The International Consortium for Entrepreneurship Research (ICER), a cross-continental network of five leading academic institutions from Italy and the BRIC countries, organized its First International Conference on "Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation: International Models and Benchmarks" during December 8-10, 2011 at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB).
The ICER Network was established in 2010 with a vision of developing collaboration among like-minded professionals from various countries, starting with the BRIC nations, for research, training, and consultancy on entrepreneurship and related issues, especially in the high-tech sectors. The network has already initiated a major research project among the BRIC nations and Italy with funding support from Fondazione Cariplo. The special focus on the BRIC nations, to begin with, is in recognition of their emergence as major players in the world economy. The international conference, coordinated by Professors Mathew J Manimala and K Kumar in association with partners from BRIC countries and Italy, is the second major initiative of the ICER Network. While the conference was designed to be self-supporting, it received partial funding support from three organizations, namely: Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, University of Essex, UK; Emerald Group Publishing Limited; and Texport Syndicate (India) Limited.
The aim of the ICER-BRIC conference was to bring together academicians, entrepreneurs and policy-makers from various parts of the world to discuss a wide range of issues related to entrepreneurship and policies for supporting new venture creation in BRIC countries and what they can learn from the best practices of other countries. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Pronab Sen, Principal Advisor to Planning Commission, Government of India. He briefly discussed the various policy initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to promote entrepreneurship at various levels. The presidential address was delivered by Professor Pankaj Chandra, Director, IIM Bangalore.
The three days of the conference were divided into six plenary sessions in the mornings held at IIMB Auditorium, and twenty-four parallel sessions in smaller conference rooms, where the research papers were presented. The plenary sessions were based on keynote speeches delivered by renowned scholars on broad themes of contemporary importance, such as: Institutions and entrepreneurship; Academic partnerships in BRIC countries for entrepreneurship development; Entrepreneurship in clean technologies; Emerging economies and emergent entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship as method; and Ecosystem for entrepreneurship. The keynote speeches were delivered by Professor David Smallbone, Associate Director of Small Business Centre, Kingston University (UK), and President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB); Professor