Issue N° 168 - September 2018
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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME President at the 2018 Global Innovation Forum, Binh Duong - Vietnam

From the 10th to the 13th of October the World Technopolis Association - WTA (INSME Member from South Korea) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a series of events focused on "Smart City as an Innovation Engine for Sustainable Growth".

The event will include the 11th WTA General Assembly, the Hi-tech Fair and the Global Innovation Forum "Towards a better place to live: smart cities". The forum taking place in Binh Duong, Vietnam is organized in partnership with UNESCO (INSME Member), People's Committee of Binh Duong Province and the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Forum will discuss strategies and policies to increase cities competitiveness with a focus on the identification of challenges and necessary institutions for those countries that are establishing a friendly ecosystem to build smart cities.

Among the high level speakers invited to the event, there will also be Mr. Sergio Arzeni, INSME President, who will intervene during the session "Smart City Platform and Innovation Ecosystem Building". Mr. Arzeni will highlight the increasing role of cities and regions in the economic growth as well the importance of the adoption and implementation of policy measures that foster innovation and entrepreneurship, build networks and public private partnerships, and facilitate a conducive ecosystem.

For further information about the initiative, please click here.

THE NEXT SOCIETY: next round of advocacy panel meetings in Mashrek

The EU-funded project THE NEXT SOCIETY is organising the second round of advocacy panel meetings: one-day workshops gathering the main local and international stakeholders to strengthen the innovation ecosystem of the project target countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia), encourage the collaboration among actors involved and prioritize measures to improve innovation policy. To reinforce the national innovation system, INSME (project affiliated entity) will participate in the second round of meetings to present innovation best practices which might work as successful models with already validated lessons learnt to be possibly adapted to the local contexts through a technical assistance programme. During the next Egypt advocacy panel taking place on the 10th of October, INSME Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini, will present best practices related to the topic "Internationalization Strategies for Startups".

The additional meetings are scheduled for:

  • the 8th of October in Palestine;
  • the 24th or 25th of October (tbc) in Morocco.

For further information about the advocacy panel meetings, please click here.

The project also recently launched the dedicated website featuring plenty of opportunities in the Mediterranean, ranging from tools for the identification of business partners to a selection of job vacancies. To have a look at the website, please click here.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

META Group's Anniversary: 25 years of spurring innovation

META, whose Vice President and Founding Member Mr. Andrea Di Anselmo holds the INSME Vice Presidency, has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. On the 27th of August 1993 META was founded to meet a crucial challenge: the inability to transform research in marketable products and services.

Since its very beginning META's motto is "knowledge to market" and over the last 25 years of activity in the city of Terni, Umbria (Italy) and across Europe, META has adopted a pragmatic approach based on the finding that what really works is combining policy with capacity buildings and organisation of investment resources.

As of today META is a key player on a European scale, but its native city, Terni is still the place where most of the activities are managed - including venture capital funds, the META Academy and advisory work. As written by Mr. Luigi Amati, CEO at META, in his LinkedIn post celebrating these 25 years of successes "There are, of course, thousands of cities like Terni, and regions like Umbria, across Europe. They are all home to people who need a future, so META's first 25 years are just the beginning."

Find out more about META at this page.

INSME Members joining forces for a plea for a dedicated SMEs instrument in the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Following the presentation of the next Framework Programme Horizon Europe, a consortium of Italian organizations and institutions including INSME Members CONFAPI - Confederation of Italian Small and Medium Industry and UNIONCAMERE, together with CONFINDUSTRIA, CONFCOMMERCIO, CONFARTIGIANATO, CNA and APRE promoted a plea for maintaining an instrument dedicated to Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

The consortium welcomes the proposal of the Commission to maintain the future European Innovation Council - EIC, but highlights the need for an SMEs dedicated instrument that, on the footsteps of Horizon 2020, will represent "a key pre-condition to contribute to the competitiveness and modernisation of Europe, where SMEs play a fundamental role as an important component of the whole innovation eco-system."

Read the declaration here.

Transnational Entrepreneurship: contributions made and the challenges faced by transnational entrepreneurs discussed at the OECD workshop

On the 3rd of September the OECD headquarters hosted a workshop on "Transnational Entrepreneurship" organized by the OECD in partnership with the Essex Business School, the University of Essex and the International Entrepreneurship Forum. The event aimed at exploring and discussing the contribution made and the challenges faced by transnational entrepreneurs who set up new ventures in host and origin countries. During the sessions high-level speakers - including global researchers, policy makers and leading transnational entrepreneurs - discussed themes such as cross-border dynamics, the dual or multiple habitus of transnational entrepreneurs, the uses and development of export opportunities, value chain involvement, technology and global pipelines in different industrial sectors. The workshop was opened by Ms. Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities of the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) and Prof. Jay Mitra, Adviser to the Board of the Forum for Sustainable New Venture (INSME Member from the United Kingdom) who focused his introductory remarks on "Understanding Transnational Entrepreneurship: Scope, Contributions, Issues, and Policy Considerations".

