Workshops and Roundtables

Opening the “Black Box” of Europe’s Startup Ecosystem

Erik P.M. Vermeulen
Professor of Business and Financial Law at Tilburg University and Tilburg Law and Economics Center & Head of Governance/Vice-President at Philips Lighting, Netherlands

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

This Workshop offers a new understanding of investor readiness and the policy solutions that will be most effective in helping entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale a new business in Europe. We begin by examining some of the standard metrics for measuring the European startup ecosystem, such as the number of startups and investments. Such metrics paint a positive image. There are more businesses being created, more money is available for new firms and there is an extensive infrastructure supporting entrepreneurs in starting a new business in Europe.

Nevertheless, there are a number of inter-connected reasons to take a more sanguine view of the European situation. Firstly, European firms have struggled to scale. Secondly, the European innovation ecosystem seems to be plagued by “startup theatre”, i.e. empty talk and actions that seek to benefit from being associated with entrepreneurialism without being genuinely committed to the scaling of business. In particular, many “bad players” are entering the innovation space in search of easy money. Thirdly, there is a high degree of “herd behaviour” in which an unhealthy standardisation is allowed to flourish. Finally, there is a latent and potentially destructive “skepticism” about the prospects of competing with Silicon Valley in the scaling of new business.

Against this background, we then consider whether existing investor readiness programs that aim at building entrepreneurial capacities to identify and secure investors are likely to be effective in what we believe is the crucial task today, namely the scaling of a global business. We identify a number of problems with such programs, as currently organised. In particular, they have a generic character and there is a lack of compelling evidence that they actually work.

The workshop focuses on building the capacity of entrepreneurs to look into the “Black Box” of potential investors and other actors/partners, in order to identify the particular partner who is best placed – not only to provide money – but to deliver a meaningful, long-term relationship that will fill capacity and expertise deficits, and by doing so add genuine value and give a young firm the best chance of scaling. We term this approach “smart investor readiness”. The key issue therefore becomes the need for all stakeholders in the startup space to actively embrace partnering- for innovation.

– Entrepreneurs
– Investors
– Policymakers
– Consultants

Erik Vermeulen is passionate about “Governance Tomorrow”. Governance Tomorrow means understanding what kind of environment maximizes opportunities for success and sustainable growth. The term “environment” is used to refer to all of the different places, organizations and communities where we live, work and learn. Governance Tomorrow is about identifying the building blocks of an environment that can increase people’s creativity, productivity and fulfillment.

Global Best Practices in Academic Technology Transfer

Yatin Karpe, Ph.D.
Director, Technology Commercialization, Rowan University, New Jersey, USA

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

This panel session aims to engage Technology Transfer experts from across the world to discuss their best practice techniques. Often, best practice techniques are discussed over relatively narrow geographical or cultural regions. This panel aims to take a much broader view, encompassing a global view of best practice techniques. The broad range of panel members will allow for discussions of geographical and cultural differences between regions based on first hand experiences.
By providing such a broad geographical spread of panel members, the idea is that all attendees will feel “at home” and can therefore benefit from this wide-ranging knowledge and experience.
The objective of this session is not to create a “one size fits all” best practice answer, but to develop ideas and a selection of methods which can be implemented as appropriate.
Expected Outcomes
One outcome from this session is to provide the attendees with a global outlook on Technology Transfer. It is often easy to become focused on the work in hand and to lose track of the bigger picture. By allowing for such a diverse panel, the attendees can learn about experiences from across the world.
At the end of this panel session it is expected that the attendees have a broader understanding of the challenges facing not just a globally operating Tech Transfer Office, but how such a global outlook can lead to benefits on the local level. This understanding covers both geographical and cultural implications and how best practices can be employed to limit these differences. Ideally the attendees of the workshop will leave with the foundations for a toolkit of ideas to build an optimal best-practice for any situation they find themselves in.

