On the 28th of September, 2018 (Friday) at 11:00 in the conference hall of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Stara Zagora the fifth local stakeholders meeting on the above-mentioned project was held. The aim of the INNOGROW project is to improve the conditions for encouraging innovation in SMEs in rural areas to increase their competitiveness. The thematic meeting was related to the preparation and implementation of measures that will nurture innovation in rural SMEs in Bulgaria and Europe.
The meeting started with a presentation of the project and the results of activities carried out so far following by a discussion about the good practices that have been recognized during the study vistits in Hungary and the Region of Thessaly. The meeting was attended by 16 local stakeholders which form the expert group of local stakeholders that confirmed their participation in the preparation and execution of all the policy recommendation in the joint action plan that is to be presented by the 6th semester from SZREDA for Bulgaria. This group includes representatives from the financial instituons, universities and science institutes, public instituons and the business (Chamber of commerce and industry, start-ps and startup association in Bulgaria). The main topic of the meeting was the first policy recommendation that is to be formed and executed which will be related to the creation of measures towards Bulgarian companies that have Seal of Excellence for their projects from the SME instrument of Horizon 2020.
The idea united by the participants in the discussion during the 5th stakeholder meeting was that the approach of supporting the financing of innovation should not be limited to rural SMEs but it should also be relevant for SMEs from all over the country. Similar tax regimes have been operating successfully in different EU Member States for years.
All members of the stakeholder group agreed that the proposal should be developed by SZREDA and send to them for further evaluation. After it is finished further measures for supporting innovation will be discussed and developed into policy recommendations.