Issue N° 145 - July - August 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,

Summer greetings from the INSME Secretariat!

Together with a good news (we welcome our 4th Sustaining Member!!), I would like to wish you a relaxing and rejuvenating break where you might enjoy meeting family and friends and charge your batteries with some fresh ideas and free time.

In this regard let me share the following:

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest.
Use both and overlook neither”

(Alan Cohen)


INSMEnews will be back in September!

Enjoy the Summer!

...and now as usual enjoy your reading!




Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME among the organizers of the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum

Internationalisation and globalisation brought benefits but also posed new threats to the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities. At a time when the world needs new ideas and paths for development, the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum on “The Globalisation and Internationalisation of SMEs and New Ventures: Travels with Eclectic Charlie, Digital Mary, Networked Nadia and Impactful Shona” will offer the most suitable platform for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss the global landscape of SME internationalisation and how entrepreneurship and innovation connect the local with the global.

From the 14th to the 16th of December 2016, Venice (Italy) will be the place to be for all those willing to contribute concretely to the generation of new ideas, practices and insights and develop an agenda for entrepreneurship, growth, productivity and innovation. The Forum will go into detail and explore new frontiers of knowledge throughout sessions dedicated to Networked Enterprises, Socially Driven International Ventures, Social Digital Landscape and much more.

The International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) and its partners Venture Academy, Essex Business School, University of Essex in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University, the OECD LEED Programme, SMEs and Local Development, the Forum for Sustainable New Ventures and INSME invite interested participants to register as soon as possible and make sure to reserve their accommodation at special rates at the Aula Magna in the unique venue of San Servolo Island.

To register please download the registration form available at this link and send it back to this email address by the 31st of October 2016.

For any additional information about the Conference please have a look at the following link.

INSME is glad to welcome its fourth Sustaining Member!

INSME is glad to give the warmest welcome to Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno (SRM) based in Italy, joining the network as Sustaining Member.
SRM aims at analyzing Italian regional economy from a European and Mediterranean perspective with a special attention to Southern Italy’s economic, entrepreneurial and social issues.
The main activities performed by the Centre cover three major areas of intervention:

  • study and applied research activities on economic topics referred to Southern Italy;
  • cultural promotion activities, mainly related to the economic field;
  • support to territory development by providing services targeting public and private bodies.

The centre also implemented two observatories the “Mediterranean Observatory” and “Maritime Economy”, to recognize the role played by Italy as natural economic and logistics bridge between Continental Europe and Mediterranean countries.

Find out more about Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno (SRM) on the dedicated website available at this link.

INSMEAcademy: the monthly appointment with innovation experts worldwide

The INSMEAcademy is about to reach its next milestone: one knowledge-sharing session is missing to reach its 40th edition! 39 seminars have been performed to exchange methodologies, good practices and approaches to improve proper services delivered to SMEs and innovation stakeholders worldwide.

A wide range of topics has been treated: open innovation, smart SME innovation, green entrepreneurship and public and private partnerships are just a few among the latest themes tackled by the INSME’s webinar-based training programme.

Key actors in the field of innovation and knowledge transfer towards SMEs have been involved in the sessions to provide the audience with the broadest perspectives on innovation and the most applicable hands-on tools to their everyday businesses: the OECD, McKinsey&Company, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation are only a part of the entities that shared insights from their own experiences through the online learning tool.

As shown by the results of the feedback survey launched at the end of each session, the value of the INSMEAcademy has also been appreciated in terms of networking potential. The professional background of experts and participants coming from 90+ different countries together with the user-friendly features of the platform are making the monthly appointment a must-attend initiative for the creation of future business activities.

Have a look at the didactic calendar at this link and stay tuned on the INSME website for updates on the September Edition!

Three years of the JEUPISTE Project: outputs and achievements

During the last three years JEUPISTE, an EU funded project kicked-off in 2013, has been reinforcing EU-Japan Cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

With a systematic collection of relevant data, analysis and an accurate monitoring process on EU-Japan STI cooperation, the JEUPISTE project supported stakeholders involved in policy dialogues in defining priorities for the creation and implementation of joint strategic agendas for research, development and innovation. According to the analysis carried out, future perspectives on R&D collaboration between Japan and the EU are set by the following entities and strategic documents: Science and Technology Basic Plans, these are basic plans drafted every five year by the Japanese Council for Science and Technology Policy; findings of the Joint S&T Committee Meetings; the Comprehensive STI Strategy of Japan, a long term strategy addressing five main priorities covering the period 2013 - 2030 and last but not least programmes under Horizon 2020.

