Issue N° 167 - July/August 2018
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME Secretary General appointed as a Member of the Board of Directors of ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France)

On the occasion of the ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) General Assembly held on the 26th of June in Tunis, INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini was elected as a member of the ANIMA Board of Directors for the mandate 2019 – 2021. Together with Business France, FIPA – Tunisia, Agence de l’Oriental, Malta Enterprise, Confédération des Entreprises Citoyennes de Tunisie - (CONECT), Ceipiemonte Scpa, the General Authority For Investment & Free Zones (GAFI), AMEC, and the Syrian Enterprise and Business Centre – SEBC, INSME will support and provide guidance to the work done by ANIMA Investment Network in promoting the economies of the Mediterranean countries and encouraging an enhanced collaboration with economic actors from Europe.

To learn more about ANIMA Investment Network and its activities, please have a look at this website.

INSME President, Mr. Sergio Arzeni at the APEC CEO Forum in China

On the 6th of July in Beijing, INSME President Mr. Arzeni delivered a speech on “Digital Economy: Empowering Global Competitiveness” at the APEC China CEO Forum, the Asia-Pacific’s most influential meeting hosting APEC leaders as well as CEOs and senior executives of leading global and regional companies and organizations and many of the most successful entrepreneurs.

Under the theme “Global Economy and the New Cycle of China’s Development” the Forum aimed at i) discussing the core issues of China’s economic development, ii) looking for innovative growth in the new cycle of development, iii) assisting businesses to identify opportunities as well as iv) demonstrating China's global responsibility in the new era.

The 2018 APEC China CEO Forum was co-hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) and APEC China Business Council (ACBC). 

To learn more about the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, please click here.

8 ways beside patents to appropriate the returns from innovation according to INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini

Innovation is the main source to increase a firm competitiveness, nevertheless innovation as a public good does not automatically result in an economic return.

To obtain a profit from innovation, companies need to protect and take advantage from it.

In this article for the INSMEblog, INSME Secretary General Mr. Zazzerini presents 8 possible ways beside patents to profit from innovation.

For further details, please click here.

INSME welcomes a new Observer Member: SME Corporation Malaysia

INSME is proud to welcome SME Corporation Malaysia on board, the central coordinating agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia aiming at promoting the development of competitive, innovative and resilient SMEs through effective coordination and provision of business support. It acts as the central point of reference for research and data dissemination on SMEs, as well as, provides advisory services for SMEs in Malaysia. SME Corp. Malaysia also assumes the role of the Secretariat to the National SME Development Council (NSDC) which is chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

To learn more about SME Corp. Malaysia, please visit the official website here.

With the addition of SME Corp. Malaysia, INSME can now count on the support of 64 members from 30 different countries.

INSMEAcademy: join the INSME Community to learn more on social enterprises

The INSMEAcademy will be back after the summer break with a session dedicated to The meaning of social enterprises for economic and social development” held by Dr. Simone Poledrini, Adjunct Professor of Management of Innovation at the Department of Economics at the University of Perugia in Italy.

The webinar will present the main characteristics and potential of social enterprises with the ultimate goal of identifying a model for the development of a future business.

Please discover more about the session by reading the abstract available here.

The session will take place on the 27th of September from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. CEST. Registration is open and interested participants can already reserve their seat with an e-mail to including the following details: name and surname, organization and country.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

The Small Enterprise Development Agency – SEDA (INSME Strategic Member from South Africa) at the Torino Fashion Week organized by Unioncamere Piemonte (INSME Full Member from Italy)

A delegation of over 20 emerging South African designers led by the Small Enterprise Development Agency – SEDA (INSME Member from South Africa) participated to the Torino Fashion Week, an initiative organized by Unioncamere Piemonte (INSME Member from Italy) together with TMODA association from the 27th to the 3rd of July in Turin, Italy.

An entire day of the Torino Fashion Week was dedicated to South African fashion and its emerging designers enabling them to identify new markets, showcase their creativity and talent and meet with potential partners belonging to the Italian textile industry to innovate and improve their manufacturing skills.

To learn more about the Torino Fashion Week, please click here.

