Bulgarian experts are participating in the creation of international specialised teams to prepare guidelines to improve support for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises through the activities of the National Innovation Forum.
This is part of the tasks of Daniela Chonkova, Programme Coordinator, and prof. Teodora Georgieva, Senior Expert at the Applied Research and Communications Fund, on the project “Efficient support services portfolios for SMEs” (ESSPO).
At the meeting of the project partners in Lille, France, the specific guidelines for improving the Fund’s work will be discussed. It is one of the few instruments to channel public funding to support innovation projects of Bulgarian enterprises. In 2016, another eighth session of the NIF was announced, with a record number of project submissions.
Experts from the partner organisations independently evaluated the national instruments to support innovation in SMEs. Based on the recommendations and summaries, teams will be formed to generate guidelines for improving public support for innovative enterprises.
Since 2004, when the NIF was set up in implementation of Bulgaria’s first Innovation Strategy, the rules and procedures for its operation have been amended several times. However, there is room for further improvement, including to increase the administrative capacity of the Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, which administers the activities of the NIF.
The aim of the Efficient support services portfolios for SMEs (ESSPO) project is to improve regional SME competitiveness policies and SME engagement in innovation activities in the project regions. The project partners are the Science and Technology Park Poznan, Poland, the “European Association of Development Agencies”, EURADA, Belgium, the “Innovation Development Agency of Northern France”, the Agency for Innovation, Business Financing and Internationalisation of Castile-Leon, Spain – Castilla y Leon Operational Programme, SME Competitiveness Portfolio, Gabrovo Municipality, Bulgaria – Gabrovo Municipal Development Plan 2013-2020, SME Competitiveness Development System, Tartu Science Park Foundation, Estonia; The Tecnalia Research and Innovation Foundation, Spain and the Weserbergland Directorate, Germany.
ESSPO started in January 2016 and will end in December 2020.
Follow the FB page of the project.