Issue N° 150 - January 2017
The non-members subscribers will receive this newsletter at least two weeks after its official launch

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

Dear INSMEnews Readers,

a new year has started and we truly hope it will bring new motivations and ideas for successful partnerships and fruitful collaborations! In this regard, let us share the following:

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Gail Devers

Courtesy of Ravel Wallpapers

The INSME Team, together with the Board and INADEM, is working to offer you an occasion to gather and achieve higher goals: the 13th INSME Annual Meeting, a further milestone in the INSME’s success story! Block your agenda from the 15th to the 17th of May 2017 and join the INSME Community at Puerto Vallarta – State of Jalisco, Mexico!

…enjoy the first edition of 2017 of the INSME Newsletter and let us have your comments and inputs!


The INSME Secretariat


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Updates on the life of the INSME Network

Welcome to the New INSME Secretary General!

After five years under the successful and inspiring guidance of Ms. Christin Pfeiffer, INSME welcomes its new Secretary General, Mr. Giovanni Zazzerini, who starts in early January his collaboration with the Network, thus bringing positive energy, enthusiasm and expertise to the benefit of the whole INSME Members Community.

Mr. Zazzerini has a background in Economics, with a specialization in Technology and Innovation Management and diverse experiences in the management of national and international projects as well as Marketing Professor.

A warm welcome goes to Mr. Zazzerini wishing him a successful adventure within the Network together with a huge thanks to Ms. Pfeiffer for her passionate commitment during the last five years and best wishes for her future career.

A Time to Come Together: Participate in the Call for Papers for the Next INSME Annual Meeting

The 13th INSME Annual Meeting is officially on the way to be a further milestone in the Network’s history! To be an active part of it, you have the chance to participate to the call for papers launched to select high-level innovation practitioners, from both the public and the private sector, that will share their expertise with a global and diversified audience of innovation stakeholders. This year’s event hosted by INADEM, the National Institute of Entrepreneurs (INSME Member from Mexico) at Puerto Vallarta – State of Jalisco, Mexico from the 15th to the 17th of May 2017 will be focused on the topic: “Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains”. Contributors will be selected by the Organizing Committee for a speaking slot during the Round Tables and the International Conference.

Send your abstract to by the 15th of February 2017 and find all relevant details for submissions here.

More information about the 13th INSME Annual Meeting will be made available soon on the official website that will be launched shortly.

In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the INSME Secretariat at this e-mail address for any further information you may need.

News and contributions from the INSME Members

OPENiSME – Unlocking the Innovation Capacity of Smaller Firms through “Open Innovation” Partnerships

T2i technology transfer and innovation (INSME Board Member from Italy) is among the partners of OPENiSME, a project co-funded by the CIP Programme of the European Union aiming at enabling SMEs to access relevant knowledge to innovate products and services through the facilitation of new “Open Innovation” partnerships.

By accessing the OPENiSME Platform SMEs will have the opportunity to find experts in specific fields that can easily help them to find a solution to a specific challenge. Expert searching and matching is possible through a series of functionalities enabling SMEs to:

  • gain state-of-the-art information and knowledge on a given topic published by experts, projects and companies;
  • post a challenge they would like to overcome and identify experts and companies that might be of help through their expertise and services;
  • identify the most suitable expert through the “expert details collection” and “expert search and ranking” features of the platform which allow to look for professionals able to solve a specific problem;
  • a variety of connectivity features enabling SMEs and experts to meet online and network.

Find out more about OPENiSME and discover the benefits of its platform for SMEs by clicking on this link.

Seven Key Insights into the Art and Practice of working with Partners on Innovation from Larta Institute

Since 2003 Larta Institute (INSME Board Member from the U.S.) organizes a Commercialization Training Workshop in the frame of the NIH Commercialization Acceleration Program (CAPs) where all recent grantees of the U.S. National Institute of Health have the opportunity to develop their own entrepreneur’s toolkit.

On the occasion of the workshop held in December 2016, one of the panels was dedicated to the trusts and misconceptions of partnering, a topic representing one of the main concerns for entrepreneurs.

Ms. Judy Hsieh, Senior Program Manager at Larta summarizes the most important insights of the panel:

  • before starting the search for new partners, it is important that a company identifies and understands its own innovation’s value and strengths;
  • it is crucial to be aware of a company’s needs in order to establish the right partnerships that can include service agreements, licensing technology, licensing IP, etc.;
  • a further point to be taken into account is the structure and duration of a partnership that can vary according to the service the company is producing or the approach is adopting;
  • building a common vision is the key for a successful partnership and in this framework structural and cultural dissonances have to be carefully considered in areas such as business model, position in the value chain, competitive products, etc.

