Beeing held between 16th and 19th of March, it is an inter-disciplinary gathering of startup champions from around the world – where entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, thought leaders and policymakers work together to help bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. Over the past five years, the Congress has contributed to the expansion of a global entrepreneurial ecosystem, connecting experts and entrepreneurs across borders and sectors to unleash their ideas and transfrom innovation into reality. In this framework, the NEXT Project has partenered with GEC 2015, to organize an internation event focused on assessing and evaluating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Adriatic Region. The Adriatic Investor Forum will be held on March 18th, and aims to gather all the NEXT partners and other stakeholders from IPA Adriatic Countries, in order to leverage the entrepreneurial opportunities in the Region. NEXT partners interesting in attending the Event should express their interest to the organizers. NEXT will also build up a branded booths in the exhibition area, to disseminate its activities and to host private B2B meetings. For futher informations, please contact our office at this mail

EFISIO, financing Smart City

Efisio EFISIO is an  interactive platform for mapping national and international projects, using diagrams, models and financial instruments for the implementation of interventions in the “smart city”contest. Objective of Efisio is becoming a real community of practice on the issues of “Financial Planning for Smart City” and a dynamic discussion and debate among administrators, technicians and operators. The platform is aimed primarily at policy-makers, administrators and technical staff of local authorities who wish to deal with the experiences of financial planning of projects that have an impact on local development and that are characterized by a strong “smart”. EFISIO is divided into four areas, in addition to the Home Page: • The “Index”, which presents the projects scope, financial instrument, financial source or Region from where project managers come from. • The card project, which has all the information and data of the project. • The “Glossary” where you can learn the most definitions that are found within the platform. • The “bulletin board”, space dedicated to the most relevant information concerning projects and individual administrations involved. Each user, starting from the home page and choosing their own “thematic” of interest, can follow a guided route among the themed trails, or draw personal guidelines, constantly attended by an interactive and dynamic interface, offering at any when the opportunity to interact with the extensive information contained in the tabs of the design experiences that are presented. The platform is full of case studies and information on experiences and funding models.

NEXT Project @ Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, Italy

NEXT at the GEC in Milan:   The Global Entrepreneurship Congress is an inter-disciplinary gathering of startup  champions  from  around  the  world, where  entrepreneurs, investors, researchers,  thought  leaders  and  policymakers  work  together  to  help  bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. An entrepreneurial ecosystem has started to take shape around the world, connecting people across borders to unleash their ideas and transform innovation into reality. The Global Entrepreneurship Congress is initiated by the Ewing Marion  Kauffman  Foundation.  In  March 2009, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation brought together the Global Entrepreneurship Week host organizations from nearly 60 nations to create the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Congress at its headquarters in the United  States, Kansas City.  Over  the  past  five  years,  the  Congress  has contributed to the expansion of a global entrepreneurial ecosystem, connecting experts and entrepreneurs across borders and sectors to unleash their ideas and transform innovation into reality. The Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2015 will be held in Milan, from March 16th to March 19th. For further information and registration, please check:   In this framework, the NEXT project has partnered with GEC 2015, to organize an international event focused on assessing and evaluating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Adriatic region. The Adriatic Investor Forum will be held on Wednesday March 18th , and aims to gather all the NEXT partners and their stakeholders from Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region, in order to leverage the entrepreneurial opportunities in the area. NEXT stakeholders, interested in attending the event, promoting them self in the NEXT Area Stand, being including in the NEXT Catalogue and also proposing as panelists at the Forum, should express their interest to the organizers within 3rd of March by apply to with a self-evaluation questionnaire. Dario Mazzella

The NEXT Euro Info Desk Service

The NEXT Euro Info Desk Service, developed by Marche Region within the NEXT project financed by the EU IPA Adriatic CBC Program, aims at providing orientation support to SMEs/Centers of Research in identifying the best opportunities offered by the European Commission through the identification and selections of the most suitable financing programs. The Next Euro Info DESK will provide on line update information on open calls for proposal and news on events and training initiatives available for SMES representatives at The target organizations will have the opportunity to insert their project idea and the relevant data on their organization in the NEXT Platform ( and apply to the service one having filling-in the self-assessment form published on NEXT Blog ( It is possible to apply to the service till to 30.05.2015. Thanks to the support of NEXT experts on innovation projects grants, the target organizations, in order to gain support in orienteering through the different European grant opportunities, will be accompanied to a first feasibility analysis of their project ideas through selection of  appropriate calls for proposal and deadline,  matching of project idea with calls priority areas, pre-assessment of the main requested features to apply for EU grants. Given that the NEXT Euro Info Desk aims at providing a complete services for accompanying the target organizations in all the project development process, it  will also provide partner search services to build project partnership among Ionian-Adriatic Macro-Region and all over Europe.

