EEN Forward

[ 10.07.2022 ]

Project acronym: EEN InnoForward
Current phase: in progress
Project number: 101052626
Duration: 42 months
Start Date: 01 Jan 2022
Estimated Project Cost: €4,252,000.00
Call: SMP-COSME-2021-EEN

Project annotation: In the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemics, the economic growth exceeded 3% annually for 5 consecutive years. Although C-19 cases in Bulgaria were fewer and containment measures less severe than in most affected EU countries, the national economic activity contracted notably by about 10% in 2020. ARC’s flagship analysis for 2020 shows that innovation culture is still not sufficiently perceived by local enterprises. By share of SMEs introducing innovations Bulgaria stands below EU average in the RIS2021. Among the key hindering factors are limited access to finance or high price of financing resources, high economic risk, and difficulty in finding partners for innovation. Mindful of this, the InnoForward proposes to accommodate the Enterprise Europe Network in Bulgaria as the indispensable ‘European arm’ of regional and national support systems leveraging their work and impact on local SMEs. 12 Bulgarian partners – DIHs, innovation centers, innovative business clusters, centers of excellence, CCIs, and SofiaTechPark, under ARC Consulting’s leadership have mobilized efforts to bring the EEN operation in Bulgaria on a new paradigm where clients needs are at the center of service delivery, the ‘hub&spoke’ modus operandi ensures best access to the Network resources, and the partners complement each other’s expertise and excellence. The long term goal is to improve Bulgarian SMEs’ performance on the European Single Market and beyond, enhance scalable innovation, support SMEs in their transition to sustainable and resilient business models, and boost partnerships across borders. InnoForward expected impact spells out in about 380 tangible and measurable achievements with SMEs as result of the advisory and partnering support delivered, and synergies with regional policies and Structural Funds to the benefit of both SMEs at micro-level and regions at macro-level.

Project partners: ARC Consulting Ltd (Coordinator), Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Joint Innovation Center of BAS, RES Cluster, BSC SME – Ruse, SOUTHEAST DIGITAL INNOVATION HUB (DIGIHUB), Marine Cluster Bulgaria, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF STARA ZAGORA BULGARIA, SOFIA TECH PARK JSC, PLOVDIV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, Mechatronics and Automatization Cluster, REGIONAL INNOVATION CENTER AMBITIOUS GABROVO.