Issue N° 144 - June 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,

while some of you are already preparing for the Summer break, the INSME Secretariat invites you to stay tuned for the rich variety of services INSME is offering its members during these weeks.

Our Community is growing steadily and this unique matching of competences is adding value to everybody’s work. To brainstorm this a bit further, I found the following that I am happy to share with you:

"Every human being is a raindrop.
And when enough of the raindrops become clear and coherent
they then become the power of the storm."

(John Trudell)

Courtesy of: http://www.fotocommunity.de/photo


...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

INSME actively contributed to empowering EU-Japan Cooperation during the JEUPISTE Events in Brussels

Since nearly three years JEUPISTE - an EU funded project coordinated by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan) - is supporting the cooperation between EU and Japan in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

INSME, as partner of the project, actively contributed to the EU-Japan Strategy Workshop organized by the project partner DLR and held in Brussels, Belgium on the 8th of June. The closed-door session focused on sharing EU-Japan strategies and initiatives adopted by JEUPISTE Consortium Members with the purpose of gaining an inside perspective on effective instruments and mechanisms that might influence and ensure EU-Japan cooperation activities in the future.

INSME was also present to “Empowering EU-Japan Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation”, the seminar organized on the 9th of June by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, APRE and Kobe University to deepen knowledge on the latest trends, programmes and policy developments supporting STI cooperation. Leading Japanese research funding agencies provided the 80+ participants with useful guidance on funding opportunities and tools open to European participation. The seminar has also been a suitable occasion to give an overview of the outcomes of the project.

To know more about the JEUPISTE Project and the initiatives organized in its frame please visit this page.

The EUROMED Invest Academy “Develop Business and Industrial Cooperation among EU-MED and Gulf countries”: a focus on the Webinar Series by INSME Secretary General

On the 2nd and 3rd of June under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, Lebanon hosted the EUROMED Invest Academy “Develop Business and Industrial Cooperation among EU-MED and Gulf Countries”, an initiative organized by the Euro-Arab Business Council in the frame of the EUROMED Invest Project , an initiative coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France).

The 2-days initiative held in Beirut focused on potential synergies to be developed in order to encourage industrial cooperation between EU, Mediterranean and GCC countries which would contribute to reach stability and development in the Mediterranean Region. Special attention has been given to the following issues:

  1. fostering the cooperation between EU, Med and Gulf countries to support Small and Medium Enterprises and Industries;
  2. promoting the role of SMEs as a vehicle for stability, peace and development;
  3. exchanging good practices and facilitating the internationalization of local SMEs;
  4. encouraging partnerships between Business Support Organizations from the three regions for a stronger participation to future EU projects.

Ms. Christin Pfeiffer, INSME Secretary General, gave a speech within the section dedicated to the “Presentation of successful cooperation initiatives between Euro-MED BSOs” highlighting the positive impact of the webinar series INSME is organizing in the frame of the Project as follow up activity of the Master classes for young entrepreneurs.

Three out of the foreseen five webinars addressing entrepreneurs, start-uppers, women and diaspora have already taken place and raised the interest of 174 stakeholders (out of which the majority from European Neighborhood Instrument Countries). The three webinars on “How to Manage Innovation Processes Successfully - Insights for Young Entrepreneurs, Start-Ups and Diaspora”, “Solving the ‘business plan puzzle’ - Successful approaches to raise money from investors” and “Green Entrepreneurship & Women and The Essential Role of Public-Private Partnerships to Encourage Innovation” held so far have been perceived as an indisputable added value, in particular for the topics treated.

The upcoming sessions are envisaged for July and November 2016 and will deal with relevant issues such as open innovation, IPR and others.

Stay tuned and check the INSMEAcademy updates at this page.

Please visit the following website to know more about the EUROMED Invest initiatives.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

Mr. Anilkumar Dave (INSME Board Member from Italy) at the first UN "Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals”

On the 6th and 7th of June the United Nations Headquarters in New York gave birth to the first Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum).