Ms. Hsieh also puts the attention on further essential points such as the importance of being honest when negotiating a partnership or showing the passion and the emotion related to the innovation the company is promoting.

Find out more about the insights of the Commercialization Training Workshop by reading the whole article published in VOX, Larta Institute’s blog at this link.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development signed a Letter of Intent to support the Internationalization of Italian Companies

A collaboration between the International Trade Centre – ITC (INSME Member from Switzerland) and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development has been kicked off in December 2016 on the occasion of an interactive meeting held simultaneously in Geneva and Rome during which Ms. Arancha González, ITC Executive Director and Mr. Fabrizio Lucentini, Director General at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development signed a Letter of Intent to support the internationalization of Italian Small and Medium Enterprises, with a special focus on economic empowerment of women and youth and on sustainable development.

In particular the agreement intends to identify countries and sectors of interest for Italian companies and where the Italian partnership model could be useful and fruitful.

From one side the collaboration aims at enabling developing countries to attract Italian investments and promote trade opportunities in Italy, from the other one Italian companies will share know-how and expertise with their counterparts in developing countries.

More information is available at the following page.

INSME's Picks in the News

Capital Markets Union: EU rules to boost investment in venture capital and social enterprises agreed by the European Council

One of the main obstacles to SMEs’ growth and development is the lack of funds since banks are not always able to support companies’ financial needs.

In order to overcome this challenge in 2013 two EU regulations have promoted the creation of the European Venture Capital Fund (EuVECA) and the European Social Entrepreneurship Fund (EuSEF) to offer new opportunities for raising capital to young and innovative companies, and to enterprises that aim to achieve a positive social impact.

The Council of the European Union recently agreed on amendments to these measures with the aim to boost investments in venture capital and social enterprises. The main amendments are:

  • enabling larger fund managers, such as those with assets under management of more than €500 million, to market and manage EuVECA and EuSEF funds;
  • expanding the range of companies in which EuVECA funds can invest, including unlisted companies with up to 499 employees and SMEs listed on SME growth markets.

Please find out more at the following page.

Canada and Korea collaborating on Science, Technology and Innovation

A bilateral agreement for cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation has been recently signed by the Governments of Canada and Korea. The agreement covers a wide range of fields among which life sciences, energy and clean technologies, information and communications technology and it represents the starting point for the establishment of a Joint Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation that will elaborate plans for commercially viable research and development projects, commercialization of research, incubation of startups and other forms of collaboration.

Discover more at the following page.


Where Does Innovation Belong? A contribution by INSME Partner, The Global Association of Corporate Universities and Academies

A new inspiring contribution enriches the INSMEblog! Through a series of questions Mr. Richard Dealtry, Executive Chairman at G-ACUA – the Global Association of Corporate Universities and Academies (INSME Partner) offers his view on innovation highlighting that “innovation has several different meanings depending upon where you are coming from and where are you trying to get to”. Mr. Dealtry highlights that innovation is a shared responsibility and is usually a result of a joint activity carried out by a group of people who can develop, process, authorize or fund innovative ideas. The author stresses that the innovation process usually depends on the learning style of the people involved in it. To effectively handle innovation, managers need to carefully select team members not only by evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, but also by analyzing the right combination between the components of the team in order to be able to identify which challenges and obstacles might encounter in the future. Mr. Dealtry concludes the article by stating that having a team with the right skills together with setting specific goals and defining a detailed roadmap to achieve them is the secret behind any good innovation.

Read the whole blog post here!

About IPR…in South East Asia

New Developments in Vietnamese IP Regulations Concerning Internet Domain Names

The internet often represents a preferential channel for European SMEs to sell products to Vietnam, but it might also be a low-cost method allowing infringers to reach consumers and operate almost anonymously. To reduce this risk, on the 8th of June 2016 the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam issued a Joint Circular concerning Internet Domain Names. The Joint Circular includes a set of measures providing specific deadlines for infringers to stop with their infringement activities and return the domain names to the rightful owners as well as actions authorities can take in case the infringer does not comply with these regulations.

Find out more in the article by the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk at this link.

Tenders, Calls & Consultations

Globalstars: Call for Proposals open to Argentina and EUREKA Member States

Within the Globalstars Initiative and in the framework of the EUREKA program, a new call for proposals has been launched in the fields of industrial and technological research and development with a view to encourage the cooperation between Argentina and EUREKA Member States. The call welcomes market-driven innovative research and development project proposals in all thematic areas and is based on a bottom-up approach, allowing project consortia to define the nature of the technologies and how they should be developed. To be considered eligible to participate, project consortia shall be composed of at least one company from Argentina and one company from one of the EUREKA member or associated countries participating in this Call (Austria, France, South Africa, Spain and Turkey). Research institutes and universities are also welcome to participate as partners or subcontractors, depending on the regulations of each funding country.

