The innovation topic is of strategic importance for this initiative and for the development of the regional ecosystems. The Bulgarian caretaker Minister of Economy, Kiril Petkov, made a proposal during the designated panel, for the creation of an innovation investment fund as part of the Three Seas Initiative.
He also presented his idea for the establishment of a regional digital hub for biotech and pharma in Sofia Tech Park. The idea is for startups and companies from the SEE to be able to fuel their innovations and research with the power of the recently installed supercomputer there.
Kiril Petkov noted that all advanced economies have specialized in specific industries. “If we just try to chase the leaders in a particular vertical, the chances that we will become as competitive as they are is very low. Therefore, we should concentrate on crossfield innovation, think about our local strengths and combine them across the region. With this we will be able to create new verticals of innovation instead of trying to catch up on existing fields,” Petkov commented.
The caretaker Minister of Economy, who is also tightly connected to the local innovation ecosystem and is a founder himself, highlighted that digitalization cannot exist without the infrastructure but it needs content in order to thrive. “Fiber optic cables, 5G servers, and supercomputers are all there to serve a purpose, and unless we add content to that infrastructure, we cannot make use of its full potential,” he outlined.