Ministry for Transportation, Information Technology and Communications

Януари 22, 2012 от admin

The Ministry defines the state policy for Information and Communication Technologies development at legislative, technological, economical and social levels and outlines the basic related activities.

ICT Development for sustainable growth and higher employment

Bulgaria boasts fine traditions in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector, a liberalized telecommunications market and competitive ICT industry. It is a fact that despite the difficulties of the transition, the ICT sector remains one of the leading sectors of the national economy, which is to be attributed mainly to the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Bulgarian ICT companies.
A few other factors for ICT investment success are:

  • Macroeconomic stability and high growth;
  • Legal framework focused on attracting and protecting foreign investments;
  • Very well developed educational system in electronics, engineering sciences and computer sciences;
  • Excellent labour quality / IT expert manpower cost ratio;
  • 12% of IT specialists in Eastern Europe are Bulgarians;
  • More than 15 000 IT specialists in the country;
Bulgaria is one of the centers of outsourcing for 2007, according to the study from Tholons.

As the only road leading to the creation of a knowledge-based economy, ICT have been appointed a priority of the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria. Our vision is that ICT must become an active contributor to the Bulgarian Knowledge Economy:

  • A model of a “livable state” with values of moderation, tolerance, acceptance, and culture of freedom;
  • A quest for an economy based on knowledge, not on limited resources;
  • A drive towards capitalizing on our human resources, our intellectual capital;
  • A realization that learning process associated with ICT are key enablers of economic growth and social development;
  • A diverse creativity through the exchange a wealth of knowledge.

In the process of defining the national priorities one has to consider the ICT sector’s primary role in achieving economic growth and competitiveness. Over recent years the Bulgarian ICT sector has registered a growth two times higher than that of the GDP. It is evident that the greater the efforts directed to this fastest growing sector, the faster the pace at which the Bulgarian national economy will develop.

1. The Information and Communication Technologies in support of innovations

The innovation capacity and competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy acquires special significance for Bulgaria in the context of the country’s membership in the European Union. In front of Bulgaria, now as a part of the single European area, is discovered many new opportunities, but is also confronted with serious challenges for a more flexible, adaptable and innovative Bulgarian economy.

The ICT promote a favourable environment for entrepreneurship and innovation, where the private sector could fully realize its potential. Innovations and investments in the ICT sector are a priority of the i2010 European initiative. The nationwide deployment of the ICT and ICT-based products and services in the economy contributes towards the efficient cooperation between the public institutions and the private sector organisations, as well as towards the market orientation of the Bulgarian enterprises and the integration of the national innovation system into the European innovation infrastructure.

To successfully meet the ICT challenges, the national strategic documents envisage measures for:

  • the improvement of cooperation among the businesses, universities and research institutes in the technology transfer from the research organizations to the economy;
  • the creation of more opportunities for the participation of Bulgarian ICT companies in the European programmes;
  • the creation of guarantee schemes to ensure national co-financing for the Bulgarian organisations participating in the EU Framework Programmes;
  • the provision of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the introduction and use of ICT-based systems and products;
  • the provision of different venture capital investment schemes for the SMEs in the field of ICT;
  • the fostering of a favourable environment for e-commerce and e-financial transactions.

2. Education and training for a knowledge-based economy

Globalisation calls for highly qualified human resources as a solid foundation for the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy and as a prerequisite for a higher quality of life in Bulgaria. All Bulgarian citizens need IT knowledge and skills in order to take advantage of the new technologies. Along with these the citizens must develop new skills to adjust to the changing working and living conditions.

The Government has acknowledged its role in that process and has made a commitment to undertake the following measures:

  • to introduce IT as a subject for very young children and improve the IT training methods in primary, secondary and higher education;
  • to ensure high-speed Internet connection for the schools, universities and research institutes;
  • to reinstate the programmes for gifted students and students with excellent grades;
  • to ensure quality digital content for the needs of education and lifelong learning;
  • to provide opportunities and incentives for lifelong learning of the workers (including the aged and people with disabilities) and flexible forms of employment.

