15-17 May 2017
CONNECT WITH US: mailfacebooktwitterlinkedin

Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains

Background and scope

Production processes are increasingly organized along global value chains (GVCs) in which the different stages of production are distributed across suppliers and producers in different countries. By effectively leveraging these value chains, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can competitively access new channels for their products and services, increase their productivity, expand their profitability and find new markets.

Competitiveness is a challenge for many SMEs because they suffer from ageing of manufacturing tools, low rates of robotization and digitalization and an overall power asymmetry between buyers and suppliers. To realize the benefit from participating in global value chains requires SMEs to enhance their managerial skills, increase their financial resources, comply with standards, upgrade their technological tools and processes and innovate continuously. These require smart investment and innovation choices for each SME.

SMEs also need a conducive business environment to successfully integrate into global markets. Governments and affiliated institutions play a fundamental role in the success of SME innovation because they create the business environment. The most supportive environment for innovation comes from collaboration between government, institutions and SMEs to upgrade their technical and business capabilities while reducing their regulatory burden.

The Conference is an opportunity to explore ideas to improve SME productivity in GVCs. Policy makers from the host country Mexico and OAS (Organization of American States) member countries engage in a constructive dialogue with INSME members and innovation stakeholders to improve SMEs competitiveness through innovation.

The 13th INSME Annual Conference Meeting aims:

  1. To understand specific issues that hinder SMEs from effective participation in global value chains
  2. To identify opportunities to enhance SMEs productivity through innovation
  3. To explore and adopt transferrable and measurable global best practices to catalyze growth of SMEs
  4. To help SMEs access new channels and  markets



Monday – 15th of May 201713th INSME Annual Meeting
09.00 - 09.30 Registration and welcome coffee
09.30 - 10.30

Workshop 1 - “Born-global” Companies

  • Nava Swersky Sofer* - President, International Commercialization Alliance-ICA, Canada/Israel


  • Rafael de Farias Costas Moreira - Advisor to the Director of Finance and Administration, SEBRAE, Brazil
10.30 - 11.30

Workshop 2 – Internet of Things and IPRs

  • Elio De Tullio - Italian Attorney-at-Law and Lawyer, Registered European and Italian Trade Mark & Design Attorney, De Tullio & Partners, Italy


  • Simona Marzetti - Italian Patent and Trademark Office, Head of internationalaffairs, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy
11.30 - 12.30

Workshop 3- The Digitalization of SMEs

  • Alan Wilkins - Executive Member, Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics-GCEL, Switzerland
12.30 - 13.30

Workshop 4 – A New Tool for Scaling-up SMEs in Global Ecosystems

  • Maarouf Ramadan - Associate Professor, Kedge Business School, France
11.30 - 13.30

INSME Board Meeting

INSME Board Members only

13.30 - 14.30

Lunch and networking

14.30 - 15.00

Report out by Workshops Rapporteurs

15.00 - 17.00

INSME General Assembly

INSME Members and invited guests only

18.00 - 20.00

Networking Cocktail

Puerto Vallarta International Convention Centre


Tuesday, - 16th of May 2017INSME International Conference
08.30 - 09.00 Registration and welcome coffee
09.00 - 09.30

Joint INSME / OAS / OECD / SELA Opening Ceremony 

Responding to the Challenges of SMEs in the International Context

  • Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz - Governor of State of Jalisco, Mexico
  • Sergio Arzeni - President, International Network for SMEs-INSME, Italy
  • Alejandro González Hernández - Coordinator of Strategic Planning and Evaluation, Institute of the Entrepreneur-INADEM, Mexico
  • Maryse Robert - Director, General Secretariat, Organization of American States-OAS, United States of America
09.30 - 10.30

Keynote Presentation

  • Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal - Minister of Economy, Mexico
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 - 12.00

