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Innovation policy in seven candidate countries: the challenges. Final Report Volume 2.1 Innovation Policy Profile: Bulgaria

Chobanova, Rossitsa (2003): Innovation policy in seven candidate countries: the challenges. Final Report Volume 2.1 Innovation Policy Profile: Bulgaria. Published in: : pp. 1-78.

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Abstract

The presented report is an analysis of the innovation policy profile of Bulgaria prepared under the study on “Innovation Policy in Seven Candidate Countries: The Challenges”. The study was carried out for the countries Bulgaria, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta Romania, and Turkey. It covers developments mainly since 1996, but in some cases, longer periods are included in order to illustrate special issues regarding the country or to use officially published statistics. Where no official reports or evaluation studies existed, other public financed studies or surveys by international funding agencies and academic organisations were used. The study was divided into three stages. Three interim reports were prepared in January, May and September 2002, respectively. For the preparation of the interim and final reports, in addition to the documentary analysis, faceto- face or phone interviews were also conducted with policy-makers, business representatives, entrepreneurs and representatives of innovation support organisations. In addition, during August and September 2002, an opinion survey was carried out with a sample of 50 companies and private sector stakeholders. The purpose of the survey was to collect opinions mainly in three areas; firstly, on the influence of the legal and economic environment on business innovation; secondly, to seek the views of the private actors on current policy developments and specific measures in favour of innovation; and, thirdly, to ascertain views with respect to networks and diffusion mechanisms in the innovation system. On October 12 2002, an innovation policy workshop was organised with representatives of innovative companies, chambers, industrial federations, policy-makers and innovation support organisations. The purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for debate on the initial national conclusions and analysis and also on the results of the opinion survey. The present report is divided into four sections. The first section presents information on the innovation policy framework of Bulgaria; the trends in terms of economic transition and accession; main developments in innovation policy; actors of the innovation policy community; initiatives taken to monitor and collect data on innovation; and legal and administrative environment for innovation. Findings on the analysis of education and training initiatives in favour of innovation and on the uptake of information and communication technologies are described in the second section. Section three analyses business innovation interfaces and support measures, looking in detail at the research community-industry co-operation and the support for start-ups and new technology based firms and business networks for innovation. Section four presents the conclusions, which summarize and highlight a number of key issues arising from the study that was conducted mainly during the period 2001 to November 2002 through the literature review, interviews, an opinion survey and an innovation policy workshop. Conclusions refer to the legal and economic framework for innovation, priorities and infrastructure support measures, state of the art, performance and networks for business for innovation. Also, the main framework conditions influencing innovation intensity in the country are assessed and priorities for innovation policy are identified. Specific trajectories of NIS support in the country are summarized and the main steps to developing an innovation policy in Bulgaria are identified.

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