Proposed Duration
1.5 hours

• Develop Best Practice techniques in your TTO
• Learn how Tech Transfer is handled in differing cultures/continents
• Improve global outreach in your TTO
• Boost network through worldwide contacts

All proposed panellists have been contacted and expressed their interest to attend.
• Marc Malandro, Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania(USA)
• Tom Withnell, Ph.D. – University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (Europe)
• Sami Bashir -Ph.D.- Masdar Institute, UAE (Middle East)
• Ellen MacKay – M.Ed.- Lakehead University (Canada)

This panel’s main focus will be to attract International Tech Transfer professionals, but will be highly useful for students, academics and entrepreneurs to understand the global demands facing Tech Transfer professionals. In addition, it would be useful for industry executives to understand the nuances of Tech Transfer vis-à-vis university interaction with industry. We expect to attract around 60-75 attendees.

Financing options for entrepreneurs and investors: Learn the early-stage investing process and best financial practices

Mr. Jacopo Losso,
EBAN – European Business Angels Network, Brussels

Dr. Andreas Baresel-Bofinger,
HeBAN – Hellenic Business Angles Network, Greece

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

Innovation is the key to gain and sustain competitive advantage. One of the important factors to enable innovation is to find the appropriate means of funding (and entrepreneurial know-how) from either public or private sources. In this workshop we focus primarily on the funding of start-ups and innovative SMEs with private risk capital. We will look at the various available funding sources and investment vehicles, such as offered by VCs, Business Angels, Corporate Venturing, Crowdfunding, etc..
The participants will develop a better awareness and deeper understanding of the various available options in the market and the particular interests of both the entrepreneur and the investor. After the attendance of the workshop participants will:
• Have a better critical understanding of the benefits and challenges of the various funding options (entrepreneurial perspective)
• Be better prepared to choose and approach investors (entrepreneurial perspective)
• Better understand what it means to be investment ready (investor and entrepreneurial perspective)
• Have a higher awareness of alternative (co-)investment possibilities (investor perspective)
• Be better prepared to make smart investment decisions (investor perspective)
• Have a better understanding of some relevant legal aspects in the funding process (investor and entrepreneurial perspective)
• All participants will take with them a small compendium with relevant material and guidelines.

• Entrepreneurs will improve their ability to look successfully for funding
• Investors will improve their ability to make smart investment decisions
• Participants will better understand the characteristics of investment readiness

• (Potential) investors
• (Potential) entrepreneurs
• Researchers/academics/students

Brief CVs
As the Director of Secretariat, Jacopo tracks issues of strategic importance to the early-stage investing ecosystem. He also strives to identify opportunities to influence the EU decision making processes, working closely with industry’s stakeholders to promote the excellence and expertise of EBAN’s Board Members to the European audience. Jacopo is also responsible of the coordination and implementation of EBAN’s activities in EU funded projects. Being the first contact point of the Association, he is also looking after members’ interests and helping ensure they obtain best value from their membership. Jacopo holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Thanks to his education and his strong academic background both in marketing and in financial management, Jacopo has a successful track record with international work experiences.

Andreas Baresel-Bofinger is a private investor and co-founder of the Hellenic Business Angels Network – HeBAN. He is Managing Partner of Wilhelm Bofinger GmbH & CoKG in Germany. Andreas is a part-time lecturer at the Business Administration and Economics Department of the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, CITY College. In his position as Project Manager at the South-East European Research Centre (SEERC) in Thessaloniki he has been involved in the support and development of the entrepreneurial eco-system in South-East Europe. Andreas serves as Advisory Board Member at the OK!Thess Incubator of Thessaloniki and at InnovationFarm Stage One Accelerator in Thessaloniki. In the past he held the position of Management Consultant at the Incubator of Technopolis Thessaloniki ICT Business Park. Before, for many years he was Coordinator of European projects at SEPVE, the Association of ICT Companies of Northern Greece.
Andreas holds a BA in Business Studies and an MSc in Information Systems. His PhD he did on the subject of Green Supply Chain Management.