The themes treated during the workshop will be further analysed from the 12th to the 14th of December on the occasion of the 17th International Entrepreneurship Forum - IEF to be held in Nancy, France.

Find out more about the OECD workshop on Transnational Entrepreneurship at this page.

EUIPO report on "The Baseline Of Trade Secrets Litigation In The EU Member States" contributed by INSME Board Member, Mr. De Tullio

Trade secrets and confidential business information are key assets for growth, competitiveness and innovative performances across EU Member States. There is a high degree of differences between the legislation in the single Member States on the protection against unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets.

These issues have been analysed in a report recently released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO "The Baseline of Trade Secrets Litigation in the EU Member States" finding out that the first difference among national systems is the lack of a precise definition of trade secrets as the only two countries where a definition of ‘trade secret' is set forth by the Industrial Property Code are Italy and Portugal. In this fragmented framework, the EU Directive entered into force on the 9th of June 2018 introduced a significant legal means to establish a harmonised regulatory framework aiming to guarantee the protection of trade secrets across its MSs and to foster sensitivity to trade secrets protection among EU businesses and institutions. Based on the data analysis across EU Member States, the report provides readers with insightful information for each country, including the definition of trade secret and the measures taken by owners of trade secrets to protect secrecy. Mr. Elio De Tullio (INSME Board Member), from De Tullio & Partners is one of the contributors to the report.

Read the whole publication at this page.

INSME's Interviews

Interview with Mr. Alejandro de la Peña, Secretary General of ALADI - The Latin America Integration Association

"Innovation it´s not a matter of a particular task or project, it's a philosophy to reach even what now seems impossible." states Mr. Alejandro de la Peña, Secretary General of ALADI - The Latin America Integration Association (INSME Member from Uruguay).

In this interview Mr. de la Peña shared his view on SMEs and innovation highlighting that openness and ongoing dialogue, as well as encouraging people to take risks are essential ways to stimulate innovative thinking.

Read the whole interview at this link.

News from the INSMEblog

What do cities want? The link between subjective well-being and entrepreneurship in cities

Identifying what contributes to a higher quality of life perception is fundamental for policy makers to attract the best talents in the market. Therefore understanding the link between subjective well-being and entrepreneurship in cities is a priority for scholars and regional policy makers who aim to understand the drivers of entrepreneurship, innovation and regional prosperity.

In this new article for the INSMEblog, Dr. Maksim Belitski, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom and Dr. David Audretsch, Distinguished Professor and the Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University analyze six domains of quality of life perception to identify what well-being is in European cities and why it can work as a driver for entrepreneurship development and economic growth.

Click here to read the article.

INSME's Picks in the News

cOAlition S, an initiative to make Open Access to research publications a reality

Realizing Open Access to research publications by 2020 is now a likely reality thanks to cOAlition S, a declaration of commitment of 11 national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC).

The initiative launched on the 4th of September is built around Plan S consisting of one target and ten principles. The funders participating in cOAlition S will work together with researchers, universities, libraries, and publishers to implement - by the 1st of January 2020 - the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: "By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms."

To learn more about the participating national funders as well as the 10 principles, please click here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Co-financing of consortia for public procurement of innovation

EASME - The Executive Agency for SMEs has launched a call for co-financing of consortia for public procurement of innovation aimed at contributing on the one side to a significant increase in the number of SMEs that have access to the public procurement market, on the other to increasing the awareness on the advantages of procuring innovation for public buyers.

The call is open to consortia of public buyers from at least two eligible countries. EASME will grant projects implementing a public procurement for innovation (PPI) action. Public buyers in the consortium will procure the identified innovative solution(s) while demonstrating that i) they will be new to the public buyer, ii) the solutions are not yet available on a large-scale commercial market and iii) the solution(s) can be of interest to public buyers in other EU Member States.

The expected EASME contribution ranges between EUR 800 000 and EUR 1.5 million for each proposal while the total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is EUR 4 000 000.

The deadline for submitting proposals is the 11th of December 2018.

For any further information on the eligibility criteria, please click here.

Researchers, inventors and innovators are invited to apply for the 32nd Khwarizmi International Award (KIA)

The Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST) calls researchers, inventors and innovators from all over the world with outstanding scientific achievements to apply for the 32nd Khwarizmi International Award (KIA).

The initiative in particular aims at recognizing scientific achievements falling under one of the following categories: applied research; fundamental research; research & development; invention & innovation with a sum of money, a trophy and a certificate.

The deadline for submissions is the 20th of November 2018.

KIA Laureates will be announced in December 2018 and will be awarded during a special ceremony that will be held in February 2019.

