• InnoCenter Bulgaria

    (InnoCenter BG)

  • Vision Statement

    What is InnoCenter BG?

     

    InnoCenter BG is an open community, focused on problem solving, which supports the digitisation of the industrial enterprises in Bulgaria and their transformation into Industry 4.0 companies by improving their capabilities to innovate their business and production processes, products or services.

     

    To support its members in solving their technological challenges, InnoCenter BG will provide opportunity for collaborative work and on-the-job training of their staff in the field of technical and design thinking capabilities, access to technology infrastructure and additional talent and expert capacity for their Proof of Concept (PoC) projects. The main mechanism of delivering value to its members is the creation of project working groups on defining and solving specific technological challenges.

     

    Through creating an ecosystem and enabling the cooperation between large companies, SMEs and young entrepreneurs, InnoCenter BG acts as a mediator bringing together suppliers, developers and clients to generate new challenges, generate innovative solutions or facilitate the transfer of proved solutions.

     

    InnoCenter BG also provides benefits to:

    • Students, young entrepreneurs and SMEs’ staff through on-the-job training, involving and mentoring them in solving companies’ challenges; enabling hands-on experience within industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and digitisation innovative projects, while working on specific challenges with high-qualified experts.
    • SMEs by supporting them in solving the challenge of leapfrogging their current technological development, which can be defined as a transformation from “industry 2.0” directly into “industry 4.0”.

    Our core competences and focus areas:

    • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Machine learning
    • IT Security
    • Virtual Reality
    • Block chain
    • Innovative methods and technologies in the field of training
    • General data protection regulation (GDPR)

     

    What we do?

    • We offer access to technology, expertise and physical space for Prove of Concept projects. The duration of a project is up to 6 weeks.
    • We organise events, focused on enhancing innovation.
    • We provide specialized trainings to help members and clients increase their innovation capabilities.

     

    In addition, InnoCenter BG's portfolio includes the services that the members provide in their own business activities.

     

    Our working principles:

    • We strive to excel in what we do. We take initiative, outline our plans into practical consideration, and once a decision is taken focus on excellent execution.
    • We work swiftly, with a sense of competitive urgency in seizing and exploiting opportunities. We are action-oriented, looking for ways to achieve goals in a prompt manner without compromising quality, and discarding unproductive bureaucratic practices.
    • We build on each other’s abilities and focus on team gains. We tap on each other’s strengths, expertise and resources so that everyone wins.
    • We adapt our plans and actions to take changes into account, and stay aware of the ever-shifting competitive milieu. We are open to change strategies and tactics to achieve our mission.
    • We value honesty and trustworthyness, and aim at continuous improvement.
    • We are persistent in what we do, learn from failures, and try again until the aimed result is achieved.
    • We are dedicated and determined in achieving our mission, uphold a high standard of conduct, integrity and actions, and carry out our responsibilities to a successful implementation.

     

    How to become part of InnoCenter BG?

     

    To participate and use the InnoCenter BG activities as benefits, the companies should become members.

    • Members are companies, which address the InnoCenter BG for their projects. Members support financially their PоC projects based on preliminary calculation of the project.
    • Members share the belief that digitisation and innovation are the greatest strategic challenge, companies need to face in the next decade, and are united by the values of sharing, cooperation, transparency, creativity and innovation.

     

    What we strive to achieve by 2020?

     

    By 2020 InnoCenter BG must have established itself as one-stop-shop that helps industrial enterprises in Bulgaria to become more competitive in their business/production processes, and products/services using innovative digital technologies and novel business models.

     

    The center will apply for the status of Digital Innovation Hub (2018-2020):

    • A Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) is a support facility that helps companies become more competitive by improving their business and production processes as well as products and services by means of digital technology. DIHs act as a one-stop-shop, serving companies within their local region and beyond to digitise their business.
    • The services available through a DIH enable any business to access the latest knowledge, expertise and technology for testing and experimenting with digital innovations relevant to its products, processes or business models. Some of the key technologies to which DIHs may provide access include: robotics, photonics, high performance computing (HPC), data analysis, simulation, IoT, cyberphysical systems and cybersecurity.
    • The European Commission is managing the project for the European Parliament, who launched it as a preparatory action with the aim to develop a coherent, coordinated and sustainable approach to enhance the engagement of all relevant stakeholders from EU13 Member States (industry, academia, research organisations and civil society). 30 organisations in EU13 Member States will be selected to take on the role of a Digital Innovation Hub, contributing to the digitisation of the industry in the selected countries and regions, where the divergence in uptake and adoption of digital technologies has been so far limited.

    Intermediary objectives:

    • We will develop a platform of opportunities, infrastructure and talents to be able to attract other companies, intermediary bodies and research-based organisations to join the InnoCenter BG in order to expand both its scope and coverage.
    • We will elaborate on the already existing business plan models, to enhance the synergy between the offered services (by mid 2019).
    • We will generate 15 to 30 tech-challenges annually in the field of IoT and digitization, and reached PoC or implementation stage for developed solutions, and enhancing capacity of business enterprises to innovate and upgrade in the global value chains.

     

    How we will succeed?