The initiative also facilitated the establishment of diverse partnerships among various players by putting a special emphasis on commercialization of collaborative S&T in order to better respond to the mutual interests of both the EU and Japan. Through the organization of a series of innovation and academic workshops, the project increased awareness on the importance of connecting the S&T communities with private sector skills to solve societal challenges. The intense activity of networking and flow of information foreseen by the project enabled the Japanese and European R&D communities to familiarize respectively with the wide range of opportunities available and best practices related to FP7 and its successor Horizon 2020 and Japanese funding tools and instruments. The activities organized in the frame of the project also represented a unique occasion to discuss on the most effective strategies to combine available resources to support further EU-Japan scientific and technical cooperation.

Since the launch of the initiative, INSME (Partner of the JEUPISTE Project) contributed by facilitating partnership building and by disseminating the added-value of EU-Japan collaboration to a multi-stakeholder audience.

To find out more about the activities of the JEUPISTE project and their outputs, please click on this link.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

If I say internationalization you say... Connecting the strengths of the world community creating well-being across humanity”. INSME’s Interview with Captain Samuel Salloum, Co-Chairman at the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics – GCEL (INSME Sustaining Member from Switzerland)

Captain Samuel Salloum, Co-Chairman of the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics, INSME Sustaining Member from Switzerland, recently shared his vision on innovation, SMEs and strategic partnerships in an interview with INSME.

Based on his experience as leader of GCEL and given his involvement into the strategy, development and deployment of the organization’s groundbreaking Digital Economy program, Captain Samuel Salloum states that a shared belief in the purpose of the mission and objectives of the entity throughout all levels of an organization and “thinking outside of the box” are necessary conditions to stimulate innovation and unleash the creative potential of human resources.

Learn more about Captain Samuel Salloum’s thoughts on innovation by reading the whole interview here.

IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany) launches a new Training on Advisory Skills in Innovation Life Cycle Management

INSME Member IMP³rove - European Innovation Management Academy will host the new training "Introduction to Innovation Life Cycle Management", dedicated to understanding and leveraging the success factors of innovation life cycle processes, on the 30th and 31st of August in Berlin, Germany.

After providing an overview on innovation life cycle management and on key tools to make it more effective and efficient, the two-day training will go into detail of a pragmatic 10 step approach to assess and optimize innovation life cycle processes – including a method to evaluate a strategic focus of innovation life cycle management, an analysis of process effectiveness and efficiency and break out group assignments on optimization of life cycle management.

The training is suitable for Innovation Management consultants, cluster managers, intermediaries supporting SMEs willing to upgrade their Innovation Management capabilities by gaining theoretical and practical experience.

For any further information about the training course, please click here.

If you are interested in organizing a training at your premises, please contact IMP³rove Academy directly at this email address.

Sharakah (INSME Member from Oman) awarded with The Bizz 2016 for its distinguished Business Excellence

The business excellence of INSME Member Sharakah from Oman has been recognized with one of the world’s most important business awards: the Bizz 2016 created by the World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB) and honoring leading businesses from different regions that contribute to the growth of the local and global economy.
During the gala ceremony held in Montecarlo, Monaco last May, Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili, Sharakah’s General Manager, commented the outstanding positive result by thanking the organizers and stating that the Award encourages Sharakah to further increase its commitment in supporting the development of small and medium enterprises.

Sharakah has more than 18 years of experience in offering innovative financial support to SMEs, strengthening entrepreneurial skills, advocating policies related to the SME sector and raising awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship in the Sultanate.

Find out more about the Awards and the services provided by Sharakah at this link.

Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer (INSME Board Member) recently appointed as Managing Director of IDCBeyond

INSME Board Member, Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer has been appointed as Managing Director of IDCBeyond, a new flagship programme of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at IDC Herzliya, based in Israel. The year-long programme can be considered unique in its kind as it combines an academic curriculum in the fields of technology, biomedicine, globalization and sustainability and mentoring support from representatives from academia and industry with the final goal of establishing world changing initiatives. At the end of the programme, outstanding initiatives will participate in an accelerator and have the chance to be awarded with venture capital funds.

Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer (INSME Board Member since 2013), with 25 years of international experience as entrepreneur, manager, investor in venture capital and expert in the fields of innovation and technology commercialization is in the perfect position to provide the most suitable expertise in the specific areas covered by the programme.

Find out more about Mrs. Nava Swersky Sofer’s personal profile and the programme here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $400 million policy-based loan to boost Public-Private Partnerships in Colombia

Over the last ten years an annual average of 3.2 percent of GDP has been invested in productive infrastructure by Colombia, a data that is considerably below the level recommended for the region with a negative impact on the country’s competitiveness and economic growth.

Closing the productive and social infrastructure gap and improving the quality of related services through private participation is a major concern of the Colombian Government. A $400 million policy-based loan has been approved by the Inter-American Development Bank to improve the regulatory conditions for investments in this field and upgrade the skills of national and regional institutions to implement Public-Private Partnerships in the country. Pilot projects, tools and technical standards targeting infrastructure development in crucial sectors for Colombia will also be established through the funding available.

Find out more details about policy-based loans provided by the Inter-American Development Bank to borrowing IDB members here.

The World Bank’s new Procurement Framework

On the 1st of July the World Bank’s new Procurement Framework entered into force to support countries in optimizing their public spending and delivering efficient services in critical sectors such as education, health and infrastructure.

Based on an extensive review and a three-year consultation process involving over 5.000 people in 100 countries including partner countries, civil society organizations and the private sector, the novelty introduced in the new framework will allow the Bank to work more closely with its partner countries in improving their own procurement systems and in some cases, clients will be able to use the procurement arrangements of other multilateral development partners or of national agencies.

Furthermore a tracking and monitoring ICT tool named the Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement (STEP) is in the course of being established to make procurement processes faster and increase transparency.

Learn more about the new features introduced in the framework here.

About IPR in...South East Asia

Benefits of Having Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in South-East Asia from SMEs Perspective: Experience from Vietnam

Enhancing trade opportunities, increasing exports, strengthening links between trading partners, new opportunities for foreign investments and a wider economic integration are among the main benefits of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), that are gaining a considerable importance in South-East Asia as countries are willing to increase their volumes of trade. In the case of Vietnam, the country is involved in 12 FTAs and has entered into 4 more FTAs recently, including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). This article by the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk provides an overview about the implications of the EVFTA for European SMEs.

Learn more about what changes for IPR by reading the article here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Call for Startup Nations Awards Nominations

The public sector is increasingly involved in promoting innovation and by doing so it has a considerable impact on the economy as it enables start-ups to scale, create new jobs and enhance entrepreneurial spirit. To celebrate this commitment, the Global Entrepreneurship Network promotes the Startup Nations Awards recognizing innovative public sector leaders and policy approaches.

Three different awards are foreseen:

  • the award for national policy leadership recognizing individuals responsible for policies or programmes with a positive impact on the national ecosystem;
  • the award for local policy leadership, recognizing innovative policies or programmes with a scalable impact on a city or region;
  • the award for ground-breaking policy thinking recognizing efforts that establish the path towards a smart and evidence-based policymaking.

Winners will be announced and accept their awards on the occasion of the Startup Nations Summit Gala taking place on the 19th of November 2016 in Cork, Ireland.

Nominations (or self-nominations) can be submitted until the 15th of August 2016 at this page.

To find out more about the Startup Nations Awards please click here.

The CORNET 22nd Call for Proposals

CORNET – Collective Research Networking has recently launched its 22nd Call for Proposals welcoming international collective research projects that follow a bottom up approach in supporting SMEs in their efforts towards innovation. The call aims at making international collaborations possible for all those national/regional projects that are eligible to participate in this call.

Only projects addressing collective research based on existing funding programmes will be taken into consideration and one of the criterion to be demonstrated is the added value the projects will have on an international scale.