To apply, check the fields of participation and key dates, please visit this webpage.

Call for expression of interest for external experts to support the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds

DG Regio has launched a call for expression of interest to set-up a pool of external experts to support the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds.

The call is open to natural persons or, if they are employed by a legal person, to authorised representatives of these entities. Applicants have to prove at least three years of professional experience for junior experts and seven years for senior ones. Language skills are an additional selection criteria: applicants will have to demonstrate the ability to draft and communicate in English at C1 level and minimum at B2 level for at least one other EU official language.

Selected experts will be involved in activities such as drafting of terms of reference for call for proposals and tender invitations, evaluation of projects submitted for RegioStars awards, technical assistance for the follow-up and final evaluation of pilot projects and preparatory action, among many others.

Remuneration is fixed at 350 EUR/day worked for junior experts and 750 EUR/day worked for senior experts. The travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed under the conditions set out in the contract.

For any further information about eligibility requirements and documents to be provided, please click here.


The European Innovation Scoreboard

The European Innovation Scoreboard provides an annual comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of the EU Member States and selected third countries.

This year's Scoreboard shows that innovation has increased in the EU and that progress has accelerated in recent years. Despite that, progress remains uneven in the EU as there has been no convergence between EU countries performing at lower levels and those performing at higher levels. The scoreboard shows that performance has increased most in Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and the UK while decreased most in Cyprus and Romania.

For what concerns SMEs, the report brings the attention on the share of SMEs introducing innovations which decreased over the past decade, even though preliminary data from the Community Innovation Survey suggest a reversal trend. Broadband penetration, venture capital investments together with business innovation activities are expected to drive an accelerated growth in EU innovation performance in the coming years.

For more detailed data, please click here.

The State of Digital Investments in MENA 2013-2017 Report

Dubai SME and Arabnet recently released "The State of Digital Investments in MENA 2013-2017 Report" examining the technology investment landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the aim of providing a comprehensive overview on the digital startup ecosystem in the region by identifying trends and market challenges.

The report is built on data collected from 52 investors and accelerators in the MENA region, specifically in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia, and Bahrain.

Among the main findings the report points out that:

  • the mean annual growth rate of tech investors in the MENA region is at 31% covering the period between 2012 and 2017;
  • the value of investments over the past few years reveals a 35% rate of increase;
  • not much has changed in terms of female representation since 2016. The previous report showed that females represent 14% of all founders, the numbers have remained constant in this year's report;
  • the corporate investor trend continues to grow in the MENA region where many companies are competing for a share of the startup ecosystem.

Read more insights here.


Highlighted events

Global Conference on "Social Innovation and Humane Entrepreneurship from Policy to Action"

From the 4th to the 5th of October 2018
Organised by the International Council for Small Business - ICSB (INSME Member)
Salerno and Ravello, Italy

The International Council for Small Business - ICSB (INSME Member) will contribute to the international debate on sustainable and human-based entrepreneurial models at the dawn of the 21st century with a Global Conference on "Social Innovation and Humane Entrepreneurship: From Policy to Action" organised in collaboration with the University of Salerno, Italy on the 4th and 5th of October 2018.

On October 4th, at the University of Salerno, key speakers and research groups engaged internationally on the themes of Social Innovation and the Humane Entrepreneurship will be presenting their most recent findings.

On October 5th, at the historic Villa Rufolo complex in Ravello, entrepreneurs, policy makers and representatives of institutions and global organisations will continue a common reflection about the role of SMEs in creating economic growth, organisational welfare, and social development through innovation and entrepreneurial orientation.

The results of this debate will nurture further initiatives of ICSB to be undertaken in the framework of the collaboration already established with the United Nations about SDGs accomplishment.

INSME supports the initiative and the Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini will moderate the Round Table on "The role of innovation ecosystem in supporting Sustainable Entrepreneurship" taking place on the 5th of October.

Please find more information about the conference at this page.

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 8th to the 11th of October 2018
European Week of Regions and Cities 2018
Organised by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions
Brussels, Belgium

From the 14th to the 17th of October 2018
LES 2018 Annual Meeting
Organised by the Licensing Executives Society
Boston, United States of America

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

From the 22nd to the 23rd of October 2018
EBAN Winter Summit 2018 "Better Together, How to Shape a More Sustainable and Innovative World"
Organised by the European Business Angels Network - EBAN (INSME Member)
Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

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

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

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"
Organised by the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From the 15th to the 16th of November 2018
Start-ups in Innovation Ecosystem in South-East Europe
Organised by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service and the Technology Park Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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

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

From the 21st to the 23rd of November 2018
11th CLAC 2018 "Leadership for Innovation and Competitiveness in Latin America: territorial development strategies based on clusters"
Organised by the City of Knowledge

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