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Over BGN 420 million for innovations in enterprises have been secured under two upcoming procedures under the new program "Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises" (PCIP).

It is expected that in a few weeks they will be open for applications for Bulgarian companies, informed the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev

Alexander Pulev was born on February 5, 1981 in Plovdiv.

He holds an MA in Finance from Oxford.

Over 70% of Bulgarian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have introduced innovations in their business in the last two years.

This exceeds expectations and is a reason for optimism for the development of companies in our country, according to the latest study of the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (IANMSP) under the Ministry of Innovation and Growth (MIR).

Nearly a third of companies (over 32%) consider that they have a priority need for financing for technological modernization.

The response of the companies directly corresponds to the first open procedure

"Technological modernization" of the Recovery Plan under MIR.

Over 2,500 projects were submitted under the measure.

It has a budget of BGN 260 million. 953 companies have already qualified for financing, and as early as March, they can receive the first payments for the renewal of the technological park of their enterprises.

In second place (23% of companies) they put the need for financing for innovation.

In March, the Ministry of Innovation and Growth will open for applications the first procedure under the new program "Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises" (PCIP) 2021 - 2027. It will support development activities and the development of innovations.

Its budget is BGN 127 million. Under the measure, small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 499 employees, as well as large ones with up to 3,000, will be able to apply, but only in partnership with small and medium-sized companies.

In addition, there is another financial opportunity for SMEs - the innovation implementation procedure.

It has a budget of over BGN 293.4 million. Some of the new solutions may have been developed by the enterprises themselves specifically for their production needs, while others may be borrowed and adapted.  

The IANMSP survey among business owners and managers ranked the need for funding for digitalization in third place as a key element for greater competitiveness (over 12% of companies).

The lists of 1,499 approved project proposals were announced following the completed second application procedure under the Recovery Plan "ICT Solutions and Cyber ​​Security".

The budget is BGN 30.6 million. 

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The data from the survey also show that last year the strongest negative impact on business was high inflation, political instability and problems in supply chains.

The lack of qualified labor in recent years is permanently one of the most serious problems for small and medium-sized companies in our country, it is clear from the research.

It is striking that, despite the dynamic situation, more than 60% express optimistic expectations for the development of their business, reported the press center of MIR.

The online survey by the Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises was conducted in January 2023 among over 500 companies.

They gave feedback on their development during the past year in the conditions of a number of unfavorable factors such as high inflation, the political situation in the country, the war in Ukraine, the post-pandemic situation and others.

The complete analysis, graphs, detailed data, assessment of the business environment in Bulgaria and others is published on the website of IANMSP.

The survey data will also be included in the Annual Analysis of the State of Small and Medium Enterprises, which the Agency traditionally prepares and will be presented soon.

Alexander Pulev