Issue N° 159 - November 2017
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


Contact the editorial staff


Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Take away messages from the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017

The impact of the one belt one road initiative on international trade and investments is evident, in this framework what usually remains hidden is the link between innovation and internationalization. INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini, analyzed this connection on the panel dedicated to the “Maritime-Continental Silk Road” during the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (WEIF) 2017 held from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain and organized by UNIDO ITPO Bahrain.

On the one hand the impact of innovation on internationalization is straight forward: innovation contributes to the creation of competitive advantage and, to exploit it to its maximum extent, companies have to access international markets. On the other hand, the impact of internationalization on innovation is more intricate. When companies enter new markets on a global scale they access new information and opportunities that become fundamental to innovate. Innovation and internationalization are therefore intrinsically related. The auspice is that innovation and internationalization march ‘arm in arm’ and that policy makers and entrepreneurs facilitate this virtuous cycle to take the most by both.

For further information about the WEIF 2017, please visit the website here.

The NEXT SOCIETY: an update on the Advocacy Panel meetings

The 1st round of the national advocacy panels for an innovation policy agenda has been progressing with the meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon on the 17th of November. This high-level meeting was organized by Berytech, with the support of ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) in the frame of THE NEXT SOCIETY, an initiative funded by the European Union that aims to mobilize entrepreneurs, innovators and corporate ecosystems to tackle the innovation and sustainable development challenges faced in the Mediterranean by targeting Europe and 7 Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan).

The national advocacy panels for an innovation policy agenda are a unique occasion to bring together private and public local actors as well as international players in one place to share views on the national innovation system, identify challenges, propose and prioritize measures to overcome them. The implementation of these measures will be supported by technical assistance missions conducted by international experts, an activity in which INSME will be directly involved given its role of affiliated entity to THE NEXT SOCIETY project.

The next appointment with the national advocacy panel will be in Ramallah, Palestine on the 6th of December.

For any further information about THE NEXT SOCIETY project, please follow the accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

The INSMEblog new posts!

This month the INSMEblog offers an overview on the Montenegrin research and innovation landscape by Ljiljana Belada currently working at the Directorate for Development of SME, Montenegro, within the Ministry of Economy.

Montenegro is a young country that since its independence in 2006 has been dedicating efforts to reforms aimed at creating a more suitable environment for research and innovation. Despite many initiatives, new legislation, and adoption of strategies, Ms. Belada states that there has been little tangible progress in the area of R&D capacity, technology transfer and innovation in Montenegro because of different reasons, among which the lack of funding plays the most important part. Further steps will have to be taken by the country to give a boost to its Science and Research system by looking specifically to raising the level of investments into science, stepping up bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and creating conditions for science to become the driving force of innovation in the country.

The month of October was also rich of interesting contributions: the blog featured articles providing insights on Polish (EU13) SMEs in the Framework Programme - Horizon 2020 and sharing views on the role of the founder in an entrepreneurial business.

Learn more about innovation methodologies, approaches and insights from all over the world on the INSMEblog at this link.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

SMEs Connect: a programme by Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member)

Home based businesses and startups in Qatar can now benefit from a unique initiative developed by Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member) aimed at facilitating their growth: SMEs Connect.

SMEs Connect is a membership program enabling its members to get involved in an extensive SMEs business network and take advantage of discounted services and products, as well as networking opportunities.

The service offering has been categorized into four main typologies:

  • professional services: ranging from discounts on recruitment services or online education courses;
  • suppliers: including special prices on transportation or courier services;
  • hospitality: offering a wide range of opportunities to reserve venues at advantageous prices;
  • and marketing: presenting reductions on a diversity of marketing solutions.

To get a wider overview on the opportunities of SMEs Connect, please click here.

Asian Development Bank (INSME Member) launches new funded trade finance product to promote trade in developing Asia

New opportunities will arise for importers and exporters and particularly small and medium enterprises in developing Asia thanks to a new partnership between the Asian Development Bank (INSME Member) and J.P. Morgan.

Under this new agreement, ADB and J.P. Morgan will share risk—on a funded basis—on underlying trade finance transactions and will finance more than $100 million in trade, giving a considerable boost to growth and job creation in developing Asia.

The partnership is the first of its kind under the ADB Trade Finance Program’s (TFP) new funded risk sharing product, providing loans and guarantees to over 200 partner banks to support trade. These banks provide companies with the financial support they need to engage in import and export activities. Since 2009, ADB’s TFP has supported more than 11,100 small and medium-sized businesses across developing Asia - through over 16,000 transactions valued at over $28.5 billion - in different sectors.

