Under the Bulgarian Operational Programme "Innovation and competitiveness" and based on the National Innovation Strategy for Intelligent Specialisation, there is an ongoing process to establish regional innovation centers.

The District government Burgas strives to apply for such a Regional Innovation Center and thus held a meeting on 5th April to prepare the process.

The main objective of the national procedure for supporting regional innovation centers is to establish and develop modern research and innovation infrastructure and expertise for conducting applied research and development, as well as contributing to the accelerated economic and social development of the Bulgarian regions.

The regional innovation centers as well as the research infrastructure will be part of the Bulgarian scientific and innovation system in the priority areas of the Innovation Strategy for Intelligent Specialisation (ISIS). The procedure is being developed and implemented under Priority Axis 1 "Technological Development and Innovation", Investment Priority 1.1 "Technological Development and Innovation" of OPIC (Operational Programme “Innovations and competitiveness”)

The competitive selection process will support joint projects initiated by several enterprises with high innovative potential in co-operation with a research organisation that will result in the creation of research and innovation capacities to support the local economy, and high added value according to the ISIS specialisation. The main focus of the procedure is to explore and further develop the research and development potential of research organizations as part of the RIC in cooperation with regional business to create new products, services and processes.

The total available budget amounts to 115.6 million BGN (ca. 59 million Euros), divided equally among the 6 regions at NUTS 2 level, excluding Sofia-city region.

Projects in the four areas of ISIS specialisation are eligible, with regional specialization projects bringing additional points to candidates in the region. For Burgas region the following areas of specialisation are defined: New technologies in creative and recreational industries; mechatronics and clean technologies; industry for healthy life and biotechnology.

It is expected that the start of the procedure will be announced in May / June 2019.