New Innovation Agency to Fund Science, Innovation, and Digital Governance Projects
The newly established Bulgarian Innovation Agency will take over the funding of science, innovation, and digital governance projects. It will manage 860m euros in European funds under a programme called NEEDIT. The abbreviation comes from the Bulgarian translation of “Research, Innovation, and Digitalization for Intelligent Transformation” and is a deliberately sought-after association with “need it” in English.
The main goal of the NEEDIT Programme will be to make business and science work together and to foster technology transfer. So far, the execution of such activities has been managed by the Ministry of Education (with the Science and Education for Smart Growth programme) and the Ministry of Economy (with the Competitiveness programme).
Government agencies such as the Swiss Innosuisse and the British Innovate UK are similar to the new Innovation Agency. These units are responsible for establishing links between science and the market, the facilitation of technology transfer from universities to companies, and the support of new ideas during their go-to-market process.
The NEEDIT programme will direct funds to the business and the scientific community. It will work with the centers of excellence and the competency centers, funded under the current Science and Education for Smart Growth Programme, and aim to transform the Bulgarian economy into one with added value. The Agency will require that project applications include a collaboration with a private sector organization.