News archive - [Event Review]: Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth

On 3-4 May 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, JRC, under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, organised a high level conference. Its objective was to increase regional cooperation in South East Europe and to support the Western Balkans’ potential as competitive market economies. These ambitions follow from the European Commission’s strategy for Western Balkans.

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister, Tomislav Donchev, the Mayor of Sofia, Yordana Fandakova and European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, were amongst the opening speakers at the conference "Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth". Over 350 policy-makers, representatives of businesses, regional authorities, universities and research organisations discussed the innovation potential of the region, and the mix of policies needed to achieve it.

The presentations of the conference are available as download package:

Video recordings

The programme offered sessions around the key themes:

  • Smart specialisation
  • Technology transfer
  • Digital Economy
  • Watify: "Boosting technological transformation in Europe"


  • Opening statements: Innovation, a response to Europe's challengesPanel discussion: The innovation landscape in the EU - Main actors, initiatives, tools and outcomes
  • Sharing experiences I: Innovation in places - Making smart specialisation a success story
  • Sharing experiences II: Success factors in R&D and innovation – How businesses cooperate with academia
  • Final Plenary Panel discussion: Coordinating processes and synergies – Bringing multiple initiatives together

Keynote speakers:

  • Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, Bulgaria
  • Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • Markku Markkula, Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions
  • Vladimir Šucha, Director-General, Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), European Commission
  • Sasha Bezuhanova, founder and board chairperson of MOVE.BG

JRC exhibition: Putting science at the heart of European policymaking

The conference reception (3 May, 18:00) marked the opening of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) science exhbition.

The exhibition showcased the work done by the European Commission's science and knowledge service from 03 to 18 May.


For more information please email:


Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on May 29, 2018
Modified on June 7, 2018