10 23|02|11 The European BIC Network Quality eMag Q-light: “Spending Quality Time on Quality Issues”In this issue: IQ — Questionnaire time, a short reminder. IQ —The Innovation Union Initiative, what does it mean for entrepre-neurs and SMEs. QS — A new EBN service, the EBN Tool Box. eQ — Some videos from the EBN Annual Reception 2011.QS—EBN Soft Landing Initiative, ready to start.As usual we hope you will enjoy the reading and we do welcome all of your inputs. Giordano and Chiara IQ| Innovation and Quality More quality than innovation this time… ...As it is actually quality time… or better questionnaire time. As usual 31 march is the deadline for the accredited BICs to fill in the on-line questionnaire, although we recom- mend everyone not to wait until the last available day, to help us ensure a smooth process. This year, the questionnaire has been slightly revised, in our continuous attempt to simplify it, improving the quality of the information in order to capture more fundamental information and data about the BICs’ opera- tions… data that we use and you can use in many ways, for example… For collectively ensuring quality throughout the BIC community (letting the quality process unfold flaw- lessly) For promoting our network, all together (have you seen the 2010 Observatories? We will edit the 2011 ones this year) For better and improved benchmarking (ask for your own customized benchmarking report… we couldn’t deliver it without your annual contribution!) For better networking within the BIC community and with connected outsiders. Not yet a full member of EBN, an accredited Business and Innovation Center? You may be interested in verifying whether you can be one, whether you are a BIC without realizing you are… do you actually comply with the EC- BIC criteria? Call the quality team and we will help you answer all the questions you have about the accreditation process and we will help help you in defining how compliance can be met. Giordano Dichter Chiara Davalli Quality, MD & TA Manager Quality Officer +32-2-7611083 +32-2-7611094 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
10 23|02|11IQ| Innovation & QualityEurope 2020 Flagship initiative, “Innovation Union”Enhancing European Union’s fifth freedom, the free movement of innovative ideas.Innovation has been placed at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy to restore public budget constraints, face the in-creasing global competition, and tackle major societal challenges. In this context, the Innovation Union Flagship aims toimprove conditions and access to finance for research and innovation, and to ensure that innovative ideas can be turnedinto products and services that create growth and jobs.As stated in the Innovation Union Communication of October 2010, Europe has no shortage of potential thanks to worldleading researchers, entrepreneurs and companies, and unique strengths in European values, traditions, creativity anddiversity. But still, Europe has to build more on its strengths and tackle its weaknesses, namely: Under-investment in knowledge foundation – spending every year 0.8% of GDP less than the US and 1.5% less than Japan in R&D; Unsatisfactory framework conditions – private investment in research and innovation is being held back and ideas prevented from reaching the market by poor availability of finance, costly patenting, market fragmenta- tion, outdated regulations and procedure; Too much fragmentation and costly duplication – since national and regional research and innovation systems are still working along separate tracks with only a marginal European dimension.Those considerations result also from the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2010, the established tool for assessing innovationperformance in EU Member States. Looking at this publication of the 1st February 2011, US and Japan are holding theirlead in innovation over the EU27, while the EU27 is holding its lead towards India and Russia, but has been losing part ofits lead towards Brazil and China.Starting from these two documents, we would spot out some specific themes that are interesting in our EC-BICs’ perspec-tive. As first the Innovation Union pursues a broad concept of innovation, both research-driven innovation and innovation inbusiness models, design, branding and services, convinced that creativity and diversity of European regions and industriesoffer huge potential for new growth and jobs through innovation, especially for SMEs. European policies must therefore bedesigned to support all forms of innovation, not only the technological innovation.Another interesting consideration can be related to different ways companies innovate. While some conduct R&D anddevelop new technologies, many base their innovations on existing technologies or develop new business models or ser-vices driven by users and suppliers, or within clusters or networks. As the problems grow more complex, and the costs ofinnovation increase, firms are increasingly being driven to collaborate. Knowledge transfer between business and academiashould be strengthened and in the meantime sufficient incentives for innovation should be provided. The Commission un-derlines the vital role played by internationally competitive clusters in bringing together large companies and SMEs, uni-versities, research centers and communities of scientists and practitioners to exchange knowledge and ideas.The free movement of innovative idea cannot be pursued if the European Union doesn’t find a way to increase the flows of,and therefore benefits