ARC FUND / Events / Nineteenth edition

Nineteenth edition

Until 15 October 2023, Bulgarian companies that have successfully developed and implemented an innovation over the last 3 years had the opportunity to apply for the 2023 Innovative Enterprise of the Year Contest.

The organizers of the Contest are the Applied Research and Communications Fund, ARC Consulting and Enterprise Europe Network – Bulgaria, with the support of the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission and Sofia Tech Park, with the support of BAIT – Bulgarian Information Technology Association, BESCO – Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Association, PARAi – Professional Association for Robotics, Automation and Innovation, Health and Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria, Artificial Intelligence Cluster Bulgaria, AIBEST – Association for Innovation, Business Services and Technology.

The Contest promotes successful Bulgarian business models based on innovation and new technologies. The evaluation criteria include quality and originality of the innovation, market and technological leadership on the national and global market, impact on the environment and society, and efficiency of the business model.

The winners are announced in December at the National Innovation Forum under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Bulgaria. The finalists and winners receive the label of the Applied Research and Communications Fund – “Excellence in Innovation“. The annual report is also presented at the event.

The awards are given in different categories which correspond to the impact of the innovations, such as:

  • Market leadership (award for an innovative product that has established itself in the international market).
  • Quality of life (innovation that has the potential to lead or has already led to an improvement in the quality of life of consumers).
  • Green innovation (innovation in sustainable and environmentally friendly development).
  • Social innovation (new product, service or model that corresponds to societal needs and creates new social relations).
  • Innovation in creative industries (innovation via design, digital games, architecture and urban design, film and music industry).
  • Digital Transformation.
  • Innovative Management.
  • Innovative start-up (up to three years from its creation). 

“Participating in the Innovative Enterprise of the Year 2022 Contest has given us great added value by enabling us to showcase the platform and services we offer to a wide professional audience. This competition is one of the best, rewarding the best innovative companies and allowing participants to acquire great contacts.”

Konstantin Haralampiev, Agrovar CC OOD, winner in the Digital Transformation category 

The competition and the “Excellence in Innovation” label have helped our company gain recognition and visibility in the marketplace. Participating provides valuable experience, as well as the opportunity to reflect on your company vis-à-vis similar businesses and get feedback from experts in the field. This can serve as inspiration and encouragement for the further development of the company.”

Deyan Delchev, New Energy Corporation OOD, winner of the award in the category “Green Innovation”

“Our participation in the Contest and the Excellence in Innovation label have helped the visibility and promotion of our project significantly, and we have repeatedly received references to our participation and related articles in the public domain. The Contest has been extremely useful in promoting the companies that apply for it, as well as their products/services. And we ourselves would love to participate again.”

Rosen Kolev, Smart Farm Robotics OOD, finalist

Media partners: BNR – Sofia Radio, Economy Magazine3-e,,,, Engineering Review,,, “Bulgarian Science” magazine,, TLL Media,, CEO Forum, Internet Media Group,

The national “Innovative Enterprise of the Year” Contest was launched in 2004. The initiative is recognized by the European Commission as a good national practice to support innovative development.

More about the Competition and previous editions

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