Issue N° 166 - June 2018
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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME Secretary General at the IdeaForum in Rome

On the 5th of June INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini, was among the speakers of the IDEA (Invention, Disclosure, Evolution, Ability) Forum, an event organised in Rome, Italy by FASI – Funding Aid Strategies Investments aiming at discussing the importance of protecting intellectual property in the digital era.

During his speech Mr. Zazzerini highlighted the crucial role of innovation for companies growth and competitiveness, but also stressed the many factors hindering innovation in SMEs (e.g. lack of funds for investments in R&I). Besides patents, there are other factors and strategies that enable SMEs to take out the most from investments in innovation. Among the possible solutions, Mr. Zazzerini identified the industrial secret, the tacit knowledge accumulated, the time to market, after sales services, learning economies etc.

To look in more depth at the subject, it is possible to watch the recording of the session here (only available in Italian).

Innovators meeting in Tunis for the Annual Meeting of THE NEXT SOCIETY project

The Annual Meeting of The NEXT SOCIETY project took place on the 26th of June in Tunis and was organized by ANIMA Investment Network (project coordinator and INSME Member from France) in partnership with APII (Agence de promotion de l'industrie et de l'innovation) and CONECT (Confédération des entreprises citoyennes de Tunisie).

The Annual Meeting has been a special occasion to bring together all the partner organisations to discuss current challenges, results and successes after the first year of implementation of the project.

INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini attended the event and shared updates on the role INSME has played so far as well as on the activities the Network is planning to carry out in the framework of the project, where INSME is a partner.

More information about The NEXT SOCIETY is available at this page.

Join the next session of the INSMEAcademy and learn how to pitch R&D results

On the 9th of July from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CEST, INSME Vice President, Mr. Di Anselmo (Vice President and Founding Member at META) will hold a webinar on how to present R&D results to raise money and interest. The session targets the ones having the responsibility to work with researchers and help them to progress along the “from knowledge to market” value chain turning R&D results into use, paving the way towards innovations and contributing to SMEs competitiveness, growth and employment.

To learn more about the webinar and the speaker, please have a look at the abstract here.

Please make sure to reserve your virtual seat by sending an e-mail to including your name, surname, organization and country.

The INSME Secretariat remains at your complete disposal for any further information you may need.

A new EU-funded project kicking off: the EBSOMED initiative

Enhancing business support organisations and business networks in the Southern Neighbourhood – EBSOMED is a new EU-funded project involving INSME as an affiliated entity.

EBSOMED is a 4-year initiative coordinated by the Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BUSINESSMED) and implemented by a consortium consisting of 5 partners including ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) aiming at boosting the Mediterranean business ecosystem, promoting an inclusive economic development and job creation.

In particular EBSOMED will improve the overall management capacity of Southern Mediterranean Business Support Organisations through enhanced services and quality standards.

The kick off meeting held in Tunis on the 28th of June aimed at presenting the regional project and all the activities that will be carried out, by highlighting also the engagement of the European Union in promoting the Euro-Mediterranean private sector ecosystem and a more inclusive economic growth.

Follow EBSOMED activities on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram.

Call for co-hosting and co-organising the 15th INSME Annual Meeting in 2019

After the successful annual meeting recently held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, where high level experts discussed opportunities and challenges coming together with the 4th Industrial Revolution, INSME is now accepting applications for co-hosting and co-organising the 15th Annual Meeting in 2019.

The Annual Meeting is the most relevant event in the life of the INSME Association: once per year members gather to discuss the achievements and activities to be potentially developed, explore opportunities for collaboration and common projects. The event usually takes place tentatively between April and May and is composed of 2-3 days including the INSME Board, the General Assembly, the International Conference and an Innovation Tour. A photo gallery of the 2018 INSME Annual Meeting held at the European Parliament is available on the INSME Facebook page here.

If you wish to play a protagonist role in a unique event gathering innovation experts from all over the world and be the key player in the discussion on the latest trends on the innovation and entrepreneurship agenda, please send your expression of interest to by the end of September 2018.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

SRM (INSME Sustaining Member from Italy) presented the 5th Annual Report on the Italian Maritime Economy

On the 5th of June SRM - Economic Research Centre related to Intesa Sanpaolo Group presented the 5th edition of the Annual Report on the Italian Maritime Economy highlighting the central role of the Mediterranean in global maritime trade traffic. Among the factors that make possible this pivotal role the report identifies: i) Chinese investments, including the Belt & Road Initiative ii) the renewed centrality of Suez iii) the presence of Free Zones that enabled aggressive strategies of portuality.

Italy is registering a positive trend, in 2017 the maritime import-export amounted to over € 210 billion, showing a 12.4% increase on the previous years. Italy is the first country in the EU28 in terms of goods transport by Short Sea Shipping in the Mediterranean, with 218 million tonnes of goods transported (market share 36%) and given its geographic position it could play a significant role in the Road & Belt Initiative.

The report also highlighted an emerging 5.0 perspective in the portuality: the port must be able to implement strategies aimed not only at attracting traffic but also at innovating and internationalizing the territory.