Read more about the agreement at this link.

The International Trade Centre - ITC (INSME Member) announced the 2018 edition of the SheTrades Global

Women entrepreneurs willing to sell and/or buy products and services are invited to apply for the 2018 edition of SheTrades Global, the flagship event of International Trade Centre (INSME Member)’s SheTrades initiative to connect one million women entrepreneurs to market by 2020.

SheTrades Global is expected to welcome more than 600 companies acting in four sectors - beauty and wellness; IT and business-process outsourcing; textiles and apparel; and tourism in Liverpool, United Kingdom from the 26th to the 28th of June 2018. The event will be organized in synergy with the International Business Festival, which is a major global festival of trade and investment held every two years in Liverpool.

The participation to the SheTrades initiative is an opportunity not to be missed: previous editions of the event have generated more than US$ 80 million worth of commercial transaction agreements and led to thousands of business contacts including those made through the web and mobile app.

The deadline for sending applications is the 31st of December 2017.

For any further information on how to apply, please click here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The European Commission announces the 2018 Work Programme

On the 24th of October the European Commission presented the Work programme for 2018 including plans to conclude the work on President Juncker's ten political priorities before the end of its mandate, as well as a series of initiatives that looks towards 2025 and beyond.

Stimulating job creation, boosting growth and investments, contributing to a deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base, harnessing globalization and migration are all priorities that remain at the top of the European agenda for 2018.

By looking beyond 2018, the European Commission identified the need to create a more united, stronger and more democratic union, especially with regard to the new Union of 27, that will enter into force from the 30th of March 2019.

With this in mind, the European Commission will:

  • work towards a credible enlargement perspective for frontrunner candidates in the Western Balkans for a more united union;
  • propose a Multi-annual Financial Framework, a more efficient Single Market law-making and more efficiency and consistency in implementing the Common Foreign Policy; the European Commission will also take forward the discussion with regard to EU energy and climate policy for a stronger union;
  • propose the creation of a permanent and accountable European Minister of Economy and Finance for a more democratic union.

To learn more about the priorities and future actions of the European Commission, please click here.

Saudi Arabia established “Fund of Funds” for Small Enterprises

Small and medium enterprises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can now access capital by taking advantage of a new investment vehicle established by The Public Investment Fund (PIF) investing in venture capital and private equity funds: the “Fund of Funds”.

The Fund, counting on a capital of SAR4 billion (ca. 906.000.000.000 EUR), will considerably impact on the national GDP with around SAR400 (ca. 91.000.000 EUR) million by the end of 2020, and the provision of more than 2,600 jobs. Its contribution to GDP is expected to increase to SAR 8.6 billion (1.900.000.000.000 EUR) by the end of 2027, creating around 58,000 jobs.

The Fund perfectly fits into the Saudi Vision 2030 objective of facilitating private sector growth and supporting the development of SMEs in creating job opportunities, promoting innovation, and increasing exports as per the commercial by-laws, to support and encourage investment in SMEs.

Further information is available at this page.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The MINERVA Fellowship 2018 spring/summer session

There is time until the 15th of December to apply for the second slot of the MINERVA Fellowship Programme, offering the opportunity to collaborate with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and support it in its research and policy analysis on EU-Japan economic and industrial issues.

The Research Fellow is expected to work on a selected priority topic of the Centre that will result in a 70-100 page policy report to be owned by the Centre.

This opportunity is open to citizens of a EU Member State, COSME third country or Japan with a university degree and a strong interest in Japan and EU-Japan relations.

The fellowship will last 6 months and the successful candidate will receive € 1700-2000 per month to cover daily expenses and accommodation in Tokyo.

Discover how to apply at this page.

Fast Track to Innovation

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is a bottom-up measure in Horizon 2020 that promotes close-to-the-market innovation activities open to all innovation actors who are promoting business-driven projects. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the time from idea to market and to increase the participation in Horizon 2020 of industries and SMEs.

With a maximum EU contribution of € 3M per proposal with time-to-grant (from the cut-off to the signature of the grant) of around 6 months, FTI is open to consortia comprising between three and five legal entities established in at least three different EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020.

Proposals can be submitted until the 25th of January 2018.

To find out more about the Fast Track to Innovation click on this link.

