Issue N° 149 - December 2016
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

In this Issue:


Contact the editorial staff

Keep up to date on innovation matters worldwide with the INSME Association!

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

this December edition is of great relevance for me personally, as after five years of inspiring collaboration I decided to leave for new challenges and adventures and would like to greet you all and thank you for your support and appreciation.

Being in touch with the INSME Community was an enriching opportunity to learn from you, to experience collaborative attitudes to co-create, improve and learn from each other.

I met passionate experts from all over the globe who allowed me to grow and I am sincerely grateful for this.

INSME has achieved great results in the last years and I can clearly perceive a positive trend.

This was possible, thanks to a motivated and professional team.

What I learned from diverse INSME Members is reflected in the quote below, that I leave as a little food for thought:

“Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same.”


Courtesy of:


It is time for me to say goodbye or better…keep in touch!! J

…and now as usual enjoy your reading!




Ms. Christin Pfeiffer

INSME Secretary General


Subscribe to INSMEnews and you will receive it via e-mail as soon as it is available for non-Members (at least two weeks after its official launch).

Follow us also on Twitter and LinkedIn !


Supporting organisations:


Sustaining Members:



Updates on the life of the INSME Network

INSME 2016 – a Network in Evolution!

Over 2016 the Network’s increasing commitment to stimulate innovation in SMEs resulted in a variety of successful initiatives enabling INSME Members to enhance the support services they provide. The knowledge-based nature of the Association has been nourished by adding new expertise to the Network through 7 new Members – among them two Sustaining Members: the Luiss Business School and Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno both from Italy. Rich networking opportunities have been offered: the 12th INSME Annual Meeting hosted by Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member), the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum in Italy and the monthly sessions of the INSMEAcademy strengthened existing and generated new partnerships by showing the high value of bringing together an international and multi-stakeholder audience, to share knowledge, address common challenges and brainstorm on potential solutions.

INSME’s participation in European and international project initiatives confirmed to be an asset for the Members. One project INSME is actively working on has been extended (the JEUPISTE Project), an extension request will be formulated soon for the EUROMED Invest Project while additional proposals are under negotiation.

In the year to come, thanks to the active involvement of the INSME Board the Network is looking forward to welcoming further new members, to launch joint business activities, discuss new trends on the innovation agenda and forestall criticalities for SMEs, that play a role of paramount importance in the economic development of any country.

INSME Members discussing Innovation Ecosystem and Impact Investment for Startups at the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum

Stakeholders from different continents engaged in a stimulating discussion related to the idea of a common agenda for internationalization and globalization during the 15th International Entrepreneurship Forum that took place from the 14th to the 16th of December in Venice/Udine, Italy. The three-days-initiative was organized by INSME and the Essex Business School with a strong support from the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) and Qatar Development Bank (INSME Board Member). The topic of internationalization and globalization of SMEs and new ventures has been addressed from an industry, academy and policy-making perspective throughout six main sessions. INSME Members intervened in the Forum by adding value to the first session dedicated to “Technology, Open Data, Ecosystems and SMEs” that analyzed how SMEs and startups can make digital their success by bringing together an innovation ecosystem to take advantage of available technology platforms. The second session of the Forum on “Impact Investment for Start-Ups and Growth, Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship” also featured diverse contributions from INSME Members, who discussed if local and regional factors affect decision makers when considering what type of investments to make, how to incorporate inclusive innovation strategies to increase their impact on the society and environment, and what metrics need to be used to measure social impact.

Networking was a pivotal aspect of the Forum and a special “come-together” organized by t2i (INSME Board Member) on the 14th of December was a most appreciated opportunity to strengthen connections among INSME Members and selected VIPs, as well as a means to learn more about t2i and brainstorm on the Association's action plan for 2017. Furthermore some private meetings among INSME Members and OECD representatives have also been arranged, in order to explore potential for collaboration and expand their portfolio of contacts.

Last but not least, local representatives guided participants to experience the excellence-driven approach towards innovation of the shoemaking district of Riviera del Brenta and the San Daniele Ham Cluster, where attendees were given a further chance to network in a creative and stimulating environment.

To learn more about the main items of discussion and conclusions of the 15th IEF, please have a look at its official website here.

The INSMEAcademy: sharing knowledge to enhance the skills of innovation practitioners worldwide!

