A meeting of the heads of the investment agencies of EU countries took place in Sofia on June 20th. The “Investment Promotion Agencies: Empowering Innovative Europe” meeting was held within the program of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The event was organized by Invest Bulgaria Agency (IBA) and was also attended by Sofia Investment Agency. The conference was devoted to the future of the European investment policy aimed to further develop innovation as part of the common objectives and key priorities for the new EU’s industrial strategy.
The forum was attended by representatives of the member states of the European Union, the Western Balkans, Turkey and the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). The participants shared their previous experience and planned actions to implement more innovations within manufacturing, the introduction of sustainable innovations as well as industry digitization in order to secure the future benefits of the European industry in an increasingly competitive global economic environment.
During the first session, Prof. Stefan Skeppers, Secretary General of the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management, presented the topic ‘Recognizing the Union’s Strategic Goals in the Field of Innovation’.
The second session focused on ‘European Practices and Models for Funding and Promoting Innovation’. The topic was presented by Prof. Nicola Reddy, managing partner of Venture Factory. The participants discussed the capabilities of national agencies to look for new practices to attract investment aimed at rapid development and implementation of innovations in practice.
The discussion panel “Innovators and Their Perspectives on European and International Level” had its main focus on the human factor in the development of innovations. The participants discussed issues related to the provision of a good educational process, the challenges young people have to face and their opportunities to take leadership positions in the development of technologies and the implementation of their achievements in the economy. Priority was given to the integration of the Western Balkans and the need to link the financial, social, technical and commercial infrastructures in a move to attract high-tech investments and ensure the development of the region.