The event was organized with the aim to facilitate the interaction and establishment of partnerships among relevant multi-stakeholders to identify and analyse technology needs and gaps, in particular in the field of scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building and to support the development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Anilkumar Dave (INSME Board Member from Italy) was present at the Forum and intervened with a speech on "Realizing the potential of science, technology and innovation for all to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Find out more about the Forum at this page.

The Department of Economic Development Dubai SME (INSME Member from UAE) and EBAN (INSME Member from Belgium) launch Dubai Ventures Network

On the occasion of the first SME Equity Finance Forum held in the mid of May in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Department of Economic Development (DED) Dubai SME (INSME Member from UAE) and EBAN (INSME Member from Belgium) have recently signed an agreement laying the basis for a collaboration on the activities of the Dubai Venture Network.
The Network has been created by the Dubai SME unit and will target investments within the range of $50,000 and $100,000. The initiative aims at raising awareness on the importance of creating an ecosystem for equity investments in SMEs that includes relevant stakeholders (namely Angel Investors, Venture Capital Funds, Incubators, Universities and others), facilitating the development of a supportive regulatory framework and improving investors’ capabilities.

DUBAI SME and EBAN will jointly work to offer training tools, webinars and master classes for angel investors with the final aim to improve the whole equity ecosystem and SMEs’ competitiveness.

More information is available at this page.

Larta Institute (INSME Board Member from USA) recently released the 2015 Annual Report

Larta Institute (INSME Board Member from USA) has recently released its Annual Report, an insightful publication sharing last year’s activities and achievements. Larta’s involvement in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship is demonstrated by the continuous commitment in supporting entrepreneurs to better understand the marketplace they are working in, the value of their products and the commercial opportunities they have.

2015 has been a fruitful year for the organization: 318 companies benefitted from Larta’s assistance, the portfolio of companies assisted overseas grew considerably and collaboration with new countries such as Romania and Malaysia were successfully kicked off.

It is worth mentioning that 2015 represented the first year of engagement for Mr. Rohit Shukla (CEO & Founder of Larta Institute) on the US Department of Commerce’s Advisory Group on issues related to entrepreneurship that is supposed to come up with key recommendations in a number of critical areas by the end of 2016.

These are only a few elements highlighted in the report. To discover more check the whole report here.

INSME Interviews & INSMEblog

If I say innovation you say… Challenging existing ways of doing things”. Following up the 12th INSME Annual Meeting with an Inspiring Interview with Mrs. Haya Al Ghanim, Innovation Director at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP)

INSME recently had the pleasure to interview Mrs. Haya Al Ghanim, Innovation Director at Qatar Science & Technology Park, who after the inspiring speech given on the occasion of the 12th INSME Annual Meeting held at Doha accepted to share her vision on innovation and entrepreneurship with the INSME Community.

According to Mrs. Al Ghanim encouraging employees to think out of the box, to explore new ways of innovative thinking and to establish effective partnerships among key stakeholders are crucial elements to foster innovation and create an innovation-driven environment.

Read the interview here and find out more about Mrs. Al Ghanim’s thoughts on innovation!

The INSMEblog - Your Fast Track for Innovation: Patents for SMEs - Insights from India

Dr Rajendra Prasad, CEO of Merit India Consultants Pvt Ltd. and founder of the web-platform Technology-Patent.Com has recently contributed to the INSMEblog with an interesting article dealing with the issue of intellectual property with a special focus on patents in India.

The author put the attention on the fact that Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are not properly aware of the potential of Intellectual Property Rights and therefore lagging behind their peers around the world.

Diverse initiatives have been implemented, as the ‘Patent Facilitation Centres’ that are registering a steady growth on patent’s applications in different regions of the country. The establishment of Patent Facilitation Centres is only a part of the solution. “What is really needed is” - according to Dr. Prasad - “to incite the interest of industry to innovate, to find needed technical solutions and develop newer products and processes that would enhance their global competitiveness”.