The third call for proposals launched by INTERREG Central Europe

INTERREG Central Europe opened the third call for proposals for transnational project ideas focused on the improvement of capacities for urban and regional development in four key priority areas:

  • Innovation and knowledge development
  • Low carbon economy
  • Natural and cultural resources
  • Transport.

The call is open to transnational partnerships including both public and private organizations from at least three countries. Projects are expected to last 36 months and will be co-financed up to 85%.

The deadline to apply is the 25th of January 2018.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply at this page.

Interesting Initiatives

Visa launches Foundation with a first financial commitment of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking

Micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of global economy and significantly contribute to job creation worldwide. Despite this, MSMEs struggle to access financial tools, capital and training programmes enabling them to enhance their competitiveness. Given this framework, the Visa Foundation has just been launched with the core mission to support and implement measures to overcome this imbalance. To mark this initiative Visa Foundation will support Women’s World Banking with $20 million grant spread over five years. Visa Foundation and Women’s World Banking will develop sustainable solutions for women entrepreneurs, in particular, the programme will encourage the development, test and scale of innovative and sustainable product and will drive knowledge sharing, innovation and best practices within the global community on how to support MSMEs. The programme will initially address India, Mexico, Egypt and Nigeria as key markets to drive growth among low-income, women-owned small enterprises.

Find out more about Visa Foundation at this page.


Industry in Europe: Facts and Figures on Competitiveness and Innovation 2017

Industry is a catalyst for progress and a driver for the future of the European Union and its citizens. Given this the EU has established and continues to implement measures supporting industries’ empowerment. In order to offer a comprehensive point of reference to identify initiatives and gaps to be addressed, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission has published “Industry in Europe: Facts and Figures on Competitiveness and Innovation 2017”. Through three chapters, the publication:

- identifies the key factors to be addressed in order to strengthen industrial competitiveness, namely investments and access to finance, development of key technologies, adoption of more sustainable business models;

- details EU initiatives creating an environment that supports competitiveness, among which the ones improving the access to finance, ensuring high-quality education, supporting improvements in resource efficiency and uptake of more circular business models;

- offers examples of sector-specific initiatives.

Find out more by reading the publication available at this page.

World Employment and Social Outlook 2017: Sustainable enterprises and jobs - Formal enterprises and decent work

The promotion of job creation and entrepreneurship as well as the formalization and growth of micro, small and medium enterprises are prerequisites to achieve the goal of “decent work and economic growth” established in the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In this frame the International Labour Organization has published the “World Employment and Social Outlook 2017” examining how the global and regional environment for firms is evolving since 2008 and the impact these developments have on firm performances and job dynamics. Global unemployment rate stands at 5.8% and private sector social enterprises play a key role in creating decent jobs. The report highlights three main findings:

1. International trade stimulates employment growth, however the period of stagnation of global trade had an important impact on employment growth. The report finds that the impact of trade in terms of productivity, quantity and quality of jobs varies considerably between firms: exporting and importing firms, for example, are more productive than firms that do not engage in trade and they pay higher wages than their non-trading counterparts.

2. One of the major constraints faced by enterprises is accessing finance. The improvement of the institutional environment, through greater accountability, transparency in information and respect of the rules of law, is crucial as it would allow financially constrained firms to gain access to external formal funds for their working capital, and this would enable them to invest, expand and hire more workers.

3. Innovation is a key driver of competitiveness for MSMEs as well as of sustainable growth and development. Innovative firms tend to be more productive, create more jobs, employ more skilled workers and hire more female employees. Innovation needs to be supported and public institutions play a crucial role in promoting it, funding and investment in research.

Discover more by reading the whole report available at this page.

Recommended Website

The Social Innovation Community repository

In the framework of the Social Innovation Community, a EU project funded under Horizon 2020, the consortium established an online repository including a series of materials and tools available for innovators, policy makers and researchers to improve their skills in design for Social Innovation. Some of the contents of the repository are:

  • The Handbook of Social Innovation including learning materials and tools to improve and adapt processes within an organization/institution;
  • The resources section, enriched with relevant articles, links, projects that can support the implementation of a Social Innovation project;
  • The collection of Social Innovation case studies.

Discover more by visiting this page.


Highlighted events

EUROMED Invest Final Conference

On the 14th of December 2017
Organized by the MedAlliance Consortium
Brussels, Belgium

On the 14th of December the European Economic and Social Committee will host the final conference of the EUROMED Invest Project.

The event aims at evaluating the project’s actions, measuring their impact and highlighting the role and involvement of the European Union in the development of the MED region.

