The strategy identifies four main thematic areas for development which direct the efforts to develop the innovation potential of Bulgaria during the period: mechatronics and clean technologies, ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, creative industries, pharmacy, and the food industry. The Innovative Strategy for Smart Specialisation is the basis for implementing Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 (OPIC). OPIC provides opportunities to accelerate the transition to a knowledge-based economy by encouraging investments in potential thematic areas for intensive innovation development and innovative horizontal policies in accordance with the Innovative Strategy for Smart Specialisation. OPIC's priority area 1 "Technological Development and Innovation", identifies an emphasis on interventions based on the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization, which entails support for projects within the specific thematic areas of the strategy, and these include creative industries. Under OPIC's priority axis 2 "Entrepreneurship and Expansion Capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" there is investment priority 2.1 "Access to Entrepreneurship Support Funding" which fosters entrepreneurship in certain specific areas related to European and regional challenges, including creative and cultural industries. Investment priority 2.2 "Expansion Capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" under priority axis 2 takes a sectoral approach targeting low, medium and high-tech sectors and sectors with extensive knowledge and services (including film and TV production, sound recording, information services, publishing, research and development, printing and recorded media, etc.) for the creative and cultural industries.
The main focus of the programme is on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The results from implementing OPIC are expected to be over 9,000 enterprises supported through grants and financial instruments, more than EUR 1 billion of mobilised private investments, increased share of innovative enterprises, increased productivity of SMEs, and contribution to reducing the economy's energy intensity.
The total budget of OPIC 2014-2020 amounts to EUR 1.39 billion, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounting to nearly EUR 1.18 billion (85% of the budget) and national co-financing amounting to EUR 209 million (15% of the budget).
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