asia and the Pacific. ADB has been particularly involved in co-financing projects and operations in strategic areas - with a special focus to the Sustaining Development Goals - such as climate change, support for frontier countries, promotion of gender equality and inclusive business.

The transactions supported in the analyzed period are expected to generate more than $ 14.9 billion in Government revenues and enable procurement of $ 3.5 billion of goods and services for local firms.

To find out more about ADB's private sector operations read the whole report available at this page.

Crowdfunding in the EU Capital Market Union - a Working Document recently published by the European Commission

Access to finance is one of the major concerns for young and innovative enterprises that have limited access to traditional financing through banks, particularly after the financial crisis. To survive in the global business competition, it becomes crucial to find alternative financing systems and to do that, the Capital Market Union (CMU) Action Plan seeks to strengthen the impact of different sources of alternative finance, including crowdfunding.

In Europe crowdfunding is growing rapidly: in 2014 € 1.6 billion were raised through crowdfunding platforms while in 2015 data show an impressive increase with € 4.1 billion raised.

Given the importance of this new form of financing, the European Commission has recently published a working paper on "Crowdfunding in the EU Capital Market". The aim of the publication is to assess national regimes, identify best practice and present the results of the Commission's monitoring of the evolution of the crowdfunding sector.

According to the report the contribution that crowdfunding platforms might give to the development of start-ups, young firms and in general SMEs can potentially affect the financing system and it is thus crucial for EU Member States to put appropriate regulatory measures in place.

Deepen your knowledge here.

UNU-MERIT has released the paper "Structural Transformation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)"

Based on a book published in 2015 by the Oxford University Press on "Structural Change and Industrial Development in BRICS", the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) has recently released a paper analyzing the structural transformation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Structural transformation is a source of higher productivity growth and per capita income and it would reduce countries' vulnerability to poverty and external shocks by achieving greater diversity in terms of economic structure.

The growth of BRICS over the last 30 years and the achievements in structural reforms and poverty reduction offer - according to the paper's authors - interesting hints for lower and medium economies aiming at putting in place structural changes, including the growth of dynamic sectors such as manufacturing and market services.

The paper also offers an overview on the main causes of success and failure in BRICS and lessons that developing countries can learn from.

The publication finally highlights the importance of entrepreneurship and private sector as a driver of economic growth and puts the attention on the fact that structural economic transformation for poverty reduction passes through the stimulation of innovativeness, one of the main reasons why BRICS have to put all their efforts in the development of measures promoting innovation.

The paper is available here.

Recommended Website

One Thousand Angels - a Platform for Venture Investors

One Thousand Angels is a member-based community gathering investors that are willing to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. Members of One Thousand Angels have access to a global platform of investors that can build their own venture investment portfolio from a selection of early-stage companies with high growth potential. They can decide in which company to invest, how much and when. In addition, members can really interact with founders through live stream interviews, meetings and investors' presentation events.

Platform's members are accredited investors as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines.

Find out more here.

Recommended Newsletter

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean Newsletter

FRIDA - the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean is an initiative aiming at promoting projects and initiatives through the region offering financial support through capacity buildings, networking activities and technical assistance to civil society organizations, enterprises, Governments and universities to increase the use of digital tools and promote internet access. FRIDA offers three different kinds of support: award, grants and scale-ups. A newsletter is released to provide access to updated information on all the initiatives carried out by the Regional Fund.

To subscribe to the newsletter and know more about FRIDA please visit the following page.


Highlighted events

World Investment Forum 2016

From the 17th to the 21st of July 2016
Nairobi, Kenya
Organized by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development

The United Nations Conference for Trade and Development - UNCTAD (INSME Member) biannually organizes the World Investment Forum gathering investment stakeholders to facilitate dialogue and action on investment-related challenges. This year's edition will take place from the 17th to the 21st of July in Nairobi, Kenya and will be held in conjunction with the 14th session of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development.

The Forum aims at providing a platform to debate on the issues related to the theme "investment for development" and to promote investment flows contributing to sustainable and inclusive development.

Have a look at the Programme here and register at this page to attend the event.

More information is available at this link.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

3rd of June 2016
Level Up
Organized by Gent BC
Ghent, Belgium

From the 8th to the 9th of June 2016
4th OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct
Organized by the OECD
Paris, France

9th of June 2016
Empowering EU-Japan Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation
Organized in the frame of the JEUPISTE Project
Brussels, Belgium

From the 15th to the 18th of June 2016
ICSB World Conference
Organized by the International Council for Small Business (INSME Member)
New Jersey/New York, USA

From the 19th to the 22nd of June 2016
ISPIM Innovation Conference: Blending Tomorrow's Innovation Vintage
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)
Porto, Portugal

From the 22nd to the 24th of June 2016
Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016
Organized by the White House, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department
San Francisco Bay Area, California

From the 22nd to the 24th of June 2016
Industrial Technologies Conference 2016 - Creating a Smart Europe
Organized by the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

7th of July 2016
4th Edition of the Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court Conference
Organized by Premier Cercle
Munich, Germany

From the 15th to the 16th of July 2016
11th ASEM Summit
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

From the 25th of July to the 5th of August 2016
Summer School on Intellectual Property
Organized by the University of Bonn
Bonn, Germany

From the 25th to the 27th of September 2016
The XIV Triple Helix Conference 2016
Organized by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Heidelberg, Germany

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