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» Innovation.BG Index: Measuring the Performance of Bulgaria's Innovation System, On October 22nd, 2004 at the National Innovation Forum in Sofia, ARC Fund and its Innovation Relay Center presented the preliminary findings of Innovation.bg – an index gauging the innovative performance of the Bulgarian economy. The index is a result of the work of a group of RTD and innovation experts under the guidance of the ARC Fund's Expert Council on Innovation and in line with the innovation capacity survey carried out by IRC-Bulgaria. The final version of the index is expected to be released later this year.

» Business Innovation Forum dedicated to European and National Science-Funding Programs , ARC Fund took part in the Business Innovation Forum titled European and National Science-Funding Programs organized by the Ministry of Education and Science on December 13 – 14, 2004 at the Hilton Hotel in Sofia.

» Empowering Bulgarian Civil Society on GMOs and Consumer Protection, ARC Fund has been awarded a project, entitled Empowering Bulgarian Civil Society on GMOs and Consumer Protection, under the EU PHARE Civil Society Development Program 2002 (PHARE Project BG 0204.02) at the Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU), the Ministry of Finance. The project has a national coverage and duration of 12 months from December 01, 2004 through to November 30, 2005. It will be implemented in partnership with the Bulgarian Association of Food and Drink Industry, with the support of the Federation of Consumers in Bulgaria and AgroBioInstitute.

» ARC Fund becomes National Information Point (NIP) for the EUREKA network in Bulgaria, As of November 2004 ARC Fund has been nominated as the National Information Point (NIP) for the EUREKA network in Bulgaria. EUREKA is one of the oldest and highly praised initiatives in the field of R&D and innovation at EU level, which works for raising the productivity and competitiveness of European companies, industries and economies in the world market. For more than two decades EUREKA has been a label of excellence and has mobilized substantial public and private funding in support of research and development and innovation.

» Technology Foresight Training Course in Bulgaria, A Technology Foresight training course was organized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, UNIDO and the British Council with the support of ARC Fund, PREST at University of Manchester in the UK, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the General Secreteriat for Research and Technology of Greece. The training took place on November 26-29 in Bansko (southwestern Bulgaria). The aim was to build capacity amongst representatives of government authorities and the academic circles to use foresight in policy development.

» ARC Fund Releases its Assessment of e-Municipality Websites, ARC Fund has published a study on municipal websites carried out with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bulgaria. The study looks at the availability and quality of a total of 125 municipal websites in an attempt to determine the level of local e-government development in the country and identify positive examples which can be transferred as best practice to other municipalities.

» International Workshop: Benchmarking RTDI Organizations in Central and Southeast European Countries , On November 19, 2004 the the Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office (ASO) in Sofia and the Innovation Relay Centre - Bulgaria (ARC Fund)held an international workshop dedicated to promoting RTDI (research, technological development and innovation) benchmarking as an internal and external self-assessment tool to the stakeholders of national RTDI organizations (universities, Academies of Science, non-university RTDI institutes, industrial research labs and others).

» National Innovation Forum 2004 , On 22 October in Sofia ARC Fund organized the first National Innovation Forum. This forum was the first in a series of annual events, and it aimed to provide a platform for cooperation between the government, businesses and research organizations and served as an open mechanism for benchmarking the local innovation knowledge and expertise with the European and international best practice. The forum was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Parvanov.

» National Contest: Innovative Enterprise 2004 , ARC Fund presented the Innovation Awards 2004 to the most innovative enterprises of the year. The winners of the national contest were Point L Ltd. in the small enterprise category, and Mauer Locking Systems Ltd. among medium- and large-sized companies. The contest was part of the National Innovation Forum co-organized by ARC Fund, the World Bank Bulgaria Office and the Ministry of Economy on October 22, 2004 in Sofia.

» Videoconference: Mainstreaming e-Development, On October 18, 2004 ARC Fund / Bulgaria Development Gateway took part in a videoconference dedicated to Mainstreaming e-Development: Implementing National ICT Strategies organized by the World Bank’s e-Development Thematic Group. The videoconference linked participants from Croatia, Bulgaria, Peru and Ghana, as well as senior World Bank officials and experts in Washington, DC.


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