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Hidden innovation: Analysis of research and innovation activity that remains uncovered by official statistics

The project "Hidden Innovation: Analysis of Research and Innovation Activity, which remains uncovered by official statistics" is implemented with financial support amounting to EUR 7,833 provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to investigate the reasons for not submitting data on the research and innovation activity of SMEs, and to propose to the state authorities measures to solve this problem.

The project is funded by the Scheme for Small Initiatives under Thematic Priority No. 1: "Improving the democratic culture and civic awareness" of the Program "Active Citizens of Bulgaria Fund under the EEA FM 2014-2021".

The data from the European Innovation Scoreboard 2019 show that Bulgaria is lagging in terms of innovative performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). There is a decrease of 16% for SMEs with product and process innovations and a decrease of 57% for the R&D expenses.

In this context, the problem of submitting data on the research activity of enterprises to the National Statistical Institute within the framework of the Annual Financial Statements remains unresolved. This information is generated by Eurostat at the European level and becomes the basis for the country's negative comparative results. There is a need for a more active position of both the Ministry of Economy and the National Statistical Institute, as well as the Ministry of Finance and the National Revenue Agency when it comes to taking concrete steps to improve the collection of data for research and innovation.

The project aims to investigate the reasons for not submitting data on the research and innovation activity of SMEs, and to propose to the institutions measures to address this problem. The "lightening" of innovative SMEs will significantly contribute to determining the real position of Bulgaria at the European level and will allow the development of relevant policies.

The main activities of the project include: conducting focus groups with all stakeholders - representatives of SMEs, institutions, industry and funding organizations; preparation of a report with an analysis of the reasons for the low level of reporting data on expenditures for research and innovation and recommendations for changes in the legislation and policy of the responsible institutions; analysis of the legislation in the field; study of good practices of the innovation leaders of the EU, as well as similar countries in Central Europe; preparation of proposals for changes in the policy in this area and the applicable legislative framework. It is planned a conference on the topic and active media coverage of the research results to be organized.

The project is implemented by the Applied Research and Communications Fund and lasts 6 months.

For contact:
Tel.: 02/973 3000
Teodora Georgieva, teodora.georgieva@online.bg



The project "Hidden Innovation: Analysis of Research and Innovation Activity Remaining Uncovered by Official Statistics" is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to investigate the reasons for not submitting data on the research and innovation activity of SMEs, and to propose to the state authorities measures to solve this problem.


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