STUDY OF THE INNOVATIVE ACTIVITY OF THE ENTERPRISES FROM SOUTHERN BULGARIA, DEPENDING ON THEIR DEVELOPMENT PHASE
Burgas Free University (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This report presents some of the results of project „Indexing the Regional Innovative Levels in the Sectors of the Economy - scenario for the identified in the ISIS four priority thematic areas of smart specialization and their positioning towards the circular economy” under the National Science Fund of the Ministry of the Education. The research methodology includes a pilot study, carried out in 2019 on innovation processes, products and services in SMEs, investments, etc., and on organizational and marketing innovations, investments made and planned, common and new business practices, their cooperation with other business units (SMEs, industry organizations, consultants, technology transfer offices, etc.) for innovative products and processes, impact on the environment, efficiency, etc. It included a field study of 150 business units from the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the Republic of Bulgaria based on their behavior, management decisions and innovation activity. The sample covered enterprises from all economic sectors, and the respondents were employees and management representatives of the companies.
The applied method was a closed-ended questionnaire, available online to the users.The survey included various questions regarding their business area in the focus of smart specialization and especially the innovation activities. The present paper examines the dependencies between the innovative activities and the enterprises’ development phase. The obtained results reveal the most of the examined SMEs develop and introduce innovations during their maturity phase. These results lead to the conclusion the educational efforts should be focused on students and entrepreneurs’ training on start-ups and SME’s earlier development phases.
Keywords: SMEs, innovation, smart specialization.