Comac Medical Ltd. participated in the public consultations on Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility Mechanism

s1-2020On May, 17 2017, in Sofia Tech Park, Comac Medical Ltd., represented by Monika Panayotova, participated in a public consultation of 4 independent experts from Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Finland, who are part of the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF) with representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Economy, business and academic circles.

In order to support countries in reforming their research and innovation systems, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation initiated the Policy Support Facility – PSF. In this regards PSF is focused on “improving the development, implementation and evaluation of research and innovation policies”. An important part of its implementation is related to the carrying out of consultations with representatives of universities, scientific organizations, business and non-governmental organizations where they share their opinion and experience regarding the applied policies in Bulgaria in the field of scientific researches.

Comac Medical was invited as a beneficiary of the Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument and due to its Seal of Excellence, delivered by the European commission to its Phase II Project Proposal “Improving diagnostics of respiratory diseases and boosting the COMAC MEDICAL competitiveness and growth by validation of single breath fractional EBT biomarker through new method and device”.

The company was also presented as an award-winner in 2016 of the “Pythagoras” prize of the Ministry of Education and Science in the category for companies with the largest investments in scientific research. Basing on the successful combination of strategic vision for the future and a properly targeted funding, the cost of investment in scientific research and experimental development activities of Comac Medical represents 74% of its net revenues from sales in 2015, while in 2016 it raised to 80%. Moreover, the number of employees engaged in scientific research and development activities is over 66% of the total number of employees of the company.

During the public consultation, participants from the innovative ecosystem in Bulgaria shared the common statement about the need of practical implementation of the research and its effectiveness as well as of a balance between the industry-relevant innovations and the scientific excellence.

They emphasized on the importance of impact of the scientific researches on the economy and society. In this regard they focused respectively on the need to be generated further key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the implementation in terms of effectiveness, outputs, results and specific impact.

s2020-1As a result of the in-depth discussions with various experts during their visit to Bulgaria and based on the received and analyzed related documents, the delegation of experts – Prof. Luc Soete, Ms. Bea Mahieu, Terttu Luukkonen, Wolgang Polt – will prepare recommendations which will be presented to the Bulgarian stakeholders in autumn 2017 and will be included into the Specific Support report, expected by November 2017. The report will include specific recommendations on how to meet the two objectives related to the development of: 1) a research performance-based funding system, inspired by Member States best practices; 2)         a model for the evaluation and assessment of the public research institutions’ performances.

The report and the recommendations will be presented to the Bulgarian R&I community before the end of 2017.

Comac Medical participated in Horizon 2020 stakeholders’ consultation

panel-2-extra_largeOn 28 April 2017, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the European Economic Social Committee (EESC) organized a joint event in Brussels to present and discuss the results of the stakeholders’ consultation on the Horizon 2020 programme.

In this regards COMAC Medical was invited to present the point of view of the business during the panel session: “The views of civil society organisations”, moderated by Christophe Lefevre, Member of the Employees’ Group, EESC. COMAC was represented by Monika Panayotova and as a panelist she based her presentation on the three main questions: what are the two issues which worked well in Horizon 2020 and two which need further improvements?; how could the EU funding landscape for R&I be further rationalised?; how could the societal relevance of EU R&I programmes be boosted?

On the one hand she focused on the positive steps undertaken by the European commission to simplify the rules for participation by introducing a number of administrative and financial simplifications, which decreases the administrative burden on beneficiaries and facilitates their access to Horizon 2020.

On the other hand she emphasized on the need of:

  • attracting more young researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators in order to keep the talents in EU;
  • Equal payment for the scientists under Horizon 2020 in order to create an open and attractive European labor market with a flexible mobility not only from the new Member states towards the old ones but the other way around as well;
  • better feedback from the evaluators, of a reasoned and detailed description what has to be improved by the applicants which will generate better success rate.

She welcomed the approach of the European commission and European Economic and Social Committee to talk WITH, not TO people. Ms Panayotova underlined that each stakeholder contributes to the overall success of the European economy’s full innovative potential, giving the example of COMAC where the cost of investment in scientific research and experimental development activities in 2016 represent 80% of its net revenues from sales.img_2325-extra_large

There was a very constructive discussion with Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Vice-President of the EESC, Kurt Vandenberghe, Director, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Rosalinde Van der Vlies, Head of Unit Evaluation, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Ulrich Samm, rapporteur of the EESC Opinion on the Mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020 as well as with the different representatives of the innovative, research and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe.

Comac Medical – part of Clinical Trials Day on Horizon 2020: Challenges & Best Practices

On March, 15, 2017 in Brussels Comac Medical and its representative – Monika Panayotova took part in an international training on Clinical Trials in H2020 projects, organized by the EU funded project Fit for Health 2.0.

Comac Medical was selected to be among the 50 participants from Europe as the company is involved in a H2020 clinical trial proposal and former beneficiary of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument Phase I project.

The Clinical Trials training focussed on challenges to be taken into consideration while planning and implementing clinical trials in H2020 projects, such as for example budget calculation, time planning, site involvement, recruitment planning, ethical aspects / approval procedures and data management.

The participants discussed the challenges in H2020 Clinical Trials with the representatives of the European commission – Dr Cornelius Schmaltz, DG Research & Innovation, Head of the Unit Health Research -Strategy, EC and Dr Mark Goldammer, DG Research & Innovation, Health Research -Strategy, EC.

