On November 29 of 2019, in the Art Salon of Radio Varna, the third meeting of the stakeholder group on project “DEVISE-Digital tech SMEs at the service of Regional Smart Specialization Strategies” was held.

20 representatives of companies, organizations, institutions, universities worked together on discussing how the project good practices from other regions could be successfully implemented in Bulgaria for the benefit of the local economy.

Suitable for transfer and already implemented projects from Spain, France and Ireland were at the focus of the stakeholders. The regional research made on the demand and supply regarding digital technologies in the region within the project was very helpful, as it revealed weaknesses and strengths to be tackled through DEVISE action plan. A list of actions and planned outputs to be reached was agreed to ensure traditional businesses in the region will be provided with new and improved solutions related their fast and effective digitalization.

The DEVISE project offers Varna business ideas on how local digital companies can further support the digitalization of traditional industries such as transportation, food production, tourism, construction.

The action plan is expected to put forth ideas for new regional and national funding opportunities-through public funding instruments such as OPIC. The group discussed on how to improve the conditions for applying, the scope and types of eligible activities, the type of eligible applicants under the public funding procedures, based on the good practices selection.

The meetings are also an opportunity for experts from different fields in Varna to discuss in free format ideas about how to accelerate and boost Varna growth. Heads of chambers and associations, businessmen from different sectors, managers of companies from tourism, construction, digital business, transport, professors from Varna universities and training centres, entrepreneurs and the team of the Business Agency Association were present.