Enabling and Mobilizing Start-ups in the Southeast Europe: Collaboration Networks between Incubators and Accelerators for Technology Based Entrepreneurship

Dr. Deniz Tunçalp,
Associate Professor of Management, Istanbul Technical University & Chief Marketing Officer, ITU ARI Teknokent – Science Park, Turkey

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

Technology-based entrepreneurship requires a diverse ecosystem in their local and regional environment. Private, as well as university-based start-up incubators and accelerators have been growing across the world to create favorable conditions to enable start-up survival. However, these efforts are mostly local and they usually fail to scale start-ups in international markets. In this workshop, participants from the Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean regions are going to discuss how to collaborate across borders to enable and mobilize local start-ups to help them grow at an international scale. We expect to create a dialogue between university research centers, incubators and accelerators across the Southeast Europe to create regional collaboration networks and create possibilities for international mobility and scalability for local start-ups.

• Establishing a regional network of business incubators, co-working spaces and accelerators.
• Connecting with leading entrepreneurship scholars from various universities of the region.
• Locating best practices across different contexts
• Connecting local initiatives to create a regional network across the Southeast Europe

The workshop aims to attract private industry-based and university-affiliated business incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces as well as academics and research-centers working on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Brief CV
Dr. Tuncalp is working on entrepreneurship. He is on the executive committee of ITU Ginova Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He is also in charge of ITU Cekirdek early-stage incubator, ITU Magnet late-stage incubator and ITU Gate international acceleration program. ITU Cekirdek has been ranked as the 8th best in Europe and 18th best in Europe among university business incubators. ITU Magnet is Turkey’s first late-stage incubator for the start-ups at the Death Valley. ITU Gate brings Turkish technology start-ups to the US market with offices in San Francisco and Chicago.

Design Thinking for Organisational Performance

Ms Andreana Drencheva,
Sheffield University Management School, U.K

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

Design Thinking for Organisational Performance is a two-hour practical and evidence-based workshop to help entrepreneurs and organisations adopt a principled approach to collaborative problem solving and innovation.
In a world of rapid technological and social change, uncertainty, complexity, and diverse challenges, design thinking offers a principled approach to address challenges, create new opportunities, and innovate effectively. Design thinking is a human-cantered approach to business and innovation that focuses on generating, evolving, and implementing ideas through an iterative process that is ultimately less resource intensive. As a method, design thinking has been applied by diverse types of organisations – from entrepreneurial ventures to established for-profit organisations, to charities, social enterprises, and even public services in various industries – to create new products, services, processes, and systems; to redesign human resource programmes, organisations and partnerships; to enhance learning; and to address wicked problems, such as access to clean water or to affordable healthcare.
The purpose of this workshop is to equip individuals with the knowledge to understand and apply the design thinking process in their own organisations. Drawing on cutting-edge research and frameworks in design, design thinking, entrepreneurship, and psychology, this workshop equips participants with core skills to apply design thinking in their organisations to innovate and create effective solutions to diverse problems in a fast, collaborative, responsive, and less resource intensive manner, regardless of organisational size or industry.

• Practice the full cycle of design thinking in a safe and supportive environment
• Develop skills to effectively innovate and collaboratively solve problems
• Increased opportunities for adaptation, innovation, and growth

Entrepreneurs, owner-managers, strategic leaders

Brief CV
Andreana is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Sheffield. At the intersection of entrepreneurship and leadership, her research focuses on how entrepreneurs seek feedback, involve stakeholders, and design and change their business models. She collaborates with support organisations to co-create services, programmes, and tools for (potential) social entrepreneurs – particularly focusing on catalysing social change, leading and scaling social ventures, and avoiding mission drift. Before joining the University of Sheffield, Andreana worked as a strategist in the USA to create strong brands and launch successful digital products, services, platforms, experiences, and campaigns.

Building metropolitan economic resilience - Partnerships that invest in human talent and an innovation ecosystem

Ms. Lina Liakou,
Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Planning, and Chief Resilience Officer for Thessaloniki - Greece

Aphrodite Bouikidis,
Deputy Resilience Officer, Resilient Thessaloniki - Greece

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

What does it take for a metropolitan area to grow, adapt to local or international changes, and bounce back from economic shocks? How can diversity in the local economy, support for emerging sectors and an innovation ecosystem (people, knowledge, creativity, entrepreneurial culture, connecting points, networks and partnerships) create economic resilience? We’ll explore models and examples of co-creation between university, industry, public sector and civil society actors to invest in human talent, support emerging sectors, and activate knowledge for high-growth enterprise and economic resilience.

