Bulgaria has the lowest level of innovation EU-wide, shows a survey by the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) into technological development, the BIA said in a press release.
Bulgarian businesses export mainly products with low value added, they do not invest enough in new technologies and innovations and have low patent activity, the survey shows.
Analysis of opportunities and trends for technological development of Bulgarian businesses is BIA's latest expert undertaking implemented under the project for Development and Implementation of an Information System to Assess the Competence of the Workforce by Sectors and Regions".
It is carried out together with the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria and the Podkrepa Labour Confederation under the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development.
The survey shows that Bulgaria ranks last based on the global competitiveness index and has the lowest number of patents per capita among all 27 EU countries.
The report also takes stock of the fact that Bulgaria has the lowest level of research funding and that Bulgarian economy is among those that are changing most slowly. Bulgaria has a very low share of high tech exports. BIA recommends that a national 2020 strategy should be drawn up by the end of the year and that research funds should be gradually increased to 0.8-0.9 per cent of GDP.
According to BIA, private business should be provided with stimulus to increase funding in innovation practices.
The Association also recommends a compulsory matura exam in mathematics and improving education in mathematics and computer studies as a basis for developing logical thinking. BIA experts also suggest that Bulgaria's innovation strategy be updated and that the National Science Fund and the National Innovation Fund be streamlined.