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Mapping and Rebuilding the Local Innovation System of the Regions: The Case of the South-Central Region (SCR) in Bulgaria by Ruslan Stefanov ARC Fund KEF III, Budapest, March 24-26th, 2004. Outline. Introduction Case Study Description institutions process results

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Mapping and Rebuilding the Local Innovation System of the Regions: The Case of the South-Central Region (SCR) in Bulgariaby Ruslan StefanovARC FundKEF III, Budapest, March 24-26th, 2004
  • Introduction
  • Case Study Description
    • institutions
    • process
    • results
  • Knowledge Gained (Lessons Learnt)
introduction why this case
Introduction – Why This Case
  • Comes from KE Practice - Addresses a Core KE Pillar - Innovation System – From Different View Points
  • Reveals Insights on Country Region and Company Level
  • Highlights the Importance of Processes and Institutions
  • Underscores the Role of Trust and Public-Private Partnerships
  • Follows Local Demand and Conditions but Uses EC and International Knowledge and Instruments
the case background
Knowledge Economy

Finland (1)





The Bulgarian Score vis-à-vis Finland

The Case -Background

Source: World Bank and author’s calculations

  • Econ. Incent & Inst. Reg
  • Information Infrastructure
  • Education & Training
  • Innovation Systems
case features
Case Features
  • Focus: Managing and Shaping Regional Innovation System Change Through PPP - the Strategy as a Tool, not an End
  • Features
    • Private Sector Lead, Bottom-Up Approach
    • Learning and Knowledge Sharing Core
  • Results: Knowledge on Different Management Levels
process 1
Process (1)

Involve Key Players

Study the Region

Know Supply &


Implement Projects



Find Success Stories/


Outline Possible


process 2
Process (2)
  • Involved in Carrying Out the Project : more than 40 organizations and 120 persons
  • Indirectly Project Activities: more than 500 organizations and 1,200 persons
  • Number of Public Meetings: 110
  • Duration: 2,5 years
  • Internationally comparable knowledge and data bank on SCR’s innovation system
  • Direct knowledge transfer on innovation to some 400 companies in the region
  • 10 technology audits and 6 international company matches
  • Experience and knowledge transfer to the other 5 planning regions in Bulgaria which now prepare to conducting RIS projects
  • Trans-border knowledge transfer (e.g. Romanian organization successfully consulted on adapting the RIS initiative)
knowledge gained management level
Knowledge Gained – Management Level
  • Create flexible and effective internal knowledge management system – the organization evolves with the process
  • Balance knowledge and management capabilities – outsource when necessary
  • Focus on local demand and conditions but know international benchmarks – discrepancies are usually overwhelming
  • Do not expect knowledge and interest from the other stakeholders – inform and engage proactively; keep doors open
  • International partners are good steering anchors but copying practices should be avoided
example level of cooperation
Example – Level of Cooperation

Source: Regional Innovation Strategy for South-Central Region of Bulgaria

knowledge gained macro level
Knowledge Gained – Macro Level
  • Setting a predictable but flexible innovation policy framework is fundamental for streamlining common efforts
  • Governments are stuck with rigid remnants of the old innovation system – reform them, introduce competition and complementarities
  • Rule of thumb – governments should put an euro in projects that attract at least another euro in private or external funds
example r d expenditure
Example – R&D Expenditure

Source: European Innovation Scoreboard, 2002

knowledge gained meso level
Knowledge Gained – Meso Level
  • Regional governments tend to be outsiders to both central and local developments
  • But might be more flexible and cooperative
  • Local authorities are more interested and eager to participate but might often lack specific knowledge and skills
  • Active private sector associations are a key bridge to involving the business at national and regional level
knowledge gained company level
Knowledge Gained – Company Level
  • Most companies are well behind theoretic and best practice models – transfer knowledge, gather as much data as possible
  • Only a few, usually foreign owned play, at global markets – motivate to share knowledge, highlight best practice
  • Truly innovative companies are exceptionally rare – FDIs and technology transfers precede genuine innovations
  • Private companies are the most interested and long-term ally in shaping the regional innovation system
example companies
Example - Companies

Source: Regional Innovation Strategy for South-Central Region of Bulgaria

thank you

ARC Fund

5, Alexander Zhendov Str.

1113 Sofia

E-mail: [email protected]

bulgaria ke useful links
Bulgaria KE Useful Links
bulgaria ke useful documents
Bulgaria KE Useful Documents
  • “Towards a Knowledge-Based Economy, Bulgaria”, UNECE, 2002
  • “A Preliminary Strategy to Develop a Knowledge Economy in EU Accession Countries”, World Bank, 2002
  • “Bulgaria, 2003 Special 301 Report”, International Intellectual Property Alliance
  • “Bulgaria, Country Report”, European Trend Chart, 2002
  • “Bulgaria E-Readiness Assessment 2003”, ARC Fund, upcoming and 2002
  • Bulgarian E-Government, ICT and Innovation Strategy
  • “Inventory of Bulgaria’s Innovation System”, PHARE Project, Upcoming