Proposal to add additional priority axes in Thematic field "Informatics and ICT" in the Innovative Strategy for Intelligent Specialization of the Republic of Bulgaria 2014-2020

The Association has been extensively discussing the possibilities of including home care within the scope of ISIS. The proposal takes into account the expected impact on the demographic trends related to the aging of the Bulgarian population, migration processes, the growing need for innovations in the field of home care, the potential of the Bulgarian digital industry and the opportunities created by ISIS to promote certain priority directions in the thematic areas.
Bulgaria is among the top 10 countries with the highest risk of an aging population. Every pensioner has 2.6 employees, which is among the top ten in the world, according to the Bloomberg Sunset Index.

Bulgaria's demography continues to deteriorate, and our country is about to fall into the group of hyper-starving societies. This is the last, most critical category of the UN, which is based on how much of the entire population in a country is over 65 years old. A society is considered to be hyper-old when the proportion of people out of work age is over 21%.

By the end of 2016, Bulgaria is on the verge of crossing this threshold - 20.7% of people over 65, according to data from the National Statistical Institute. For comparison, in 2010 the ratio was 17.7%. According to the Institute, by 2030, the proportion will rise to over 30%.
At the same time, the country is losing young people from the migratory flow. Every second emigrant is aged between 20 and 39, equivalent to just over 16.3 thousand people in 2016.
These data show that the problem of home care of the increasingly aging population will deepen. Contrary to this trend, there is the possibility of accelerating the introduction of innovations in the field of home care to allow more people to receive medical surveillance (tele-medicine, tele-care), medical services and the storage and processing of medical information e-health) or support for home help (smart homes) by fewer doctors, assistants, other healthcare professionals, and helpers thanks to new technologies.

In order to facilitate support for the development of these services and related products, to encourage their development and deployment with the available public funds linked to ISIS, we propose to add the following additional priority strands in "Informatics and ICT": e-health, tele-medicine, tele-care, smart-homes.

Summaries on the opportunities to strengthen home care innovations in Bulgaria
- since the strategic focus of the OP1 and PO2 of OPIC is determined by the priorities defined in the respective strategies - the Intelligent Specialization Strategy in Bulgaria (OM1) and the National SME Promotion Strategy (for PO2), the only opportunity to promote innovation in the field of home care with public funds is by expanding / adding / adding the described activities used as references to funded thematic areas
- the further concrete development of the list of priority orientations in the 3 RIS3 thematic areas could change the current situation where domestic care does not fall within the scope of specific economic activities covered by the program
- Innovative ICT products and services related to home care do not fall within the specific economic activities covered by the program - again in connection with the two instruments cited above.
- With regard to the evaluation of applications, it is possible to improve the specific evaluation criteria (including bonus points) as part of the technical evaluation process in grant schemes that support both home and other home care projects - types of non-economic impacts include specific definitions - again as a result of expanding the list of priority axes.

The proposal was formulated as a result of a survey of the overall situation in the field of research and innovation in the home care sector and the "quadruple" model co-operation by the Hocker - Innovative Home Care Solutions team by strengthening cooperation in regional innovation chains "under the INTERREG program 2014-2020. The study is part of a survey of the home care situation of a total of 8 participating countries. The Bulgarian Business Partner Association is a Bulgarian partner, and the European Funds for Competitiveness Directorate of the Ministry of Economy is an associated strategic partner.

The goal of the HoCare project is to enhance the delivery of innovative home care solutions in regional innovation chains by strengthening the cooperation of participants in the regional innovation system using the "quadruple" approach The quadruple spiral is a model of innovation cooperation or innovation environment, in which consumers, businesses, researchers and government bodies collaborate to produce innovation.
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