Bulgaria: Future Belongs to Companies Applying Innovative Technologies

Speaking at a conference on circular economy and the environment here on Tuesday, parliamentary Environment and Water Committee Chair Ivelina Vassileva said that the transition to circular economy is linked to a change in the production model and the introduction of innovations. Eco-innovations will drive this process forward because these play a role in manufacturing, agriculture, energy production and everyday life, she noted. In her words, the future belongs to companies who use these technologies.

Vassileva also said that circular economy is a necessity that has to become part of people's lives, manufacturing and the way of making business. She recalled that the EU's legal documents set targets and deadlines for the introduction of circular economy's principles and the implementation of the idea that waste is a resource.

Deputy Economy Minister Liliya Ivanova told the forum that private investments in Bulgaria in the group of economic sectors of importance to circular economy are evaluated at 81 million euro, or 0.18 per cent of GDP, which exceeds the average values in Europe of 0.12 per cent. Some 59,000 persons are employed in these sectors, and the generated value added is around 521 million euro and increases by 1.2 per cent, she said.

Ivanova also said that the Economy Ministry puts an emphasis on the use of innovations as a key factor for the transition to circular economy. A key document in this respect is the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization 2014-2020, one of the main goals of which is to promote technological modernization in the manufacturing sector. A key financial instrument in support of this policy is Operational Programme Innovations and Competitiveness, under both axes of which 500 million leva have been allocated.

Deputy Environment and Water Minister Nikolay Kunchev said that linear economy is a model of the past that no longer meets today's needs, which requires a transition to the new, circular model so as to reap longterm economic, ecological and social benefits.

Speaking at the conference, the Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association's Management Board, Vasil Velev, proposed the creation of awards for circular economy as a way to promote innovation. He quoted data showing that circular economy could influence greenhouse gas emissions by around 4 per cent.

Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Tsvetan Simeonov told the forum that his organization is working on a project that concerns circular economy in ten countries along the Danube.

Source: BTA daily news