Elevator pitch service and NEXT final event in Ancona

Elevator pitch service and final event ad Ancona:   In the framework of the NEXT project, Marche Region and its project partners are going to offer to the best SMEs in expansion or startups, that have applied to the NEXT-IS Platform ( and after having filled-in the self-evaluation template (, the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, during the final event that will be organized in Ancona, next April. For doing this, we are starting a process, made of different steps: Step 1: Scouting We are constantly on the lookout for innovative business ideas and start-ups to include in our process. Ideas submitted online are processed, screened and evaluated for the participation at the final event in Ancona. Step 2: Elevator Pitch coaching In the weeks preceding the final event, we will provide  a two day intensive personalized training session to help entrepreneurs refine their business plan and tailor their communication for investors. This will be done through a common plenary session for all the entrepreneurs selected, and then through individual sessions. Step 3: Evaluation and selection A panel of experts evaluates the candidates for the final event, naming a batch of ten start-ups to move forward. Step 3: Arena Meeting The selected start-ups take part in the Final Event in Ancona, a focused networking event where they can pitch to an audience of committed investors. Any SMEs and start-ups coming from the Countries participating to the project interested to this service are invited to apply on-line within 29th March 2015. Dario Mazzella

NEXT IS: A platform for innovation actors

NEXT IS: A platform for innovation actors One of the basic reasons of inequality in the distribution of wealth, a current and burning problem, is derived by asymmetry of information in terms of distribution and access. Information is value, today more than ever, in terms of quantity, quality and speed; his tenure makes the difference. Since it has never been rich and abundant as today, some selection and interpretive grids are crucial. The project NEXT was born addressing the issue of sharing know-how, data and information, in relation to research and innovation in the Adriatic-Ionian region. A place historically affected by trade and relations, who has never managed, in history, to become an integrated market at large. The project, involving some actors in the territories concerned, has aimed to build a virtual place, a platform to substitute, anticipating them, the peculiarities that the area will take within the initiative of the European macro-region. NEXT IS, developed by the City of Sibenik partner in the project, is the platform that is in charge to spread and make visible the relations among the territories that NEXT covers. It does so by monitoring and publishing projects, patents, organizations, structures in the partner countries, accompanying them with information and news events, and starting discussions on critical issues. Which advantage can NEXT IS provide to a business owner? First, you can retrieve information about the context of the partner countries: NEXT Trend presents a scenario articulated on each territory involved in the project, with the description of the productive sectors, and gives a set of parameters that help dimensional. The Country Outlook defines in a homogeneous format, the main characteristics of the country: economy, swot analysis, the presence of clusters, the structure of venture capital, main referents. In a short time you can retrieve information that would require a constant presence on the field or major investments. The targeted search for innovative partners is available by accessing NEXT BOX, a repository of presentations focused on Centres operating in the territories, and verifying its activities through the blog posts of NEXT. Since one of the major problems by businesses is access to financial instruments, in addition to the data of the Country Outlook and reports of European calls, the project provides on the Blog a self assessment tool that allows the firm to identify the crucial information to present to venture capital. The services on NEXT IS are then duplicated by Marche Innovation Platform, in the system’s cloud Marche Region. While NEXT IS assumes the role of promoting a collaborative dialogue, in the spirit of open innovation, Marche Innovazione assumes the task of presenting all that this dialogue on NEXT IS consolidates in projects and is certified. Ultimately NEXT provides businesses an ecosystem made of information and tools that can enable them to play a leading role in the first person in the macro-region, anticipating processes rapidly becoming.