– discover practical tools
– share their own models/tools or case studies
– cross-sector connections, networking
– learn new key metrics to apply in their own ecosystems and partnerships
– Opportunity to explore the topic of economic resilience in a practical way.

Mixed audience – academics, industry, entrepreneurs, local government, students – who are involved in or planning to launch cross-sector partnerships and co-creation efforts

Brief CVs
Lina Liakou, Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Planning, and Chief Resilience Officer for Thessaloniki.
Lina was appointed Deputy Mayor of Thessaloniki for Urban Resilience and Development Planning in 2016. Prior to this, Lina was an elected council member at the municipality of Thessaloniki appointed for issues of civic engagement. In 2015 she became chairman and managing director of the ‘Metropolitan Development Agency of Thessaloniki,’ an inter-municipal legal entity that coordinates national and international research projects.
Previously, she was responsible for the design and implementation of the participatory platform of the “REACTIVATE ATHENS / 101 IDEAS”, a research and design initiative of the ETH in Zurich and the Onassis Foundation. Her professional experience also includes being an associate at the nonprofit organization “School of ARCHitecture for All” and co-founder of the architectural studio “URBAN3” in Athens. She is an architect and a PhD candidate in the department of Urban Planning at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Aphrodite Bouikidis is a consultant on social and urban innovation with the Resilient Thessaloniki office of the Municipality of Thessaloniki. Prior to this, she was the Founder of Ashoka Greece, and has directed student leadership and social innovation programs in the Greek-American community in the U.S. Aphrodite also spent three years on the Middle East and North Africa team at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), where she helped develop and support programs for civic participation, women’s leadership, and civil society. She earned a master of arts degree in international relations from the University of Chicago and was named a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow in 2010, and selected to join the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders network in 2014.

Examining economic resilience: Entrepreneurship and growth in uncertain times

Dr Nick Williams,
Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship – Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, University of Leeds, U.K

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

This interactive workshop will unpack current understanding of economic resilience, crisis and growth, and will identify new directions for research. While crises are regarded to be low probability events, their consequences are particularly negative for entrepreneurs and the spaces in which they operate. As such, how entrepreneurs prepare for and/or respond to a crisis is critical, and their resilience to crises might mean the difference between business survival and failure. Academic and policy understanding of the relationship between resilience, entrepreneurship and growth is at an early stage, and as such this workshop will take this work forward in new directions.
The aims of the workshop will be:
• To present leading research on the topic of economic resilience
• Explore different contexts for economic resilience
(at individual, organizational, local, regional and national levels)
• Analyse the impacts of economic resilience for academics, practitioners and policy makers

The expected outcome of the workshop will be to:
• Provide a forum for discussing how research on economic resilience could be taken forward

The benefits for the participants will be:
• Exposure to latest research in economic resilience
• Increased understanding of how resilience thinking can be applied in multiple contexts
• Focused ideas on how resilience could be taken forward
• Lessons for policy makers on how to make local, regional and national economies more resilient

The workshop would be wide-ranging and include elements of interest to academics, entrepreneurs, students and policy makers. We would envision approximately 20 participants in the workshop.

Brief CVs

Best Practice for Universities and Industry with EPLAN P8

Dr. Dusko Lukac
Head of robotics & CAE laboratory at University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

EPLAN P8 is the worldwide leading E-CAD application system for electrical planning and engineering. EPLAN company has subsidiaries in over 55 countries worldwide. It is used by all renowned companies, especially in the automobile and automotive industry like Daimler, BMW, VW, Jaguar or GM. During the workshop in form of “Hands on” seminar, the audience will have a possibility to learn more about the important system functions of the application and to get the information how to implement the system into the own curricula according to the idea of application oriented learning. EPLAN company has developed industry-university educational concept and offers the certification possibilities for professors and students, as e.g. so called EPLAN Certified Student certification program.

All participants will have the possibility to learn about modern E-CAD system most used in the industry. They will also have the possibility to learn, how such system can be implemented into the curricula and how to shape the university/school lectures in that way, that industry-required knowledge is transferred to the students and scholars. Also, the lecturers/professors will experience, which kind of support they get, to become enabled to transfer such kind of knowledge to their students.