The following types of activities will be funded:

  • Industrial research and development
  • Applied research and development.

In some countries other activities such as demonstration, technology/knowledge transfer, dissemination workshops and trainings can also be eligible for funding.

Projects with a maximum duration of 24 months will be funded by a grant to the project budget and funding will be allocated according to the rules of the involved national/regional programmes.

The deadline to apply is the 28th of September 2016.

More information about the eligibility criteria and the national and regional funding organizations is available at this page.

The European Inventor Award 2017

The European Patent Office has launched the 2017 edition of the European Inventor Award to recognize outstanding inventors (and inventions) with a significant impact and contribution to society.

Candidatures can be submitted in diverse categories, namely Industry, SMEs, Research, Lifetime achievement and Non-European countries.

In order to be taken into consideration, inventions must meet the following criteria:

  • High degree of inventiveness;
  • Practical application;
  • Demonstrable market success or potential in Europe;
  • Recognizable benefits for economy and society.

The winners will be awarded with a trophy during the award ceremony in Venice, Italy in June 2017.

Nominations will be accepted until the 12th of October 2016.

To know more about the award and the eligibility criteria please visit this page.

Interesting Initiatives

New Skills Agenda for Europe

On the 10th of June 2016 the European Commission adopted the New Skills Agenda for Europe, a communication including the actions to be taken in order to boost human capital, employability and competitiveness. Based on a series of data showing that 70 million Europeans do not have adequate reading, writing and digital skills, that particularly high qualified young people meet difficulties in finding a job matching their talents and aspirations, that employers encounter difficulties in finding people with the right skills to grow and innovate and that too few people have an entrepreneurial mindset, 10 actions have been announced. Among these measures:

  • The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition bringing together Member States and relevant stakeholders to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.
  • A review of the Recommendations on Key Competences to help more people acquire necessary skills to live and work in the 21st century, with a particular attention to the promotion of entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mind-sets and skills.
  • An initiative addressing graduates to share information on how they can progress in the labour market.
  • A proposal to further analyse and exchange best practices on effective ways to address brain drain.

Learn more about the New Skills Agenda for Europe here.


The Governance of Inclusive Growth

Governments around the world are more and more required to give a significant contribution to inclusive growth, in order to efficiently face numerous challenges that many countries struggle to handle: slow growth, high rate of unemployment and increasing inequalities. According to the report “The Governance of Inclusive Growth” recently published by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) many countries around the world are implementing measures and policies contributing to the establishment of a policy framework that puts all the dimensions contributing to people’s life satisfaction at the core of their strategies. But this is only a fragment of the problem: in order to meet society’s needs, governments have to be inclusive themselves.

The publication highlights how numerous institutions are already supporting and implementing measures aligning inclusive growth objectives with resources allocation over different time horizons, but it also states that it is fundamental to be conscious on the fact that many challenges might remain. More actions are required to make the public sector as most inclusive as possible since it would better address and meet society’s needs, offer more opportunities and be more engaged with innovation.

The biggest challenge in OECD countries is finding the way to establish a common and integrated framework setting a new vision for the public sector and enabling the adoption of policies for inclusive growth outcomes.

Find out more about OECD findings and advices on inclusive growth and measures to be implemented for its achievement here.

Innovation for 2030 – The UNDP Innovation Facility

Since 2014, with the support of the Government of Denmark, the UNDP launched the ‘Innovation Facility’ offering organizations and their collaborators technical and financial assistance to explore and find innovative approaches to today’s complex challenges.

The initiative supports UNDP's offices in testing promising ideas, concepts and emerging technologies and unleash the problem-solving capacities of citizens.

A report has been recently published to share most important achievements and the work done in 2015 with the aim to show how innovation contributes to making development processes more affordable. Among the data presented it is worth mentioning that 62 projects across 46 countries have been supported in 2015 and more than 55% of them have been promoted by Government partners, private sectors or both.

Many of the initiatives undertaken are contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals providing new approaches, tools and partnerships to address social programs.

Insightful data and a deepened focus on each country involved can be found in the whole report available at this page.

