INNOVATION STRATEGY FOR SMART SPECIALIZATION 2014-2020 (ISSS)
An Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization 2014-2020 (ISSS) was adopted with Decree 857 dd. 03.11.2015 of the Council of Ministers. The strategy identifies four main thematic areas for development on which it will focus its efforts in the coming years to develop the innovation potential of Bulgaria: mechatronics and clean technologies, ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, creative industries, pharmaceuticals and food industries. ISSS is the basis for the implementation of the Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 (OPIC). OPIC is providing opportunities for accelerating the transition to a knowledge-based economy by promoting investment potential in thematic areas for intensive innovation development and innovation horizontal policies in accordance with the ISSS. Priority Axis 1 "Technological Development and Innovation" envisages interventions based on the ISSS, therefore projects that fall within specific thematic areas of the strategy, among which are the creative industries, will be supported. Priority Axis 2 "Entrepreneurship and capacity for growth of SMEs”, investment priority 2.1 "Access to financing in support of entrepreneurship" will encourage entrepreneurship in certain specific areas related to European and regional challenges, including creative and cultural industries. Under Priority Axis 2, investment priority 2.2 "Capacity growth of SMEs" also provides a sectoral approach, namely it is targeted at enterprises of low, medium and high-tech sectors and intense knowledge and service sectors (which include film production and TV productions, sound, information services, publishing, research and development, printing industry and recorded media, etc.). For the period of the scope of the report on the implementation of the Convention no procedure has been completed under PA 1, PA 2 (IP2.2) and no procedure has started under PA2 (IP2.1), therefore no financial contribution of OPIC for the creative and cultural industries can be reported.
The main focus of the Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 (OPIC). is centered on SMEs.
The main expected results of the implementation of OPIC are to assist more than 9000 enterprises through grants and financial instruments to mobilize more than 1 bln. Euro private investment, to increase the share of innovative enterprises to increase the productivity of SMEs and to contribute to reducing the energy intensity of the economy.
The total budget of OPIC 2014-2020 is 1.39 billion. Euros, the contribution by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is almost 1.18 billion. Euros (85% of the budget) and the national co-funding is 209 mln. euros (15% of the budget).