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 problems”. 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.
A shared ambition for the Mediterranean
Opened by Christos Staikos, president of Enterprise Greece and Emmanuel Noutary, general delegate of ANIMA Investment Network, the public conference discussions highlighted key issues for the region: how to spread a culture of entrepreneurship and leadership among young people? What are the initiatives that take a fresh look at their potential and stimulate THE NEXT SOCIETY movement? How collaboration and networking approaches remove the obstacles to innovation? How to strengthen technological transfer without replicating models from elsewhere? Representatives of public institutions, entrepreneurs, investors and innovation support networks exchanged on these various exciting topics in Athens.
Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Vice-President of the European Parliament and head of the SYRIZA delegation, noted that “the current vision of the Mediterranean lacks of innovation, there is a real need for initiatives like this one today to change the future of 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.
About THE NEXT SOCIETY
THE NEXT SOCIETY is an open community of change makers engaged in innovation and economic development. It gathers entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, NGOs, public and private innovation, research and economic development hubs from Europe and the Mediterranean countries.
THE NEXT SOCIETY gathers already a large network of over 300 business & innovation, research and investment organisations, 2,500 international SMEs and entrepreneurs from 30 countries.
THE NEXT SOCIETY is launching a four year action plan (2017-2020), co-funded by the EU up to 90% for a global amount of EUR 7.8 million budget.