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World Bank report: Smart Specialisation in Bulgaria

World Bank experts drafted a report in support of the development of Bulgaria's Smart Specialisation Strategy. The report assesses the country's governance structure,  its innovation facilitating instruments, and key innovation assets, such as research and human capital. Here are some of the conclusions:

  • Bulgaria’s innovation performance over the last decade has fallen short of expectations;
  • Bulgaria’s future economic growth is dependent on its becoming a knowledge economy, with high value-added products and services being the key competitiveness drivers;
  • There are three major areas that, if addressed by the government, will dramatically improve the innovation agenda;
    • Effective implementation of innovation support programmes;
    • Improving coordination among governmental bodies;
    • Emphasising accountability for results.

Read the full World Bank report Source: Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy

Note: Smart Specialisation is a strategic approach to economic development through targeted support to Research and Innovation (R&I). It will be the basis for Structural Fund investments in R&I as part of the future Cohesion Policy's contribution to the Europe 2020 jobs and growth agenda. More generally, smart specialisation involves a process of developing a vision, identifying competitive advantage, setting strategic priorities and making use of smart policies to maximise the knowledge-based development potential of any region, strong or weak, high-tech or low-tech. Source: European Commission- Smart Specialisation Platform

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EIB dedicated programme to fight against youth unemployment

'The European Council on 27-28 June decided to launch a new “Investment Plan” and to intensify the fight against youth unemployment by utilizing the financial support of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The EIB will launch with immediate effect a dedicated youth employment programme “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” to help counteract the rapid increase in youth unemployment in Europe.

The programme is based on two pillars. The pillar “Jobs for Youth” will provide SMEs with better access to finance and link EIB financing to the employment of young people in SMEs. The second pillar “Investment in Skills” will support job -related skills and on-the-job-training by investing in educational facilities (universities, research facilities), vocational training programmes, student loans and mobility programmes.

During his discussion with the Heads of States and Governments President Hoyer reiterated that the EIB is on good track with its business plan following the capital increase of EUR 10 billion. Hoyer: “We have delivered and we are delivering with the successful implementation of the capital increase.” He underlined that that “the EU Bank has taken a clear counter-cyclical course and is investing in regions where others have left the markets.” He made it clear that the Bank has a strong focus on small and medium sized enterprises and the knowledge economy but that it will also continue to provide long-term financing in all member states in strategic infrastructure (e.g. broadband technology, energy or transport infrastructure) to improve Europe`s competitiveness on the global markets. He further emphasised that the Bank is developing new products, such as a trade finance scheme for Greece, SME Guarantee programmes and the Project Bonds Initiative that the EIB is currently introducing to the markets in a pilot phase.'

Source: Abstracts from the official press relase of the EIB. Read the full press release

 

World Bank expertise for Romania's Regional Development

Press release The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MRDPA) collaborates with World Bank experts in five consulting agreements financed from European funds. The provided consulting services are aimed at increasing the planning capacity and the elaboration of strategies in areas related to regional and territorial development. Similarly, an assessment of the programming period 2007-2013 is conducted, for a better programming of the future multiannual financial package allocated to Romania for regional development.

EIB lends €27 Million for energy efficiency of residential buildings in Bucharest

The European  Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 27 million to finance the energy efficiency refurbishments of residential buildings in Bucharest, Romania.The loan will support the thermal rehabilitation of 94 high-rise panel residential buildings in Sector 4 of of Bucharest. The aim of the investment is to reduce the energy consumption of the buildings concerned by some 50%.

Q&A: Cooperation between Bulgaria and the World Bank on EU funds

The World Bank has published information on its cooperation wíth Bulgarian authorities on EU Funds.

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