The Human Capital Report 2016

Access to human capital - meaning the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can create economic value for the individuals and the community they live in - is a resource of indisputable importance and a driver of productivity by contributing to an efficient functioning of the society’s political, civic and social institutions.

Based on the assumption that human capital is a resource to invest in, the World Economic Forum has recently released the 2016 edition of The Human Capital Report, a publication focused on a series of key issues to design better education policies and future workforce planning.

The report benchmarks the measures adopted by 130 countries worldwide to develop and deploy their human capital potential. Norway, Finland and Switzerland register the best performances, indeed they are developing and utilizing about 85% of their full human capital potential.

Among the findings highlighted in the report it is worth mentioning that 35% of human capital potential worldwide remains undeveloped. It would be crucial to redesign education systems to make them adequate to the current needs of the labour’s market. Companies should reconsider their approach to human capital as well by investing in lifelong learning and re-skilling and up-skilling of employees. In general it would be advisable that all involved stakeholders put joint efforts in place to create most suitable conditions for the development of one of the key drivers for global growth.

Find out insights and interesting data on the considered countries by reading the whole report here.

Recommended Website

Women’s World Banking

Women’s World Banking is a Network supporting women as clients, innovators and leaders in accessing finance and developing innovative projects and ideas, counting on the collaboration of 40 financial institutions from 29 different countries. The Network’s website is a rich tank that provides visitors with interesting information including publications, insights and a blog covering topics related to women inclusion and leadership effectiveness.

Have a look at the Women’s World Banking here.

Recommended Newsletter

The EU Asia Business Link Newsletter

EU Asia Business Link is an initiative formally launched at the beginning of 2016 by the European Commission, GOPA com. and Eurochambers with the aim to provide updated information on support for EU small and medium enterprises interested in developing business in Asia. The platform gives visibility and provides clarity to several ongoing efforts of the European Union to support internationalisation of European SMEs.

EU Asia Business Link monthly releases a newsletter that summarizes the most important events, initiatives and opportunities in the Asian Region.

To receive updated information please subscribe to the newsletter here.


Highlighted events

Trade for Sustainable Development Forum 2016

28th - 30th of September 2016
Geneva, Switzerland
Organized by the International Trade Centre (INSME Member from Switzerland)

Registrations are now open for the Trade for Sustainable Development Forum 2016, an initiative organized by the International Trade Centre (INSME Member from Switzerland) from the 28th to the 30th of September in Geneva, Switzerland.

This year’s forum, held in conjunction with the WTO Public Forum, will gather thought leaders challenging them to bridge the gap between debates on sustainability standards, supply chains and international trade to work towards achieving the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The Forum, considered as one of the leading global events on sustainability standards in international trade and supply chains, will be the occasion to learn why sustainability information and data matter and how to make smarter decisions as a business leader, policymaker or consumer.

More information about the Forum and the registration procedures is available at this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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

On the 28th of September 2016
Study Workshop: Promotion of Restoration in the Context of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020
Organized by the Economics for the Environment Consultancy (EFTEC), in association with CEEweb for biodiversity, ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation, Enetjärn Natur AB and University of Antwerpen.
Brussels, Belgium

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

On the 6th of October 2016
Design for Europe Summit
Organized by Design for Europe (a three-year programme co-funded by the European Union to support design-driven innovation across Europe)
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

From the 18th to the 20th of October 2016
The European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy
Organized by EuropaBio, Smithers Rapra and Scottish Development International
Glasgow, Scotland

19th of October 2016
Roving Seminar on WIPO Services and Initiatives
Organized by WIPO (INSME Member from Switzerland), the Directorate-General for the Fight against Counterfeiting - Italian Patent and Trademark Office and the Bologna Chamber of Commerce
Bologna, Italy

From the 10th to the 12th of November 2016
BIT's 3rd Annual Global Congress of Knowledge Economy
Organized by BIT Congress Inc.
Qingdao, China

From the 3rd to the 5th of December 2016
World SME Expo
Organized by HKTDC SME Centre and HK Convention and Exhibition Centre
Hong Kong

From the 4th to the 7th of December 2016
ISPIM Innovation Summit: Moving the Innovation Horizon
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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