By stepping into the footprints of success registered in the last years, the INSMEAcademy received a wide consensus by its participants in 2016, consolidating its position as an effective knowledge sharing and networking tool.

Within the course of the year, 18 trainers from 11 different countries have been involved during 11 sessions attracting 700+ participants from 60+ countries. With a view to supporting the INSMEAcademy’s multi-stakeholder community in its everyday business, a comprehensive approach to innovation was reflected in the didactic calendar which included topics ranging from productivity and governance in the metropolitan century to women entrepreneurship, from innovation management to public private partnerships, from design thinking to the use of communities for knowledge retention. Through the analysis of the feedback survey, the appreciation towards the quality of the knowledge shared is confirmed with 94% of respondents stating the topics treated were relevant to their daily work.

The digital networking offered by the online training platform is perceived as a clear value add to easily reach out to experts, exchange information and join forces to address common challenges. In fact, 84% of respondents considered the opportunities for interaction as above their expectations.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

How can start-ups be successful in the long run? An analysis from the IMP³rove Academy database

In diverse regions and countries, supporting measures for start-ups have resulted to be effective in the establishment of new companies. Nevertheless, an open issue still remains with regard to what the real enablers for start-ups are to scale up and achieve sustainability. IMP³rove Academy (INSME Member from Germany) in its latest analysis of more than 400 young companies, emphasizes the prominent role played by innovation management capabilities to secure a competitive position and ensure an accelerated growth. By differentiating between growth leaders and growth laggards as respectively top and bottom 10% of companies in the sample in terms of their annual total income as well as their average income growth rate, the analysis shows that growth leaders demonstrate a higher effectiveness in managing their innovation life-cycle processes.

To develop innovation support programmes for SMEs in your region, please have a look at more insights here.

“10 years of Foreign Investment and Business Partnerships in the Mediterranean” – A publication by ANIMA Investment Network

The Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Observatory – MIPO is an initiative launched by ANIMA Investment Network (INSME Member from France) back in 2003 to analyze and monitor foreign direct investments – FDI as well as partnerships (defined in terms of a foreign corporation approaching a domestic market) in 11 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Lybia, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey). Data analysis shows that FDI performance in the region is not homogeneous. While the region confirms its attractiveness to investors, the performance impact is lower than expected, considered its GDP or population. Even though diverse policies have been implemented in favor of a pro-business environment such as liberalisation, privatisation, free trade agreements etc., the region is still not exploiting these opportunities at their maximum extent. An increased alignment between these measures with education, industry, science and territorial development policies should be encouraged. ANIMA Investment Network suggests three main steps to be taken in order to enhance the efficiency of FDI: diversify the promotion of investments towards sectors which more directly generate jobs; support investors towards more inclusion, and last but not least reward investors which maximize their local impact through a label.

To download the publication please click here.

The Network for Business Sustainability – NBS recently released the Executive Guide “Business Models for Shared Values”

Nowadays companies are increasingly interested in creating economic value while also benefitting the society. Yet, managers face challenges to make this a reality. Based on a systematic review research and practice on 180 articles and several interviews with leaders and managers interested in the topic, the Network for Business Sustainability – NBS (INSME Member from Canada) released the executive guide on “Business Models for Shared Values”, providing a new approach on how to generate value through innovating business models. Three different tools are presented in detail to support managers and entrepreneurs in the design of business models:

  • the Hourglass Model: this approach helps managers to analyze how the current business model generates value which is shared with a variety of stakeholders, providing diverse forms of capital.
  • The Sustainability Strategy Roadmap: this model helps managers/entrepreneurs to design a focused strategy for shared value creation, develop a blueprint for their achievement, prioritize initiatives to reduce risks and increase the opportunities for success.
  • The Business Model Thinking Framework: by analyzing the features of innovating a business model as compared to innovating products or processes, this model supports managers and entrepreneurs to generate and validate new business models.

Find out more about how to increase shared value here.

