Two recent reports – Digital Riser Report 2020 and Global Innovation Index 2020, have acknowledged Bulgaria as one of the top innovation hubs in the world.
The Digital Riser Report is based on data from the World Economic Forum from the past 3 years and measures the progress of the countries in two main dimensions: ecosystem and mindset. The first category includes factors such as venture capital availability, the cost and time to start a business, etc. And the second one - digital skills among the active population, attitudes towards entrepreneurial risk, diversity of workforce and others.
The report ranks Bulgaria as a top Digital Riser for Europe and North America due to the significant improvements of the country in the mindset dimension and good performance in the ecosystem dimension.
A key factor for the top performance of the country is the national strategy “Digital Bulgaria 2025” that is a continuation of the programme “Digital Bulgaria 2015”. The strategy aims at the modernisation and implementation of intelligent IT solutions in all areas of economic and social life.
Among the other key points that the report outlines as important improvements are the announced in 2018 obligatory coding classes in primary schools, that would ensure more skilled workforce in the future; the Investment Promotion Act (IPA) that defined high-tech sectors as preferential by the government and therefore they can take advantage of lower financial requirements for investments; as well as additional government initiatives that grant tech businesses benefits regarding social security, taxes and vocational education.
The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 is another report that provides data about the economic development of the countries and their efforts to stimulate innovation. The GII includes 3 indices –Innovation Input sub-index, Innovation Output sub-index and overall Innovation score.
The Input sub-index is built around five pillars - Institutions, Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure, Market Sophistication and Business Sophistication, while the Output sub-index measures the Knowledge and Technology outputs and Creative outputs.
The report classifies Bulgaria in the upper-middle income group of countries and ranks it 3rd in this category. The overall score of Bulgaria is 37 out of 131 and its performance is “above the expectations” for its level of development. With regards to the country’s score by pillars, Bulgaria performs best in Knowledge and Technology outputs (29th) and Infrastructure (30th). The scores of the country in the other pillars are also good with the Market Sophistication being the only exception, where the country still has a place for improvements. This category measures the market conditions and the total level of transactions in the countries.
In conclusion, with admirable scores in most of the categories of the two reports and with continuous efforts for further improvements, Bulgaria occupies a well-deserved position among the top innovation hubs across the globe. The country is a great location that’s worth exploring for future investments or business expansions. Should you be interested in learning more about the country’s IT sector, check out our Bulgaria Industry IT Report.