Industrial clients, students and lecturers (professors) and all interested in the topic of modern E-CAD planning and engineering tools

Facilitator (Photo)
Dr. Dusko Lukac

Brief CV
Dr. Dusko Lukac, working as university teacher in addition as a head of robotics & CAE laboratory at University of Applied Sciences in Cologne/Germany and since 10 years with the EPLAN company as an official EPLAN referent and key account for EPLAN certification program (more about:

University-Government Links: Using relevant statistical data for evidence-based policy making

Dr Gaby Umbach,
Director at GlobalStat and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, Germany

Dr. Loredana Radu,
Associate Professor, Head of Communication Department, College of Communication and Public Relations – SNSPA, Romania

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

The aim of this workshop is to debate the best instruments that universities can develop in order to help the central administration system build evidence-based public policies. Decision making and public policies development need to start from relevant data that could give a clear and expressive description of a country’s well-being. In this context, the workshop will include presentations of research conducted in the project “The State of the Nation – the development of an innovative instrument for evidence-based policy making in Romania (SIPOCA 11)”.
The workshop will invite debates around key issues, such as:
• lessons learned in what concerns the design and implementation of strategic systems of indicators, aimed at measuring the current well-being (i.e. security, health, education), as well as the available resources (i.e. capital, demographics, knowledge) within a country or region;
• key issues in developing a research methodology for measuring the “state of the nation/region” (such as selection criteria for key indicators, measurement techniques, main data sources);
• challenges regarding the technical development of an online platform/user-friendly statistical tool to be used by both specialists and non-specialists in public administration;
• best communication tools for disseminating the research results (i.e. the state-of-the-nation data aggregator) to key decision makers and other stakeholders.

Participants will:
• Become familiar with various systems of data aggregation and their use in
decision-making processes;
• Enrich their knowledge of the challenges in developing and implementing common
systems and standards in public administration;
• Get acknowledged with the constraints governing big data gathering and use;
• Understand the particularities of Central and East Europe countries’
development and governance;
• Develop an understanding of the key processes in managing a complex project.

The target audience of this workshop is: academics, big data experts; central and local administration representatives; students; journalists; industry representatives.

Brief CVs
Gaby Umbach is Founding Director of “GlobalStat” and co-directs the projects “Global Governance by Indicators” and “On the Political Economy of Measuring State Capacity and Governance” at the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the EUI in Florence. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cologne, where she was Senior Research Associate of the Jean Monnet Chair for Political Science and the Seminar for Social Policy from 2000 to 2014. In 2009 her dissertation on the European Employment Strategy was awarded the Stiftung Demokratie prize for outstanding research on democratic decision-making within the EU. In 2010 she joined the GGP for a Jean Monnet Fellowship and became part of the GGP faculty in 2011. Since July 2015 she serves as Book Review Editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS) and during the winter terms 2015/16 and 2016/17 she teaches as Adjunct Professor at the University of Cologne. Her fields of expertise include database design; sustainable development; evidence-based policy-making and global governance by indicators; multi-level and new modes of governance; European integration studies and theories; environmental, employment and socio-economic policies; EU constitutionalisation and institutionalisation; and EU enlargement.

Loredana Radu is the Coordinator of the strategic project “State of the Nation”, implemented in joined partnership with the Romanian Government and aimed at building an innovative instrument – an online data aggregator – to be used in evidence-based policy making in Romania. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration NUPSPA (Bucharest) and a MBA degree from the CEU Business School (Budapest). Currently, she is Associate Professor, Head of the Communication Department and the Director of the Center for EU Communication Studies at the College of Communication and Public Relations in NUPSPA. Since 2016, she is the Academic Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Module “Patterns of Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe” (2016-2019). Loredana has an wide experience in managing EU-funded projects, as well as other types of organizational development programs. Her research and professional interests focus on Europeanization (i.e. discursive/narrative construction of Europe), attitudes towards the EU (i.e. euroscepticism, anti-europeanism, extremism, europopulism), project management, evidence-based policy making, and development models.

(S)kill the job
How is the global future work market formed and which are the skills of a successful candidate?

