Speaking with Raina Grigorova, Executive Director of KIDA

Q: How does KIDA improves and supports the access to materials, equipment, new technologies, human and financial resources, markets and other cluster activities?

Studies and analyzes conducted by members of the association show that our country has a huge, but still underdeveloped potential to provide high value-added information services at a global scale. However, in comparison with the developed economies we have to overcome some challenges such as low labor productivity, poor innovation deployment, low levels of production automation (in terms of knowledge intensive services).

And the majority of companies, especially SMEs, could hardly provide on their own all the resources needed for automation and optimization.

When joining strengths, the companies have access to more resources and new market opportunities. Also, they start benefiting from shared investments in complex technologies and other supplies necessary for their market survival, growth and development. Such investments can be investments in the development of innovations for data collection & processing (platforms for processing and visualization of information, CRM, ERP and other systems, semantic technologies, artificial intelligence, etc.), investments in data, knowledge and information (e.g. databases, global or regional market research, complex marketing research and consultancy).

Sharing the cost of purchasing servers, their data center support or cloud space rental reduces the costs of each cluster member for equipment and maintenance.

One other objective of KIDA is sharing knowledge and conducting collaborative research that helps the implementation of innovative technologies for modernization, automation, optimization and improvement. To a great extent, the intensive knowledge is related to the creative industries – content creation, content analysis and extracting new knowledge from it, developing media, communication, marketing strategies, consulting services, developing innovative software technologies and so on.

Our members are and should be representatives of all segments of the supply chain. Thus we ensure the strategic development of the sector in the country and the synergy between business & higher education. For example, one of our new cluster members is a leading higher education institution (University of Veliko Tarnovo).

A lot of software companies are part of the cluster. They conduct research and develop innovative and scientifically proven, effective technologies for extracting, processing, and even predictive data analysis. Working closely with their users, these companies quickly and easily identify market niches and markets with great potential. On the other hand, the information providers and consultants have direct access to new technologies at preferential prices. The benefit for the higher education is by working closely with leading industry companies to modernize educational programs, prepare and organize training courses and internship programs.

By unifying efforts and forming a common industry strategy, the cluster members gain the opportunity to share markets using a number of market mechanisms, including chain sales and cross-selling. Additionally, the members support each other in identifying and participating in public procurement opportunities.

Last but not least, the intensive cooperation between cluster members supports staff exchanges and expertise, especially when you need temporary resources with specific skills. Members have access to a vast base of people with knowledge and skills across the full spectrum of the knowledge-intensive services.

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