INSME's Picks in the News

The European Commission gives boost to Start-Ups in Europe

The European Commission is devoting special efforts in supporting start-ups to exploit their innovation and job creation potential at the maximum extent. In this framework the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative helps start-ups to remain competitive in Europe by bringing together a variety of existing and new actions aiming at:

  • improving access to finance: the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group are about to kick-off the Pan European Venture Capital Fund of Funds. Investments of up to a maximum budget of € 400 million will be provided by the EU while fund managers shall raise at least three times the budget from private sources, for a minimum of € 1.6 billion to be triggered in venture capital funding;
  • providing second chances to entrepreneurs: the Commission is supporting entrepreneurs who did not succeed in previous business ventures with a legislative proposal on insolvency law, mainly allowing companies in a critical financial situation to restructure early and avoid bankruptcy;
  • taxation simplifications to support small innovative companies to internationalize.

Read more in the press release available here.

The U.S. Agency for International Development - USAID and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently co-hosted the 2nd Financial Inclusion Forum

Financial inclusion is a key driver of economic growth as an increased access to finance would impact considerably on job creation and investments in human capital. Given the digitalization era the society lives in, the opportunities to solve persistent financial exclusion are unique in time. As a matter of fact, even though 2 billion people in the world do not have an account with a formal financial institution, yet 1.6 billion of these people own a mobile phone. To discuss emerging best practices on financial inclusion and turn ideas into concrete actions, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury co-hosted the Financial Inclusion Forum on the 1st and 2nd of December 2016 in Washington D.C., USA. With the contributions of leading luminaries in this field such as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund - IMF, the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Chief Economist of the World Bank among many others, the Forum managed to gather prominent representatives from governments, international organizations, financial institutions, corporations and non-for-profit organizations to explore ways to design accessible financial products and services in the United States and in foreign countries.

To learn more please visit the dedicated website of the Forum here, where it is also possible to download the presentations.

INSMEblog and INSME’s Interview

Entrepreneurial culture and Start-Ups: a new culture encouraging entrepreneurship could trigger more innovative start-ups

High-growth start-ups in Europe have a rather low success rate if compared to other regions, for example the United States. According to this article by Mr. Klaus-Heiner Röhl from the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, Germany, the cause for that lies in two main factors. First of all Europe lacks a cultural dimension, meaning with that both the personality features of entrepreneurs (e.g. a desire for autonomy, risk tolerance and trust) as well as regional phenomena (e.g. an efficient network promoting innovation and entrepreneurship). Secondly, Europe deficits in an entrepreneurial culture as laws, norms and rules tend to favour dependent employment over self-employment and start-ups. Mr. Klaus-Heiner Röhl proposes four different actions to overcome these challenges: reinforce the entrepreneurial culture as early as possible, starting from schools; encourage unemployed people to start their own company; teach entrepreneurship by using online courses to reach the widest audience possible and last but not least support networking among start-ups and existing SMEs.

Read more insights at this link.

INSME’s Interview with Dr. Luxsamee Plangsangmas, Governor of the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR)

In this interview, Dr. Luxsamee Plangsangmas, the Governor of the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR), shares her ideas on how innovative thinking can be unleashed in an organization. Dr. Plangsangmas puts a special emphasis on the importance of motivating staff members to develop and apply new ways of pursuing the objectives of the organization. According to her experience, leaders need to value creativity and support staff members in overcoming their fear to make mistakes to incentivize an out-of-the-box approach.

Read more about Dr. Plangsangmas' views on innovation in her interview here.

About IPR…in South East Asia

Trade mark protection in Cambodia

Cambodia, with a GDP of $ 16.4 billion, is supposed to become a trading and logistics hub for the Indonesia region. In this vibrant economic frame, it is of particular relevance to be aware of the legal Intellectual Property framework in the country. This article issued by the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk offers some practical tips on the Cambodian trademarks system.

Even though trade mark law also protects unregistered trademarks, it is highly recommended that SMEs register their trade mark in the country to benefit from a stronger protection.

Useful information about costs and procedures required for trade mark registration applications are also included.

Find detailed information in the article downloadable here.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

The MINERVA Fellowship Programme

Professionals with a proven interest in EU-Japan cooperation are invited to submit their candidature for the MINERVA Fellowship Programme. Twice a year the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (INSME Member from Japan) launches this programme to welcome research fellows that are supposed to support the Centre in its research and policy analysis on economic and industrial issues and in its daily analytical activities, including media monitoring, policy briefing, seminar reports etc.

At the end of the six-months-fellowship, selected participants are required to present a consistent policy report (70-100 pages) that will be owned by the Centre.

Candidates must be citizens of an EU Member State, a COSME Third Country or Japan with a university degree and a strong interest and motivation in Japan and EU-Japan relations.