INTRASOFT International (INSME Board Member from Luxembourg) will support CYTA Cyprus in its digital transformation mandate

INTRASOFT International (holding INSME Vice Presidency) has been awarded the tender to support Cyta Cyprus - the telecommunications provider of Cyprus - in its digital transformation. INTRASOFT International will play a key role in the modernization of Cyta’s marketing capabilities and customer service experience by replacing its Business Support System – BSS with enhanced systems featuring technological state-of-the-art upgrades.

“We are very pleased to put our deep understanding of current and future needs of the telecommunication operators to work for Cyta Cyprus, where it will be leveraged to deploy a modern BSS ecosystem to advance customer experience and achieve operational efficiency.” stated Mr. Alexandros Manos, Managing Director of INTRASOFT International following the signature of the contract.

To learn more about INTRASOFT International and its services, please click here.

The European Trade Association for Business Angels – EBAN (INSME Full Member from Belgium) elected a new President and board of directors

The European Trade Association for Business Angels – EBAN (INSME Full Member from Belgium) elected a new Board of Directors and President on the occasion of the 2018 EBAN Annual Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria held on the 26th of June. 23 candidates were selected to serve the Board for the mandate 2018 – 2020 while Peter CowleyChair of the Cambridge Angels and Investment Director at Martlet was elected as EBAN President. Mr. Cowley has been an active angel investor for many years, has personally invested in over 50 startups and led many investment rounds. His election as EBAN President, marked the end of the four-year mandate for Candace Johnson who held the presidency of EBAN for two mandates and was welcomed to the EBAN President Emeritus Advisory Council, given the outstanding achievements during her presidency.

To learn more about the composition of the EBAN Board, please click here.

UNCTAD (INSME Honorary Member) and Alibaba Business School train African entrepreneurs

Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development – UNCTAD (INSME Honorary Member) trained 29 young entrepreneurs from 11 countries across Africa participating to an intensive eFounders Fellowship course in Hangzhou, China.

The eFounders Fellowship is part of a commitment by Jack Ma, Alibaba Group's Executive Chairman and UNCTAD Special Adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business, to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years and contribute in this way to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which include making sure no one is left behind in the digital economy. 

Participants to the course were founders or co-founders of platform-based ventures in the e-commerce, logistics, fintech, big data or tourism industries in Africa. In Hangzhou they had the opportunity to examine lessons learned from the experience of Alibaba executives and local practitioners and partners in ecommerce, payments, logistics, cloud computing, marketing, cross-border trade and innovation. They also had the chance of visiting the Hema SupermarketCainiao's smart warehouse and Rural Taobao’s service stations as well as discussing topics such as the gender aspect to global trends of ecommerce.

To learn more about the eFounders Fellowship, please click here.

The Global Innovation Index 2018

The Global Innovation Index 2018:
Energizing the World with Innovation is the result of a collaboration between Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO (INSME Member) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners including the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service – SEBRAE (INSME Member), the National Confederation of Industry of Brazil, PricewaterhouseCoopers – PwC and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

GII 2018 examines the innovation performance of 126 countries and economies around the world through 80 indicators which take into consideration a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.

This year the index highlights that:

  • investments in breakthrough energy innovations are key to global growth and to avoid an environmental crisis;
  • China’s rapid rise shows the way for other middle income economies;
  • translating investments in innovation into results will be crucial;
  • strong regional innovation imbalances persevere, becoming an obstacle to economic and human development;
  • most top science and technology clusters are in the U.S., China, and Germany; Brazil, India, and Iran also make the top 100 list.

Read more insights here.

INSME’s Picks in the News

The World Economic Forum, the Asia Pacific Initiative and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry recently opened the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Japan

The World Economic Forum in partnership with the Asia Pacific Initiative and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry recently opened the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Japan. The centre brings together leading businesses, start-ups, civil society, academia and international organizations to co-design new approaches to policy and maximize the benefits of technology by focusing in this initial stage on autonomous mobility, data policy and precision medicine.

The centre is part of a wider effort of the World Economic Forum to create a network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enabling business, governments and civil society to work together to ensure a human-centred future for innovation and lift humankind to new levels of well-being by taking into consideration the ethical rules and policies around technologies.

For further information, please click here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The European Patent Office – EPO announces the European Inventor Award 2019

The European Patent Office - EPO has recently opened the nominations for the European Inventor Award 2019 aiming at recognizing inventors for the genius of their invention, but also for the social and economic impact of their scientific and technological breakthroughs.

