Issue N° 147 - October 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,

October – a month of hard work and fruitful collaboration!
Creating connections and bridging gaps to facilitate innovation and knowledge transfer is what INSME is most concerned about.

In this regard let me share the following:

“I know there is strength in the differences between us.
I know there is comfort, where we overlap.”

(Ani DiFranco)


…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 at the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum

The answer to the question as to what extent internationalization and globalization create new entrepreneurial opportunities is of paramount importance nowadays as international entrepreneurship impacts considerably on the wider global society of producers, consumers and citizens. Innovation proved to be critical at all stages of a country’s development and literature about entrepreneurship shows that effective innovation policies have been implemented not only in high-income countries but in developing countries too with tangible positive results. From the 14th to the 16th of December, World’s leading researchers, policy makers and practitioners will gather on San Servolo Island (Venice), Italy for the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum to identify common traits of these diverse innovation frameworks and share best practice examples related to the idea of a common agenda for globalization and internationalization of SMEs.

The INSME Members’ community will be represented by its main supporters, who have confirmed their participation in the event: the opening plenary session will be enriched by the contribution of H.E. Abdulaziz Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO at Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member), sharing insights on how Qatar fostered entrepreneurship and SME development. Special attention will also be dedicated to startups with a panel session that will feature INSME’s Vice President, Mr. Andrea Di Anselmo, Vice-President and Founding Member at META Group D.o.o., Slovenia and Italy as main speaker.

The three-days initiative will also be an occasion to experience the globally recognized creativity of Italian SMEs thanks to two site visits to the high class shoemaking district of Riviera del Brenta, as well as to the cluster of Prosecco wine in Conegliano Veneto.

If you are interested in joining the initiative, please register at your earliest convenience at this link and make sure you reserve your accommodation at discounted rates at the Island, by filling in the form available here.

For any further information about the event organized by Essex Business School, Ca’ Foscari University and INSME, with the support of the OECD LEED Programme, please visit the dedicated website.

INSME strengthens ties with the Ambassador of India in Italy to enhance Future Collaboration

India plays an increasingly important role globally given its impressive growth in the last years. In the continuous efforts to involve strategic players worldwide and enlarge the network’s portfolio of expertise, INSME met with a delegation from the Italian Embassy of India on the 10th of October. INSME President, Mr. Sergio Arzeni and Secretary General, Ms. Christin Pfeiffer welcomed H.E. Ambassador of India in Italy, Dr. Anil Wadhwa and the Principal Secretary for Commercial Affairs of the Italian Embassy of India, Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi at INSME’s premises in Rome to discuss synergy potential and collaboration related to the advancement of the SME innovation ecosystem. On that occasion, a delegation from the Embassy of India has also been invited to attend and actively contribute to the activities foreseen in the frame of the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum taking place from the 14th to the 16th of December in Venice, Italy.

INSME President and Secretary General met with a delegation from INADEM (INSME Member from Mexico) to prepare the 13th INSME Annual Meeting

On the 17th of October, INSME President, Mr. Arzeni and INSME Secretary General, Ms. Pfeiffer met with a delegation from INADEM – Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor (INSME Member from Mexico) in Paris, France to set the milestones of the upcoming 13th INSME Annual Meeting envisaged for May 2017. The meeting was a strategic brainstorm on all initiatives dedicated to INSME Members during the three-day initiative on “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains”. All the activities organized in the framework of the 2017 Annual Meeting will represent a tangible opportunity to get immersed in the SME landscape of Latin America, a region with an increasing innovation potential and promising prospects for improvement, that INSME Members are invited to tap into.

Stay tuned for further updates on the next INSME Annual Meeting!

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk’s new features

Japanese and European companies and particularly SMEs, universities, research centres as well as individuals working for these entities can take advantage of a new service offered by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan): the EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk. Since its launch back in February 2016, the helpdesk has been providing support in terms of research for technologies and analysis of the mechanics driving tech transfer transactions between EU and Japan. To enrich this support, the related web portal has been implementing new features on a regular basis and is now able to provide diversified content about intellectual property rights, technology transfer and other relevant topics in multiple formats. On the Helpdesk’s website it is possible to watch webinars, find video interviews with experts, read and download presentations as well as find and upload available technologies free of charge to find potential licensees or partners.

