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Third National Innovation Forum
 
On 19 December 2006 ARC Fund, in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Democracy organized jointly with the Applied Research and Communications Fund the Third National Innovation Forum at the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan. The forum discussed the annual Bulgarian innovation performance assessment report Innovation.bg 2007: Bulgaria’s Innovation System in the EU. The report concludes that the Bulgarian national innovation policy and the financial instruments for its implementation in the period 2007 – 2013 will shape the long-term structure and competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy. The report finds lack of coherence and coordination in the government’s innovation policy, which might delay Bulgaria’s transition to higher value-added, high-technology production and leave the country outside the most dynamic global sectors.

The Ambassador of Finland to Bulgaria Mr. Kauko Jamsen and Ms. Anna Yaneva, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy and Deputy Chair of the National Innovation Council welcomed the participants and opened the forum. Speakers at the event were Ms. Lydia Shouleva, Member of the Economic Policy Committee at the National Assembly, Mr. Todor Modev, District Governor, Sofia City District and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Regional Innovation Strategy for the Southwest Planning Region, Mr. Lyubomir Datzov, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Stanimir Barzashki, Chairman of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, Mr. Gernot Hutschenreiter, Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD and Mr. Thomas Hockaday, Director, Isis Innovation Ltd, The Technology Transfer Company of the University of Oxford.

The main objective of the forum was to contribute to the dialogue and cooperation between the participants in the national and regional innovation systems. The annual report Innovation.bg 2007: Bulgaria’s Innovation System in the EU was on focus during the event. Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Coordinator of the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy and Coordinator of Innovation.bg Group at ARC Fund presented the report, which describes the opportunities and challenges to the Bulgarian innovation policy after Bulgaria’s accession to the EU. The report is a tool for benchmarking the local innovation knowledge and expertise with the European and international best practice.

Following the established methodology of the previous edition, Innovation.bg 2007 analyzes the dynamics of the development of the national innovation system during the last year and the development opportunities in 2007 through five groups of indicators. This year the report was enriched with a special Innovation Index of the Bulgarian enterprises, based on the results of the annual surveys of the Innovation Relay Center and with a profile of the Bulgarian innovative companies based on panel data and in-depth statistical analysis. The Innovation Index of the Bulgarian enterprises indicates that most of them (over 65%) have not implemented any innovations during the last year. The index shows signs of the low ability to combine several types of innovation and of the implementation of innovation mostly with low degree of novelty by the Bulgarian companies (novelties only for the company or the national, but not the international market).

Conclusions of Innovation.bg 2007:
  • The market component of the Bulgarian innovation system is at early stage of development - Bulgarian enterprises have low degree of innovativeness.
  • The innovation and the R&D components of the Bulgarian national innovation system develop in structural isolation from each other—the links between them are weak.
  • The Bulgarian national innovation system is shaped primarily by its integration in and funding from European innovation networks and the changes in Bulgaria’s public innovation policy and financing.
  • The major barriers to innovation in Bulgaria are the lack of appropriate sources of financing (in the short term) and the lack of qualified personnel (in the long term).
  • The Bulgarian national innovation system has started to slowly improve its performance, giving a clear sign that the time for action in this area has come.


  • Recommendations of Innovation.bg 2007:
  • The government should direct more political, administrative and financial resources towards formulating and implementing the national innovation policy.
  • Coordination between strategic documents, policies, administrative and financial instruments shaping the national innovation system should be improved.
  • Cohesion and Structural Funds’ resources for innovation should be carefully directed towards more complex, longer-term projects (vs. direct financing for enterprises) at national and regional level and should be implemented in coordination with other European programs (FP 7, CIP).


  • Traditionally, the Forum hosted the annual Innovative Enterprise Award ceremony. The winners for 2006 were as follows:

  • Small Innovative Enterprise (up to 50 employees) - Saturn Engineering Ltd.
  • Medium-Sized and Large Innovative Enterprise (over 50 employees) - Ficosota Plc.


  • The event was carried out jointly with the Ministry of Economy and Energy and the World Bank Sofia Mission. It was supported by the European Commission and with the kind sponsorship of SD ELTA-R, awarded as most innovative big enterprise for year 2005.

    Agenda of the Third National Innovation Forum (Adobe PDF, 979 KB)
    Report Innovation.bg 2007 (Adobe PDF, 5.93 MB, in Bulgarian)
    Resume of the report (Adobe PDF, 69 КB)
    Profiles of the awarded enterprises of the National Contest for Innovative Enterprise 2006
    Media Advisory (available only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 196 KB)
    Opening Remarks of Dr. Ognian Shentov, Chairman, Applied Research and Communications Fund (PDF, 110 KB, in Bulgarian)
    Presentation by Mr. Gernot Hutschenreiter, Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD (Power Point, 1.4 MB)
    Presentation by Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Coordinator of the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy and Coordinator of Innovation.bg Group at ARC Fund (Power Point, 1.3 MB, in Bulgarian)
    Presentation by Mr. Thomas Hockaday, Director, Isis Innovation Ltd, The Technology Transfer Company of the University of Oxford (Power Point, 501 КB)
    Presentation of the awarded enterprises of the National Contest for Innovative Enterprise 2006 (Power Point, 2.85 MB, in Bulgarian)

    Meida Coverage (In Bulgarian)

    Second National Innovation Forum
    First National Innovation Forum
     
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