    • InnoCenter BG will focus on filling in one of the gaps in the national innovation ecosystem – the lack of b2b innovation support.
    • InnoCenter BG will actively work to enhance public private partnership through attracting Sofia Tech Park to become a partner and through institutionalizing cooperation, which InnoCenter BG partners have with public funded research and higher education institutions in the country.
    • InnoCenter BG will support its future development both on strategical and practical levels, via show-case of successful digitisation solutions and business strategies, human resource development, awareness raising, and policy design and evaluation.
    • InnoCenter BG will focus on b2b collaboration for building capacity for ICT enabled innovations in companies, based on the infrastructure and opportunities, offered by the Innovation Center Bulgaria.
    • InnoCenter BG will act as a regional multi-partner cooperation effort, which complements and strengthens the national innovation ecosystem.
    • InnoCenter BG will introduce and show-case successful business strategy for digital transforming enterprises, raising awareness nationally.

     

    How we will operate?

     

    InnoCenter BG will rely primarily on private funding, coming from large companies (members) that will generate business and tech-challenges to be solved by the InnoCenter BG.

     

    The main mechanism of providing value to its members is the ability to form unlimited number of working groups from the different target groups in the InnoCenter BG (large companies, SMEs, innovators and entrepreneurs). On the principle of cooperation, the working groups will be formed to solve particular challenges of interest of the working group founder(s). InnoCenter BG will provide the service of assembling a team of experts, innovators, experienced managers in delivering innovation solutions to enable the realisation of PoC projects.

     

    In addition to that InnoCenter BG will provide training, co-working opportunities, events and access to data and new ideas, which raise the general awareness of the challenges and opportunities of digital change for business enterprises.

     

    Members will provide financing or fundraise to support the projects they initiate. A part of these funds will cover the maintenance of InnoCenter BG under full transparency and control by the members.

     

    The value we provide

     

    InnoCenter BG provides to its members:

    • Need assessment and consulting and software development for digitisation and IoT.
    • Capacity building and know-how transfer on both technological and “soft” business skills (incl. investment readiness, internationalisation, and IPR management).
    • Increasing members’ “organizational openness to change” by providing learning-by-doing and structured learning opportunities for increasing innovation capacity to their key experts in digitisation.
    • Valorization and commercialization of products and services.
    • Fast (up to 6 weeks) PoC projects.
    • Solution development.
    • Access to experts and talents, who can digitally transform a company.

    Major focus for Members will be the industrial sectors in Bulgaria. InnoCenter BG will support companies from energy and utilities, financial and banking sector, manufacturing and public sector and thus will cover three of the four thematic priority areas of the national Strategy for Smart Specialization 2014-2020, i.e. ICT, mechatronics and health industry and biotechnologies.

     

    For SMEs, InnoCenter BG will serve as incubator and training center:

    • It will provide access to opportunities for developing the necessary entrepreneurial, technological and management know-how and skills to make the transition to Industry 4.0
    • The InnoCenter BG will strengthen the industry capacity to innovate through implementing IoT, big data analytics, virtual reality, and cybersecurity solutions in the industrial production processes.
    • In addition, it will serve as a platform for standartisation and multiplication of developed solutions, thus aiming at maximizing their effect in the whole economy.

    Specifically, to Bulgarian innovation ecosystem at Sofia Tech Park, InnoCenter BG will enhance the capacity of business-to-business support, offering both technology development and soft business services in the field of IoT and digitisation of industrial enterprises, transforming them into Industry 4.0 companies.

     

    How is InnoCenter BG structured?

    Members’ General Assembly

    Founders sign an InnoCenter Founding Agreement that is open to new members. Thus, the initial composition of the General Assembly of the participants is formed. Acceptance of new members is to take place with the notification of the existing ones. If there is no objection, the applicant is deemed to be accepted. A new member can not be accepted when his participation is objected by an existing participant. With the admission, each participant becomes a member of the General Assembly.

     

    Representative

    The InnoCenter BG as such has no legal personality. With the Founding Agreement one of the participants will be authorized to represent the InnoCenter BG with the appropriate rights and duties and a three-year mandate.

     

    Coordinator

    The representative signs a contract to manage the activities of the InnoCenter BG with one of the participants. The contract shall prescribe the respective rights and obligations and a one-year term.

     

    Advisers

    The InnoCenter BG activity is supported by counselors. These are prominent specialists in their professional fields and persons with public influence who share the values and objectives of the InnoCenter BG and would like to contribute to their realization.

     

    Experts Pool

    In order to be able to achieve its goals, the InnoCenter BG will have a wide range of highly qualified experts in different fields. The Pool will include experts from participants' or partners' companies of the InnoCenter BG, or individuals and will facilitate the finding of the necessary specialists for each individual project.

     

    Working Groups

    The InnoCenter organizes its activities through permanent working groups and project working groups. Permanent working groups are set up to apply for European programs, Industry 4.0, on digitization of education, and on the priorities set out in the Vision. Project working groups are a key mechanism for providing benefits to participants. For each project the InnoCenter BG creates a separate working group, including advisers and experts, as well as the contracting participant.

     

    Activities

    The core activity of the InnoCenter BG is Proof of Concept projects. At the request of the participants, the InnoCenter BG organizes trainings and events.

     

    Partners

    The InnoCenter BG will partner with various organizations sharing its values and goals.

     

    Financing

    The InnoCenter BG relies primarily on private funding provided by large participating companies for the projects initiated by them. Part of these funds provides the funding of the InnoCenter BG with full transparency and control by the participants. Another major source of funding are European and other programs where the InnoCenter BG or Participants Pools will apply. Start-up funding is provided by an entry fee of €1000 for each participant. Participants, as well as other supporters, can make donations to the InnoCenter BG.

     

    January 2018