Issue N° 154 - May 2017
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Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

From the 15th to the 17th of May, Puerto Vallarta - Mexico was the gathering spot of hundreds of innovation practitioners, experts, policy makers and researchers who met to discuss “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains” on the occasion of the 13th INSME Annual Meeting.

The INSME Secretariat would like to thank the host of the initiative, the Mexican Institute of the Entrepreneur – INADEM, INSME Members and all participants for making the 13th INSME Annual Meeting a memorable one!


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

The 13th INSME Annual Meeting: a further step along the path of innovation

From the 15th to the 17th of May more than 700 innovation practitioners, experts, policy makers, representatives from business support organizations and academia from 40 different countries gathered in Mexico to be part of a unique series of events to respond to the challenges SMEs face nowadays. The events involved some of the major key players on the international arena, namely INSME, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD, the Organization of American States - OAS and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System - SELA.

Thanks also to the efforts of the Mexican Institute of the Entrepreneur - INADEM, the INSME member co-hosting of the event, the 13th INSME Annual Meeting has been a successful and enriching gathering. A holistic approach to the main topic “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains” has been adopted, a variety of issues have been treated and ideas of collaboration shared by internationally renowned Speakers that identified solutions to integrate more efficiently SMEs along global value chains. Collaboration, education, digitalization, tools and platforms have been recognized as keys to let SMEs prosper.

With the regard to the life of the Network a partially new composition of its governance has been approved for the period 2017 –2019: the Association officially welcomed the new Board and Secretary General, and confirmed the President and Vice Presidents. For a complete overview of the new INSME governing bodies please click here.

Welcome to two new Members joining the Network: the Forum for Sustainable New Venture and EconomiX!

Two new Members have recently joined the Association, enriching the pool of expertise and competences of the Network. We proudly welcome:

The Forum for Sustainable New Venture, new Full Member, is a UK-based Network aiming to promote and support the creation of new ventures and innovative growth of SMEs through advocacy, research, training, consultancy and networking activities with a particular attention to the following themes: new business creation, innovative growth of SMEs, SME networks and value chain, the digital economy and SMEs, female owned SMEs, diaspora communities and SME internationalization, transnational SMEs, SMEs and regional economic development. The Forum for Sustainable New Venture is also a partner of the 16th International Entrepreneurship Forum on “Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Economic Development” taking place from the 14th to the 16th of September in Kathmandu, Nepal and organized by the Essex Business School, King’s College and INSME.

A new Observer Member, EconomiX, a French research centre in economics operated by the French National Research Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Paris Nanterre. It combines theoretical and applied research in various fields of economics. EconomiX undertakes researches and co-operative relationships by developing partnerships with academics institutions, public authorities and businesses. Find out more about EconomiX and its activities at this page.

A successful kick-off for the Next Society Project

From the 15th to the 17th of May Athens, Greece hosted the kick-off of the European Project Next Society. It brings together two lots called MedValley and MedVentures, financed by the European Union through the Directorate-General Neighborhood and Enlargement (NEAR) and coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France). The project aims at strengthening innovation ecosystems in the Mediterranean through networking and promotion activities, fostering the creation of national strategies and supporting beneficiaries towards international markets. Activities will be carried out from January 2017 until December 2020, in Europe and 7 Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan) including events and activities taking place throughout the Med region. INSME contributes as partner to the project.

Follow the project initiatives on Twitter and Facebook.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

Dubai SME, the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection and IP Academy Singapore form partnership to launch ‘Dubai Intellectual Property Centre’

On late April a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Dubai SME (INSME Member from the United Arab Emirates), the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) in Dubai and IP Academy Singapore to establish the Dubai Intellectual Property Centre. The Centre will launch a series of training programmes addressing the private and government sector covering trademarks, IP protection and innovation with the aim to become a platform that consolidates an IP culture in the United Arab Emirates and in the whole region. The Centre will involve the private sector, governmental bodies and the academic community to develop strategies that best respond to the needs of entrepreneurs and enhance performance and transparency among businesses in Dubai and across the UAE.

Find out more about the Dubai Intellectual Property Centre at this page.

UNIDO Annual Report 2016

2016 has been a significant year for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization as it marked its 50th anniversary.

As highlighted in the Annual Report 2016, the UN General Assembly entrusted UNIDO to lead the implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2015-2025), confirming itself as the reference organization for matters related to the industrialization of developing countries. The report also states that technical cooperation remains a central pillar of the organization that during the year delivered $179 million, out of which 55% was dedicated to “Safeguarding the environment” thematic priority, 22% to “Advancing economic competitiveness”, 20% to “Creating shared prosperity” and 3% to cross-cutting services. A further issue highlighted is the centrality of the inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) and its importance in achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including the SDG 9 on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.

To find out more about the activities and achievements of UNIDO during 2016 please read the whole report here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The European Cloud Initiative to reap the benefits of big data revolution

The European Commission recently announced the ‘European Cloud Initiative’, a new Open Science Cloud offering 1.7 million researchers and 70 millions science and technology professionals an environment to store, share and re-use their data across diverse disciplines and borders. This will ensure European high performance computing in line with its economic and knowledge potential.

More information is available at this page.

One-billion dollar innovation fund launched in Singapore to drive enterprise growth for our future economy

A series of initiatives has been initiated in Singapore to give new impetus to enterprises growth.

The Ministry of Law and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore are promoting actions and collaborations among which it is worth mentioning:


  • the update of the IP Hub Master that will support the recommendations of the Committee on the Future Economy to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help companies innovate and scale up. The estimation is that at least 1.5 billion dollars will be injected in Singapore’s economy in the next five years and the number of skilled IP experts will double. This would contribute to make Singapore the Global IP Hub for Asia.
  • the Makara Innovation Fund for IP-driven companies, the first private equity investment fund in South East Asia. With one million dollar budget the fund will support IP-driven companies to deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets.

Having identified IP as a key driver of economic growth, Singapore aims to build an innovation ecosystem helping local and foreign enterprises to transform their ideas into assets.

Read more at this page.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Suvorov Prize 2017: the Swiss Russian Award for Innovation

The Suvorov Prize is an award promoted by the Swiss Russian Forum in collaboration with the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) under the auspices of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow and the Canton of Zurich recognizing innovative projects that stand out for their innovation value, creativity, social relevance, marketability as well as financial viability.

Swiss and Russian citizens whose projects have a cross-national scope are eligible to apply.

Winners will be awarded with 2 million rubles (ca. € 32.000,00) for the first prize and 500,00 rubles (ca. € 8.000,00) for the second prize, one year start-up coaching and media coverage on the website of the Swiss Russian Forum. Winners will be presented during an award ceremony that will be celebrated on the 13th of November in Moscow, Russia.

The deadline for sending applications is the 11th of September 2017.

To learn more about the prize and the jury members, please click here.

The European Inventor Award 2018

Representatives from industry, research institutes, IP associations and universities as well as the general public are invited to submit nominations for the European Inventor Award 2018 promoted by the European Patent Office (EPO) to reward the best inventions protected by a European patent.

Nominations can be submitted in one of the following categories:

  • Industry: recognizing technologies patented by large European companies;
  • Research: for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes;
  • SMEs: for inventions coming from small and medium enterprises;
  • Non-European countries: for non-European inventors who have been granted a European patent;
  • Lifetime achievement: recognizing the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor.

To submit your entry and for any further information, please click here.

Interesting Initiatives

Global Innovation Policy Accelerator

NESTA identified a gap between the ability of public officials to design and implement better support for innovation and the existing resources, professional development and peer-support networks. Through the financial resources made available by the UK government’s Newton Fund, NESTA in partnership with Innovate UK launched the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator in July 2016, bringing together UK experts to increase the level of international collaboration and support the development of other countries’ innovation systems, specifically addressing innovation policy leaders from the four countries of the Pacific Alliance: Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru. The initiative is developed through four main phases envisaging two rounds of training, mentoring from UK experts in the public officials’ countries of origin and a final conference to present the results and share their learning from the programme. 

To find out more, please click here.