Within the EUREKA framework, each eligible partner will be financed by its country. Funding conditions as well as eligibility criteria may vary from country to country.

The deadline for submitting proposals is the 22nd of March 2017.

For any further information, please visit this page.

EUREKA Member countries together with the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme also co-fund the Eurostars programme providing support to R&D performing SMEs in their innovative projects. The Eurostars -2 cut-off is now open for registration and for any further information about the eligibility criteria, please have a look at this page.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is the 2nd of March 2017.

To find out more about Eurostars, please click here.

Outstanding Female Leaders across Europe, the Middle East and Africa can now apply for the Next Generation Women Leaders Award 2017

McKinsey & Company offers an excellent opportunity to female students and experienced professionals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the Next Generation Women Leaders Award 2017. The award is open to women with any background as well as professional experience (up to six years) who excel in problem solving and creative thinking, entrepreneurial drive and leadership abilities as well as enjoy working in a team and are looking for new ways to exploit their potential at the maximum extent.

In addition to joining an international network of talented women, winners will be awarded with:

  • 2,000 Euros (or equivalent in local currency) to cover the cost of tuition, summer employment, volunteer work, research, an independent project/entrepreneurial venture or similar;
  • Individual mentorship from McKinsey consultants;
  • Invitation to selected McKinsey events.

Interested candidates can apply online at this link by the 6th of March 2017.

For any further information about the award, please visit the dedicated website at this link.

Open Call for Expression of Interest to Select Financial Intermediaries under The Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility

The European Investment Fund – EIF (INSME Member) launched an open call for expression of interest to select financial institutions under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Guarantee Facility II.

The Guarantee Facility is one among the instruments of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), an initiative funded by the European Union and aiming at improving access to finance for SMEs in the Western Balkans and developing regional Venture Capital markets.

In this framework, financial or credit institutions, guarantee schemes including mutual guarantee organizations, micro-finance institutions and any other financial institution established and operating in one or several Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) are invited to participate in this call for expression of interest with the aim of creating new portfolios of SME loans and supporting SMEs in accessing finance in the region. The European Investment Fund, that is managing the initiative, takes part of the risk enabling eligible financial institutions to increase their loan volumes, reach new customers and expand their market.

The selection of financial intermediaries will be made on a continuous basis, until the 31st of December 2017. 

To download all related documents, please visit this page.

Interesting Initiatives

Check the Impact of your SME Support Programs with the ESSPO’s Self-Evaluation Tool

The ESSPO project is an initiative financed by European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Europe programme with the final aim of improving the impact of SME policy instruments in 8 different territories on national, regional, sub-regional and local level. In this framework, the Partners of the project have designed a self-assessment tool to analyze the current performance of programs and support services for SMEs in European regions. The tool is also meant to support managers with advice and ideas to effectively lead programmes for SME competitiveness and innovation.

The individual self-assessment tool is composed by 13 questions that will provide a complete understanding of three key areas related to the development of any support programme: the design of the programme; the implementation of the programme and the monitoring and evaluation of the services provided.

To assess your support programme please take the questionnaire available here.


Designing for Public Services: a practical guide

“Designing for Public Services: a practical guide” is a publication collecting tools and approaches to use design in public services jointly developed by NESTA and IDEO as part of Design for Europe.

In a situation in which citizens’ trust in governments is declining, Design Thinking as a human-centered approach became crucial. Design Thinking applied to governments proved to be beneficial for a double reason: first of all there is evidence of its benefits in terms of citizens value. By using the tools and advices included in the guide, governments have the possibility to design policies and instruments that more closely connect with citizens’ needs. Design Thinking also adds value to the work carried out by civil servants: these methodologies tend to reconnect civil servants with the original reason why the joined government, that is to say to make a positive difference in the lives of citizens.

On top of that, nowadays governments need to be prepared to change radically what they do, and the problems they encounter in their path usually come with a certain extent of uncertainty. The methodologies shared in this guide can also support managers in unleashing their full leadership potential not only in terms of hierarchy but most importantly as individuals able to drive change.

Read more about Design Thinking and learn from direct experiences presented in this guide by clicking on the following link.

Annual Report on European SMEs

The SME Performance Review is one of the most important tools of the European Commission to monitor the implementation of the Small Business Act (SBA). It is composed by the Annual Report on European SMEs and the SBA country fact sheet.

The Annual Report on European SMEs 2015/2016 confirms the recovery of SMEs after the economic and financial crisis of late 2008 and 2009. The report shows that in 2015, EU28 SMEs experienced a good growth in value added for the second consecutive year (3.8% in 2014 and 5.7% in 2015). Worth to mention are also the data concerning employment that increased by 1.5 % in 2015. This recent EU28 SME employment growth is mainly due to the increasing number of SMEs as the average number of staff employed by SMEs remained stable in 2014 and 2015.

