Issue N° 146 - September 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,

welcome back after the Summer Break!

September is one of the most suitable moments of the year to shape up your business, invest in new ideas and get together with colleagues to launch new partnerships and realize ventures.

So take off your “rust” and join us for an inspiring trimester in 2016, able to make the difference!!

In this regard let me share the following:

“The greatest danger for most of us
is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it.”



…and now as usual enjoy your reading!




Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General


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Sustaining Members:



Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME: an expanding Network

Encouraging the exchange of good practices and stimulating public-private partnership initiatives in the field of innovation and technology transfer for the benefit of small and medium enterprises has been the aim of the International Network for SMEs since its establishment in 2004.

Times changed during these 12 years and the Network – an Institution working under the Auspices of the OECD - continues to concentrate its efforts on discussing about the conditions of a fertile ecosystem for all innovation stakeholders worldwide, by designing new services and tools for the benefit of its Members. The vast geographical coverage and its extremely broad portfolio of Members’ expertise put INSME in the position of being a global Network and a rich tank of networking and knowledge-exchange opportunities. While the INSME Annual Meeting is the most important event for Members to come together, brainstorm and build bridges for ideal business partnerships, the INSMEAcademy - now in its 40th edition – confirms itself as a not-to-be-missed monthly appointment for all innovation stakeholders willing to get access to new knowledge and benefit from the exchange of know-how of globally recognized experts that the interactive nature of the initiative offers. Last but not least, the Capacity Building Initiatives, kicked-off in June 2015 offering on-demand tailor made training programs based on innovative teaching methodologies enabling Members to refine proper skills on a variety of topics and fields.

All this and more is INSME. Discover all Network activities through www.insme.org, the brochure available here or contact the INSME Secretariat, on your disposal to provide detailed information about the opportunity to organize a capacity building in Italy or at your premises.

The 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum: a platform for researchers, policy makers and practitioners

“The Globalisation and Internationalisation of SMEs and New Ventures” – an inspiring topic will frame the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum, a unique event coordinated by INSME, the Essex Business School and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, honored to welcome researchers, policy makers and practitioners in Venice, Italy from the 14th to the 16th of December 2016.

In its 15th edition the Forum intends to be a come together to generate new ideas and insights to develop a joint agenda for entrepreneurship, growth, productivity and innovation. The three-day event will be the occasion to discuss how entrepreneurship and innovation connect the local with the global and the future of SMEs in the light of the benefits and threats of the globalisation and internationalisation.

The most relevant trends will be discussed by an excellent line-up of speakers that will share proper expertise with the audience covering topics such as Impact Investment for Start-Ups and Growth, Female Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, SME Network Development and many others.

The first 50 delegates that will register for the event will additionally be invited to live the unique experience of a study visit to the high class shoemaking district of Riviera del Brenta and to the cluster of Prosecco wine in Conegliano Veneto.

Do not miss this must-attend event and reserve your seat by sending an e-mail to iefsubmissions@gmail.com or get updated information by visiting the following webpage.

The EUROMED Invest project keeps on empowering Partnerships in the Euro-Med Area

Going back to 2013, a consortium led by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) kicked-off to work on the EU funded project EUROMED Invest that intends to contribute to the creation of fertile conditions for the economic growth of the Mediterranean basin countries.

Through a series of instruments and initiatives addressing young and women entrepreneurs and by involving the diaspora community as well, the project laid the foundations for a new model of inclusive business, particularly considering the EU and its partners in Southern Mediterranean countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey. After almost three years since its launch and given the positive evaluation of the impact generated, the Executive Committee will evaluate the request of a 6 months extension, that will be formulated soon. If approved, all consortium’s partners – including INSME – will implement their activities and enhance their commitment with the aim to develop lastingly business relations, investment and business opportunities within the Mediterranean basin until the 30th of June 2017.

Read more about the project and find out more about the upcoming initiatives organized in its frame here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

Meta Group (INSME Vice President), Larta Institute (INSME Board Member) and T3I Ltd UK collaborate to the Serbia Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Project

INSME is continuously committed to facilitate the establishment of solid partnerships among its Members. This active involvement in encouraging Members to enhance collaborations of mutual benefit served as a trigger for a new important collaboration between META Group (INSME Vice President) and Larta Institute (INSME Board Member) that together with T3I Ltd UK have been awarded with a World Bank Procurement contract. The “Serbia Research and Technology Transfer Project” will be mainly focused on the potential commercialization of research results of the most important Serbian universities and according to the contract, the three partners will support these universities in approaching potential users and companies interested in technology transfer activities.

For more information please contact META Group at this e-mail address.

