The Innovation.bg report provides a reliable annual assessment of the innovation potential of the Bulgarian economy and the condition and opportunities for development of the Bulgarian innovation system.
The fourth survey of Innovation Activity of Bulgarian Business (INA-4), conducted by the Applied Research and Communications Fund, revealed a considerable increase of innovation activity of Bulgarian enterprises in 2009 (71% – share of companies with innovations) compared to 2008 (43%). It reflected the positive consequences of the country’s accession as a full member of the European Union and the efforts of business to respond to the requirements of competitive European markets and legislation. The crisis encouraged enterprises to seek ways to differentiate their products and services, as well as to send clearer messages to consumers, which led to an increase of market innovations.
At the same time the 2010 report underlines that the innovation activity of Bulgarian businesses experiences the impact of the economic crisis through the fall of public and private R&D funding, as well as through the deterioration of the overall business and innovation environment (higher risk aversion, personnel reductions, consumer markets stagnation, etc.). The long delayed reforms in science and education, the lack of systematic and institutional interaction between them and the business sector (e.g. transfers of new technological solutions are sporadic), as well as the inefficient management and utilization of European funds allotted for economic modernization additionally exacerbate the problems caused by the crisis.
The report Innovation.bg 2010: The Innovation Policy of Bulgaria: Opportunities for the Next Decade highlights the possibilities that 2010 presents for critical decision-making and mobilization of enterprise and innovation activity, human and intellectual capital to achieve economic recovery from the crisis and sustainable growth. For Bulgaria this means updating of the current National Innovation Strategy, providing linkages to the guidelines for the development of science and the economy, and a clear commitment at the highest level of government.