DIGITAL REGIONS project partner Business Agency Association in Bulgaria has also developed a Regional Action Plan to stimulate the adaption of Industry 4.0 measures and boost the conditions for additional uptake of I4.0 solutions among Bulgarian SMEs.
BAA's RAP focuses in two main actions. The first one, 'Support for creation of Open Platforms for the Adoption of Digital Innovation for industries from the 5 thematic priorities in RIS3 2021-2027 of Bulgaria', will be a specific form for collaboration of technology and service providers and end-users to showcase, test, customize and/or develop new digital technologies in an interorganisational network, addressing the needs of the technology users for specific industries related to the priorities in RIS3 of Bulgaria. This first action has been inspired by the 'Open Platform for the Adoption of Digital Innovation' good practice shared by DIGITAL REGIONS partners from Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne.
The second action of the RAP, 'Setting up a network of Demonstration Centers for Digitalization', consists in centers that will complement the existing DIHs and eDIHS with interactive demo stations that help to explore and analyse new technologies in a tangible and practise-oriented way. Each demo station will allow the visitor to experience in quick and easy manner how the showcased technology functions and the benefits it offers, but also will show its potential shortcomings. "It helps to raise awareness and provides inspiration and ideas to test and introduce the technologies in the context of the visitor’s company, e.g., through pilot projects", mentions DIGITAL REGIONS partner, Silvia Stumpf. She explains that this action has been inspired by the 'Digitalization Parkour' good practice, also shared by Swiss partners.
According to Silvia, Bulgaria lags other EU member states in terms of digitalization of the economy. The EC's Index on the Entry of Digital Technologies into the Economy and Society (DESI) for 2021 ranks the country 26th in the EU, in the cluster of low-performing countries. "The main challenges facing Bulgaria are related to the very low level of skills in the field of digital technologies in the population and the low level of implementation of digital technologies in business", she adds. Our Bulgarian partners are addressing two policy instruments with this RAP: 'Competitiveness and Innovation in Enterprise Program 2021-2027' and 'Innovation strategy for Smart Specialisation 2021-2027'.
The RAP developed by BAA aims to input in the existing high quality Industry 4.0 innovation capacity in Bulgaria to accelerate adaption and availability of I4.0 technology and solutions.