Read the article at this link and have a look at INSMEblog, your fast track for innovation!

INSME's Picks in the News

The ASEAN SME Academy: New Online Learning Tool helps grow Businesses in ASEAN

On the occasion of the 6th Meeting of the ASEAN SME Advisory Board recently held in Singapore an interesting initiative has been launched: the ASEAN SME Academy.

The Academy is supported by the Association of Southeast Asia Nations - ASEAN and the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, a three-year public-private partnership launched in March 2014 between USAID and the US-ASEAN Business Council.

Through courses and tools covering relevant topics such as finance/accounting, management, marketing and technologies, the Academy is a step forward to support ASEAN’s efforts in contributing to the enhancement of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Southeast Asia Region. Online resources will give start-uppers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to master their skills on national and international markets and new technologies.

Get more information about the Academy by visiting the following page.

Ten Business Recommendations for Productivity and Growth to OECD Ministers

The Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD has recently submitted a document including “Ten Business Recommendations for Productivity and Growth” to OECD Ministers and encouraging the Organization to collaborate with countries and the business community to put the basis for the adoption of structural reforms that will ensure a more inclusive growth.

Among the ten recommendations BIAC suggests to:

  1. Create the policy conditions conducive to investments, as these are indispensable elements for growth both in advanced and emerging countries.
  2. Encourage entrepreneurship, as start ups, SMEs and big companies are a source of productivity, employment and inclusiveness.
  3. Enhance access to finance: the OECD should examine financial regulatory systems at a regional, national and global level with particular attention to their consequences on the economic growth. According to BIAC it would also be advisable to put the attention on financing SMEs in the global value chains, long-term financing infrastructures, greener financing for sustainable growth and a greater use of risk-mitigating instruments to encourage private investments into developing markets.
  4. Enable innovation and the digital economy, as innovations are key drivers of productivity growth and significantly contribute to sustainable development.

To get more insights on the whole bunch of BIAC’s Recommendations to the OECD, read the recently released document available at this page.

About IPR in…South East Asia

The ASEAN Economic Community and what it means for Intellectual Property

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was formally established in 2015 with the final goal of developing a globally integrated economic region by reducing or eliminating barriers to trade, among other objectives.

Achieving a significant degree of economic integration is not a simple task, as this process will carry important consequences on the management of Intellectual Property Rights - IPR and considerable implications for IP rights holders. As a matter of fact, a greater openness concerning the movement of all types of goods in the region is expected, which will also increase the potential for international trade in counterfeits.

Learn more on how businesses can reduce the risks to their IP assets here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The European Research Council Advanced Grants

The European Research Council Advanced Grants intend to support outstanding research leaders of any nationality and any age in developing research contributions that stand out for the originality and unconventionality of the methodologies used and whose high-risk potential shows sufficient grounds for a major innovation that would considerably impact on a specific research field.

Interested applicants must be active leaders in their field of research who can prove significant achievements in the last ten years. The Research can be carried out both in a public or private research organization (namely the Host Institution) located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. The Host Institution can also be the organization where the researcher is currently carrying out his/her research activity.

The available funding is up to €2.5 million per grant for a period of five years and an advanced grant can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research plus a contribution of 25% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs.

The deadline for applications is the 1st of September 2016.

For any further question applicants are invited to contact the National Contact Point or the following e-mail address .

To get more details about the grants and the eligibility criteria, please click here.

The Orange Social Venture Prize

Orange has launched the 6th edition of the Orange Social Venture Prize to recognize entrepreneurs using information and communication technologies (ICT) in an innovative way to improve the living conditions of people in Africa and the Middle East.

Worldwide entrepreneurs aged at least 21 years old or legal entities that have exercised their activities for less than three years at the time of the competition can apply for the Prize.

Submitted projects must target a territory or a geographical market involving at least one of the African or Middle Eastern countries in which Orange operates.