Fellows will receive € 1700/2000 per month and an additional travel subsidy up to € 1000 will be received by selected participants from outside Japan to cover their travel expenses.

The application process will be open until the 15th of January 2017.

Discover more about the MINERVA Fellowship Programme at this page.

EuroTransBio – The 12th Call for Proposals is now open

EuroTransBio is an initiative of governmental R&D&I funding institutions in Austria, Belgium (Flanders Region), Finland, France (Alsace Region), Germany, Italy and Russia that aims at establishing cross-borders partnerships between SMEs and strategic stakeholders to strengthen European efforts to achieve sustainable industrial development in the field of biotechnology, namely health, agro-food, industrial, environmental and marine biotech. At this purpose EuroTransBio annually launches a call for proposals for industry-driven trans-national R&D&I projects to create an integrated funding program for biotech SMEs. Since 2006, 164 projects have been funded for a total amount of € 271 millions.

Consortia including at least two companies involved in all fields of biotechnology from two participating countries and led by an SME are invited to participate to this 12th call by submitting their proposal by the 31st of January 2017.

Discover more about EuroTransBio at this page.

TCI Call for Experts for Peer Reviews

Within the frame of the Interreg Europe Project CLUSTER3 “Leveraging Cluster Policies for Successful Implementation of RIS3”, TCI is launching a call to invite experts in the field of cluster policy and smart specialization to carry out peer review exercises that will be organized by six of the project partner regions, namely Basque Country (Spain), Hadjú-Bihar (Hungary), Highland and Islands (United Kingdom), Latvia, Lubelskie (Poland) and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) with the support of TCI Network as advisory partner.

Following a two-day workshop and through peer-to-peer discussions and interviews, selected experts will have to elaborate a report including recommendations on how to implement RIS3 strategy (Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy) in the region where the activities will be held.

The peer review exercises will take place between February and July 2017.

The tender amount is estimated at € 3000 and travel expenses will be reimbursed up to € 1250.

Interested experts are invited to submit tenders at the following e-mail address by the 13th of January 2017.

More information is available here.

Interesting Initiatives

UN, WTO and ITC develop new “ePing” system to boost market access for developing countries

Since 1995 the World Trade Organization – WTO is receiving thousands of notifications on new or modified Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) that may significantly affect trade and differ from relevant international standards. All these notifications are publicly available, but one of the major challenges for interested stakeholders is to track and react to these notifications. This is the reason why the WTO, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the International Trade Centre (INSME Member from Switzerland) joined forces to develop ePing, an online notification system that will help to overcome this challenge.

The collaboration is based on:

  • the WTO Members’ notifications on TBT and SPS measures;
  • the DESA’s project on improving capacity of least developed countries (LDCs) in utilizing trade-related international support measures;
  • ITC’s experience in addressing SMEs’ needs in developing countries by creating and maintaining online platforms.

Thanks to the newly launched system, government agencies and other interested stakeholders, in particular small and medium enterprises, will easily access those notifications and enhance their market opportunities.

Find out more at this page.


Latin American Economic Outlook 2017

Latin American and Caribbean economy is slowing down and one of the most challenging issues for the region is the inclusion of young generations, as youth aged between 15 and 29 represents ca. a quarter of the region’s total population. During the last 10 years less than one-third of young Latin Americans have received education at college, university or higher level technical school, meaning that many of them leave the school too early. Given this, the LAC region registers the highest gap in the world between the available pool of skills and the ones demanded by the market. This also makes the transition of the region in a knowledge-based economy difficult. The key to overcome this challenge is investing in education to improve skills that can enable the young population to access qualified jobs that meet firms' needs. Furthermore investments to enhance entrepreneurship are also required, in particular an inclusive entrepreneurship approach that will increase productivity and equity.

These are only some of the findings of the last edition of the Latin American Economic Outlook 2017 recently released by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor) Development Centre in partnership with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

The report states that youth inclusion, skills and entrepreneurship are three of the main elements to be put at the top of the policy agenda to overcome the challenges the region is facing.

The whole report is available at the following page.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016

The World Intellectual Property Organization (INSME Member from Switzerland) annually publishes a report documenting the developments that shaped the global intellectual property system throughout the year.