To learn more about this service, visit the website at this link or contact this email.

META Group (INSME Vice President) partners with TIM #Wcap

TIM #Wcap, one of the biggest accelerators in Italy just launched the Digital Innovation Year 2016. In the coming year, startups will have the opportunity to benefit from an intensive programme including educational content, experiences and testimonials provided by professionals, mentors and experts in the fields of procurement management, sales management, big data & cloud, social network management, communication & pitch and SEO management. Thanks to an agreement with Meta Group (INSME Vice President), at the end of the acceleration programme startups will also have the exclusive chance to receive the Kauffman FastTrac TechVenture certification, a prestigious recognition issued by one of the most eminent organizations supporting entrepreneurship education on a global scale. In this framework, Meta Group will be supporting the organization of 10 training modules focusing on helping aspiring entrepreneurs to successfully launch technology- and science-based businesses. The modules are following a brand-new teaching methodology devoting considerable space to networking among participants in order to brainstorm and grow their business idea and make it become the next great technological and scientific innovation.

To find out more about this initiative, have a look at Meta Group’s website here.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science - KFAS (INSME Member from Kuwait) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science – KFAS (INSME Member from Kuwait) goes a step further in the promotion of the science culture among youngsters in Kuwait thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an international non-profit organization based in the United States as well as a globally renowned multidisciplinary scientific society and a publisher of pioneering research.

The agreement foresees the selection of the most significant science news published on AAAS’ weekly academic journal ‘Science’ to translate excerpts into Arabic and make them available to a wider audience.

This MoU further strengthens the collaboration between KFAS and AAAS as it follows a first agreement signed last August to organize a workshop in November to train researchers on writing and implementing scientific projects.

The deal between the two organizations marks an important progression towards the broader goal of building a promising future backed by a science-based knowledge in Kuwait.

To learn more about the services offered by KFAS, have a look at its website here.

INSME's Picks in the News

G20’s Leaders Communiqué following the Hangzhou Summit

On the 4th and 5th of September, leaders of the 20 major economies convened in Hangzhou, China for the G20 Summit. The meeting represented an important milestone being the first China hosted major international event of this kind. During the summit, G20’s leaders committed to a package of policies and actions that recognizes the importance of innovation as a key driver of growth for both individual countries and the global economy as a whole. The G20 particularly committed to take innovation as a fundamental element to identify new growth engines that can contribute to creating new and better jobs, increasing productivity, building cooperative innovation ecosystems and addressing global challenges. To this purpose, G20’s leaders endorsed the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth as a new agenda including policies and measures across all fields of innovation. Furthermore they will set up a G20 Task Force supported by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) and other important international organizations dedicated to taking the G20 agenda on innovation, new industrial revolution and digital economy forward and monitor its impact.

Read the complete Communiqué and the actions foreseen by the Hangzhou Consensus at this link.

Fellowships launched to Encourage Potential European Research Council (ERC) Grantees

Frontier research is advancing across all Europe through the fellowship programmes launched by Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia as well as the Belgian Region of Flanders allowing future European Research Council (ERC) applicants to visit research teams of existing ERC grantees. This initiative is supposed to help increasing the international exposure of researchers and develop their potential before applying for an ERC grant. The first national organizations to implement this programme are the Czech Science Foundation (GA CR), the Estonian Research Council (ETAg), the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) in Hungary, the National Science Center (NCN) in Poland, the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) in Belgium. The organizers of the programme will cover a visit from three to six months and related costs, such as travel and salary of researchers coming from all disciplines. At the end of the visit, the researcher is obliged to apply for an ERC grant within a specific time frame. This initiative represents an important milestone towards the ultimate goal of contributing to an inclusive European culture of competitiveness in science.

Find out more about the fellowship programme at this link.

INSME Picks in the Web

India’s Ascendant: Five Opportunities for Growth and Transformation

India’s evolution towards a liberalized economy starting twenty-five years ago is bearing fruits as according to the International Monetary Fund, India’s GDP will grow by 7.4 percent for 2016/2017, making it the world’s fastest growing large economy. India’s future outlook is promising and in this article McKinsey & Company recognizes five opportunities the country as well as foreign and Indian businesses shall take advantage of, that would create sustainable economic conditions. Considering India’s growing population, the McKinsey Global Institute report identifies the urbanization process as one among the emerging trends and as a consequence, economic growth will be increasingly focused on infrastructure building. As a matter of fact, the report expects the output of Indian cities to be comparable to that of cities in middle-income nations by 2030.