Submitted projects will also be voted online on the Entrepreneur Club by internet users. The project proposal that will be recognized as the “favourite project” by the internet community and the ten shortlisted candidates selected by the experts will be presented to the jury. The top four projects will receive monetary grants for a value of €5,000, €10,000, €15,000 and €25,000 for the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st prize respectively.

The deadline for applications is the 21st of September 2016.

Learn more about the contest rules at this link.

InnovationExpress: a Trans-National Call for Proposals for the Internationalisation of SMEs through Clusters

InnovationExpress is a joint call for proposals launched under the BSR Stars programme, a flagship initiative within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The funding instrument aims at promoting transnational cooperation among SME networks, clusters and other specialised research and innovation nodes in the form of a wide range of innovation activities such as technology/knowledge transfer, training, feasibility studies, strategic analysis and mutual benchmarking.

The call is funded by national/regional funding agencies coming from Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and this year’s call also includes the regions of Brandenburg (Germany) and Catalonia (Spain) as cooperation and extended partners.

Targeted cluster initiatives or SME networks can be located anywhere within the Baltic Sea Region or elsewhere internationally while applicants must have their offices where an Innovation Express funding agency or extended partner is present. Consortia must include at least three SMEs and the participation of large companies, company associations, universities, research organisations and other public organisations is encouraged even though they cannot be unique beneficiaries.

The grant awarded under this call will depend on the national/regional schemes used and will range from a minimum of €10,000 to a maximum of €60,000 per approved project per country.

The deadline for the submission of project proposals is the 31st of October 2016.

For any further information about the application and funding process, please visit the following page.

Interesting Initiatives

MobiliseSME: an Erasmus Programme for SMEs?

MobiliseSME - Mobilities for professionals and qualified employees of MSMEs is an initiative co-financed by the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation - EaSI (PROGRESS) of the European Union aiming at carrying out a feasibility assessment of a European scheme for cross border mobility of employees of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

MobiliseSME is based on the firm belief that such a scheme would significantly benefit participating MSMEs in terms of boosting their competitiveness, improving cooperation and opening-up new opportunities for business with international partners. To fulfill this objective, the Consortium coordinated by European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME launched a survey to gather feedback from EU companies regarding the potential attractiveness of the scheme.

The survey available in ten different languages is anonymous and will take no longer than 10 minutes.

To fill-in the survey and learn more about the project, please click here.


The African Economic Outlook 2016

The African Development Bank (INSME Member), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme released the 15th edition of the African Economic Outlook, analyzing Africa’s performance in areas such as macroeconomics, financing, trade policies and regional integration, human development and governance. Sustainable cities and structural transformation is also a highlight of this year’s edition that examines Africa’s path towards urbanization and the implications of such a process in terms of allocation of economic resources.

The Outlook shows that on average Africa’s real GDP grew of 3,6% in 2015, higher than the global average. This growth rate confirms Africa as the second fastest growing economy in the world, following emerging Asia. Africa’s growth performance in the last 15 years generated several new opportunities for trade. In 2016 it is plausible to assume that the European Union will remain Africa’s main trading partner while with regard to intra-regional trade, Governments are suggested to give a more prominent role to banks in order to finance trade, boost capital market liquidity and attract new financial resources. The fast urbanization of the region additionally represents an immense opportunity for sustainable structural transformation. Implementing new policies both at national and local level for the creation of more productive jobs is key to achieve this objective.

Learn more about Africa’s performance and read the main policy issues the 54 African countries are facing at this link.

How Innovation Agencies Work: International Lessons to inspire and inform National Strategies

By defining innovation agencies as “government-funded or managed institutions that provide financial and other support to catalyse or drive private sector innovation”, this recently issued publication by NESTA aims at identifying best practices in terms of establishing and running an innovation agency and goes into detail on what the most effective policies and programmes could be in a given national context.

Based on the results of the analysis of ten innovation agencies representing different countries around the world (namely Austria, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA) the report comes to the conclusion that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to establish and manage a ‘successful’ innovation agency as each organization operates in a very different political and economic environment. Even though there is no single model for an innovation agency, there is much to learn from other countries and there are a variety of roles innovation agencies can play.