3. Bridging the Digital Divide – a prerequisite for sustainable growth and higher employment rates

The provision of equal access to modern, efficient and quality services of the Information Society and the development of new services and applications are the engines of sustainable economic growth, job generation and higher social status of the population.

The wide and irreversible Internet penetration brings about essential changes in the functioning of the modern state and calls for a single model of an inclusive Information Society, in which people, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or social background, can fully benefit from the advantages of the Information Age. With this regard the key priorities of the national policy related to the inclusive Information Society are as follows:

  • the development of the ICT infrastructure to ensure a wide access to eservices;
  • the expansion of the network of centers for public access to the Internet and training in remote settlements, as well as in areas with ethnic minorities and high levels of unemployment;
  • the development of affordable and cost-effective ICT products and services;
  • the improvement of digital and information literacy across all age groups;
  • the guarantee of accessibility for people with disabilities to all portals and websites, as well as possibilities for translation from and into a foreign language.

4. e-Government

The growing demands of both society and business make us seek the best solutions for an improved performance of the State, the application of new and more efficient management methods, and for using contemporary information technologies for business process automation, thus improving the service, coordination, integration and decisionmaking of the Government institutions and making the life of citizens and businesses easier and more comfortable. e-Government is a set of policies and technology solutions that determine the framework in which the Information Society develops and functions in all its aspects.

Information and communication infrastructure

The Information Society’s information and communication infrastructure is subdivided into:

  1. The infrastructure of the Public Administration
  2. Large telecommunications companies
  3. Small and medium-sized telecommunications service providers: voice and data transmission, including Internet and VoIP
  4. Digital platforms for radio and TV broadcasting – satellite, cable and terrestrial

The development of the State’s information and communication infrastructure demands the planning and implementation of modern service-based architectures, the introduction of technology development standards, the achievement of the operational compatibility of the information and communication resources of the different institutions and the application of information security policies.

The Government’s role as regards the other three infrastructure subdivisions, which are mainly related to the private sector, is to provide good regulations and a competitive market environment for development.

Information security and interoperability standards

The modern society and economy depend, to a very large extent, on the security of the networks and information systems. In the Electronic Age information is a powerful tool in the hands of the businesses and the public authorities, hence the requirements for network security in terms of precision of operation and recognition of the changing public needs. Over recent years the security and smooth operation of the information systems have become a sine qua non for the development of businesses and a critical factor for the successful performance of individual companies.

The globalisation of the information systems and networks has immeasurably increased the threats of unauthorized access to information resources, hacker and virus attacks, cyber crimes, etc. Therefore, adequate information security is one of the major challenges to the development of the information and communication infrastructures. Public administrations everywhere are under considerable pressure to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services. Building an effective information environment and interoperability standards in order to ensure consistency, security and interoperability among different end users mean that the government is addressing the real needs of its citizens in a satisfactory way.

To meet these challenges the Government recognises information security and interoperability as its main priorities. The following measures have been planned:

  • to adopt a National Information Security Policy;
  • to ensure specific tools for the monitoring, diagnosis and protection of the ICT infrastructure;
  • to build an efficient system of integral identification and authorization of staff members with combined physical and information access to various resources;
  • to implement fast data retrieval solutions and IT operations in the event of industrial accidents or natural disasters;
  • to launch a campaign that will raise public awareness of information security.
  • to develop a meta-information system ensuring an information environment for integrated administrative services;
  • to establish a register of the interoperability standards;
  • to develop standardised, user-friendly interfaces;
  • to provide the technical infrastructure.

The importance of the ICT as a sector of the economy will continue to extend beyond specific economic dimensions, such as participation in production added value or the number of employed staff. The ICT sector’s continuing successful development is to be attributed to the cooperation and dialogue between the Government and businesses. It is the basis for the establishment and development of successful private public partnership models.

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