- bring science and innovation funding up to at least 1% of GDP by 2020 from the current level of 0.65% of GDP in 2013, which is three times lower than the EU28 average of 2.02%;
- set up a professional, independent and robust national research agency that will manage funding programmes in a transparent and impartial manner;
- increase participation in the available European funding schemes by establishing a Sciences/ EU Funding Liaison Office in Brussels;
- encourage excellent research by introducing performance-based funding schemes for higher education institutions and research organisations; and
- enhance incentives for research careers to attract talent from Bulgaria and abroad.
The panel plans to revisit Bulgaria’s research sector in three years’ time to evaluate progress following the implementation of these reforms. By then, Bulgaria’s innovation profile is expected to have noticeably improved, along with the country’s ranking in the Innovation Union Scoreboard (the annual classification of member states according to their research and innovation performance, which in 2015 saw Bulgaria place second-to-last). Bulgaria’s ups and downs in this realm over the next three years will reflect, for better or worse, on the recently established Policy Support Facility.