The award foresees five different categories: industry, research, non-EPO countries, SMEs and lifetime achievement. Among the eligibility criteria inventors must:

  • have been granted at least one European patent for an invention by the European Patent Office;
  • be citizens of one of the EPO’s 38 member states (for the nomination under the following categories: Industry, Research, SMEs and Lifetime achievement categories).

EPO experts will select winners and announce the 15 finalists who will also have the chance to be voted by the general public on the EPO website and social media and will receive the Popular Prize.

The best inventors will receive a trophy during the final award ceremony.

Nomination will close on the 28th of September 2018.

Please visit this page for more information about the European Inventor Award 2019.

COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology launches a call for actions

COST - European Cooperation in Science & Technology has launched a call for actions contributing to the scientific, technological, economic, societal or cultural knowledge advancement and development of Europe.

Proposed actions must represent a network of proposers from at least 7 COST Full or Cooperating Members and 50% of them shall be from COST Inclusiveness Target Country.

The COST Action Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval (SESA) does not fund research itself, but supports networking by encouraging activities such as meetings, scientific missions and trainings.

Selected proposals will receive € 129,000 per annum for four years, subject to the available budget.

The deadline for submitting a COST action proposal is the 29th of November 2018.

Find out more about the call at this page.

The Quality Innovation Award: participate to the competition

Since 2007 the Quality Innovation Award, a competition promoted by Laatukeskus Excellence Finland has been recognizing innovations contributing to the competitiveness of the participating countries. The competition is open to all types of innovations, such as product innovations, process innovations, potential innovations, networking innovations, brand innovations, customer engagement innovations and responsible innovations.

Among the award categories foreseen: potential innovations, for innovations that have not yet been tested on the market; responsible & renewable innovations, for innovations with an environmental focus; microenterprises & start-ups innovations; Small and Medium Enterprises innovations; large companies innovations.

Each national jury will select the best innovation that will access the final international competition.

By participating to the competition innovators will:

  • benchmark their innovation at a national and international level
  • raise awareness about their innovation
  • improve the ability to sell their innovation and access new markets
  • enhance innovativeness in their organization
  • get national and international recognition.

The application process will close on the 16th of September 2018.

Find out more at this page.

Submit your application to the 2019 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

Since 2016 Cartier, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD Business School have been promoting an annual international business plan competition to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards is open to women-run, for-profit businesses in any country and sector working to create strong social impact. The aim of the initiative is to encourage women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve global challenges by: supporting and recognizing creative women who are i) making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of our planet; ii) bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible.

The projects will be evaluated according to the following criteria: creativity, financial sustainability and social impact. 21 finalists will be selected and receive: personalized business coaching; entrepreneurship workshops, knowledge sessions and networking events; media visibility; a scholarship to attend the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme; networking opportunities through the Cartier Awards community.

The first prize for seven laureates is US$ 100,000, while the second prize for 14 finalists will be US$ 30,000.

Apply by the 31st of August and find out more about the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards at this page.

Erasmus+ Programme: the Call for Proposals 2018 is now open

Erasmus+ is the programme of the European Union to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. With the aim to contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, the programme foresees opportunities both for individuals and organizations. By participating to the programme, organizations have the chance to access several benefits among which an increased capacity to operate at an international level, improved management methods, access to more funding opportunities and projects, increased ability to prepare, manage, and follow-up projects, as well as a more attractive portfolio of opportunities for learners and staff of participating organizations. Erasmus+ comprises diverse key actions among which:

  • Key action 1: Learning and mobility of individuals, encouraging the mobility of students, staff, volunteers, youth workers, and young people.
  • Key action 2: Innovation and good practices, designed to develop the education, training, and youth sectors through five main activities (1. strategic partnerships, 2. knowledge alliances, 3. sector skills alliances, capacity building in the field of 4. higher education and 5. youth).
  • Key action 3: Meeting between young people and decision-makers in the field of youth.

The deadline of the next call for proposals is the 4th of October 2018.

More information about the programme is available here.