Find out more about this article based on the homonymous McKinsey Global Institute report here.

Why Skills Development? In Asia, a basic Education is not enough anymore

Asia’s education system has been offering a wide pool of competences, ranging from technical and vocational skills to run machine operations, to soft skills like literacy and numeracy, that have been fundamental to move Asia to the next level of development. In the new global economic era, Asia needs to realign its labour supply to new needs to continue on its growth path. In this article Sungsup Ra, Director of the South Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member from Philippines), provides some suggestions about common initiatives that would help shape new national policies to transform the education and training system in Asia.

Read more insights about the new challenge Asia is facing nowadays at this link.

About IPR…in South East Asia

Tips for protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia

China and most of South-East Asian countries demonstrated considerable progress in terms of aligning existing intellectual property laws to international standards, even though some risks still exist in terms of counterfeiting, trade mark infringements and other IPR infringements in these countries. In this article the China and South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesks provide some useful tips European SMEs should consider in order to enter these markets and make sure their IPR is duly protected.

Read the whole article at this link.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Caribbean Innovation Competition

The Regional Entrepreneurial Asset Commercialization Hub – REACH and the Young Americas Business Trust - YABT are promoting a competition addressing entrepreneurs in the Caribbean with the aim to provide support to the region’s youth, create an entrepreneurial mind-set and enhance economic and social development.

The Caribbean Innovation Competition (CIC) is an international support programme and a business start-up accelerator supporting young entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into profitable business models through the commercialization of Intellectual Entrepreneurial Assets (IEAs).

The CIC Team can be composed of a minimum of one person (who must hold the title of CEO) and a maximum of 10 members (including at least a Chief Executive Officer and a Chief Technical Officer) and must be resident in one of the CARICOM Associated or Member countries.

Teams are invited to present a project plan, following the CIC template that includes:

  • A concept paper presenting the innovation of the product/service and demonstrating how it offers a solution to a concrete market demand in an innovative way;
  • A business plan/project;
  • A market study;
  • A webpage/blog/Facebook account or in general online presence to showcase their product/service;
  • A graphical presentation.

Project plans will be evaluated according to the following criteria: innovation, market feasibility, management feasibility, financial feasibility and overall business plan presentation.

The winning team will receive an award package including: cash seed funding capital for $5,000, a trophy, a certificate to each member of the team, networking opportunities and a six-month follow up through YABT’s NexLinks Networks.

The deadline for registration is the 15th of January 2017.

Find out more about the Caribbean Innovation Competition at this page.

EASME launches a new Call for Tenders “Transforming Regions and Cities into Launch-Pads of Digital Transformation and Industrial Modernization”

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) currently accepts submissions for the Call for Tenders “Transforming Regions and Cities into Launch-Pads of Digital Transformation and Industrial Modernization” until the 21st of November 2016.

The aim of this call is to help build up regional and local capacity in digital transformation. Contractors are supposed to offer first-class policy guidance, mentoring, facilitation and showcasing services through which cities and regions can learn and successfully apply the set of recommendations proposed in the “Blueprint for cities and regions as launch pads for digital transformation” elaborated by the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Transformation, a think tank set up in 2014 by the European Commission to reflect on the short and long-term strategy for digital transformation in Europe, advise the Commission on policy issues and actions to encourage digital transformation, and promote the development of policy by EU countries at national and regional level.

To increase employment opportunities and create growth, a collective effort in terms of advanced technologies, digitalization, new business models and service innovation is needed. Given their role of key innovation players, regions and cities can contribute to transform economies and develop dynamic ecosystems to improve the business and economic environment as well as the life of their citizens. The participation to this call is supposed to activate an intense networking process between model regions and cities, to create cross-border cooperation and facilitate their evolution into centres of digital transformation. Project proposals will also be fundamental to foster stakeholder collaborations by attracting private investments and easing access to funding. Participants will have the opportunity to access unique networking opportunities to contribute to the development of a modern industrial ecosystem involving regions and cities as protagonists of the 4th industrial revolution.

