Bulgaria encourages businesses to invest in research and innovation to promote growth and employment. It is hoped that EU funds spent in this area will reach 3% of GDP by 2010.
Foreign companies wishing to make their expertise available on the Bulgarian market often do so by making agreements with local companies by way of:
- and joint ventures.
The terms for entering into such agreements are governed by the Bulgarian Trade Act (TZ).
Scientific research and development agencies
The Bulgarian government body responsible for information and communications technology is the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
Participating in tenders
The Bulgarian Science Fund of the Ministry of Education has been conducting scientific research projects in Bulgaria now for the past 3 years. Fields covered include: natural sciences, mathematics, biology, agricultural science, medicine, etc. The Fund announces it programme once yearly. Bulgarian citizens, and foreigners representing companies, may participate in these tenders if they wish.
The Bulgarian Science Fund (NFNI) maintains a register of scientific activities carried out in Bulgaria. It contains not only lists of public contracts for scientific research, but also projects listed under its 'international programme', among others.
The Bulgarian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Promotion Agency provides information on financial support for creating clusters. SMEs in the same business sector may set up clusters, which allow them to jointly look for clients and new markets, and conduct research.
In Bulgaria, the EU's COST programme coordinates nationally-funded research to those at EU level. Funding applications can be submitted online, and are considered twice a year.
The Operational Programme 'Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013' has been one of the operational programmes co-financed by the EU Structural Funds since Bulgaria's accession to the EU.
The procedures announced up to now to select competing project proposals for financial assistance have been: