Issue N° 156 - July/August 2017
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Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

while we hope the first half of 2017 has been rich of professional and personal satisfaction, we would like to wish you a relaxing and refreshing summer break!

May the summer time be an opportunity to recover, recharge the batteries and get inspired by new ideas for the remaining part of the year!

INSMEnews will be back in September, and now as usual enjoy your reading!

The INSME Secretariat


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME committed to strengthen linkages between training institutions and SMEs in Vietnam

The 19th of July marked the closing date of the Italian experience of a Vietnamese delegation involved in an Italian Development Cooperation Programme “Raising Youth Employment through School-Enterprise Connections in Bac Ninh Province” aiming at increasing the access of young people to labour market in the province of Bac Ninh.

INSME together with ELIS NGO welcomed the delegation for a 4 week training programme that gave participants the chance to gain a better understanding of the driving role SMEs can play in creating jobs for young people and give a boost to a country’s economy. Company visits alternated with more theoretical lessons provided participants with methodologies related to effective communication, cross cultural management, good practices on work-related programs and project management.

Please contact the INSME Secretariat at for more information about training programmes and capacity buildings.

INSME at the annual meeting of the OECD WPSMEE’s Informal Steering Group on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing

On the 7th and 8th of September 2017 INSME will attend the annual meeting of the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship’s Informal Steering Group on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing. The event to be held in Paris, France will be a unique occasion to share views in preparation of the 2018 edition of the OECD Scoreboard on SME and Entrepreneurship Finance. The annual meeting will also be a key opportunity to discuss ongoing SME finance related work: the first day will be dedicated to present country trends and developments while the second day will be dedicated to examine the latest analytical work on SME finance.

To have a look at Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2017”, please click here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The ESIL capacity building program

European Early Stage Investors meet many challenges among which the lack of common practices on how to start an activity, the lack of coordination within early stage financing ecosystem, the non-homogeneous growth of local markets and many others. In this framework, a solution is offered by ESIL - Early Stage Investing Launchpad, a capacity building programme coordinated by META Group (holding INSME Vice Presidency) that includes a matchmaking platform, online pitching events, webinars, study visits and open days. The programme targets high-net-worth individuals, business angels, co-investment funds, crowdfunding platforms, innovation centres, policy makers and public agencies.

ESIL is promoted by the EU Directorate-General for Research & Innovation to develop awareness-raising and capacity-building for business angels and other early-stage investors.

Find out more about this initiative involving, among others, Business Angels Europe - the European Confederation for Angel Investing (INSME Member) at this page.

SRM (INSME Member from Italy) releases the 2017 Report “Italian Business in Israel”

Israel is a very dynamic and innovative country and is one of the most interesting markets worldwide. It attracts capital and investment up to $ 100 billion meaning more than 36% of its GDP. The country also registers the highest percentage in the world of investments in Research & Development - 4% of its GDP and is positioning itself as one of the most important actors in the Mediterranean and global economic scenario.

These are some of the findings of the recently published “Italian Business in Israel”, a report developed by SRM – Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno (INSME Sustaining and new elected Board Member) in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo highlighting:

  • that Research & Innovation investments, agritech business and port logistics are the main assets of the country;
  • that the economic relationships with Italy have been strengthened, taking into account that over the last 15 years Italy’s trade with Israel has grown by 55.3%;
  • Israel’s business development strategies.

Discover more at this page.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), the financial arm of Dubai SME (INSME Member from UAE), and Beehive join hands to provide digital financing solutions for start-ups

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund, the financial arm of Dubai SMEs (INSME Member from the United Arab Emirates) and Beehive, a peer to peer finance platform, has been recently signed to facilitate SME financing and enhance SME performance. The MoU will give SMEs owners in Dubai the chance to get loans for development and expansion at competitive rates through the Beehive Group Finance Platform.

According to Mr. Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the agreement will be a further opportunity to transform Dubai in a Smart City, to access modern financial technologies (FinTech) and leverage the concepts of crowdfunding and peer to peer financing without depending on banks or other financial institutions.

More information is available here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The BaltCap Growth Fund launched to increase regional competitiveness

The opportunities for growth in both traditional and new industries in the three Baltic States, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, are remarkable but SMEs in the region need investments to remain competitive and increase their productivity. To meet this need for investments the BaltCap – the Baltic largest private equity firm - has launched the Growth Fund targeting Baltic SMEs and supporting them with € 50 million to create regional market leaders and increase exports.

Find out more about this Fund introduced with the support of the European Investment Fund – EIF (INSME Member) at this page.

