The rationale of the Network is based on the strict connection that is more and more linking the innovation process with the internationalisation process. Both dimensions are recognized as key for the competitiveness of SMEs in the global knowledge based economy. INSME's role is to create stable linkages among innovation stakeholders so as to enhance for its Members cross border business opportunities to develop alliances, exchange of knowledge, transnational technology transfer, bilateral and multilateral scientific and technological collaborations. In doing so, INSME acts as a network of networks, a hub, multiplier and disseminator of knowledge, a facilitator for new projects and partners identification, a promoter of networking and a catalyser to encourage North-South and South-South international cooperation as well as an ongoing open political dialogue among policymakers dealing with SME innovation needs.
INSME slogan is "Making innovation happen in SMEs". This goal is achieved by the INSME secretariat involving its Members so that the matchmaking between innovation services demand and its supply is fostered and accelerated across different regions, on a sectoral and thematic basis, according to INSME Members priorities and needs. INSME approach to innovation is at 360 degrees : both technological and non technological innovation, product, process and organisational innovation are addressed. Moreover, in order to reach its goals, the INSME Association has created partnerships with many organisations that deal at international level with issues related to innovation and technology transfer for SMEs, share the objectives set by the Network and are interested in developing synergies, exchanging know how and cooperating with INSME and its Members to gain mutual benefits, optimizing existing resources to address common challenges.
These strategic goals will be achieved by linking, extending and maximising the existing innovation and technology transfer service networks acting on a geographical, sectorial and functional basis. Recognising that there are many intermediary bodies and networks in developed and developing countries, this initiative will facilitate their networking in order to harness the potential of North-to-South, South-to-North and South-to-South flows of information and cooperation.
From an operational point of view all this will be pursued through:
- the creation of a permanent multi-stakeholder forum for the development of a knowledge-sharing process and the exchange of methodologies, approaches and good-practices in order to improve information and services on innovation and technology transfer for SMEs, to duplicate the success models in this field and encourage cooperation and partnerships between intermediaries;
- the offer of technical assistance to Governments and Organisations which intend to develop and promote policy measures and instruments aimed at fostering the diffusion of innovation and the transfer of technology, in order to improve the competitiveness of SMEs by enhancing and better organising the supply of intermediaries' services and their networking;
- the internationalisation, delocalisation and digitisation of intermediaries and their possible integration and aggregation, by benefiting from the advancements in information and communication technologies (ICT);
- the creation and the development of new innovation and technology transfer service networks for SMEs and for their intermediaries, at a sectoral and regional level, especially in those geographical regions which are suffering more from the digital divide and lack of services.