Innovation in Albania

Albania roadmap towards information society and innovation   Albania Government has made significant progress in transition reforms in recent years. The government has actively promoted pro business and investment policies on innovation technology and in society information. With the reform of the research system, since 2006 and the adoption of the National Strategy of Science, Technology and Innovation (NSSTI) 2009-2015 in July 2009 there were introduced major changes to improve the effectiveness of the country’s innovation system. Important steps were made in terms of establishing institutions and developing a strategy for a national innovation system. The Albanian Government has focused on ICT as a main driver of economic, political and social development in the country, evolving from a low-tech, inwardly looking state to a potential regional leader in e-Government, and connectivity, particularly as major infrastructural investments are being made. On the business front, the Strategic Programme for Innovation and Technology Development for SMEs 2011-2016 approved in February 2011 and its Action Plan, the Business Innovation and Technology Strategy (BITS), represent the main policy measures of the Ministry for Economy, Trade and Energy (METE) for promoting Innovation and technology dissemination in Albanian SMEs. The Business Relay and Innovation Centre (BRIC) will be the executive arm of METE for the implementation of the strategy and will provide both technical assistance and financial support for companies to engage in innovation. A list of the main agency with an active role in the growth of innovation in Albania follows.   PROTIK The Protik ICT Resource Center is established by the combined efforts and goals of the Government of Albania, USAID, Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF), Microsoft, Cisco, and Albtelecom. Established as a local non for profit organization on October the 10th, 2012, Protik’s mission is to catalyze the development of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Albania. The accomplishment of its mission was founded and will continue to be inspired on the values of Integrity, Excellence, Transparency, Collaboration and Cooperation. Protik aims to become the Albanian ICT hub: a connection point for those seeking the latest and most innovative ideas, products, and services.   ARTI The Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation (ARTI) is a public, legal institution under the competences of the Council of Ministers. ARTI is established with the Decision of Council of Ministers and has started its activity in March 2010. ARTI aims to build a modern system of science, strengthen of research and technology, as well as their integration inside the higher education system. ARTI facilitates the exchanging of knowledge, mutual activities and partnership within and outside the country. ARTI as a coordinating and guiding structure which cooperates with institutions in the field of science and technology for sustainable development of the country, in line with national priorities, development of scientific and technological policies and management of Research and Development (R&D) institutes.   National agency ON the information society The National Agency on the Information Society was established by the Government Decision   N.248, on 27.04.2007, amended. The main goal of NAIS a) Application of the policies and strategies, for the development of the information society sector, and in particular the technology of information and communication; b) Cooperation of both programmes in the field of society information and technology; c) Promote the investments in the field of information society; ç) Draft the competences of Minister of Innovation, given by law, in the field of electronic communications; d) Promote new technologies in the field of information society; dh) Give contribution on education and use of the information technology by the public;   ADRIATINN Under the partnership of UNYT (University of New York in Tirana) the project goal is to build innovation, cross-border clusters of SMEs and R&D Institutes, which interact with each other and with clients and suppliers and often share a pool of specialist labor, business and financial services, R&D and training facilities. ​Promote lifelong learning in research and innovation; the universities of the area will help the commercialization of research results by increasing the entrepreneurial mind-set of students and by collaborating with regional SMEs.  Capitalize the advantages of the area: bio-economy and energy sectors can help to: boost local economies; stimulate new activities; create new and sustainable jobs; have important spill-over effects on other industries; and enhance the attractiveness of regions and cities. The interregional cooperation project will ensure that both “old” and “wannabe” entrepreneurs will reach their full potential. ABANIAN MINISTRY OF INNOVATION