Please find out more at this page.

Mr. De Tullio (INSME Board Member from Italy) among the panelists of the 140th INTA – International Trademark Association Annual Meeting

The International Trademark Association celebrated its 140th Annual Meeting in Seattle, United States of America from the 19th to the 23rd of May.

INSME Board Member, Mr. Elio De Tullio (Managing Partner and IPR Attorney at De Tullio & Partners) was among the speakers of the event and actively intervened in the session focused on the significance of the indication of geographical origin. In particular the panel explored how the use of geographical indications meets the challenges in setting the correct production standards, including the production area delimitation and developing a powerful collective brand that interacts with individual trademarks.

Find out more here.

Dubai SME (INSME Full Member from UAE) opens first facility licensed under new guidelines for business incubators

Dubai SME (INSME Full Member from the United Arab Emirates) has recently announced the licensing of the first business incubator in Dubai that opens after the introduction of the ‘Incubators and Business Accelerators’ regulations. The regulations were introduced to ensure the necessary guidance and mentoring support to SMEs as well as create an exemplary environment for creative entrepreneurs.

In addition to the ‘Incubators and Business Accelerators’, Dubai SME also opened the "Re: Urban Studio" business incubator in the Dubai Design District, an integrated platform providing business and creativity development services to innovators, designers and entrepreneurs.

This is a step towards the development of a knowledge-based economy, in line with the UAE Vision Strategy 2021 and Industry 4.0.

Please read more at this page.

INSME’s Picks in the News

From Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe: the new framework programme for research and innovation 2021 -2027

The European Commission announced the new framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021 – 2027 that will succeed Horizon 2020. The proposed budget allocation is € 100 billion, out of which 97.6 billion under the new Horizon Europe Programme and the remaining 2.4 for the Euratom Research and Training Programme.

Horizon Europe will be the most ambitious programme ever. It will continue to drive scientific excellences through the European Research Council (ERC), the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges, in addition it will introduce new features such as:

  • A European Innovation Council, establishing a one-stop shop to bring the most promising high potential and breakthrough technologies from lab to market application, and help the most innovative start-ups and companies scale up their ideas;
  • New EU-wide research and innovation missions co-designed with citizens, stakeholders, the European Parliament and Member States with the aim to tackle issues that affect our daily lives;
  • Maximising the innovation potential across EU by offering a double support to those Member States facing challenges in exploiting their national research and innovation potential;
  • More openness: Horizon Europe will operate under the principle of 'open science', requiring open access to publications and data;
  • A new generation of European Partnerships and increased collaboration among EU programmes.

Read more about the new framework programme here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The Pitch@Palace Competition UAE for Emirati entrepreneurs

Pitch@Palace Competition is an initiative supported by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (holding INSME Vice Presidency) and aiming at providing Emirati entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with a platform to showcase their idea and connect with potential supporters such as CEOs, influencers, angels, mentors and business partners.

This year the competition will focus on “Technology Serving Humans” and applications should have a particular focus on the potential impact technology has on everyday lives.

Pitch@Palace Competition is open to a UAE National Individual or a team including at least 1 UAE National. Applications close on the 15th of August while the Pitch@Palace ceremony will take place at St. James’s Palace, UK, in December 2018.

To learn more about the initiative and the diverse phases of the competition, please click here.

Blockchains for social good: the EIC prize to develop solutions to social innovation challenges

The Blockchains for social good is a European Innovation Council Horizon Prize aiming at recognizing scalable, efficient and high-impact decentralised solutions to social innovation challenges using the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

The prize intends to:

  • pioneer decentralised solutions to global and/or local sustainability challenges;
  • make available decentralised solutions in order to avoid intermediaries and generate positive social change;
  • demonstrate the viability of solutions that enable an effective sharing of information, while respecting privacy and providing transparency;
  • encourage and stimulate the community of developers and practitioners in the field of blockchain for social good.

All legal entities (i.e. natural or legal persons, including international organisations) or groups of legal entities are invited to apply.

The value of the prize is €5 million, to be allocated in five awards of €1 million each, while the deadline for registrations of interest is the 2nd of April 2019.

To get some examples of decentralized solutions based on DLTs which have the potential to receive the money prize, please click here.

Keys to Japan - Your Market Entry Plan for Japan

Keys to Japan is an initiative funded by the European Commission and managed by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation providing support to EU/COSME SMEs which are considering marketing a service or a product in Japan.

Selected SMEs will have the possibility to get a detailed and personalized market entry business plan prepared by the Japan Market Expansion Competition – JMEC.

The business plan, worth €10,000, will be subsidized by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation for an amount equal to € 7,000 while the remaining € 3,000 will be covered by the company.

Industrial or consumer product or service companies are invited to apply.

Furthermore, applicants must meet the following additional criteria:

  • they have to be citizens of an EU Member State or COSME Third Country working in a management position for an SME headquartered in the EU or in a COSME Third Country;
  • they have to be at least 20 years old at the date of the submission of the application.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 31st of July 2018.

