The ACTION 1 from the Bulgarian Action plan within CARPE DIGEM project was discussed regarding the establishment and development of a national network of digital innovation hubs in up to 10 districts in Bulgaria.
In the following months the design of a new procedure from the Programme “Research, Innovation and Digitalization for Smart Transformation” 2021-2027(ERDF) - PNIIDIT was finalised, It aims at building a national network of 12 digital and innovation hubs with a budget of BGN 140 million. It has been included in the final version of the program, approved by European commission on 06.12.2022. The newly designed funding scheme that has not been existing in the first drafts of the Program and has been additionally added to the Program will open for applications until the end of 2023. This is the procedure to which the efforts of the Bulgarian partners in the Action Plan were directed under CARPE DIGEM. Bulgarian companies will be able to work together with the Centers of Excellence and Competence built during the last program period, as well as with the future network of digital hubs.
The planned action met Bulgaria's strategic needs and priorities for implementing a common policy for the development of research and innovation and for the digitalisation of the public sector and SMEs, providing infrastructure to support SMEs and organizations to go through the process of digital transformation. The ambition was a new financial scheme to provide conditions for increasing the measures for our innovative performance and transition from "emerging" to "moderate" innovator by 2030 and for the penetration of digital technologies in the economy and society, reaching the EU average by the end of the programming period.
The action is a structural change - to ensure the implementation of new projects through the design of a new financial measure providing support for a national coverage with 12 digital innovation hubs to implement the policy priorities set out in the Partnership Agreement related to increasing the pace of digitalisation of the public sector for the benefit of citizens and businesses and to the priorities related to sustainable business growth, development of entrepreneurial ecosystem and business environment and digitalization of enterprises
In relation to the Action BAA ensured the creation of a network of digital innovation hubs to be included in the activities related to the next steps for industrialisation of Bulgarian economy in the RIS3 2021-2027. This is the first step for planning next actions related to designing supporting measures. As member of the RIS3 working group BAA submitted suggestions for including the actions into Bulgarian RIS3 - ISIS -for enabling their realisation into PNIIDIT. They have been included in the section for Industrialisation of Bulgarian economy of the last approved version of RIS3 2021-2027.