Experts and partners under the InnoBridge project assessed Sofia Public-Private Fund for Innovations as a novel policy instrument for R&D and innovation during the 2nd Interregional Learning Workshop, held in Sofia on 14 - 16 September 2016.
Within the framework of the workshop, the experts conducted a peer review to assess the innovativeness of the policy instrument, discussed lessons learnt from the review and evaluated how the instrument is being communicated. It also included onsite visits to Muzeyko and Sofia Tech Park.
The Policy Instrument – Sofia Public-Private Fund for Innovations – is the first of its kind in Bulgaria. It proposes a public private partnership model to provide access to funding for more innovative and risky cultural and creative projects. The Fund is recognized as a good practice by EUROCITIES in 2015.
The peer review appraised the Fund highly in terms of organization, functioning and innovativeness and as a model to be emulated.
Participants in the event were representatives of project partner organizations: Office of the Regional Government of Lower Austria – Lead partner, Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León, Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol, Pannon Novum WestTransdanubian Regional Innovation Nonprofit Ltd., Council of Tampere Region, Regional Development Agency of Alentejo (ADRAL), Sofia Development Association, Applied Research and Communications Fund, and Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region.
InnoBridge is an INTERREG EUROPE project gathering nine partners from eight different European Countries. It addresses common needs related to innovation and regional competitiveness with focus in the insufficient exploitation of R&D results by SMEs and their lack of access to public R&D results. Increasing SMEs’ competitiveness is at the core of the InnoBridge project by improving the Innovation Bridge and related policy instruments for SME´s. Therefore, Universities as well as Research and Technology Organisations (RTO), indispensable actors for business knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of public R&D results like regional or local authorities, are integrated part of the InnoBridge approach.