Issue N° 153 - April 2017
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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Countdown to the 13th INSME Annual Meeting: excellent line-up of Speakers confirmed!

The countdown towards the 13th INSME Annual Meeting has started and everything is set to welcome more than 400 innovation practitioners and experts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a three-day event dedicated to “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains”. This intense knowledge-sharing initiative will be enriched by the brightest minds in this field, Mr. Devlyn, Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in Mexico, Mr. Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Minister of Economy, Mexico; Mr. Leonardo Iacovone from the World Bank, just to mention some of them. For a complete overview of the speakers who will actively intervene, please have a look at the agenda at this link.

A variety of topics at the forefront of innovation will be tackled with a comprehensive and holistic approach thanks to the involvement of some of the world's major players in the sector: the Mexican Institute of the Entrepreneur (INADEM), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA).

From the 15th to the 17th of May, Puerto Vallarta will be the place where new partnerships will be established, innovative ideas shared, new investors identified and new talents discovered in a truly multicultural environment to concretely contribute to the progress of SMEs. Make sure to be a part of all this and register now by sending an e-mail to

Please note that INSME Members, Mexican citizens and residents participate free of charge to the whole event. To plan your mission and benefit from a promotional discount for your accommodation, please visit this page.

The INSME Team together with INADEM are looking forward to meeting you in Puerto Vallarta!

The INSME Network proudly welcomes a new Member from Spain!

INSME is enlarging its portfolio of experts and competences. Thanks to the constant commitment of INSME President, Secretary General and the INSME Board, INSME is proud to welcome a new Full Member:

  • INFYDE a private consulting firm based in Spain and working on the development of methodologies and techniques to identify areas of regional specialization, support entrepreneurs’ discoveries, adapt regional innovation policies to nowadays changing environment.

With INFYDE, INSME can now count on the support of 76 Members from 37 different countries.

To learn more about the benefits of being part of the Network and join INSME as a Member, please find all relevant information at this page.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

EU cities and regions in the role of societal pioneers and forerunners in building sustainable innovation eco-systems – A Policy Brief by META Group (INSME Vice President)

The European Union is going through a transition phase mainly due to the ongoing financial crisis, recent events such as the Brexit or the raising populism that is questioning its stability. This requires the involvement of governance at local level to implement incremental and diverse changes addressing societal challenges. In this framework, cities and regions can play a fundamental role in building a sustainable innovation ecosystem by engaging stakeholders and facilitating partnerships. This policy brief issued by META Group (INSME Vice President) in the framework of the CASI project (Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation), an initiative funded by the European Union, collects current EU initiatives supporting the development of cities and regions and includes best practices related to sustainable innovation based on collaborative models showing the potential of regional schemes.

To read the policy brief, please download it here.

A new Position Paper on Smart Specialization Consultation released by EURADA (INSME Member from Belgium)

On the basis of a consultation on Smart Specialization carried out by EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies (INSME Member from Belgium) among its members, a position paper has been released and will be used by the European Commission to prepare a communication on Smart Specialization to be published in the next months. EURADA's overall assessment of the Smart Specialization Strategies is positive. Professionals of development agencies and regional practitioners agree on the suitability of the Smart Specialization Platform to involve a mix of stakeholders in a common and shared decision process. In view of a future development of the Smart Specialization Strategies, EURADA recommends the European Commission and other EU Institutions to consider a range of aspects: an increased alignment between Smart Specialization Strategies and Operational programmes to leverage private investments or the promotion of Smart Specialization at city level too are among some of the factors to consider in order to provide a proper framework for the deployment of Smart Specialization Strategies.

Learn more about EURADA's views here.

ITHMAR – A Seed Fund Programme promoted by Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member)

Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) recently launched Ithmar, a “seed fund” product, providing young entrepreneurs with seed capital to start and build their business. “Ithmar” targets Qatari entrepreneurs or team composed by Qatari members who are 18 years old minimum and have an innovative and scalable business idea. QDB will finance up to 90% of the project while the 10% will be co-financed by the entrepreneur.

Ithmar complies with the Shari'a's principles and the funding will be done through a Musharaka agreement that can be converted into shares after the completion of the 2 years mark or at the next qualifying funding round.

To learn more about how to apply and the journey of a potential application, please click here.

IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany) launches new trainings on Open Innovation, Design Thinking and Business Model Innovation

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” (Will Durant based on Aristotle).

IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany) provides plenty of training opportunities for this summer to make the most out of innovation management. For the schedules of trainings on timely topics such as Open Innovation, Design Thinking or Business Model Innovation, please visit IMP³rove Academy’s training calendar.

IMP³rove Academy invites you to register as soon as possible as a few seats are still available in these upcoming trainings:

IMP³rove Academy offers all training courses as in-house or customized workshops as well. Find out more about the participation fees and register for the courses on IMP³rove Academy’s website or by sending an email.

INSME's Picks in the Web

High-Level B20 Statement "Digitalization For All: Towards An Inclusive Interconnected World"

On the 6th and 7th of April, G20 Digital Ministers met for the first time in Germany and on this occasion the B20 signed a statement on "Digitalization For All: Towards An Inclusive Interconnected World" together with more than 50 leading business representatives. The statement stresses the unprecedented progress created by the digital economy in terms of growth and inclusiveness between countries. With regard to SMEs, it is undeniable that digitalization provides them with better access to markets, financing, labour, skills as well as the potential to develop new products and services. Despite that, some obstacles to reach a full inclusiveness still persist. Some challenges worth of attention are the lack of Internet access above all in low-income countries or an affordable and high-quality broadband coverage which increases the risk of digital divides.

In order to fully benefit from the digital economy, governments need to work hand in hand with the private sector to understand current and future skill needs.

To read the complete statement please click here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The European Capital of Innovation Award – iCapital

A contest to award the European Capital of Innovation promoted by the European Commission will be open until the 21st of June 2017 to recognize the city in one of the European Member States or in a country associated to Horizon 2020 that has successfully experimented with new and innovative citizen driven initiatives with a potential positive effect on societal challenges.

The city with the best innovation ecosystem will be awarded with € 1 million. The competition is open to cities with more than 100.000 inhabitants and they have to demonstrate they create the most suitable environment in particular by:

  • experimenting innovative concepts, processes, tools, and governance models as a test-bed for innovation;
  • engaging citizens in the innovation process and ensuring the uptake of their ideas;
  • expanding the city's attractiveness to become a role model for other cities;
  • empowering the local ecosystem through the implementation of innovative practices.

Find out more about the competition and the eligibility criteria at this page.

Clusters go International – a new call launched by the European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – EASME

The European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – EASME has launched a new call with the aim to boost cluster and business collaboration across European countries and to support the establishment of European Strategic Cluster Partnerships leading international cluster cooperation in the field of strategic interests towards third countries and to support the development of emerging industries.

The call is open to consortia that will develop and implement a joint international strategy supporting SME internationalization.

Applicant organizations must be established in a EU Member State or in a country participating in the COSME Programme. The total budget available for the co-financing of projects is estimated at € 5.790.000 and the grant is limited to a maximum reimbursement rate of 75% of eligible costs.

The deadline for submissions is the 23rd of May 2017.

Find out more at this page.

G-Startup Worldwide

G-Startup Worldwide is a competition addressing startups around the world with innovative products that will have a positive impact on the world.

Startups acting in fields like Mobile, IoT, Wearables, FinTech, Cyber Security, Education, Enterprise, Health, Social and eCommerce and many others are invited to participate in one of the regional competitions. Winners will receive $ 50,000 investment prize, 1 Year G-Network Membership, 3 Day Mentorship Bootcamp at Google’s headquarters, Complimentary trip to Silicon Valley to present their startup at the Global Final Competition. The Gran Prize Winner will receive an additional investment of $ 250.000 and a speaking opportunity to the Global Mobile Internet Conference in 2018.

Regional competitions are foreseen in Japan (deadline on the 26th of July 2017), Brazil (deadline on the 12th of August 2017), Indonesia (deadline on the 26th of August 2017).

More information is available here.

Interesting Initiatives

The U.S. Small Administration presents the SBIR Road Tour

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a United States program funding source coordinated by the Small Business Administration, established to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in top priorities in America’s agenda with the ultimate goal of creating a strong national economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the launch of the SBIR Road Tour “Seeding America’s Future Innovations”, a national outreach effort touching 11 states through 15 stops to present the opportunities related to the SBIR program for small innovative firms. Each stop will be hosted by a local organization involved in supporting technology-based entrepreneurship and will give participants the opportunity to directly interact with federal agency program managers and decision makers.

To participate in one of the events, please select the event location from the drop down menu at this link and follow the instructions to complete the registration.

For any further information about the SBIR Road Tour, please visit the dedicated website here.


Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with A.T. Kearney, has recently released a White Paper focusing on the current technology landscape and the impact new technologies have on production-related sectors. Based on more than 90 interviews with chief operations, technology and information officers of companies developing and implementing technologies, the publication puts the attention on five technologies – namely the internet of things, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, wearables and 3D printing - that are transforming the global production ecosystem. The high potential of these technologies is not exploited at its maximum extent and according to the insights included in the paper companies have to rethink and retool their internal organization as well as governments have to reassess their strategies and improve their technical readiness.

Companies and governments have to embrace this Fourth Industrial Revolution to achieve a sustainable and inclusive growth, in particular support programmes to deploy these emerging technologies could represent an important step in this path.

Read “Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation” here.

OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators

Since 1981 the OECD has been realizing the ‘Main Science and Technology Indicators’ providing insightful data and information on research and development investments in OECD Member Countries and other major economies.

Data shows that R&D intensity across OECD countries remained stable at 2.4% in 2015 and that Israel performed well by registering the highest R&D intensity (4.25%) and positioning itself as the best performer (after two years ranking in the second place) while Japan faced a slight decline in 2015 (3.5%). By referring to the EU area, the countries with the better performances have been Germany (2.9%), France (2.2%) and United Kingdom (1.7%).

The publication also points out the decline of government-financed R&D: in 2010 it accounted for 31% of total OECD R&D expenditure and it fell to 27% in 2014.

Numerous figures covering all aspects of R&D, including tax incentives are taken into account in this volume.

To find out more data, insights and access specific information about the indicators analyzed please download the publication here.

Recommended Website

IPR SME helpdesk Hub for China, Asean, Latin America

The China, South-East Asia and Latin America IPR SME Helpdesks are a EU funded initiative providing practical, objective and factual information to support European SMEs to better understand business tools for developing IPR value and managing risk.

An online platform is now available offering free advises and information on intellectual property and related issues. SMEs will access a wide range of services such us case studies, podcasts, webinars, factsheets, events as well as the chance to navigate by selecting the region of interest. Furthermore a live chat is available where experts will offer their support to protect and reinforce IP rights in China, Latin America and South East Asia.

Find out more at this page.


Highlighted events

50th Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting

From the 5th to the 7th of May 2017
Yokohama, Japan

From the 5th to the 7th of May Japan will host the 50th Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting. Under the topic “Building together Prosperity of Asia” the event will analyze challenges and opportunities in Asia and the Pacific as well as exploring how Asian Development Bank and its partners could work together in achieving a more inclusive and sustainable growth for the region.

The ADB Annual Meeting is expected to gather more than 3000 participants including finance ministers, central bank governors, representatives from the private sectors, international organizations and academia.

In addition to the official sessions and seminars organized by ADB, the host country Japan will promote a series of events focused on regional financial cooperation and the role of youth in poverty reduction as well as inclusive growth.

Interested participants are invited to visit the accreditation page.

More information is available here.

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Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 12th to the 14th of May 2017
The 2nd World Conference on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Organized by the Istanbul University
Istanbul, Turkey

From the 15th to the 17th of May 2017
13th INSME Annual Meeting on “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains”
Organized by INSME and INADEM
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

From the 16th to the 19th of May 2017
20th Moscow International Inventions and Innovative Technology Salon «ARCHIMEDES»
Organized by "InnovExpo", LLC
Moscow, Russia

From the 17th to the 19th of May 2017
The Intrapreneurship Conference
Organized by the Intrapreneurship Conference
Stokholm, Sweden

From the 31st of May to the 2nd of June 2017
AECM Annual Event - Global Conference on Guarantee Institutions for SME Financing
Organized by the European Association of Guarantee Institutions - AECM in collaboration with the World Bank and the SME Finance Forum
Madrid, Spain

From the 31st of May to the 2nd of June 2017
ASTP-Proton’s 2017 Annual Conference
Organized by the Association ASTP-PROTON Knowledge Transfer Europe
Budapest, Hungary

From the 1st to the 2nd of June 2017
Organized by the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

From the 7th to the 9th of June 2017
EBAN Annual Congress
Organized by EBAN
Malaga, Spain

From the 7th to the 9th of June 2017
University-Industry Interaction Conference
Organized by University Industry Innovation Network
Dublin, Ireland

From the 17th to the 19th of July 2017
8th International Science and Technology Conference
Organized by Vienne University of Technology, Sakarya University, Governors State University and The Association of Science, Education and Technology (TASET)
Berlin, Germany

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