MIT to land in Europe in October and I’ll be there reporting

Achieving Growth Through Strategic Innovation is the third in the “Innovation in Europe” series conference the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is holding in Europe.

Grand place, Brussels, Belgium, 2007

It is co-organized by MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), the organization dedicated to creating relationship between MIT and corporations worldwide and Agoria, the Belgium’s largest employers’ organisation and trade association. In fact, it will take place in Brussels, the 11th and 12th of October this year. Among the speakers, it is worth mentioning Andrew McAfee, also known for coining the phrase “Enterprise 2.0”, Ray Kurzweil author of bestseller “Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near” and Henk van Houten, Senior Vice President and Program Manager at Healthcare Philips Research who will be speak about “Meaningful Innovation in Healthcare”.  You can that a look at the full agenda and speakers here. According to the organizers the conference

provides an important forum for European business and government technology leaders to participate and identify strategic innovation sources and opportunities, and to create supporting policies. MIT’s leading researchers and industry speakers will focus on innovation mechanisms, evaluate measures designed to support innovation, and present specific innovation opportunities relevant to European business.

I am covering the event for Istituto Adriano Olivetti (ISTAO), one of the oldest Management Schools in Italy, founded in 1967 by Giorgio Fuà on the initiative of the Social Science Research Council of the United States and the Adriano Olivetti Foundation. ISTAO, as MIT ILP member,  also gathers about 40 enterprises of Italian region Le Marche including Indesit Company, TOD’s Group, iGuzzini, Scavolini and Rainbow. And I will be very proud to represent all of them. In details, I’ll be live tweeting over the 2 days conference by using #miteurope2010, the official Lanyrd hashtag. Secondly, I’ll produce a full report in Italian for ISTAO and its 40 members. Of course, there will be a blog post of the event in English here at We Innov8!. Finally, I’ll bring my brand new full HD Samsung camera, in case there will be a picture or shot worthing 1000 words.

However, if you feel like I can do something for you too, such as focusing on a specific speaker or even aspect of the conference, please do not hesitate to comment below or contact me.


Guest posting at

I’m trilled to announce that I have recently started guest posting at TheSTARTUP European Startups, European Entrepreneurs of @stefanobernardi. Stefano is a brilliant Italo-French guy. He works as investment analyst at dPixel Venture Capital, the leading italian early-stage venture capital firm.  He also sits on the Board of Directors of Startup Commons and is the Italian Ambassador for Sandbox, the closed network of under-30 overachievers.  At the moment, he is also working on, a web-based deal flow and portfolio management application for business angels and small VC funds initially developed for his BSc thesis in computer and software engineering.

Not surprisingly, I will write about the start-up and entrepreneurship world. However, the style will always be the same: bringing facts and figures rather than mere opinions. The first post wants to report  an analysis of Kauffman Foundation finding out that jobs created by startup ventures are not as volatile as it is generally thought. In fact, they are remarkably durable. To know more details and go to the article, you can click here.

Multinational R&D labs, here or there?

R&D labs of large corporations, together with academic institutions, tend to be the most important seeds when you want to establish an innovation cluster, aka ecosystem. However, why such R&D labs are located here or there? How can you attract them? Local and national level policy makers can now have a clue.


In fact, the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) of the U.S. National Academies, commissioned a survey to find out the factors influencing the locations of R&D facilities, to base policy discussions upon a structured set of data rather than anecdote and case studies. Over 200 multinational companies, across 15 industries, were then approached. Respondents to the survey were high-level R&D personnel involved with R&D location decisions, being asked to avoid general and their own perceptions. Moreover, when asking about location, questions were in terms of employees rather than mere money investment. Finally, respondents were instructed to pick the site most central to their firm’s R&D strategy, as a reference to their answers.

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How to build innovation clusters in Europe, Part II

Science|Business is an independent news and events service being focused on R&D investment and policy in Europe. To encourage public dialogue about innovation policies in Europe, it created together with Microsoft Corp. in 2007 a panel of leaders in industry, academia and policy: The Science|Business Innovation Board. Over the 2008, it had been meeting to find the answers how Europe can create high-tech clusters capable of challenging those of the USA.

EU's 50th Anniversary: EU Flag

The conclusions of this event were:

  • a review of leading clusters,
  • a manifesto for action and
  • a proposal: Special Innovation Zones for Europe or SIZEs.

After reporting the cluster review in Part I of this topic, click here for the details, I am going to discuss the manifesto and the SIZEs proposal and end with my own comments, as usual.

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