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Bulgaria is one of the leading producers of essential oils and organic products in the EU and one of the EIT-Food RIS countries.

The Agri-food sector is an important driver of the Bulgarian Economy

The agri-food sector plays a leading role in the Bulgarian economy. Traditionally rich preserved biodiversity, soil fertility and rural communities are still the main drivers for keeping the high share of agri-food in value-added (EIT-Food Foresight, 2020). A significant amount of the Bulgarian population, including young producers and entrepreneurs, is engaged in the agri-food sector as the country is among the major exporters of food, beverages, and tobacco as a percentage of the GDP in Europe. The country is renowned for its quality herbs essential oils, yoghurt and cheese, grapes and wine. The sector is also quickly adopting innovations in agri-food technology and establishing agri-food innovation ecosystems.

Room for Improvement

A number of vulnerabilities and challenges such as decreasing employment share and an ageing workforce, volatility & seasonality in production output, labour & skill shortage, pressure on cost competitiveness, the sector is still vulnerable to external market shocks, the level of the investments in the research and innovations, etc. require interventions in Intensify transfer of technologies from the public to the private sector, improved synergy between market-oriented R&I entities, and education in ‘food system’ skills for students, entrepreneurs and professionals.

EIT Food Hubs in Bulgaria: University of Economics - Varna and Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations - Varna (RAPIV)

University of Economics - Varna is a modern, stable, proactive and innovative university with over 100 years of history. The motto of our university is "With academic traditions in the future!". That is why we base our efforts on experience and tradition, but we strive to be flexible in our learning process and in everything we do. This is manifested in the rapidly developing network of partnerships of the higher school with business, public administration, educational structures in the country and abroad, the nonprofit sector and others. We also direct our efforts to corporate, social initiatives. We aim to modify classical education towards a sensible balance of knowledge, skills and competences with an emphasis on "learning by doing" (on site in business and with a broad presence of business in the university).

University of Economics - Varna is the first Bulgarian higher school of economics, founded on 14th of May 1920, by a decision of the Chamber of Commerce in Varna, Bulgaria. Within its over century-long history University of Economics – Varna has provided valuable training to over 155,000 professionals specializing in economics, including many international students from over 60 countries.

Our vision is to strive towards maintaining and developing our position as a leading university with a transformative impact on society through continuous innovation in education, research, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations - Varna (RAPIV) is a non -governmental non-for-profit organization established in 2002 aiming to stimulate regional economy through the development of entrepreneurship and innovations. Its members include representatives of 4 types of organizations: central and local government, academic and scientific institutions, NGOs and businessеs as well as physical persons. RAPIV has carried out activities in: (1) direct business support through education, trainings, consulting, mentoring and other support services for start-ups within the activity of the Business Incubator, Women Entrepreneurship Centre – Bulgaria, and own Start2UP Accelerator Programme; (2) Conducting surveys, research and analysis and development of strategic documents on different topics ranging from female entrepreneurship policies and support, internationalization, innovation and economic developments, etc.

Bulgaria is the homeland of yogurt. It has a long and storied history that is said to date back at least 4000 years. Bulgarians call their yoghurt “sour milk” and they think it’s what makes them live long lives.

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Discover the EIT Food partners in this region

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Innovation projects

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AMPLE premieres in Madrid in October 2023. Along with Entreculturas, Acción Contra el Hambre and Germinando we have co-created 3 training courses focused on: healthy eating and cooking, regenerative agriculture, and agrifood…


project External EIT Food Project
Creating opportunities in the agrifood sector to enable food security

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