Innovative Start-Ups in Jordan to Benefit from Early Stage Financing

A new project to promote entrepreneurship in Jordan has been recently kicked off by the World Bank and will support ca. 200 startups across the country with and investment of $ 50 million. The Innovative Startups Fund Project will enable the launch of the “Innovative Startups and SMEs Funds” (ISSF) that with a $ 49 million co-financing from the Central Bank of Jordan will bring the total working capital of the ISSF to $99 million. Investments in startups will be balanced between the three high risk enterprise stages: seed, early stage, and venture capital and will mainly address entrepreneurs from less developed regions and disadvantaged groups such as women entrepreneurs. Investments will cover all sectors, with a special attention to sectors like technology, media, telecommunications and green energy.

To find out more please visit this page.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

2017 Innovation Express Call

In the framework of the BSR Stars programme – a flagship of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) to promote macro-regional smart specialization - the 2017 Innovation Express call for proposals has been launched to foster the internationalization of SMEs through cluster initiatives. Technology/knowledge transfer, training, feasibility studies, strategic analysis and mutual benchmarking with a strong focus on transnational cooperation are the activities that can be envisaged in the project proposal under this call. Proposed activities must include at least three SMEs while the participation of large companies, company associations, universities, research organisations and other public organisations is encouraged. Furthermore, proposals need to address another cluster initiative or SME consortia in a BSR country or elsewhere internationally.

In order to be considered eligible, the applicant has to be an SME network or cluster initiative based in a geographical area where an Innovation Express funding or extended partner is present.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 31st of October 2017.

To learn more about available funding and receive detailed information about the call, it is possible to get in touch with the reference person for each funding partner, whose details can be found here.

AppsAfrica Innovation Awards 2017

The AppsAfrica Awards recognize the best in mobile and tech services launched in at least one African market.

Mobile and tech ventures regardless of their location can apply in the following 12 different categories: Disruptive Innovation Award; Best Social & Messaging Award; Best African App Award; Enterprise Solution Award; News & Entertainment Award; Educational Award; Fintech Award; Social Impact Award; Brand Campaign Award; mCommerce Award; Changing Africa Award; Outstanding Industry Achievement Award.

Winners will receive multiple benefits including global media coverage on diverse channels (BBC, IT News Africa, Quartz, Ventures Africa, MemeBurn, TechCabal among others), recognition and the opportunity to network with 300+ peers and investors at the Awards party taking place in Cape Town, South Africa on the 6th of November 2017.

The deadline for sending applications is the 8th of September 2017.

Read more about the Awards at this link.

CORNET Call for Proposals for international Collective Research projects

Collective Research Networking – CORNET launched a call for proposals which is the result of a joint initiative of diverse funding organisations worldwide. Proposals should address collective research that can be qualified as such on the basis of two key criteria: it serves the need of a wide grouping of companies (in this case mostly small and medium enterprises) and incorporates knowledge transfer as an integral part of collective research. Every proposal supporting SMEs in their innovation effort is welcome and there is no specific industrial sector to be targeted, even though some of the participating funding organizations might be interested in supporting projects in specific technical areas.

The main typologies of activities that can be carried out are industrial research and development and applied research and development but in some countries/regions demonstration, technology/knowledge transfer and dissemination workshops/training activities can also be envisaged.

Project proposals should have a maximum duration of 24 months and budget available depends on the resources made available by the funding agencies. For further information on the budget, it is advisable to visit this section of the CORNET website. In order to be considered eligible, at least two countries/regions that have a funding organization participating in the call (Austria; Belgium-Flanders; Belgium-Wallonia; Canada-Québec; Switzerland; Czech Republic; Germany; Japan; Netherlands; Peru; Poland) can submit a proposal and should build up a consortium composed by three entities: an SME association, organisation or group or research organization.

The deadline for the submission of project proposals is the 27th of September 2017.

For further information about the eligibility criteria, please click here.

Interesting Initiatives

RisingStar Accelerator: Switzerland’s first accelerator dedicated to startups in cyber security

Rising Star Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early stage businesses, launched Switzerland’s first accelerator dedicated to startups in cyber security: RisingStar, an accelerator identifying and selecting the best pre-seed and seed stage startups.

Selected startups will have the possibility to experience a 24 week program including 13 weeks of training providing participants with the necessary skills and tools to bring their start up from proof of concept to market entry. The education programme will be followed by 11 weeks dedicated to fund raising and meetings with potential investors, clients and partners.

