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Bulgaria’s Health and Life Sciences Cluster joins call for creation of regional biotech innovation fund as part of Three Seas Initiative

Bulgarian economy minister Kiril Petkov speaks at the Three Seas Initiative summit in Sofia, Bulgaria on July 8, 2021; image: © Economy Ministry of Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Health and Life Sciences Cluster fully supports the idea to set up a special regional innovation fund as part of the Three Seas Intiative, a proposal that came from Bulgarian economy minister Kiril Petkov as part of a summit and business forum of the initiative held in Sofia on July 8-9th.

“We are joining Minister Kiril Petkov’s call for the creation of a regional biotech innovation fund,” Kristina Eskenazi, chair of the Management board of the Bulgarian Health and Life Sciences Cluster, told Trending Topics SEE. “The fund would give a much needed boost to the whole ecosystem and help players realize their potential in this high added value industry of the future,” she added, pointing out that the idea was fully in line with the organization’s vision of the ecosystem’s future development.

 

Speaking to participants in the Three Seas summit on Thursday, Petkov told participants that “ investing in large infrastructure projects would be pointless unless particular business initiatives are supported.”  “These modern technologies should be used to create innovation in industries of the future, such as biotechnologies, for example,”  Petkov said.

According to the minister, collaboration between the innovation ecosystems of the Three Seas countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria) requires big initiatives in public and private structures, including tech parks, innovation center networks, research organizations, and universities.

We can unite global companies with innovative AI startups to support the digitalization of the industries of the future through the Bulgarian and regional infrastructure and experts that we have access to,  Petkov pointed out.

Vision for the future

The Bulgarian Health and Life Sciences Cluster has a strategy to open representative offices in different regions in Bulgaria, guaranteeing cross-cluster, cross-industrial and cross-regional cooperation for SME development. One of the objectives of the cluster is to stimulate, validate and promote technological progress in the sector of health & life sciences, as well as to connect scientists with business leaders, academia and media.

The cluster works to build and maintain a sustainable regional innovation ecosystem, searching and establishment of collaboration opportunities in EU and International Projects with focus over the Green Deal, Horizon Europe, and creation and participation in a first of its kind in Bulgaria BioCenter (positioning in Sofia). The Center a result of the successful collaboration between Health & Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria, Sofia Tech Park and Sofia Municipality, through the Sofia Development Association. The establishment of the Center is expected to strengthen the ties and create new partnerships between the academic, research, industrial and regional community as a condition for the development of specific regional and local innovation ecosystems in Bulgaria.

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