Improving Productivity in SMEs and Their Role in Global Value Chains

Keynote Presentation

  • Frank J Devlyn - President and CEO, Devlyn Optical Group, Mexico

Discussion with the floor

12.00 - 13.00

Session I

The Open Innovation Paradigm and the Internationalization of R&D: challenges and opportunities for SMEs


  • Hamsa Thota - President, Innovation Business Development-IBD, United States of America


  • Damian Testori - Chief of Staff of the Undersecretariat of SMEs, Ministry of Production, Argentina*
  • Ana María Rivas – Director, CIEF Incubation Program, ITESM CCM, Mexico

Discussion with the floor

13.00 - 14.30 Lunch and networking
14.30 - 15.30

Session II:

Digital Technologies as a Catalyst for International Growth and Productivity


  • Andrea Di Anselmo - Founder & Vice President, META Group, Slovenia & Vice President, International Network for SMEs-INSME, Italy


  • Gregory Bird - Deputy Secretary General, Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics-GCEL, Switzerland
  • Chuck Russell - Board Member, Global Trust Registry-GTR & Chairman and CEO, BestWork DATA, United States of America
  • César Cardenas Pérez - Director, Innovation Center of the Internet of Things, ITESM Campus Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Alfredo Sánchez – CEO, iCluster & Co-Chair, MUSEIC, Mexico

Discussion with the floor

15.30 - 16.30

Session III

The Sharing Economy and its disruptive Business Models


  • Jay Mitra - Professor, Essex Business School, United Kingdom


  • Elfid Torres – CEO, Fundes, Mexico
  • Dario Mazzella – Project Manager, META Group, Italy
  • Jeff Readman* – Course Leader MBA Programme, Brighton Business School, United Kingdom

Discussion with the floor

16.30 - 18.30

Drafting session of the “INSME Conclusions” from Innovation Practitioners and Experts

(Internal meeting)

20.00 - 22.00

Gala Dinner

The Gala Dinner will take place at Puerto Vallarta Port


Wednesday - 17th of May 2017INSME–International Conference
08.30 - 09.00

Registration and welcome coffee

09.00 - 10.00

Introductory Remarks by INSME and OAS

Presentation of the Conclusions from Innovation Practitioners and Experts

  • Sergio Arzeni- President, INSME, Italy

    Presentation of the “INSME Conclusions” from Innovation Practitioners and Experts

  • Maryse Robert - Director, General Secretariat, OAS, United States of America
10.00 - 11.00

Session IV
Increasing SMEs’ Productivity and long-term growth on a global scale through innovation



  • Jonathan Potter - Senior Economist, OECD, France
  • Juan Carlos Elorza - Director, Productive and Financial Development, Corporacion Andina de Fomento-CAF, Venezuela
  • Heber Fundes Buleje* - Director of Institutionalization of Micro and Small-sized Enterprises, Ministry of Production, Peru
Discussion with the floor
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 13.30

Session V

Creating a nurturing environment for SMEs


  • Essam Disi* - Director, Strategy and Policy, Mohammed Bin Rashid Est. for SME Development (Dubai SME), United Arab Emirates


  • Jaime Del Castillo – Professor of the Department of Applied Economy, Basque Country University UPV-EHU
  • Maria Fonseca – Director, Business School, ITESM CEM
  • Danka Milojkovic* - Director, Cluster House, Republic of Serbia
Discussion with the floor
13.30 - 14.30 Lunch and networking
14.30 - 16.30

Session VI

Engaging SMEs in Global Value Chains


  • Luis Porto - Senior Advisor for Strategy and Organizational Development, OAS, Uruguay


  • Leonardo Iacovone - Representative for Mexico and Colombia, World Bank, United States of America
  • María Lucía Castrillon Simmonds – Director, PROPAIS, Colombia
Discussion with the floor
16.30 - 17.00


  • Giovanni Zazzerini – Secretary General, INSME, Italy
  • Ivan Ornelas Diaz – Coordinator of the International Area, INADEM, Mexico

*Speakers to be confirmed

Translation service from English to Spanish and vice-versa will be provided