Mr. Yannis Stergis,
CRMDr, Founder, President and CEO of hyphen SA, Greece

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

The ongoing economic and financial crisis in Europe has brought work back to the top of people’s priorities. Compared to 2008 survey, when the majority of respondents in 16 Member States stated their support for giving more importance to leisure, in 2012 there were only 10 countries left in this camp.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, employment is the state of having paid work. Therefore, by being able to be paid for your work, one can consider him or herself an employable person. By definition, the main benefit of employment is the actual payment of work provided, as well as the financial independence employment ensures. However, there are many other needs one hopes to fulfill by being employed, such as the need for creativity, achievement, innovation and quality.
The economic playbook is surprisingly clear, surprisingly straightforward, in the short term especially. The robots are not going to take all of our jobs in the next year or two. Though, we need to certify the encouragement of entrepreneurship, the innovation of infrastructures, and above all how will enrich people with the appropriate skills for the future of work (skills 2020).

At the end of this workshop the participants will be able to:
Ι. Identify forms of employment
ΙΙ. Understand the source of unemployment
ΙΙΙ. Identify and acknowledge the necessary skills for the future of work

The workshop is addressed to industry, entrepreneurs, course designers and university/college students.

Brief CVs
Yannis Stergis was born in Thessaloniki in 1971. Together with his wife Emma Rachael Parker, they founded hyphen SA in Thessaloniki in 2003, an educational engineering firm that deals in educational and publications engineering and cross-cultural intelligence. In 2011, Yannis and Emma founded the following two subsidiaries: the ariston project Ltd, a think tank and educational know-how institution based in Solihull, UK, and a specialty press educational engineering firm, ParkerStergis. Publishing, based in Thessaloniki. In 2014, the ariston project’s training centres, the Elaeons, were established for developing leadership skills for future employment, present nationwide in both Greece and Cyprus.

Importance of Entrepreneurial Learning in primary and secondary education

Dr. Radmil Polenakovikj,
Professor on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Innovation Management at the Mechanical Faculty, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.

Prof. Dr Zoran Anisic,
University of Novi Sad, Serbia

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

Entrepreneurial learning can be defined as: ‘All forms of education and training (formal, informal and non-formal) which contribute to an entrepreneurial spirit and behaviour with or without a commercial objective.’
The demand for entrepreneurial learning has been, and is still, steadily increasing. However, there are a number of obstacles hindering the uptake of entrepreneurship learning. For example it is recognised that there is a shortage of human resources and funding for this type of education, low levels of awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship for economic development, etc. In addition, there has been a tendency in academic/teaching communities to perceive entrepreneurship education exclusively with learning how to start and run a business, wheras finding sustainable ideas for new business relies is probably the bigger challenge, as is developing learners who can proactively support and enhance these types of new businesses.

– To meet theoreticians and practitioners in the area of entrepreneurial learning
– To learn current practices in entrepreneurial education in the region and wider
– To share best practices within the region
– To network with same-minded persons in the area of Entrepreneurial Learning

– University professors that teach entrepreneurship and innovation related subjects
– Entrepreneurship related courses students
– Consultants in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation
– Teachers in primary and secondary schools
– School management
– Public administration responsible for educational issues (municipality, regional and national level)

Brief CVs
Prof. Dr. Radmil Polenakovikj – professor on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Innovation Management, etc. at the Mechanical Faculty, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. He has published more than 270 papers, books, reports and articles. Polenakovik is visiting professor at UNESCO Chair for Entrepreneurship at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. He is a member of European Academy of Science and Arts, team leader for Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; FP7 and other EU funded projects evaluator; part of the national team for development of innovation strategy, strategy for entrepreneurial learning, regional innovation strategies for 7 planning regions in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia… Polenakovikj is part of more than 70 projects (30 projects – team leader) funded or supported by: OECD, World Bank, ETF, ADA, USAID, GTZ, CEI, UNCTAD, SEECEL, IPA programs (transnational, cross-border, etc.), TEMPUS, Erasmus +, UK Embassy, Denmark Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, ministries and agencies of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, etc. Polenakovikj is leading University Start-Up Centre and National Center for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning that supported creation of more than 60 start-ups.