When analyzing the sectors generating employment, diverse differences emerge across them. Small sectors such as ‘advertising and market research’, ‘legal and accounting services’, ‘office administration and support and other business services’, reported a growth of 5% in employment even though they account for at most 3% of total EU28 employment. With regard to large sectors such as ‘retail trade’, ‘wholesale trade’ and ‘construction’ they experienced employment growth of almost 2.0% in 2015 while accounting for almost 30% of total EU28 employment.

Last but not least, the report points out that young firms also play a fundamental role in generating job across the EU. The main problem with startups is that they often fail in their early years and might find starting again from scratch difficult. This is the reason why new public policies should be designed in order to create a more favorable environment for startups to grow and improve in this way the overall employment creation performance of SMEs.

Find out more insights at this link.

Recommended Website

The Startup Nations Atlas of Policies (SNAP) - a Global Compendium of Public Sector Policies and Programs

Startup Nations is the initiator of the Startup Nations Atlas of Policies, a first-of-its-kind collection of public policies and programs creating a more conducive environment for entrepreneurs, innovation and economic growth. Through an online form, policy experts, government officials, public sector program leaders, and members of the Startup Nations policy network representing more than 60 countries were asked to bring evidence on the impact of proper policy instruments included in the compendium. To facilitate the work carried out by policy makers in support of entrepreneurs, the initiative has also recently launched an online portal, where it is possible to browse policy instruments by a variety of criteria:

  • Lifecycle (e.g. startups, scale-ups, SMEs, large companies)
  • Type of support (non-financial or financial)
  • Level of intervention (entrepreneur, firm or environment)
  • Policy areas impacted (e.g. access to capital, fiscal policy, immigration, skills development).

For further information about the database and its features, please click here.

Recommended Newsletter

AllBusiness – Your Small Business Advantage is a comprehensive online resource for small businesses willing to receive useful tips and concrete advice to start or grow their activities.

By subscribing to the newsletter readers will get:

  • insights on specific topics ranging from sales to marketing, human resources and technology drafted by world-class experts;
  • contributions of entrepreneurs presenting original stories on how they dealt with and overcome specific challenges in their everyday business;
  • an extensive library of how-to articles offering advices to small businesses;
  • special reports covering the most recent developments and trends in the business panorama.

Worth of note are also the business dictionaries of this online resource, namely the Barrons Dictionary and the Personal Finance Dictionary.

To find out more about and subscribe to its newsletter, please click here.


Highlighted events

XXVIII ISPIM Innovation Conference:
Composing the Innovation Symphony

From the 18th to the 21st of June 2017
Vienna, Austria

From the 18th to the 21st of June 2017, ISPIM (INSME Member) in partnership with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich–WKO) and Ratio Strategy & Innovation Consulting organizes the XXVIII ISPIM Innovation Conference: Composing the Innovation Symphony, in Vienna - Austria. The Conference is expected to welcome around 500 innovation experts among innovation researchers, industry executives, thought leaders and policy makers representing 50 countries for a 3.5 day programme including multi-track sessions targeting academia, industry, science and government; sessions dedicated to innovation challenges for research, business and government and a wide range of high-level networking events. The ISPIM Innovation Conference will also be an opportunity to visit local innovation excellences such as the Innovation Incubation Centre, the Vienna Symphonic Library and the MAK Design Lab.

Learn more about the excellent line-up of Speakers who confirmed their participation and learn more about the Conference on the dedicated website at this link.

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Future international meetings, workshops, seminars selected by INSME

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

On the 23rd of February 2017
The Intrapreneurship Conference
Organized by the Intrapreneurship Conference
Austria, Vienna

From the 13th 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

On the 21st of March 2017
Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe - Maximizing the Contribution of Culture towards Social and Economic Development
Organized by Public Policy Exchange
Brussels, Belgium

From the 23rd to the 24th of March 2017
TII Dialogue: Energize. Commercialize. Internationalize.
Organized by TII – Technology Innovation International
Vaasa, Finland

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 4th to the 6th of April 2017
The International Triple Helix Summit
Organized by Triple Helix Association
Nairobi, Kenya

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

From the 9th to the 10th of May 2017
Global Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference 2017
Organized by the International Institute of Certified Innovators and Entrepreneurs
London, United Kingdom

From the 12th to the 14th of May 2017
The 2nd World Conference on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Organized by the Istanbul University
Istanbul, Turkey

From the 15th to the 17th of May 2017
13th INSME Annual Meeting “Improving Productivity in SMEs and their Role in Global Value Chains”
Organized by INSME in collaboration with INADEM (INSME Member from Mexico)
Puerto Vallarta – State of Jalisco, Mexico

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

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