The Minister of Innovation and Growth of Republic of Bulgaria Ms. Milena Stoycheva discussed the advantages of investing in Bulgaria and support for business with representatives of the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce on 27 September 2023 at the Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia.
The event was addressed by Mr. Boni Bonev – Chairman, BSCC Managing Board and H.E. Mr. Raymund Furrer – Ambassador of Switzerland in Bulgaria.
We are working to rebrand Bulgaria as a destination for high-tech investments based on R&D. Our main goal is to develop a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem and increase our country’s competitiveness. This is what the Minister of Innovation and Growth Milena Stoycheva said at a meeting with the members of the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Minister Stoycheva stressed that it is key to encourage companies to commercialize scientific developments in their industries. The meeting also discussed steps to strengthen trade relations between the two countries and promote innovation in Bulgaria.
Stoycheva also said that Bulgaria ranks third in Southeastern Europe in the number of start-ups and second as an attractive destination for opening start-up offices. “We are third in the world in IT specialists per capita”. The Minister stressed that this shows the well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as the potential of the talent pool.
The Innovation Minister outlined Bulgaria’s advantages as an investment destination and as a place where the science-business link is being strengthened. “Through the INSAIT Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology, Bulgaria already has all the prerequisites for creating competitive companies at European and global level. INSAIT is leading one of the areas under a key EC initiative on artificial intelligence. The new project will develop the latest achievements in technology and Bulgaria will participate in it through the Institute,” she added.
The Minister also highlighted the role of the Defense Innovation Accelerator in the North Atlantic (DIANA) in maintaining the Alliance’s leadership in deep technology development. The NATO Innovation Fund has a budget of €1 billion over 15 years and is expected to start investments by the end of the year. “Bulgarian companies will also be able to benefit from the funding”, the Minister of Innovation and Growth said.
The event was also attended by the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Development Bank, Ilia Karanikolov, and experts from the Directorate General “European Competitiveness Funds” at the Ministry of Regional Development, who presented the opportunities for supporting companies in Bulgaria and the upcoming procedures under the EU programmes for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.