Promoting Sustainable Performance (PSP) for SME Growth and Development

Professor Mark Gilman,
Director of Centre for Enterprise, Innovation and Growth at Birmingham City University Business School, UK

Dr Jacob Salder,
Research Fellow in SME Growth and Development, Birmingham City University Business School

Aineias Gkikas, Research Fellow in SME Growth and Development, Birmingham City University Business School

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

The Promoting Sustainable Performance (PSP) program aims in helping local enterprises to achieve sustainable growth and development so that they can compete in the global market place in order to secure economic growth and welfare for the regional economy they are based in. It is envisaged that the project will have an impact on the economic and social conditions in the South East Europe, especially in terms of economic growth and employment via the support of the private sector. The PSP project involves an integrated performance measurement and analysis process for businesses. PSP utilises a multi-disciplinary approach drawing together a team of academics from a wide range of disciplines to investigate growth from the perspective of: competitive strategy; innovation, internationalisation; value chain management; human resource management and development; and, operations. PSP is moving performance measurement forward by utilising a mixed method approach integrating qualitative data collection and analysis methods with the traditional purely quantitative approach.
A plethora of approaches have been used to measure organizational performance, often comparing businesses within the same industry and benchmarking against market leaders. What many of these methods have in common is their limited depth. Researchers tend to rely on quantitative secondary data, take a limited approach to knowledge, progress with limited academic rigor, and fail to appreciate the importance of nuance and context. This workshop, will address these deficiencies providing an impartial perspective of SME growth for informed decision making. Such an approach will support provincial aims to increase the competitiveness of our case study regions. The proposed duration of the workshop is 90 minutes (1.5 hours).
The expected outcomes from this workshop are twofold and can be outlined as follows. Firstly, to communicate how the Promoting Sustainable Performance program works, providing an overall value and strengths for delivering sustainable growth and development for SMEs located in diverse regional economies at regional level. Secondly to present results from different regional economies such as England, Canada and Indonesia with an overall scope in signposting how other regions (e.g. South East Europe) could join as well.

1. Broad the knowledge on SME growth and development
2. Gain international experience of different aspects on contextual dynamism of enterprise growth
3. Work effectively and efficiently with businesses and private sector
4. Obtain direct knowledge on international collaboration
5. Gain facilitation and training skills
6. Gain understanding of using a multi-disciplinary approach in studying the diverse and contextual factors that contribute to enterprise growth in transition economies.

This workshop will be of relevance to academics, policy makers, industry and practitioners and researchers that aim in improving the sustainable performance of SMEs sectors within their regional economies.

Brief CVs
The workshop will be chaired by Professor Mark Gilman. Professor Gilman is the Director of Centre for Enterprise, Innovation and Growth at Birmingham City University Business School. Mark has published in the area of SME performance and growth and HR management alongside working directly with business in the creation of a range of support products. These products include The BIG Journey, The BIG Network, The BIG Toolkit, The BIG Diagnostic, and tailored coaching and consultancy assignments. He has worked in industry and academia for the last 40 years engaging with businesses of all sizes including Boots plc, Barclays Bank, British Airways and a number of public sector organisation. More recently he has been impacting the growth of over 500 SMEs through research and coaching interventions for ambitious business owners.

Jacob Salder is Research Fellow in SME Growth and Development, Birmingham City University Business School and has a specialist background in economic development having worked in local government, non-government organisations and Regional Development Agencies for a number of years. His role in CEIG is progressing research focused on SME development in the regional context within the UK, focusing specifically on their development and growth within the West Midlands.

Aineias Gkikas is a Research Fellow in SME Growth and Development, Birmingham City University Business School and is currently completing his PhD in Economic Geography, Cardiff University. Aineias is interested on research concerning the growth and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from an international perspective. His research concentration is growth and performance of SMEs, focusing on developing global insights into SME growth and performance helping to inform the way smaller businesses work, grow and prosper in the economy. The motivation for choosing to study small-medium enterprises (SMEs), regions, innovation, and growth, is the fact that even though over 95% of businesses globally are SMEs, little is known about how they innovate, grow and perform. There is limited research addressing the dynamics, contextual nature of SMEs and their leaders/entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurial dynamism that underpin the wider growth and performance trajectories (i.e. network capital, human capital, social capital). Aineias has taught at both Cardiff and University College London and presented research at national and international conferences. His role within the Centre for Enterprise, Innovation and Growth (CEIG) is progressing research on SME development in international contexts, collaborating with businesses and Universities across the world including Greece, China, Indonesia and Slovenia.

