Research and innovation have an essential role to play in creating and sustaining an inclusive, competitive and resilient Europe, by increasing the sustainability of manufacturing sectors, making the economy more competitive and increasing cooperation between science, government and business. As a result of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, Bulgaria is facing medium to long-term labour shortages, as well as a lack of necessary skills and competences among its human capital, caused by an ageing population and high level of emigration. The wide spreading demographic crisis is a key challenge forward not only for the country but also for the European continent as a whole.
At meetings held between representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science (Science Directorate) and members of the ARC Fund on the project “Analysis of the implementation of the Operational Plan for the first stage 2018-2022 of the National Strategy for Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria 2017-2030 and a proposal for its update in view of new European policies and the impact achieved in addressing societal challenges”, a common understanding emerged that there is a need to increase productivity by improving the results achieved in the field of scientific research and innovation. The review of EU public policies, strategies and good practices is also a crucial step in preparing for the next stage of the implementation of the Operational Plan and raising national innovation achievements to world-class level.
The project is implemented with the financial support of the Operational Programme “Good Governance”, co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund. Among the key objectives of the project is to support the administrative capacity of the Science Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science in the implementation of public policies in the field of science by creating the necessary methodological prerequisites and assess the implementation of the Operational Plan for the first stage 2018-2022 of the National Strategy for Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria. The target groups are both the state institutions in the field and the other main units in the “knowledge triangle” (education – research – innovation) and the national research system – research organizations, universities, business.