A Delegation from Qatar Development Bank – QDB (INSME Board Member) visits Sharakah (INSME Member from Oman) to explore Opportunities for Cooperation

Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager at Sharakah (INSME Member from Oman) together with a group of senior officials recently welcomed a delegation of senior experts led by Mr. Abdulaziz Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO at Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member).

The meeting has been a stimulating occasion to exchange knowledge, share best practices and set the basis for future collaborations with the common aim of facilitating SMEs access to the market and supporting the local community.

Read more here.

New Innovation Management Training Courses offered by the IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany)

The IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany) is launching new training courses developed to meet the demand of innovation management consultants, cluster managers or intermediaries supporting SMEs willing to enhance their innovation management capabilities regarding specific areas. In particular the following course is envisaged:

  • Introduction to Innovation in Value Networks: the course, taking place on the 27th and 28th of September in Frankfurt, will be focused on understanding and addressing the opportunities for value networks, identifying the right partners, and designing value propositions to get them involved. The setting is highly interactive and the agenda includes case-based group work to gain practical experience.

Other innovative training modules are in the course of being launched at IMP³rove Academy´s sky-office in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The IMP³rove Academy is also available to organize further courses in different locations, for more information please contact this e-mail address.

Find out more about IMP³rove Academy here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The U.S. Small Business Administration launches Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Online Tutorials

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) online tutorials are an instrument recently launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration to assist small and medium sized businesses in navigating in the SBIR programme that supports scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The online tutorials are accessible from all devices and give free access to a series of courses organized in three different formats: the video format, the multimedia – that is a combination of video and text - and the written one composed of pdf documents to go through.

Discover more about the SBIR programme and the related online tutorials at the following page.

A New Global Network of FinTech Hubs fosters Innovation across the World’s Financial Services Industry

Innotribe and Innovate Finance are supporting the recently created Global FinTech Hubs Federation, a global platform bringing together FinTech Hubs to:

  • Foster engagement amongst the global fintech ecosystem
  • Share best practices and standardized knowledge
  • Build bridges for greater collaboration between fintech hubs.

Participants - namely Association and Industry bodies and network partners supporting the Federation by providing expertise, insights and access to global networks – will have the opportunity to access a platform to discuss the development of FinTech in their region and globally and they will be involved in international events benefitting from the expertise of international stakeholders and like-minded experts from all over the world. The platform also offers participants greater space for collaboration, networking and knowledge sharing.

Get more information by reading more about the Global FinTech Hubs Federation at this page.

INSME's Picks in the Web

Why R&D Spending is not a Measure of Innovation

Investing money in R&D is indispensable to nurture innovation within companies, but measuring innovation by taking only the amount of investments into consideration does not give the exact value of innovative processes.

According to a study carried out by Strategy&, a business unit of PriceWaterhouseCooper, the top 10 best companies in the last 12 years are not the top 10 spenders on R&D.

In this article published on Forbes, Mr. Tendayi Viki, Founder and principal consultant at Benneli Jacobs, states that innovation is made up of three elements: invention, customer value and business model. If on the one hand, it is clear that investments are crucial, on the other one successful companies need to be able to meet market/customer’s needs, create an effective innovation process and efficiently handle the resources available to manage it.

Read the whole article at this link.

The Impact of University Incubators on Firms

Based on a study carried out by five researchers from the University of Central Florida, it is demonstrated that university incubator programmes positively impact on the performances of start-ups.

According to the research, university incubated firms register an increasing number of jobs and sales, even beyond the incubation period and this is possible as universities have specialized assets – such as human capital, innovation and other resources – that are not easy to access for non-university incubators.

By commenting the research, Mr. Jonathan Dworin wrote this article stating that despite the interesting findings, the authors did not consider some crucial elements as for example the fact that many university incubators have a pre-existing relation with universities or they did not differentiate between incubator programmes and accelerators.

A further issue highlighted by the UCF’s researchers that is particularly relevant according to Mr. Dworin is the understanding of the regional innovation systems and how public investments can impact economic prosperity.

Read the whole article here.

About IPR in…South East Asia

Trade Mark Revocation in Singapore: a Case Study

After providing information worth knowing about trade mark protection and trade mark revocation in Singapore, the article issued by the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk features a case study of a company based in the US filing an application to register a trade mark in Singapore, five years after a similar trade mark was first registered by a Spanish company.

The article highlights the action taken by the two companies, the outcome and the lessons learned from this experience that might be useful for any other company willing to file a trade mark application in Singapore.

Read the complete article here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Call for the Expression of Interest: towards European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Smart Specialisation Investments

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs launched a call for the expression of interest inviting cluster organisations, other business network organisations, technology centres and science parks from EU Member States or countries participating in the COSME programme to team up for the establishment of European strategic cluster partnerships for smart specialisation investments.

