Bahrain Research Consortium (BRC) -

Research Roundtables

Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs through Innovation

Theme: “Improved national performance in today’s global economy”

General Questions:

  • What are the policy obstacles to innovation by SMEs?
  • What can governments do to promote innovation by SMEs?

Issues for Discussion

  • What are the best ways to stimulate the development of venture capital, including business angels’ financing and seed capital? Is financial support to R&D and innovation (through tax incentives or grants) efficient for all types of SMEs, including micro firms? If not, what other measures are warranted to correct market failures that affect the financing of investment in innovation, including in training and organisational change? Is there a role for large firms in financing innovation in smaller enterprises?
  • The availability to enterprises of relevant information (technical, commercial, etc.) is essential to successful innovation. SMEs often have problems in finding information. What should governments be doing to support information programmes?
  • Do government–supported national, regional and local technology diffusion programmes work? To what extent are such programmes adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of SMEs?
  • What barriers impair SMEs’ participation in existing innovation networks? Is there a need for government action to promote the internationalisation of existing national or regional innovation networks? How can the linkages between SMEs and the public research sector be improved? How can governments better support the diffusion of technology between technical universities (and highschools) and SMEs?
  • How can governments raise awareness in SMEs that innovation is crucial to survival in a globalised world?
  • What role should business organisations play in the stimulation of innovation, (awareness programmes, information and training, diffusion programmes etc.)?

Accelerating Innovation and Growth of SMEs through Responsive Policies.


The roundtable will comprise a number of plenary sessions led by experts on Bahraini business development as well as break-out sessions that will feature presentations and discussions by prominent academics, policy makers, private sector actors, opinion leaders, young Bahraini researchers and representatives from SME societies. The break-out sessions will allow for more in-depth and technical discussions of salient issues arising from the thematic focus of the roundtable.


“Accelerating Innovation and Growth of SMEs through Responsive Policies”.

Issues for Discussion

The specific thematic issues for this roundtable are as follows:

  • Business environment and promotion of SMEs development
  • Government role in fostering innovation and growth of SMEs.
  • Public Private Dialogue (PPDs) and innovative policies.
  • Promoting formalization and SMEs growth.
  • Protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and SMEs innovation.
  • The role of innovative policies for growth.
  • Financial inclusion policies and SMEs innovation
  • 8Role of Bahrain Universities in Public Private Dialogue (PPDs).
  • Managing innovation and entrepreneurship promotion initiatives within Bahrain Universities.

Round Tables Between Banks and SMEs


The Round Table put the issues of transparency and dialogue on the agenda in order to promote a better mutual understanding. The objective of the Round Table was to draw up an inventory of good practices in the field.


“Transparency and Dialogue”

Issues for Discussion

  • Increasing competition and restructuring in the banking sector has called for more automatisation, standardisation and reduction of intensive personal contacts.
  • The tightening of EU state aid rules as regards general guarantees and subsidies by the public sector have forced the credit sector to increase risk awareness.
  • The speedy technological progress in information and communication technology, which on the one hand boosts the opportunities for a better relationship, may lead on the other, to less personal contact between bank and SMEs.
  • The changes in the financial regulatory framework, such as the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), are leading to more standardised risk assessments by most banks.

The Key to Success

  • Ensuring a multidisciplinary approach to our work
  • Forming strategic alliances
  • Adopting new technologies
  • Distribution channels and marketing strategies
  • Improving services or customer focus
  • Enhancing operations towards best practice