The participation to the final conference will represent a unique occasion to meet representatives of both public and private institutions from the Euro-Mediterranean area, exchange views on the next actions to be undertaken for a sustainable growth in the Mediterranean area.

INSME actively contributed to the EUROMED Invest Project as an affiliated partner.

Have a look at the agenda of the event available here and visit this page for more information.

IPBC Europe “Harnessing IP value in European Companies”

From the 20th to the 21st of March 2018
Organized by IAM
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mr. Elio De Tullio, INSME Board Member and managing partner of IP firm De Tullio & Partners, will be among the speakers of “Harnessing IP value in European companies”, an event promoted by IAM, one of the world’s leading IP business information provider that created IPBC Europe to focus specifically on the challenges facing IP managers inside European businesses looking to devise and build sustainable strategies for a rapidly changing world.

The event taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from the 20th to the 21st of March 2018 will provide IP owners in Europe with tools and insights that will enable them to craft world-class IP management and value creation programmes.

In particular the initiative will give participants the opportunity to:

  • Hear how to build a 21st century in-house IP function cost effectively
  • Receive business-focused overviews of international developments influencing patentability and litigation
  • Learn how to leverage your IP portfolio to create value from collaborative deals, licensing and financing
  • Gain deep insight into Europe’s current IP landscape and identify the key developments that will affect a strategy over the next five years
  • Meet thought leaders from some of the world’s most innovative IP-owning companies as they share their experiences and expertise.

In addition, discounted rates for INSME Members have been foreseen. Please contact the Secretariat at this e-mail address to get your discount code.

For more information and to register visit this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

On the 5th of December 2017
U.S. Data Innovation Day 2017: Smarter Government, Smarter Communities
Organized by the Centre for Data Innovation
The event will be live-streamed

On the 6th of December 2017
National Competitiveness in the Global Economy: What’s the Plan, Uncle Sam?
Organized by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation - ITIF
Washington, United States of America

From the 7th to the 8th of December 2017
IP Summit 2017
Organized by Premier Cercle
Brussels, Belgium

From the 11th to the 12th of December 2017
The 11th edition of the European Venture Contest Final
Organized by TechTour
Düsseldorf, Germany

From the 12th to the 14th of December 2017
Social Entrepreneurship Development | Brokerage Event
Organized by Social Seeds, RaiSE and SOCENT SPAs
Brussels, Belgium

From the 14th to the 15th of December 2017
The 4th Annual World Open Innovation Conference
Organized by Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, ESADE and others
San Francisco, United States of America

From the 15th to the 16th of January 2018
The International Intellectual Property Law Association - IIPLA 4th Dubai IP Congress
Organized by IIPLA
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 16th to the 18th of January 2018
The WIPF conference on 'Navigating the IP Compass'
Organized by the World Intellectual Property Forum
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 23rd to the 25th of January 2018
10th Global Intellectual Property Convention
Organized by ITAG Business Solutions Ltd
Bengaluru, India

From the 29th of January to the 1st of February 2018
10th International Invention Fair in the Middle East
Organized by Kuwait Science Club in collaboration with the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva under the Patronage of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

On the 1st of February 2018
The 16th Annual European Financial Services Conference
Organized by ForumEurope
Brussels, Belgium

From the 19th to the 20th of February 2018
World Business Angels Investment Forum 2018
Organized by the World Business Angels Investment Forum
Istanbul, Turkey

From the 22nd to the 23rd of February 2018
Second European Industry Day
Organized by the European Commission - DG Growth
Brussels, Belgium

From the 25th to the 28th of March 2018
ISPIM Innovation Forum "The Innovation Game: Base Hits, Not Home Runs"
Organized by ISPIM (INSME Member) in partnership with MassTLC & D'Amore McKim School of Business
Boston, USA

top of the page

Supporting organisations:


Sustaining Members:



You are receiving this Newsletter because you are included in our mailing list of recipients who are involved or interested in INSME.
Please feel free to forward this Newsletter to others you think might find it interesting and useful.
You are also welcome to partly or fully reproduce and disseminate the contents of this publication
provided that you acknowledge the source.
To subscribe/unsubscribe to the INSME Newsletter, please visit the page

INSMEnews is edited by the INSME Secretariat. We welcome contributions as well as comments and suggestions.
For enquiries please contact the INSME Secretariat at
Previous editions of INSMEnews are available at

INSME Secretariat
Via Giosué Carducci 4
00187 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06-68806803


Join us on Follow us on