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THE NEXT SOCIETY paving the way for Mediterranean innovation


on Thursday, May 13th 2021 à 09:44 | Read 1391 times



THE NEXT SOCIETY helps start-up - Here during the Africa Summit (photo : Start Up Maroc)
THE NEXT SOCIETY helps start-up - Here during the Africa Summit (photo : Start Up Maroc)
Four the past four years, THE NEXT SOCIETY (TNS) has been helping to boost innovation capacity in seven Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries and to enhance their attractiveness.
 
Launched by the ANIMA Investment Network, and 90% co-financed by the European Union, the programme has been designed to improve regulatory frameworks and develop national schemes aimed at promoting innovation. THE NEXT SOCIETY is also aiming to enhance business competitiveness and the efficiency of technology hubs, with an anticipated impact at both national and regional levels.
 
At the national level, concrete results have already been seen. For example, the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has put in place a sales and financing model for a new accelerator that provides the nation’s entrepreneurs with personalised internationalisation services. Jordan has set up an innovation financing programme (Scientific Research Support Fund). Morocco is working on research tax breaks. Tunisia has received help from TNS to carry out market research prior to setting up a national action plan as part of the new law on crowdfunding.

Innovation in the Mediterranean in 78 indicators

At the regional level, THE NEXT SOCIETY enabled the enlargement of the EuroMed community of innovation ecosystems in 2020 by initiating an increasing number of exchanges and showcasing the successful beneficiaries in order to enhance their visibility. One of the main actions implemented thanks to TNS is a series of regional webinars on innovation policies designed to present best practices and policies or tools that are replicable. Another is the launch of a new mentoring scheme for clusters and the creation of the Regional Innovation Factory - From Research to Market, which provides support to 20 projects (selected from 332 applicants) in six Mediterranean countries.
 
Simultaneously, two programmes have been started with the same aims. "Ask an Angel" provides 28 Mediterranean innovators with support from 25 European business angels, while the "Tech Hub Paddock" works with tech hubs in European and Mediterranean countries and introduces them to European start-ups. TNS is also the creator of an interactive and innovative Med-specific innovation scoreboard, with a set of 78 indicators, adapted to Southern Mediterranean countries, measuring and analysing the innovation context in six Mediterranean countries.
 
As of the end of 2020, THE NEXT SOCIETY had brought together 1500 innovation stakeholders, while the consortium’s 30 original partners had been joined by a further 27 associate partners, all from the ecosystem.
The start-ups supported by TNS have raised €2M in funding, mainly seed funding, and four of them are finalists in the Big Booster international start-up competition.
 
* Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia.



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