Achieving sustainable economic development requires joint and coordinated efforts by all stakeholders and an active dialogue between them. An important element is the improvement of innovation processes in the enterprises in order to increase their efficiency and competitiveness. Supporting the local economic development is a leading priority of the Municipality of Gabrovo, which is working systematically, consistently and multi-directionally.

To discuss the current challenges for business, Gabrovo Municipality organized a conference „Business Dialogue“, which took place on 19 October 2017 at the library of Gabrovo Technical University. This event was a part of the implementation of project ESSPO. It took place during the Entrepreneurship Week (19 – 22 October) in Gabrovo.
The agenda included three panels: „The Challenges of Technology Transformation“, „Business and Innovation“, „Jobs and Employment“. Business was also interested about banks with financial instruments, development of e-Government, application for OP Innovations and competitiveness, criteria for projects evaluation with bonuses, patenting inventions and innovations of companies, social policy in the country and the opportunities for start-ups.

From left to right: Georgi Stoev – Chairman of the „Trakia Tech“, Tomislav Donchev – Deputy Prime Minister, the Mayor Tanya Hristova, Martin Danovsky – Chairman of the Management Board of the FMFIB, Eng. Plamen Panchev – Founder of the „Trakia Economic Zone“

The proactiveness in the practical training and the provision of jobs through the dual educational system, investments in the development of new value-added products in cooperation with the university, financing of the curricula through the establishment of scholarships, participation in the educational process with traineeships etc., have been defined as important tasks.
The Mayor of Gabrovo – Tanya Hristova, Deputy Prime Minister for European Funds and Economic Policy – Tomislav Donchev, MEP – Andrey Novakov, Executive Director of the European Association of Economic Development Agencies – EURADA and ESSPO project partner – Esteban Pelayo, Nida Camille Ozbolat from the Joint Research Center in Seville, representatives of local businesses and academics, industry organizations, students and citizens participated in the debates.