The partnerships that will be formed under this call should have the final goal of launching joint concrete initiatives related to industrial modernization with a special focus on Key Enabling Technologies, ICT, service innovation and resource efficiency.

Following this first phase of the partnering process, the European Commission's DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs will launch a dedicated call in 2017 to select partnerships that will be recognized with the European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments (ESCP-S3) Label.

The European Commission will support these partnerships through visibility on the S3 Platform, allowing them to promote their activities also in relation to regional authorities; dedicated advisory support services such as dedicated value chain analysis and technical assistance; support and guidance from the RE-CONFIRM measure to be launched in 2017 and facilitating interregional cooperation for industrial modernization, and last but not least by focusing existing and forthcoming measures (such as COSME, Horizon 2020 and INTERREG Europe programmes) to facilitate their efforts.

The expression of interest can be submitted via the Partner Search Tool that will remain open until the end of December 2016.

For further information about the call, please download the related documentation at this link.

Call for Evaluators for the Innovation Prize for Africa 2017

It is now possible to participate in the selection process for evaluators of the 6th Edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa, an initiative aiming at promoting innovation and entrepreneurship through market-driven solutions to African challenges managed by the African Innovation Foundation. Qualified experts can be involved in various stages of the evaluation procedure depending on the role they would like to play in this prestigious prize.

According to the prize’s five assessment criteria, applications will be first evaluated by Screening Fellows, postgraduate level students with demonstrable high aptitude and an interest in innovation and sustainable development in Africa. Following this first phase of the evaluation procedure, applications will be reviewed and analysed by Validators, experts who have a track record in research and/or practice in selected fields. Screened applications will be then submitted for a detailed review to the Selection Panel, consisting of senior professionals and business leaders who will identify ten finalists and select three winners.

The recognition for the commitment of each category of evaluators will come in various forms, ranging from cash honorarium to lump sums or coverage of travel expenses to participate in the IPA Awards Gala taking place in July 2017.

To learn more about the deadline for applications for each category and the procedure to take part in this initiative please have a look at this page.

Call for Papers for the Asia-Pacific University-Industry Engagement Conference

The 2017 University-Industry Engagement Conference: From Best Practice to Next Practice Asia-Pacific Opportunities and Perspectives is an international meeting gathering researchers, practitioners and business representatives and stimulating the discussion on innovation and entrepreneurship organized by the University Industry Innovation Network in partnership with The University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders Partners.

The organizers of the Conference, taking place from the 15th to the 17th of February 2017 in Adelaide, Australia, are now inviting authors involved in university-industry interaction, innovation and entrepreneurship to submit abstracts and proposals on the themes of the conference. Abstracts can be submitted in five diverse categories allowing interested authors to present papers, presentations, good practice case studies, next practice concepts and posters.

Selected contributions will have the unique opportunity to be showcased during this key event and gain further visibility through conference’s partner journals, conference proceedings, publications and/or roll-up-banners.

The deadline for submitting abstracts and proposals is the 26th of September 2016.

To get further information about the topics of the conference and related sub-themes, please have a look at this website.

Interesting Initiatives

Massive Open Online Course on “EU Budget and Funding for Regions and Cities”

The European Committee of the Regions together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission – Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and Directorate-General for Budget (DG BUDG) offer a massive open online course – MOOC focusing on how the EU budget works and what the possibilities for accessing EU funds are. The course will feature videos, factsheets, info-graphics and web-streamed live debates with Q&A from participants and will last 6 weeks starting from the 31st of October to the 9th of December 2016. The programme of this MOOC will be delivered in 6 modules which require approximately 2 hours studying time per week.

The course, held in English, mainly targets stakeholders active at regional and local level but anyone who is interested in EU and regional and local affairs is welcome to participate.

Find out more about the course schedule at the following link.


Measuring the Link between Public Procurement and Innovation

The OECD recently released a working paper providing relevant multi-country data on the measurement of research and innovation activities and their link to procurement by firm size and industry with the ultimate goal of supporting and producing new indicators and analyses on the use of public procurement as an innovation policy tool.

The report defines public procurement as “the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods and services” and highlights that between 9% and 34% of firms based in EU and some other OECD countries delivered goods or services to public authorities in 2010-12, mostly to domestic public organisations only (78%-94%). Over the reference period 2010-12, between 14% to 36% of companies involved in procurement processes reported to have carried out innovation activities as part of a public procurement contract.

Among these firms, between 47% and 70% of companies based in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey that innovate as part of public contracts indicate that they were required to do so while in Austria, Finland, France, Portugal and Sweden this request has been referred to as an exception at around 20% of cases.

The study also identifies a series of obstacles to be addressed for a better understanding of the role of public procurement as a driver of innovation and proposes a number of recommendations to overcome them.

To download the working paper please click here.