The publication points out three main roles based on the case studies examined: market and system fixers; industry builders; mission drivers and system optimisers. The report stressed that innovation agencies’ focus should not be on pursuing too many roles at the same time but rather on the capability of responding timely to new needs and opportunities within the innovation system.

Learn more international lessons here.

Recommended Website

Open Governance Research Exchange

Innovative ways to tackle society problems and improve the efficiency of public institutions are emerging. Despite that, findings on innovative governance are widely dispersed and usually inaccessible. To overcome this challenge, the GovLab in collaboration with the World Bank Digital Engagement Evaluation Team and mySociety, developed a platform where researchers can gather to share findings, methodologies, techniques and tools on open and innovative governance.

The platform works as a repository on theoretical and applied research findings and allows researchers to submit their results to be uploaded on the website as well as the community of those interested and committed to study the impact of governance innovations, to network and ask relevant questions.

Browse research findings on new and innovative ways to solve public problems at this link.

Recommended Newsletter

Ideas Matter

Ideas Matter is a consortium of small and medium-sized businesses, trade associations and cross-sector enterprises founded by Philips, Microsoft and DSM that has been established with the aim of highlighting the great potential of Intellectual Property.

Despite its importance, this extremely broad subject still remains unclear and complex for the majority of stakeholders involved.

With this in mind, the Ideas Matter consortium constantly shares personal stories of individuals and businesses that are improving their performance thanks to IP, initiatives and events that highlight the added value IP contributes to companies, economies and society.

To receive updates from Ideas Matter, please click here.


Highlighted events

“Regional Meeting on Update Study on the Index of Public Policies for SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean”

8th of July 2016
San José, Costa Rica
Organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System - SELA (INSME Member) and the Directorate-General for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises (DIGEPYME) of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC) of Costa Rica

On the 8th of July, the document “Update Study on the Index of Public Policies for SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean (IPPPALC)” will be presented on the occasion of a meeting organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System - SELA (INSME Member) and the Directorate-General for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises (DIGEPYME) of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC) of Costa Rica to promote the adoption of the Index of Public Policies for SMEs initially developed by the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Governmental focal points for small and medium-sized enterprises of the Member States of SELA, representatives of SME business associations and experts in the field will gather to discuss the Index as an instrument for the monitoring and assessment of public policies fostering the development of small and medium enterprises in the region and to identify areas for improvement for decision-makers.

The conclusions and recommendations arising from the analysis of the updated study will also serve as a basis for a workshop organized by SELA on “Implementation of the Index of Public Policies for SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean” taking place in September 2016.

To take part in the event, please click here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

6th of July 2016
Raising awareness on the Unitary Patent Package: Opportunities and Challenges
Organized by the Italian Trade Mark and Patent Office (UIBM), in cooperation with the European Patent Office (EPO)
Rome, Italy

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

From the 7th to the 8th of July 2016
2016 Conference of the Global Forum on Productivity: Structural Reforms for Productivity Growth
Organized by the OECD
Lisbon, Portugal

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

From the 18th to the 21st of July 2016
World Investment Forum 2016
Organized by UNCTAD (INSME Member)
Nairobi, Kenya

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 19th to the 20th of September 2016
Global Forum - Shaping the Future 2016
Eindhoven, Netherlands

From the 20th to the 21st of September 2016
Organized by Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) - Singapore
Singapore, Republic of Singapore

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

From the 29th to the 30th of September 2016
Science and Policy-Making: towards a new dialogue
Organized by INGSA - International Network for Government Science Advice
Brussels, Belgium

6th of October 2016
Design for Europe Summit
Organized by Design Council
Tallin, Estonia

From the 12th to the 13th of October 2016
The 1st Indonesia International Conference on Science and Technology Park
Organized by the Center for Innovation - Indonesian Institute of Sciences - LIPI
Bogor, Indonesia

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