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ARC Fund plays the leading role in the introduction of Foresight in Bulgaria

Technology Foresight is considered to be of value not only for the leading economies, but also for economies like Bulgaria and Romania. The processes of globalisation put stronger pressure on transition countries to specialise and develop adjustment policies. The foresight initiative in Bulgaria is aimed at adaptation of the foresight toolbox, elaboration of methodological frameworks and recommendations by implementing two foresight pilots in the field of e-Government and Agriculture (plant and animal biotechnology) and beverage and food industry.

E-government domain has been identified as one that is a priority for the government, with a clear leadership of a deputy Prime Minister, with a policy consensus outlined in the recently adopted e-government strategy. Modernization of public administration in Bulgaria is a top-priority seen both by official statements and market analyses showing the government consumes between 40 and 50 percent of ICT equipment and services in last three years. The existence of clear political will and support, and working societal infrastructure – strong business associations, legitimate and responsible businesses, a reasonable level of trust between different sectors, including government, education and business, overall “positive-sum game” mentality and people with identified future in this area, create favourable conditions for conducting an effective foresight pilot in the field of e-Government implementation in Bulgaria.

Current trends in Bulgarian and international biotechnological development and the good basis established in the past and rebuilt more recently highlight two broad sectors of biotechnology, which are most relevant for foresight in Bulgaria - Agriculture (plant and animal biotechnology) and Beverage and food industry. Both these areas have been identified by the Government of Bulgaria as priorities in its strategies for long term development and have pledged good financial support by the budget. Additionally the EU has set food safety and consumer protection as corner stones for its R&D activity under the Framework Programmes for Scientific Research. Companies in these branches have been the fastest to recover and are well organized under strong association umbrellas, which would allow for better coordination, cooperation and stakeholder participation in the foresight process.

The project website playes a very important role in winning the support and collaboration with government institutions and the other stakeholders in Bulgaria. The website provides general information on specific project activities, and useful links to relevant data and information sources. Thanks to the user friendly interactive web tools – online forums and mailing lists the website is extensively used by the foresight experts from both panels in their work on the project.

This document has been prepared within Work Package 4 of the ForeTech project with the aim to argument why e-government domain has been chosen for foresight in Bulgaria, to fine-focus (find the key themes) e-government foresight as a follow up of two round table discussions of the e-government stakeholders and to sum up the major developments in e-government domain in Bulgaria.

This document presents a critical survey on past developments and the present state of biotechnology in Bulgaria, with the aim of outlining the areas most relevant for foresight activities.

Methodology outline of the two Pilot Foresight Exercises under the ForeTech Project - e-Government and Biotechnology Application in Agriculture and Food and Beverage Industries

Related links:

The European Union – EU

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation – APEC

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – UNIDO


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