For its 21 years of existence, ARC Fund emerged as an international think-andaction tank with the mission to incubate social, business and technological innovations, provide research-based and forward-looking policy solutions and facilitate the development of а safer knowledge-based society.
ARC Fund Highlights for 2012:
- Since 2008 ARC Fund has been the coordinator of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in Bulgaria. The EEN is Europe’s largest consultancy and information support network to DG Enterprise and Industry. As in the previous years, the focus was to help the internationalization of Bulgarian SMEs via business partnerships, to encourage and support innovation via technology transfer and modern innovation support services, and to facilitate access for SMEs to research programs and funding.
- The Eighth National Innovation Forum entitled Innovation and Competitveness, organized by ARC Fund in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism and with the support of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria outlined the state and trends of the innovations environment in Bulgaria. Twelve Bulgarian companies received awards for their excellent innovative performance.
- The Innovation.bg 2012 report stresses that the stagnating national funding for science has been overcompensated by a continuous influx of foreign resources and that despite the harsh environment some sectors like medicine have experienced a manifold increase of R&D expenditures. At the same time, well-known serious flaws of the national innovation system such as inefficient allocation of scarce public funds, uncoordinated national policies and lack of a long-term political commitment remain unsolved in spite of the repeatedly voiced recommendations.
- The Energy Vision 2020 for South East European Cities initiative (EnVision2020) launched in December 2012 aims to analyse the energy sector and energy resources consumption in a number of cities in the region, to make comparison of legislation and institutions as well as identify key technologies and respective financial instruments. ARC Fund embarked on applying its foresight expertise.
- In January 2012, the Complex Challenges – Innovative Cities (CCIC) action began as a joint effort of 14 partners from all over Europe to improve regional innovation policies. Through methodological assistance and analytical support ARC Fund facilitated innovation in the public sector and increasing the collaboration between local and regional authorities, public entities, and other stakeholders.
- Commenced at the end of January with a kick-off meeting in Stuttgart, Boosting European Games Industry (BOO-Games) seeks to support regional public authorities in understanding the impact of different support policies for the digital gaming and creative industries. The problems that will be addressed and alleviated by BOO-Games include shortages of highly qualified specialists, lacking understanding by the tax authorities of the sector specifics, as well as suboptimal financial supporting mechanism.
- In 2012, ARC Consulting was commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science to elaborate seven National Newsletters with an explicit focus on the linkages between business and science. The aggregated data and research findings will be fed into the political process of designing and implementing integrated policies in the fields of science, technology, education and business.
- The KNOW-HUB initiative, launched in January 2012, will make a contribution in closing the gap of insufficient knowledge and expertise in designing and implementing the new generation of smart and effective strategies for innovation, from which European regions currently suffer.
- The Safer Internet Centre (SIC) continued its work for a seventh consecutive year by operating its internet hotline and raising awareness about the safe and responsible use of Internet and mobile devices. SIC organized and participated in a large number of trainings, seminars and round tables in different Bulgarian cities. ARC Fund also organized the first regional conference on prevention through interactive non-formal education attended by professionals from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia and representatives of international organisations. Resources developed by the SIC won several national and international awards.
- In pursuit of the main goal of the EVAL-INNO project, namely to improve national and regional RTDI evaluation capacity in South East Europe, ARC Fund conducted and delivered research about the state-of-art of RTDI evaluation, public procurement and research supporting measures.
- For a sixth consecutive year, ARC Fund contributed to the updating of ERAWATCH, the European Commission’s information platform on European, national and regional research systems and policies created to support policy-making in the research field.
- Within INNO Policy TrendChart initiative, ARC Fund prepared two reports on the topics of public sector innovations and innovation policy tendencies in Bulgaria.
- As part of the PACITA project, which will promote technology assessment (TA) in public policy legislative decision-making, ARC Fund was involved in a research of the opportunities and hurdles for establishing TAfocused structures in the country. Its findings were presented during a TA summit in Karlsruhe in November 2012.
- 2012 saw the formal end of the project entitled “Business kit for Creative start-ups in IPR, Venture capital and Entrepreneurial skills” (BCreative) which was marked by a complete redesign of the graphical interface and content elements of the “How To Grow” online platform and by efforts to ensure its sustainability.
- ARC Fund completed its InterValue support action for enhancing commercialization of R&D results in South-East Europe. It scanned over 40 R&D results in Bulgaria against an innovative methodology for assessing the R&D results’ potential. Four profiles were assessed as having highest market potential and received in-depth support towards going on the market.