The Digital Transformation Scoreboard 2018: “EU businesses go digital: opportunities, outcomes and uptake”

The European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises - EASME has recently launched the Digital Transformation Scoreboard 2018, a publication that since 2016 analyses the uptake of digital technologies in businesses across the EU. According to the data collected Member States registered good performances, above the EU-28 average, but despite this positive trend Eastern and Southern Member countries still lag behind. The report finds out that the most digitally-aware countries are the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark and Luxembourg.
This year’s edition also introduced the Digital Pulse, a feature assessing the uptake of Industry 4.0 technologies by using digital analytics. Data collected from open sources like blogs, online press, social media channels show that cybersecurity, blockchain and artificial intelligence have been the three most popular technologies in 2017. The Scoreboard also analysed 19 national digital transformation policies and programmes and highlights that: these policies have common goals but differ in many aspects such as implementation size or funding approach, and focus equally on the development of new technologies and on the deployment and use in industry of existing technologies; industry and research stakeholders play a key role in supporting these measures.

Read the Scoreboard 2018 at this page.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released the 2018 edition of its annual report "Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean"

2017 with an amount of US $ 161.673 billion, which is 3.6% less in comparison with the 2016 data and 20% less than in 2011. This might be attributed to the fall in export commodity prices, that has significantly influenced investments in the extractive industries, and to the 2015-2016 recession that affected Brazil in particular. These negative trends were partially mitigated in 2017 when the GDP of the LAC region grew up to the 1.3% and oil and metals prices increased. These are among the data highlighted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in the recently released annual report “Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The report also stresses that the countries of the European Union are the largest source of FDI for the Region, in particular in South America, while the highest investments in Mexico and Central America come for the United States. Furthermore Chinese investments in Brazil increased in 2017.

Finally according to the ECLAC analysis there is a need for policies that attract FDI and integrate them into sustainable development plan for the region.

Find out more data and insights by downloading the report here.

Recommended website

THE NEXT SOCIETY: the official website is now online!

On the occasion of the first annual conference of THE NEXT SOCIETY held in Tunis in June, the official website of the project has been launched.

This initiative funded by the European Union aims at:

  • removing the barriers to innovation and unleashing the creative potential
  • reinforcing the innovation ecosystems and fostering the value created by innovators
  • pushing forward concrete solutions for leveraging social and development challenges.

By taking the project’s objectives into account, the website is intended to be a new platform for innovators from the MENA region to connect with peers and reinforce innovation ecosystems. The platform is a source of relevant information on the project’s activities as well as on financing and jobs opportunities as well as success cases.

INSME contributes to the project as an affiliated entity and is actively involved in the Advocacy Panels set-up around the concept of “National Innovation Ecosystem” aiming at identifying needs in 7 target countries that will be addressed during the Technical Assistance Programme.

Visit the website here and stay up-to-date with THE NEXT SOCIETY initiatives and opportunities.


Highlighted events

Forum for Local Development Practitioners, Entrepreneurs and Social Innovators

From the 18th to the 19th of September 2018
Organized by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development – OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Porto, Portugal

On the 18th and 19th of September 2018 Porto, Portugal will host the 14th OECD Forum for Local Development Practitioners, Entrepreneurs and Social Innovators. The Forum will gather more than 300 participants for an open discussion aiming at identifying actions to re-shape workplaces of the future. In particular the meeting will address two main questions:

  • How can national and local leaders better prepare people and places for the new world of work?
  • What new jobs and opportunities will entrepreneurs and social innovators bring to the table?

Furthermore the OECD will present the new publication “Job Creation and Local Economic Development 2018”, dealing with local and regional implications of automation and non-standard work.

Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, holding INSME Vice Presidency is among the partners of the initiative.

Find out more and register at this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 5th to the 8th of September 2018
XVI International Triple Helix Conference 2018
Organized by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Manchester, United Kingdom

From the 10th to the 11th of September 2018
The European Innovation Council’s Innovators Summit
Organized by the European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises – EASME in cooperation with Berlin Partner
Berlin, Germany

On the 11th of September 2018
The EIT Digital Partner Event “The future of Europe’s digital innovation driving global impact fuelling growth with talent and deep tech”
Organized by EIT Digital
Brussels, Belgium

On the 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 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development – UNCTAD (INSME Honorary Member)
Geneva, Switzerland

From the 23rd to the 24th of October 2018
IP Statistics for Decision Makers
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 19th to the 21st of November 2018
2018 SME Assembly
Organized by the European Commission
Graz, Austria

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