Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Program
From 1997 through to 2008 ARC Fund has been member of the European Innovation Relay Centres (IRC) Network and coordinator of the national IRC -Bulgaria. Since the beginning of 2008 ARC Fund coordinates the Enterprise Europe Network in Bulgaria – the successor of the IRC Network and the Network of EuroInfoCentres. ARC Fund provides technology brokering, innovation counseling, training and information services to over 3 000 clients, representing both leading high -tech or advanced industries (such as, for example, environment, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, ICTs , biotech) and more traditional, but equally important industrial sectors such as textiles, food, furniture production or transport .
During its 18 years of experience, ARC Fund has established numerous contacts with the most relevant research organisations in Bulgaria, and has a sound network of contacts with enterprises in key areas like:
- Machine building
- Mechatronics and automation, electronics
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
- Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology
- Textile and other production industries
Since 2003 an Expert Council on Innovation operates as part of ARC Fund's Innovation Program. The role of the Council is to advise the relevant institutions in Bulgaria on problems related to innovation and research issues, help in carrying out the activities and services under the innovation - related projects of ARC Fund. It brings higher competence in the activities and services of IRC -Bulgaria. The council consists of specialists from the academies, universities, business incubators, innovative companies.
The main activities of the Program can be described at the following areas:
ARC Fund provides an array of services that assist Bulgarian companies in identifying their technology needs, finding new partners for technology cooperation, and applying new technologies in different industrial sectors. Through its Innovation Center unit ARC Fund attains its objective to foster the development of the Bulgarian industry through inward flow of technologies and know -how stemming from European industries and EU RTD programmes, and thus to enhance the competitiveness of the industrial companies and their ability to respond to market challenges.
The main role of the Innovation Centre is to promote and facilitate appropriate technological interactions between the European and Bulgarian industrial and technology communities, where each participant gains from the interchange.
Under Framework Programmes (FP5/6/7) ARC Fund implemented an array of projects in areas as diverse as environment (EraEnvironment), Energy (as key thematic priority within the IRC -Bulgaria and Enterprise Europe Network), agri -food (Quality -Meat, SARA), ICT (EuropeanIST, ISTBonus, GET -IN, OpenTTT, NET -SHARE), transport (STAR -NET) and in tex tile ( ITE , Fashion to Future ) . In all projects ARC Fund works in close cooperation with key government agencies and local authorities in Bulgaria in defining national and regional innovation policies. Within FP6 ARC Fund has National Contact Points for the Innovation and SME programmes, under the FP7 has NCP for the Regions of Knowledge programme.
Over the recent years ARC Fund initiated and coordinated two Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) actions - for the South Central and the South West Regions of Bulgaria (DG Enterprise), as well as a pilot Technology and Innovation Foresight for Bulgaria and Romania (DG Research) project in the areas of biotechnology and e -government, and a DG -contracted project ForeIntegra – Integrating Foresight in Research Infrastructure Policy Formulation (DG Research) and the project TransBonus – Transport EU -Western Balkan Network for Training, Support and Promotion of Cooperation in FP7 research activities (DG Research).
In 2006 ARC Fund was contracted to develop the country report for Bulgaria: Strategic Evaluation on Innovation and the Knowledge -based economy in relation to the Structural and Cohesion Funds, for the programming period 2007 -2013 – a report to DG Regional Policy . ARC Fund was also commissioned by the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy to develop the Annual report on the Bulgarian National Innovation Policy 2006.
ARC Fund has a solid track -record of successful international projects supported by the European Commission (FP4, FP5, FP6, Leonardo da Vinci, PHARE), the World Bank, UNDP, USAID, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). ARC Fund was twice awarded Best National Performer - in FP5 and FP6 by the Ministry of Education and Science, the national coordinator for the EU Research Framework Programmes. The organisation is the country correspondent for the ERA -WATCH initiative.
Since April 2013 a new Europe-WideLearning Network for Workplace Innovation(EUWIN) has been established, with the specific objective to improve the performance of organisations and the quality of jobs on a truly sustainable basis.
Workplace innovation is grounded in continuing reflection, learning and improvements in the way in which organisations manage their employees, organize work and deploy technologies. It improves performance and working lives by releasing the creativity of employees, and helps to coalesce the strategic knowledge of the leadership with the hands-on, practical but often unrecognised knowledge of frontline employees. By engaging all stakeholders in the process of change, workplace innovation leads to “win-win” outcomes in which a creative convergence (rather than a trade-off) is forged between enhanced organisational performance and enhanced quality of working life.
EUWIN is a Europe-wide learning network, launched with the specific objective of improving the performance of organizations and the quality of jobs on a truly sustainable basis. It represents a unique body of experience relating to workplace innovation, based on transnational collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Drawing on a wide body of practical experience, academic knowledge and specialist expertise, the EUWIN Network will provide a valuable resource for managers and employee representatives concerned with sustainable change in enterprises throughout Europe.
EUWIN is open to practitioners, social partners, policymakers, representatives of intermediary organisations and others with an interest in the workplace. Specific EUWIN objectives include:
- animating, resourcing and sustaining workplace innovation in companies in order to create more scale and impact across the EU.
- accelerating the transfer of know-how and the application of workplace innovation practices across Europe.
Organized around six regions across Europe, EUWIN will act as a catalyst for positive change, a stimulator and a generator of ideas.
- Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Norway.
- France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium (fr).
- Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia.
- Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republics.
- UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium (fl).
- Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia.
More information on EUWIN is available here.
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