The report collects data on patents, trademarks and industrial design and highlights very positive results in 2015: China’s IP Office received more than 1 million of applications positioning itself among the top five offices in the world with a growth rate of 18.7%, followed by the European Patent Office (+4.8%), the United States of America (+1.8%) and the Republic of Korea (+1.6%); a different trend has been registered by Japan with a decrease of 2.2%. With regard to trademark applications the best performer in 2015 has been China, applications increased by 15.3%, which represents the highest growth rate since 2000. Industrial design registered a positive trend in 2015 as well, increasing up to 21.3% mainly due to strong growth in registrations in China.

This year’s edition also includes a special section focused on women’s participation to international patenting. Despite a considerable improvement in women’s participation in patenting, the report shows that only 29% of all PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications filed in 2015 involved women inventors, confirming that a significant gender gap continues to persist.

Discover all the data related to 2015 by reading the whole report here.

Recommended Website

Project Breakthrough – a space to connect companies with the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs

Project Breakthrough is a joint initiative of the United Nations Global Compact, Global Compact LEAD and Volans that intends to create a space where companies can find connections with the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. The website will be enriched with videos, opinion pieces and case features focusing on three areas:

  • Exponential mindset;
  • Disruptive technologies;
  • Tomorrow’s business models.

The platform has been developed on the assumption that companies that do business responsibly and find opportunities to innovate around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the market leaders of the future, thus a space to finding and transforming ideas into actions by establishing relations with a mix of stakeholders can give a concrete contribution to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

Find out more at this page.

Recommended Newsletter

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform Newsletter

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) offers support to cluster members, management and policy makers. In particular the Platform is intended to be a modern tool that allows to:

  • search/find potential partners and opportunities;
  • develop collaboration;
  • support the emergence of new value chains through cross-sectorial cooperation;
  • access the latest quality information on cluster development;
  • improve clusters’ performance and increase their competitiveness.

By subscribing to the ECCP’s newsletter, readers will have the chance to select a weekly digest or a promotional newsletter informing about cluster partnerships, international cooperation, matchmaking events and much more.

To subscribe to the newsletter please click here.


Highlighted events

The International Triple Helix Summit

From the 20th to the 22nd of February 2017
Organized by the Triple Helix Association
Nairobi, Kenya

Under the topic "ICT + Data: Accelerating the attainment of SDGs", the Triple Helix Association (INSME Member from Italy) is organizing the 2017 International Summit that will take place from the 20th to the 22nd of February 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference, organized in partnership with I choose Life - Africa will introduce the Quodra Helix Approach and provide a platform to share best practices on how to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. More than 500 delegates are expected to attend the 8 sessions covering relevant topics such as:

  • Innovations and Technology Ecosystems and the Triple Helix;
  • Innovations for the Delivery of Community Health Systems;
  • Education System Responsiveness and Resilience;
  • Data Ecosystem System Responsiveness;
  • Global Entrepreneurial University Matrix;
  • Smart specialization and Regional Development.

More information about the summit is available at this page.

top of the page

Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

From the 11th to the 13th of January 2017
The 8th Global IP Convention
Organized by Global IP Convention (GIPC)
New Delhi, India

From the 19th to the 22nd of January 2017
USASBE Annual Conference 2017
Organized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Philadelphia, United States of America

From the 23rd to the 25th of January 2017
Organized by the European Young Innovation Forum
Brussels, Belgium

On the 7th of February 2017
The 15th Annual European Financial Services Conference
Organized by Forum Europe
Brussels, Belgium

From the 12th to the 14th of February 2017
World Business Angels Investment Forum
Organized by the London Stock Exchange Group, ITU ARI Teknokent and TEB
Istanbul, Turkey

On the 28th of February 2017
The Economist Innovation Summit 2017
Organized by The Economist
Chicago, United States of America

From the 27th to the 29th of March 2017
The 1st EAI International Conference on Emerging Technologies for Developing Countries
Organized by EAI (INSME Member from Belgium)
Marrakech, Morocco

From the 29th to the 30th of March 2017
EARTO Annual Conference 2017
Organized by the European Association of Research and Technology Organizations
Munich, Germany

From the 25th to the 26th of April 2017
Open Innovation Summit London 2017
Organized by Innovation Enterprise
London, United Kingdom

From the 6th to the 7th of June 2017
OECD Forum
Organized by the OECD (INSME Moral Sponsor)
Paris, France

top of the page

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