A successful launch, in Greece, for THE NEXT SOCIETY, a movement gathering entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, public and private innovation stakeholders in Europe and the Mediterranean.
This community took the opportunity to unveil its action plan implemented over 4 years, with the support of the European Commission. Its activities aim to accompany change in the region by placing the private sector at the core of the dialogue as well as the innovation and competitiveness measures. THE NEXT SOCIETY echoes an inclusive philosophy based on corporate social responsibility and supports the emergence of talents and new leaders by targeting start-ups, clusters and technology transfer offices.
On the occasion of the event, co-organised by ANIMA Investment Network and Enterprise Greece on May 16th in Athens, almost a hundred Euro-Mediterranean professionals and experts exchanged views on the activities implemented by the initiative, in the presence of Greek Ministers Mr. Dimitris Papadimitriou, Minister of Economy and Development and Mr. Costas Fotakis, Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation.
According to Candace Johnson, president of EBAN (The European Trade Association for Early Stage Investors) “… the entrepreneurs of Maghreb, Middle-East and Africa are the solutions to the world’s problem”. Vladimir Rojanski, from the DG NEAR at the European Commission, underlined the importance of job creation and the development of SMEs and start-ups, as well as the European Union’s strong desire to support innovation through new financing mechanisms in the region.
THE NEXT SOCIETY activates change at every level
On May 16th in Athens, THE NEXT SOCIETY presented a comprehensive action plan supported by the European Commission, which impacts several levels of the innovation ecosystem:
- Improve policy frameworks: THE NEXT SOCIETY establishes a public-private dialogue and benchmarks the performance of Mediterranean innovation ecosystems in order to define and implement country strategic roadmaps and improve innovation support strategies.
- Foster start-up success: THE NEXT SOCIETY offers tailor-made support to Mediterranean start-ups to help them go international and raise funds thanks to workshops and training sessions, immersion into foreign markets and incubation in European innovation hubs, meetings with investors and long-term coaching by committed mentors.
- Promote and internationalise clusters: THE NEXT SOCIETY develops peer-learning services for business and industrial clusters as well as foreign partnership and guide them towards a Cluster Excellence management approach.
- Support technology transfer offices (TTO): THE NEXT SOCIETY trains TTO managers like entrepreneurs and help them improve their services, market their innovation portfolio and meet potential clients.
FEMISE contributing to THE NEXT SOCIETY
As presented by Dr Maryse Louis (General Manager FEMISE, Programs Manager Economic Research Forum) during the launch event in Athens, FEMISE and its affiliates Institut de la Méditerranée and Economic Research Forum will essentially contribute in the two Activities described below.
National Innovation and Competitiveness Monitor (NICM) : Here in-depth analysis and assessment of existing definitions, scoreboards, benchmarks and relevant studies will take place. This will allow defining new concepts, creating a south-Med scoreboard and a national scoreboard for each country as well as preparing country specific studies on innovation and drafting policy briefs. The way the outputs of this activity will be communicated is an essential part of its success. This will be made through meetings organised throughout the projects, several workshops and conferences and through the country studies and the policy Briefs that will be prepared for each country.
Value Chain Analysis : The objective here will be to encourage enterprises (national / international) to identify and use the technological / innovative capacities of the MED countries.A General overview of sectoral development will be provided to show how the level of high tech exports change dover time by sector in each of the 7 countries. Then, FEMISE will focus on looking which products have performed best in exports, raising the question of where the new comparative advantages for each of the seven countries lie. Lastly, analysing the conditions of success stories at the firm leve will shed light on how have firms succeeded in bringing these new comparative advantages to the fore.
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