Beyond the product: Business models as sources of innovation and competitiveness

Prof. Tim Vorley,
The University of Sheffield, Management School, UK

Mr Cristian Gherhes,
The University of Sheffield, Management School, UK

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

The aim of this workshop is threefold, namely to 1) broaden perspectives on the nature of innovation by bringing the business model into focus as a less explored source of innovation and competitiveness, 2) unpack the nature of business model innovation, and 3) highlight the potential of business model innovation to contribute to innovation-led regional economic growth.

As such, the specific objectives of the workshop are to:
• Facilitate a debate on the nature of innovation
• Highlight that innovation is not confined to the product or service offering of a firm
• Explore the business model concept and how business models can capture and create value
• Facilitate the understanding of how companies can harness innovation across multiple channels
• Highlight how business model innovation can uncover new mechanisms of capturing and delivering customer value
• Facilitate the understanding of how business model innovation can create sustainable competitive advantage
• Examine the value of business model innovation in the broader context of regional innovation and economic growth
• Facilitate a better understanding of how innovation policy can foster regional economic growth through a focus on business model innovation

Expected outcomes:

The expected outcomes of the workshop include:
• A more inclusive understanding of the nature of innovation
• A better understanding of the business model concept
• Effective sharing of knowledge between academia and industry
• A new understanding of business models as sources of innovation and sustainable competitive advantage
• Identified opportunities for collaboration between academia and industry to facilitate a better understanding of business model innovation through knowledge coproduction
• Reflections on how more inclusive innovation policy can contribute to fostering innovation-led regional economic growth

Proposed duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes


The workshop is addressed to academics conducting research on, or interested in, the topic of innovation, to industry representatives and entrepreneurs interested in sharing their experiences and understating of innovation and in expanding their understanding of how business model innovation can become a source of sustainable competitive advantage, as well as to policy makers interested in understanding how expanding the focus of innovation policy to include a focus on business model innovation can contribute to fostering innovation-led regional economic growth.

Expected number of participants: 20


1) Identify new possible research directions
2) Potential to identify new mechanisms of capturing and delivering customer value within own firms
3) Develop links with academia/industry

Regional Sustainable Growth – Economic, Environmental and Social Optimization via the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool Intelligence - SCEnATi)

Dr Adrian Solomon,
Project Manager, Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC)
Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M),
The University of Sheffield

Description - Benefits for participants - Target audience

The Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) ( is a facility that aims to promote the collaboration between industry and academia by enabling a platform for access to policy makers – promoting resource efficiency and sustainability across supply chains. AREC supports the development of resource sustainable supply chains by proposing new ways of reducing risk for partners in overcoming the challenges of resource availability. Through AREC, Small & Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) can join in collaboration with larger industrial partners and benefit from cutting edge academic research and skills. One of AREC’s key leading products is the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool Intelligence (SCEnATi) which has helped global chains to cut costs, comply to regulations and become environmentally sustainable while accomplishing their social mission (i.e. regional growth). This is being achieved by relying on SCEnATi’s core features in terms of global benchmarking, advanced data analytics and business intelligence.

• Presentation of AREC
• Group discussion of local/regional industry & policy needs in terms of resource efficiency and environmental sustainability
• Presentation of SCEnATi principles
• Demonstration of SCEnATi and of Microsoft Power BI and relation of how this will solve industry/policy needs
• Presentation of the SCEnATi packages


5-10 industry or policy representatives


• Understand the key requirements and trends involved in resource efficiency, environmental sustainability, and social impact of company operations and supply chains.
• Try the SCEnATi tool which can help them save costs, comply to regulations and use business intelligence in order to make their businesses more competitive.
• Connect with international business peers & policy makers and build strategic partnerships.