The European Commission has published a set of strategic recommendations for 14 newly established research and innovation centers in Bulgaria, co-financed by the EU cohesion policy.
The recommendations aim to improve governance and help the centers achieve financial sustainability. They were developed by a team of internationally recognized experts over 1.5 years of fieldwork, coordinated by the Commission's Joint Research Center, as well as through partnerships with Spain, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. They will assist Bulgarian institutions and researchers in strengthening the country's research and innovation ecosystem, building capacity for knowledge transfer and dissemination, and strengthening the cooperation between research institutions and enterprises in areas such as the environmental and digital transition, as well as in the field of avant-garde medicine.
Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Eliza Ferreira said: "Thanks to the EU support, these centers will provide scientific infrastructure and equipment that will make them attractive to young Bulgarian researchers. I call on all participants to benefit from the work of experts by laying the foundations for an effective and modern system of research and innovation."
Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, added: "The EU investment in the 14 centers of competence and high success has great potential for transforming the country's economy and integrating it into global chains to create value. I am confident that the findings of the Joint Research Center report will be well received by the centers and that the government, academia and industry stakeholders will take action to swiftly implement its recommendations. "
The initiative started in 2019 and will cover other European countries. The Commission also assists Member States and regions in developing and implementing their strategies through the Smart Specialization Platform. The EU is currently investing € 160 million in the centers under the Bulgarian Science and Education for Smart Growth program for the period 2014-2020. In the period 2021-2027, Bulgaria will receive over € 10 billion under the cohesion policy, as a significant part of it will be dedicated to supporting innovation, competitiveness and the environmental and digital transition.