To learn more about the initiative and the submission procedures, please click here. – the third call for solutions is now open, an initiative funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme and coordinated by META Group (holding INSME Vice Presidency), is currently looking for European innovators, start-ups and SMEs with innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges and needs.

The challenges posted on the Social Challenges Innovation Platform by public authorities, private companies or third sector organizations aim at solving a wide range of issues in a local environment. It is possible to browse them by theme at this link. Each Challenge that will receive at least 3 solutions is eligible to get financed solutions.

The selected solution providers will be recognized with 30.000€ grant and a light mentoring scheme.

The deadline for submitting solutions is the 15th of July.

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


UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2018

Frontier technologies can play a key role in achieving the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These technologies can offer solutions to sustainable development challenges that are cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use. The UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2018 on “Harnessing Frontier Technologies For Sustainable Development” provides an overview on how these technologies can contribute to improving lives in developing countries, for example:

  • Big data analysis is helping to respond to outbreaks of deadly diseases;
  • Internet-of-things (IoT) devices are allowing farmers to monitor soil conditions to decide when is the best time to plant.

Considering the impact of these technologies, the report calls for an international and common effort to support the development of technological capabilities to spur innovation across all developing countries. Despite the undeniable benefits of technological development, the report also stresses that it can also outpace the ability of societies to adapt to the fast changes it generates. For this reason the report underlines the need for an international dialogue to develop policy responses to the serious ethical, environmental, economic and social questions raised by frontier technologies.

Read more insights in the publication available here.

Skill Shift: automation and the future of the workforce

Artificial Intelligence and automation are changing the nature of work. This paper on “Skill Shift: automation and the future of workforce” by McKinsey addresses the way in which the demand for proper skills is changing and how work is organized in companies, as people increasingly interact with machines. The report is built on the analysis of 25 core workplace skills today and in the future of Europe and the United States, with a focus on five main sectors: banking and insurance, energy and mining, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. The report highlights that:

  • the strongest growth in demand will be for technological skills which will rise by 55%; demand for social and emotional skills such as leadership will rise by 24%;
  • basic cognitive skills and physical and manual skills will drop by 15% and 14% respectively;
  • this shift will imply a need for organizational changes in companies that will have to invest in continuous learning for workers and more cross-functional and team-based work;
  • competition for high-skilled workers will increase while displacement will be concentrated mainly on low-skill workers, intensifying a trend which impacted on income inequality and reduction of middle-wage jobs;
  • respondents agreed on the importance for all stakeholders (firms and educators, industry associations and labour unions, governments and workers) to collaborate on managing the large-scale retraining and other transition challenges ahead.

To gain further insights, please read the paper here.


Highlighted events

XVI International Triple Helix Conference 2018

From the 5th to the 8th of September 2018
Organized by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Manchester, UK

From the 5th to the 8th of September, the University of Manchester will host the XVI Triple Helix Conference 2018 and welcome academia, government, business, and community to share knowledge, practices and methodologies of collaboration for economic progress, social development and sustainability by highlighting the role of cities and regions as enabling spaces for these interactions. The overall conference, will be focused on 6 main themes: geographical and sectoral dimensions of the triple helix; policy and governance of the triple helix; the triple helix in transition and emerging economies; socially responsible innovation and the quadruple helix; micro foundations of the triple helix: new actors, relationships, and business models. Keynote speakers have already confirmed their participation, among them Shiri Breznitz from the Munk School of Global Affairs, Canada; Iain Buchan from Microsoft Research and Maureen McKelvey from the University of Gothenberg, Sweden.

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

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

On the 26th of July 2018
7th SME Biz-Innovation Summit

From the 10th to the 11th of September 2018
The European Innovation Council's Innovators Summit
Organized by EASME in cooperation with Berlin Partner
Berlin, Germany

On 18th of September 2018
Fostering the Digitisation of Public Services in the EU: A Stepping Stone to a Digitally Advanced Society
Organized by Public Policy Exchange
Brussels, Belgium

From the 16th to the 18th of October 2018
21st TCI Network Global Conference "Unexpected Connections - Collaborating to Compete: Clusters in Action"
Organized by TCI Network
Toronto, Canada

From the 22nd to the 25th of October 2018
2018 World Investment Forum "Investing in Sustainable Development"
Organized by UNCTAD (INSME Member)
Geneva, Switzerland

From the 23rd to the 24th of October 2018
IP Statistics for Decision Makers 2018
Organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) and European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO
Alicante, Spain

From the 5th to the 6th of November 2018
The Global Forum | Shaping the Future 2018
Organized by ITEMS International
Copenhagen, Denmark

From the 10th to the 13th of November 2018
II International Triple Helix Summit on "The role of Government /Academia / Industry in building Innovation-based Cities and Nations"
Organized by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 18th to the 22nd of November 2018
Market-scoping mission to Japan for Construction & Building Technologies
Organized by EU Gateway | Business Avenues
Tokyo, Japan

From the 19th to the 21st of November 2018
2018 SME Assembly
Organized by the European Commission
Graz, Austria

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