from, Intellectual Property Rights, and if the markets for trading IPRs doesn’t become lessopaque and fragmented so that IPR buyers and sellers can find each other efficiently, financial investments are made inIPR assets, and transaction take place on fair terms. Indeed SMEs need stronger assistance for efficient use of intellectualand industrial property protection to have a level playing field with larger companies.Last but not least, Europe’s entrepreneurs currently face obstacles and adverse framework conditions in getting ideas tomarket also because of a lack of investment in the development of good ideas. During the technology transfer andstart-up phase, new companies face a “financial gap” due to the interruption of public research grants and the difficulty toattract private finance. Europe, then, needs to improve its venture capital market by creating incentive to invest and byimproving regulation. “We are relying on SMEs to get Europes economy back on track. You are a crucial part of the Innovation Union. We need innovation in the smallest family business and in the fast-growing technology company, ready to make the leap from being an SME to a major employer. Many waves together can make a tide - a tide of Innovation across Europe. And SMEs, in all their diversity, can bring about a sea change in Europe. I know that you will rise to the challenge”. EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, in her speech on the 24th Janu- ary 2011 at the EBN Event “Applied Innovation - the Smart entrepreneurs perspective“
10 23|02|11 QS| Quality Services EBN TOOL BOXTry to think about the experience and expertise you have in your BIC/organization, try to think about services andtools you developed.. Now multiply by 250.Moving from this consideration and daily requests for best practices sharing, EBN is designing the EBN Tool Box.Considering the universe of expertise collected year by year by each of you, members of our network, we think it’stime to engineer and create the space where you can share tools you developed to sustain entrepreneurs andSMEs, and to optimize the management of your centre.Therefore the EBN Tool Box will be : Another way to organize the share of existing expertise within EBN, but also around EBN; Another tool to foster cooperation and networking between EBN members; Another means to identify and share good practices; Another opportunity for EBN members to find inspiration on how to keep improv- ing their services and performances.Our intention is to create a smart catalogue of tools which are relevant, useful and transferable to other BICs.Tools will be organized following their applicability in the different phases of enterprise creation and graduation;under each voice you will find a short description of a specific tool and the link to the BIC/organization who devel-oped it.Within this “box” online tools will find their natural environment, but we encourage you to suggest us also otherkind of tools, to describe them and to share them with the entire EBN community.We already started a first tools’ screening going through section 8.2 of each self-evaluation questionnaire that isentirely dedicated to transferable best practices. Since the new questionnaire is open, we hope to see and collectnew interesting tools there!For the coming months, we are thinking of an event (probably in October this year), of a Tools Fair, which canhost and give the floor to all those tools, allowing our members to directly see and experiment them; allowing EBNmembers to share experiences and best practices. So, if you think you have interesting tools to share with BICs’ community, don’t loose time: Click here and fill in the form! We want tools!
10 23|02|11 eQ| webography - some videos from the EBN Annual Reception 2011 Applied Innovation—EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science (part I) Applied Innovation—EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science (part II) Applied Innovation—Smart entrepreneur’s perspective: interview by Joe Greaney, EBN President Applied Innovation—The smart entrepreneurs perspective - L. Renard, CEO I-Movix (Belgium) Applied Innovation— Synergies with the NBIA—David Monkman, CEO and President NBIA If you have any video you would like to promote through our EuropeanBICNetwork YouTube channel, don’t hesitate to contact us.. Broadcast your BIC! QS| EBN Soft Landing Initiative Soft Landing Initiative.. EBN has the pleasure to invite you to the EBN/ACHIEVE MORE Soft Landing Initiative “Introductory meeting to join the pilot phase”, which will take place on Tuesday 15th March, kindly hosted by Espai Catalunya-Europa – Delegation to the EU Government of Catalonia in Brussels. EBN/ACHIEVE MORE Soft Landing Initiative focuses on incubators and cluster client companies with the idea to help them to establish overseas business activities. In its efforts to contribute to the development of a dynamic entrepreneurial attitude, EBN promotes a network of Soft Land- ing hubs that are certified as being credible and trustworthy providers of short-term business support to companies visiting from abroad. The proposed Soft Landing Programme will be presented and partici- pants will have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences. The ex- pected outcome is that a number of participants will confirm their ex- pression of interest and commitment to the pilot phase of the Soft Land- ing Programme. .. are you ready to go? Editors: Giordano Dichter and Chiara DavalliResponsible for the publication: Philippe Vanrie, EBN CEO www.ebn.eu