To receive more information about the tender please visit this webpage.

The European Association for Research Managers and Administrators - EARMA is accepting proposals for the 22nd Annual Conference

The European Association for Research Managers and Administrators – EARMA (INSME Partner) will celebrate its 22nd Annual Conference from the 24th to the 26th of April 2017 in Malta. In this frame EARMA has launched a call for papers inviting interested contributors to send an abstract for one of the tracks proposed, among which:

  1. Pre-Award: Proposal Development and Funding Opportunities
  2. Post Award: Grant Management
  3. Professional Development and Career Development; Generic Training
  4. Post Award: Research Strategies and Policies, the Global Dimension and Collaboration with non-Academic Partners.

Selected contributors active in the field of research management and administration will have the opportunity to be involved in the conference programme and share thoughts and ideas on high-level contents with particular attention to the idea of research as a public good in Europe.

The call will be open until the 14th of December 2016.

Find more information and submit your paper at this page.

Interesting Initiatives

The Macroeconomic Reality of Latin America, an Online Course promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank launched a massive open online course (MOOC) focusing on “The Macroeconomic Reality of Latin America” intending to analyze the main challenges the region faces in terms of economic growth and macroeconomic stability in a clear and concise manner. The course is completely delivered online and classes can be taken without having any specific time constraint. Participants are invited to access learning material, assignments, tests and other relevant documents in the virtual classroom and will also have the possibility to ask questions through the forum and messaging tool as well as by sending an email to the course tutor. The programme of the MOOC will require tentatively 7 hours studying time per week.

The course is completely free of charge even though, if participants are interested in receiving a certificate, a small fee of US$25 should be paid after the successful completion of the course.

The deadline for applications is the 29th of November 2016.

Make sure to secure your participation at this link!

Italia Startup Visa

Startup Visa is a new strategy implemented by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development aiming at making Italy a global hub for international investment and talent. The initiative addresses non-EU talents and provides them with faster procedures to establish innovative startups in Italy. This is a unique opportunity for innovative talents to take advantage of Italy’s globally recognized culture, art, creativity and manufacturing capability and add value to their business and products.

A dedicated portal has been launched including detailed information about the steps to follow to apply for a startup visa. Interested applicants can select two procedures:

  • Direct application
  • Application through certified incubator, in case the talent is already backed by an incubator in Italy.

After the submission of the application form and the cover letter for proof of financial resources (for a value of no less than 50,000 euros), the Italia Startup Visa&Hub Committee will evaluate the proposal and provide successful applicants with a certificate of no impediment for ISV including a provisional police certificate of no impediment for entry purposes within 30 days. Following this phase, the applicant needs to present relevant documents to the competent Embassy or Consulate to obtain the startup visa.

For further information about the initiative and the procedures to follow, please click here.


Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2016

Based on the findings of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicator Programme (EIP), since 2006 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) has been presenting entrepreneurship indicators in an annual publication: “Entrepreneurship at a Glance”. The novelty of 2016’s edition lies on a new online survey targeting small and medium enterprises designed by Facebook in collaboration with the OECD Statistics Directorate and the World Bank.

Data show positive trends both in enterprise and job creation in the post crisis phase. Among the most interesting findings, it is worth to mention the importance of SMEs as a driver for economic growth in the Euro area: indeed SMEs register a higher growth rate in the Euro area than in the United States, especially in manufacturing, where the number of US SMEs was lower in 2013 than in 2008. On the contrary, large firms grow more rapidly in the US than in the Euro zone in all sectors and according to the publication, this may be considered as one of the factors impacting the productivity gap between the two areas.

A further topic highlighted in the report is the gender gap that continues to affect entrepreneurship as, for example, women meet more difficulties than men in having access to finance to set up a business. Despite the persistence of this gender gap in most of the countries of the OECD area, according to the Facebook/OECD/World Bank survey women feel as comfortable as men regarding their businesses.

Find out more about the indicators of entrepreneurial performance and the findings of the 2016’s edition of Entrepreneurship at a Glance at this page.