The Global Innovation Index

Cornell University, INSEAD, the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO (INSME Member) and their knowledge partners A.T. Kearney and IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy (INSME Member from Germany), the Confederation of Indian Industry and du, with the support of an Advisory Board of international experts collaborated to the 9th edition of the Global Innovation Index “Winning with Global Innovation” providing a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results.

Switzerland is the leader when it comes to innovation, maintaining the top position for the 6th consecutive year, followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Finland.

China’s improvement in terms of innovation performance is reflected in the Index as the country entered in the top-25 economies, representing the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have remained at the top of the Global Innovation Index across its nine years of analysis.

The report also identifies an “innovation divide” between developed and developing countries that policy makers should close to encourage innovation as a means towards a vibrant and competitive economy. Investing in innovation quality is essential to fill this gap. According to the GII, Japan, the U.S., the UK and Germany are the four leading economies in terms of quality of their universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings while among middle-income economies China takes the top spot followed by India.

Read more insights about the GII at the following link.

Recommended Website

BRICS Technology Transfer Networking Platform

The BRICS TTN platform is an initiative jointly developed by the Russian Technology Transfer Network and the UNIDO Centre for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation aiming at facilitating knowledge and technology transfer among BRICS countries with a special attention to the development of small and medium enterprises. Following the registration, the platform offers a wide range of services to innovation players coming from BRICS, including:

  • visibility through the Network;
  • recruitment of technical and/or commercial business partners by posting a cooperation proposal;
  • search for cooperation proposals of potential interest among those posted by other members of the Network;
  • assessment of the market demand and prospective of the offer based on the expressions of interest received by the participants to the Network.

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the platform at this link.

Recommended Newsletter

IdEA, the International diaspora Engagement Alliance Newsletter

The International diaspora Engagement Alliance - IdEA is an initiative managed via a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Calvert Foundation gathering global diaspora communities, the private sector, civil society, and public institutions to jointly collaborate in the support of economic and social development. The Alliance defines diaspora as “a community of people who live outside their shared country of origin or ancestry but maintain active connections with it” and stresses that these communities make a fundamental but often unrecognized contribution to their country of origin.

This is the reason why IdEA focuses its activities on four main pillars: Investment & Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy, Volunteerism and Innovation, all of them contributing to fostering stronger diaspora engagement with countries of origin.

The Alliance issues a newsletter providing relevant information about the initiative, the impact of their activities and a constant update about diaspora investment opportunities.

To find out more about IdEA and subscribe to its newsletter, please click here.


Highlighted events

UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop

The development of a complementary relationship between universities and science and technology parks in areas ranging from basic research to applied research and technology commercialization can maximize a synergistic effect that is essential for the promotion of national competitiveness. The challenges related to the establishment of such a relationship will be discussed during the UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop on “Joint Growth of Science & Technology Park with Regional Higher Education Institute (HEI)” taking place from the 29th of November to the 1st of December 2016 at Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Three main sessions will be dedicated to discuss relevant items related to the topic of the training. The first session will analyze the direction and strategy of a necessary transformation of science and technology parks to build a complementary relationship with universities. The second session will focus on the need for a shared principle of knowledge and behavior pattern between HEIs and science and technology parks. Last but not least, during the last session the workshop will offer insights on a practicable path for the development of a suitable support system able to facilitate and strengthen the collaboration between science and technology parks and universities.

Check the draft programme here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 4th to the 8th of October 2016
African SME Expo
Powered by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria and CB Network
Lagos, Nigeria

On the 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

From the 13th to the 14th of October 2016
WAIPA World Investment Conference
Organized by the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies
Istanbul, Turkey

From the 17th to the 18th of October 2016
EU-IRAN Cluster Matchmaking Event
Organized by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform
Tehran, Iran

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

From the 2nd to the 3rd of November 2016
Nordic Smart Cities Live
Organized by go.connect
Stockholm, Sweden

From the 2nd to the 3rd of November 2016
ANIMA EMEA Business Forum
Organized by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member) and the Mediterranean Economic Week
Marseilles, France

From the 3rd to the 6th of November 2016
The 16th Western China International Fair
Organized by the Sichuan Provincial People's Government
Chengdu, People's Republic of China

From the 9th to the 10th of November 2016
Mediation and the Caribbean Judicial System
Organized by the Caribbean Training and Research Group (CARI-TaRG) and the University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, The Virgin Islands

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

From the 12th to the 13th of December 2016
2nd Annual Africa Middle East - Investment Forum
Organized by Aidem Business Solutions
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 14th to the 16th of December 2016
15th International Entrepreneurship Forum Conference on “The Globalisation and Internationalisation of SMEs and New Ventures”
Organized by INSME, the Essex Business School and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Venice, Italy

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