Participants will also receive CHF 15,000 (ca. € 13,000) to cover their expenses in Geneva where RisingStar is located and which is considered a global center of excellence for cyber security.

To learn more, please visit the dedicated website here.


The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996-2015

According to a study commissioned by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) in the US the licensing of academic research to industry boosted industry gross output of a range between $320 billion to $1.33 trillion while contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) ranges from $148 billion to $591 billion.

The report also estimates that the person-years of employment supported by licensed-product sales of U.S. universities and hospitals and research institutes ranges from 1.268 million to over 4.272 million over the 20-year period.

To read more insights please download the report here.

The European Innovation Scoreboard 2017

The European Innovation Scoreboard presents an analysis of EU innovation performance that is measured this year according to 10 different dimensions grouped in four main types of indicators: framework conditions, investments, innovation activities and impacts. According to the scoreboard there are 6 countries – Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom – that are performing above the EU average. This group of innovation leaders is followed by Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Slovenia which are recognized as strong innovators by having a performance above or close to the EU average. Below the EU average, the scoreboard points out the performance of moderate innovators such as Croatia, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain among others, followed by the modest innovators such as Romania or Bulgaria with performance well below the EU average.

The Scoreboard also includes a future outlook of EU innovation performance that is expected to increase from 102% this year to 104% in two years’ time.

To read an in depth analysis, please click here.

Recommended Newsletter

The ASEAN Economic Integration Brief

As 2017 marked ASEAN’s 50th anniversary and the second year since the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), on the 30th of June the ASEAN Secretariat released the inaugural issue of the ASEAN Economic Integration Brief (AEIB).

AEIB will provide regular updates about the progress of the ASEAN economic integration and relevant news about global and regional development related to ASEAN.

The first issue includes the region’s economic outlook and features two articles dedicated to the role of ASEAN in today’s challenging global environment and to an analysis of the process of ASEAN’s integration and community building in the last 50 years. The second issue of the brief will be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.

To read more insights, please have a look at the brief here.

Recommended Website – new website for transferring SMEs into worker-owned cooperatives

In the framework of the European project TransfertoCOOPS, Cooperatives Europe and CG Scop recently launched a new website providing relevant information on the benefits and conditions to transfer a business to a worker-owned cooperative.

Worker-owned cooperatives represent an untapped potential of economic dynamism as they would ensure sustainable expertise and would secure jobs.

The website includes all perspectives of the parties involved in a transfer of a business to a worker-owned cooperative: business owners, employees and chartered accountants who through testimonials tell their stories based on their own experiences.

It is also possible to directly contact Cooperatives Europe to ask for further support in this regard through a dedicated form.

To learn more, please browse the website at this link.


Highlighted events

15th Triple Helix International Conference

14th - 16th of September
Daegu, Korea

Organized by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)

The 15th Triple Helix International Conference on “Fourth Industrial Revolution, Design Thinking and the Triple Helix” hosted by ASIALICS Korea will take place from the 14th to the 16th of September in Daegu, Korea. The conference is organized around four thematic roundtables analyzing the TripleHelix institutions in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and special sessions dedicated to case studies and methodologies on the topic. The Conference will also foresee plenary sessions featuring keynote speeches from the President of the Korean Federation of Science & Technology Associations, Dr. Myung-Ja Kim; the President of the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, Dr. Sang-HyukSohn; the TripleHelix Association President, Prof. Henry Etzkowitz and the Vice President of the Malik Institute, Dr. Christiane Gebhardt.

To learn more and register for the initiative, please click here.

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Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

On the 5th of September 2017
MIP European Patent Forum 2017
Organized by Managing Intellectual Property
Munich, Germany

From the 10th to the 13th of September 2017
2017 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Majors' Forum
Organized by Brisbane City Council in collaboration with WTA - World Technopolis Association (INSME Member)
Daejeon, Korea

From the 14th to the 16th of September 2017
The 16th International Entrepreneurship Conference on "Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Economic Development"
Organized by INSME, IEF, University of Essex, Essex Business School and King's College
Kathmandu, Nepal

From the 19th to the 20th of September 2017
Techinnovation 2017
Organized by Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI)

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 13th to the 17th of October 2017
AIPPI World Congress
Organized by the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property – AIPPI
Sydney, Australia

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

From the 24th to the 25th of October 2017
Making Finance Work For Women Summit
Organized by Women’s World Banking
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

From the 7th to the 9th of November 2017
20th TIC Global Conference
Organized by TCI Network
Bogota, Colombia

From the 22nd to the 24th of November 2017
The 2017 SME Assembly
Organized by the European Commission
Tallin, Estonia

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