Impact Evaluation in Practice

Impact Evaluation in Practice is a recently published handbook intending to be a guide dedicated to future generations of practitioners and policy makers to provide a full understanding of impact evaluation and best ways to use it to design evidence-based policies and programs.

Through impact evaluation stakeholders can verify if results and objectives were reached and improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of policies and programmes at various stages of implementation.

The publication – released by the World Bank in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank - is divided in four sections: the first is an introduction on main impact evaluation methods; the second part is focused on how to evaluate and discusses the basic intuition behind five impact evaluation methodologies (randomized assignment, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design, difference-in-differences and matching); the third part gives advices on the implementation of impact evaluation; the fourth part is dedicated to how to collect data for impact evaluation, including useful information about how to choose the sample and determine its appropriate size and how to find adequate sources of data.

This second edition of Impact Evaluation in Practice (the first one was released in 2011) includes the newest techniques for evaluating programs and includes state-of-the-art implementation advice, and a series of examples and case studies.

As stated in the handbook, the “hope is that if governments and development practitioners can make policy decisions based on evidence—including evidence generated through impact evaluation—development resources will be spent more effectively to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.

The whole publication is available at this page.

Recommended Website

WEgate, a New Platform supporting Women Entrepreneurs

Despite the fact that women represent the majority of the European population, they meet more difficulties in being active entrepreneurs than men. WEgate is a platform aiming at offering support to all those women that decide to start or grow a business.

The platform, supported by the European Commission, provides information, advices and resources that can help women to start and grow a business through a series of instruments that give the opportunity to get in contact with other entrepreneurs, find supporting organizations and access mentoring and coaching sessions.

Discover more about WEgate and its services at this page.

Recommended Newsletter

The LABCITIES Newsletter

LABCITIES is a global platform gathering smart city professionals and organizations to provide the opportunity to showcase and promote their products and services, network with smart cities experts and entrepreneurs to build partnerships, connect with innovators worldwide to give them the chance to collaborate and crowdsource new urban solutions, digital trends and business models in order to empower the urban ecosystem on a global scale.

To get access to updated information and opportunities on Quality of Life, Infrastructures and Utilities, Innovation Economy, City Governance and all issues related to Smart Cities, subscribe to the LABCITIES Newsletter here.


Highlighted events

UNIDO’s 50th Anniversary

From the 21st to the 25th of November 2016
Vienna, Austria

Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Since 1966 the United Nations Industrial Development Organization – UNIDO (INSME Member) promotes and accelerates inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.

On the occasion of UNIDO’s 50th anniversary, a series of initiatives is promoted from the 21st to the 25th of November to celebrate 50 years of commitment and to reaffirm the crucial role the organization is playing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

A dense calendar of initiatives is offering high level participants and Member States the opportunity to discuss current and future trends, provide perspectives on a wide range of topics, among which women empowerment through innovative approaches, sustainable energy for inclusive development and climate action, Industry 4.0: boosting innovation and technology advancement for value addition.

Diverse parallel sessions are foreseen, including the screening of the “50th documentary” that will be made available within different sessions to give the opportunity to watch it to the widest audience possible.

Read more about UNIDO’s 50th anniversary celebration here.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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 2nd to the 3rd of November 2016
International Islamic Banking Summit Africa
Organized by the Central Bank of Djibouti
Djibouti City, Republic of Djibouti

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 8th to the 10th of November 2016
ECCP2016 – From Lab to Market European Conference & networking on Conductive Polymers and composites
Organized by Unioncamere Piemonte (INSME Member), Piedmont Region and PROPLAST
Alessandria, North West of Italy

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

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 21st to the 22nd of November 2016
The 3rd Annual Arab Women in Leadership Summit
Organized by MICE Quotient and supported by The Dubai SME (INSME Member), Dubai Business Women Council and AmCham Abu Dhabi
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 29th of November to the 1st of December 2016
2016 UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop on “Joint Growth of Science & Technology Park with Regional Higher Education Institute (HEI)”
Organized by the World Technopolis Association (INSME Member) and UNESCO
Daejeon Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea

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 14th to the 16th of December 2016
The 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum Conference
Organized by Essex Business School, University of Essex, Ca’ Foscari University and INSME
Venice, Italy

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