|Innovations and competitiveness
In 2010 the European Commission adopted its "Europe 2020" strategy as an important tool for finding solutions for competitiveness and innovation capabilities of the European economy, climate change, limited energy resources, aging and health. Bulgaria made ambitious commitments by adopting the National Reform Programme (2010-2013), including measures in the field of innovation for reaching the R&D investment target of 1.5% of GDP in 2020, coupled with a better business environment.
Currently the European Commission is elaborating the framework conditions for the next programming period 2014-2020, along with a specific set of financial instruments to enable achievement of "Europe 2020" strategy goals. This is a good time for Bulgaria to apply and participate in European initiatives for competitive and sustainable growth.
The analysis of the innovation potential of the national economy (Innovation.bg) produced by ARC Fund, reports some positive changes and trends worth mentioning:
- changes in cost structure and R&D personnel in favor of the business sector and higher education;
- reduction of the regional disparities in the geographic distribution of R&D investments;
- increased patent application activity and effectiveness by the business community;
- positive correlation between research and innovation potential at sector level and the interest of foreign investors.
These trends are however far from capturing the full potential of the Bulgarian economy to create and introduce innovative products and processes.
There are still problems identified by the analysis, amongst which are:
- shortage of human resources in research, technological development and innovation activities (RTDI);
- adverse structural changes in terms of RTDI personnel;
- insufficient financial resources for RTDI activities;
- inefficient use of public funds for RTDI activities;
- low levels of absorption of national and European funding programs for innovation;
- low patent application activities of Bulgarian companies and organizations;
- weak interaction between the units of the national innovation system;
- underdeveloped intermediary infrastructure within the national innovation system;
- regional imbalances in terms of innovative potential;
- low innovation and entrepreneurial culture.
Full text of the Innovation.bg report 2011, (Adobe PDF, 2.9 MB)
Full text of the "Innovations and competitiveness" analysis (in Bulgarian only), (Adobe PDF, 0,5 MB)