3rd Norface International Policy Research Seminar on Venture Finance, Berlin, 21-22nd May 2007


The purpose of this seminar, evolving from earlier events in London and Helsinki, is to create a high level, international forum where leading policy makers and academic researchers may address contemporary issues in the successful design and implementation of policies addressed to improving the national environments for entrepreneurial activity in key new enterprise and knowledge sectors. The three themes seek to continue on and develop further the debates raised in earlier seminars (London and Helsinki).

1) The Design of National Taxation Environments to Promote the Financing of Entrepreneurial Businesses

Many states recognise that their taxation systems have a strong impact on the incentivising of entrepreneurial activity. Several governments are currently implementing specific legal and fiscal initiatives to encourage further the equity financing of startups via venture capital and/or informal investors (business angels). The seminar will consider the impact of such measures and discuss contemporary policy programmes and their outcomes by utilizing the contemporary experience of participants. It follows on from discussions in Helsinki in October 2006 and will present new research evidence from the UK government as well as an update of initiatives/programmes from several delegate countries.

2) Co-financing Programs using Public Money via Private Investor Intermediaries

Co-financing initiatives have become an important element of public policy addressed to improving sources of early-stage entrepreneurial finance. The diversity of national programme structures and operationalisation often makes it difficult to draw reliable conclusions. The seminar will seek to identify best practice measures in the light of contemporary experience in order to facilitate improved programme design and effectiveness. Again, delegates will be asked to review current policy initiatives and outcomes in the light of incentives addressed to both formal VC firms and, particularly, Business Angel communities.

3) The Role of Universities in National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Systems

Research-active institutions in tertiary education are increasingly mandated by government to assume multiple roles. Policy makers wish to see universities as the producers of (world-class) new knowledge but also as the seed bed for the commercialization of such knowledge through the creation of new enterprises. This session will focus on the inherent conflicts emerging from this challenge and will discuss approaches towards their resolution. This session will devote special attention to the links between IP policy and the equity-based financing of university spin-outs.

Organising committee

  • Gordon Murray, University of Exeter
  • Dietmar Harhoff, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
  • Georg Licht, Centre for European Economic Research
  • Johannes Velling, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology



The 3rd Norface International Policy Research Seminar on Venture Finance is supported by:

European Investment Fund

Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

KfW Bankengruppe

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)

Inno-tec Institute for Innovation research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship

University of Exeter

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Agenda and documents

The seminars agenda can be found here.

CVs of the seminar's delegates and policy related documents provided by delegates can be found here.


We have reserved a contingency of rooms in the following two hotels:

Hilton Hotel Berlin
Mohrenstraße 30
10117 Berlin
Reservation form

Mercure Hotel & Residenz Berlin
Schützenstraße 11
10117 Berlin
Reservation form

Both hotels are located in walking distance from the seminar venue. Policy delegates are asked to book their own hotel rooms using the reservation forms provided above.

Rooms for academic delegates are managed centrally by the seminar organisers. Academic delegates are requested to contact Helmut Fryges

Social Events

The get-together on Sunday, 18:30 h will take place in the Hilton Hotel Berlin. The hotel is located Mohrenstraße 30, metro station "Stadtmitte" (metro lines U2 or U6).

On Monday evening we have arranged a boat trip where you can enjoy Berlin from its numerous waterways. The seminar dinner will be served on board. The boat will start from Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) at 19:30 h.www.sternundkreis.de


Helmut Fryges




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