2017 Survey of Global Investment and Innovation Incentives

Identifying the most suitable incentives for an organization can be a challenging activity given the fact that within each country, local and regional governments have the power to fund incentives on their own and sometimes they target specific sectors to address precise policy goals. Deloitte detected the need for a global survey of innovation and investment incentives supporting the companies to understand the complex dynamics impacting the funding of innovation and investment strategy and helping them to prioritize the right incentives. The 2017 Survey of Global Investment and Innovation Incentives includes relevant information for 36 countries organized by key incentives for R&D, capital expansion, employment, training, energy sustainability and regional development. The survey includes charts identifying the regimes that have the following characteristics, among others: refundable research tax credits; countries that allow some research to be performed outside the country; countries offering research grants only; countries that permit qualified research activities to be performed outside the country without any restriction etc. In the cases of specific countries, the survey also provides an overview of the landscape for government incentives, offering a detailed analysis of the trends and factors than can influence them on a long-term perspective. With regard to EU countries, the survey also offers a review of the EU funding instruments for 2014–2020.

To download the pdf survey and explore data by country, please click here.

Access to finance for Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and their academic and industrial partners

Research and Technology Organisations – RTOs play a fundamental role in Europe’s R&D and innovation system by connecting industry and academia and adding value across the whole innovation value chain. Grants are a vital source of financing for RTOs but the funding landscape is changing rapidly and it is likely that the current availability of funds will not remain the same in the future.

This publication issued by the European Investment Bank, InnovFin Advisory and the European Commission states that to ensure sustainability of RTOs they will need to use current available grants in a “smarter” way, combining them with alternative and repayable sources of financing such as Venture Capital and Technology Transfer Funds. For some RTOs it is also advisable to optimize and complement their business models towards a more market-driven perspective.

The publication offers Open Innovation as a suggestion for RTOs to consider in order to generate a new streams of income for current and future investments.

To learn more, please click here.

Recommended Website

The platform

Digital Social Innovation is a project funded by the European Union to improve the way public services, communities and businesses work through digital solutions. The project consortium developed the open and accessible platform enabling users to:

  • present their work and be mapped as part of research alliances or membership bodies;
  • explore the community to identify potential partners and receive constant updates about the current trends in the field of digital social innovation;
  • scout funding opportunities and promote their events and initiatives;
  • access case studies and blogs on the topic.

To have a look at the platform, please click here.


Highlighted events

50th 2017 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors’ Forum

From the 10th to the 13th of September
Daejeon, Korea

Organized by the Brisbane City Council & sponsored by World Technopolis Association (INSME Member) and Korea Tourism Organization

From the 10th to the 13th of September Daejeon, Korea will host the 2017 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors’ Forum, the leading business and government forum for managing cities and urban development to share experiences, knowledge and identify solutions to the challenges city governance across the Asia Pacific region is facing. The event is supposed to gather more than 1,500 key decision-makers and influencers of urbanization from across Asia Pacific.

To register and to learn more about the event, please visit the dedicated website at this link.

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Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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

On the 2nd of June 2017
The 12th EU-China Business Summit
Organized by Business Europe and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
Brussels, Belgium

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

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

On the 15th of June 2017
European Inventor Award 2017
Organized by the EPO
Venice, Italy

On the 27th of June 2017
FP9 conference - "New world order: Science, Technology & Trade"
Organized by Science Business
Brussels, Belgium

On the 3rd of July 2017
Conference - Research & Innovation – Shaping our Future
Organized by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium

On the 5th of July 2017
The 5th Annual Conference on "Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court 2017"
Organized by Premier Circle in collaboration with the European Patent Office (EPO)
Munich, Germany

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

From the 14th to the 16th of September 2017
15th Triple Helix International Conference
Organized by Asialics and Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Daegu, Korea

From the 26th to the 29th of September 2017
34th IASP World Conference on Science Parks and Areas of Innovation
Organized by IASP
Istanbul, Turkey

From the 9th to the 12th of October 2017
The European Week of Regions and Cities
Organized by the European Commission Regional Policy DG and the Committee of the Regions
Brussels, Belgium

From the 16th to the 17th of October 2017
Organized by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
Budapest, Hungary

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