Marche Regione Experience from Smart Specialization

Marche Region’s experience on international cooperation starting from Smart Specialization The workshop “Monitoring Smart Specialization – A new Architecture for Transnational Cooperation” took place on 11th December 2014 at Centre Cultural el Born in Barcelona, and was organized as the final event of the CITEK Capitalization project financed by the MED Programme in collaboration with the European Commission – JRC. This final event at the same time constituted the starting point for a more structured discussion on monitoring in smart specialisation and focused the discussion on how regional and national actors can work together to develop effective monitoring mechanisms. Marche Region representative presented the smart specialization strategies developed by Marche Region, one of the first Italian regions that registered on RIS3 Platform and that took part to IPTS Peer Review workshops.  Marche Region’s S3 strategy focuses on 4 main sectors: mechatronics, ambient assisted living, sustainable manufactory, welfare and wellbeing.  For the implementation of the strategy several  priorities have been defined such as fostering collaboration between SMEs and research and innovation institutions, supporting international networking, creating favorable conditions for new  innovative businesses and implementing ICT instruments such as technological platform. In order to transform these priorities into actions, Marche Region has foreseen in its Regional Operative Plan interventions aiming to the creation of  new partnership between universities and enterprises,  spin offs and start ups,   services and infrastructures, as well as SME placement of researchers and new and wider collaborations between European and international  research and innovation stakeholders. During the intervention, Mrs. Torelli presented some of the tools that Marche Region is going to launch for the implementation of its RIS3. One of these tools is the NEXT-IS Platform developed by the NEXT project “Collaborative platform to support research and technology transfer” financed in the second call for proposals of the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme. This platform has the purpose to support the cross border networking between Marche Region and Macro Adriatic Ionian Regions starting from Smart Specialization Strategy approach. Marche Region is going to use the NEXT platform to launch call for proposals for supporting the participation of SME to EU calls. Furthermore, NEXT IS platform can be further enlarged and adapted in order to be used as a tool for monitoring the implementation of the strategy. Anna Torelli, Marche Region, Dpt. for Research, Innovation and Competitiveness

NEXT-IS Platform presented in 4 Road Show

Road-show for innovation: NEXT services presented in 4  events on the field in Marche region   Next Lead Applicant Marche Region presented the high value services made available to the companies of the region by the project NEXT,  through 4 Road-shows recently organized in in Civitanova Marche (19th January),  Ascoli Piceno (28th January), Ancona (2nd February) and Pesaro (6th February). The Road-shows has been a excellent opportunity to bring the project and its services on the field and  to enhance engagement with companies and consulting firms in the territory, besides offering some insights on how the project fits into the regional innovation strategy and programs of Marche region. Patrizia Sopranzi, head of the Competitiveness and innovation Unit of Marche Region, presented NEXT into the wider scenario of the new programming period Regional Operational Plan, proving useful insights on how NEXT will be integrated into it  and will support some of the upcoming actions, like the innovation voucher scheme. Giuseppe di  Giovambattista, CEO of Archidata and project director of the NEXT Technical Assistance Team, offered an helicopter view of the NEXT added value services, namely NEXT IS and the NEXT Info Point, which was completed by a detailed presentation of each of them. Emanuele Frontoni, of Marche Innovazione, introduced the NEXT IS/Marche Innovazione collaborative platform. NEXT IS will act as a “search engine” to support enterprises in the innovation process and increase their operational  capacities (support for finding partners, technologies, new markets, patents). This tool offers to its users a practical support in terms of information, visibility and networking/scouting opportunities. Thanks to the platform NEXT IS, users will get detailed information on the market potential of the countries of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region, the geolocation of active companies and Research and Technology Transfer Centers, the local development programs, and all financing/investing opportunities available. Companies registered in the platform could easily search and be searched, as well as identify business and innovation related opportunities/projects in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region. The presentation was combined with a practical demonstration on how to access and make use of the platform. The featured services of the NEXT Info Point has been presented by Paola Gabaldi, of FAST (Federazione delle Associazioni Scientifiche e Tecniche) and by Dario Mazzella, of META Group and Bruno De Nisco of Archidata. The Info Point will combine support to bid for public funded opportunities and to access risk capital sources. A periodic monitoring exercise of the open calls into the Horizon2020 Program for Research and Innovation will be regularly offered to the NEXT users together with specialized advices on the feasibility of the project ideas developed by them in response to the calls. As for access to risk capital the Info Point will offer a capacity building process, which includes a guided online assessment of the growth potential of the company,  a training session to effectively prepare the business idea presentation and the participation to the Adriatic Investment Forum to be held on 16-18th March in Milan, where the participant companies will be introduced to a panel of international investors to discuss investment deals. The Roadshows had a very high attendance with 187 delegates in total. Participants comes from both SMEs located in the region (117, equal to 63%) and consultancies (70, equal to 37%). The figures shows the participants broken down per roadshow edition, a comparison between participant coming from SMEs vs participants coming from consultancies. Maria Laura Fornaci