Well experienced experts from the European Commission and running H2020 projects shared their knowledge, experiences and best practices during the event.

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Comac Medical – part of the European Economic and Social Committee’s working meeting on Horizon 2020

On December, 8 2016, an official delegation of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) conducted a working meeting which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. The three members of the EESC discussed with representatives of Comac Medical Ltd., the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association the main challenges related to the Bulgarian participation in Horizon 2020 programme and its SME Instrument, in particular.

eesc_logo_enAs a beneficiary of the Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument, Comac Medical and its representative – Monika Panayotova was invited to take active part in the discussion together with the EESC’s representatives Ulrich Samm – a member of the Employers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee, Panagiotis Gkofas – Vice-President of the ECO Section on Economic and Monetary Union and Christophe Lefevre – European Economic & Social Committee member.

The occasion of EESC visit was the evaluation of Horizon 2020 with a focus on the participation of the civil society organizations in activities related to the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. A special attention was paid on the approach “Responsible Research and Innovation” and the programme “Science with and for Society”.

After the visit in Bulgaria, the delegation of EESC will continue with its arranged working meetings in Finland, Germany and Portugal. The evaluation results will be included in the EESC exploratory opinion that will be taken into consideration in the Mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020, conducted in parallel by the European Commission.

SME Instrument Innovators’ Summit, Brussels

As a SME champion, beneficiary of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, COMAC Medical was invited in Brussels to the first ever SME Instrument Innovators’ Summit, organized by the European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME).

In the period October 10-11, 2016 CEOs and representatives of more than 400 SMEs with high innovation potential met peers, exchanged experience and found new partnerships during participatory workshops and matchmaking.

pic_1COMAC Medical was represented by Monika Panayotova, who had a chance to meet partners, possible investors, peers and COMAC’s SME Instrument project officer.

The participants of the SME Instrument Innovators’ Summit had the opportunity, via interactive video material, to discover the innovative project idea of COMAC Medical on: “Improving diagnostics of respiratory diseases and boosting the COMAC MEDICAL competitiveness and growth by validation of fractional EBT biomarker through new method of measurement and device”, successfully proved during its Phase 1 Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.

COMAC Medical took part in different workshops on “Innovate to disrupt”, “How could design influence my product” and “Pitching Health” with 48 selected SMEs active in the Health, Energy and Digital sectors as well as in open space sessions dedicated to the different options for funding of a company – by bank loans, investment or crowdfunding.

Being among the European Innovation Leaders, the company was given the opportunity to participate in some of the forthcoming 15 fairs, organized by Overseas Trade Fairs (OTF) in 11 countries outside of the EU in 2017 and 2018 – BIO International, San Diego, June 2017 (Biotechnologies); Arab Health, Dubai, January 2018 (Health & Medical care); MIHAS, Kuala Lumpur, April, 2017 (Pharmaceuticals & Tourism). The Overseas Trade Fairs Programme is part of the SME Instrument’s Support to Commercialization Services.

After two intensive days of workshops, pitching and networking at the Innovators Summit in Brussels, entrepreneurs, partners and investors strengthen ties and were inspired for future innovative projects in terms of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.

Visit of Commissioner Carlos Moedas in Bulgaria

As an example of good practices and beneficiary of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, Comac Medical was invited to participate in the conference related to the visit in Bulgaria of Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation.

carlosThe event took place on October, 8, 2015 and it was organized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science together with Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

Comac Medical was represented by Prof. Popov and Mr. Kadinov. They had the opportunity to present the innovative project idea, during a panel session dedicated to the European financial instruments for research and business as well as the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020.

The event was moderated by Ms. Zlatina Karova – Director of the Directorate Science, Bulgarian Ministry of Science and Education.

Professor Popov and Mr. Tsvetomir Kadinov represented the innovative project of Comac Medical related to the improvement of diagnostics of respiratory diseases by validation of fractional EBT biomarker through new method of measurement and device.

The participants were informed about the innovative solution, which is a timely response to the EU wide and global challenges related to the respiratory diseases, causing high levels of mortality (NCDs, representing 63% of the global deaths worldwide).

Photo-08.10-smallAfter a short discussion, the conference continued with presentation of two projects about the creation of an innovation center for biology and biotechnology as well as of a center of excellence in mathematic modelling and computing.

The panel session was concluded by Ms. Mariana Hamanova – Director of Cleantech Bulgaria who focused on the opportunities for projects which include business and academia in the context of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).

Innovation Business Breakfast

On October, 6, 2015 Comac Medical, as participant in Phase I of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, was invited to provide a presentation in a framework of a business breakfast of European Enterprise Network (EEN) – Bulgaria. The event was organized by Cleantech Bulgaria together with Green Business Network and the Applied Research and Communications Fund (ARC Fund).

The company was invited to share its valuable know-how, which contributed to the positioning of Bulgaria on the map of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.

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The event started with the presentation of Ms. Daniela Chonkova from Enterprise Europe Network Bulgaria & ARC Fund. She gave valuable insights on Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, revealing the opportunities the programme gives for innovation activities of Bulgarian companies. Ms. Mariana Hamanova – Director of Cleantech Bulgaria focused on the sustainable development issues and the new opportunities for the Bulgarian “Green Business”. Ms. Teodora Georgieva, chief expert of the Applied Research and Communications Fund, presented and gave further details on the Initiative of the European commission: “IMP³rove – Instrument for Innovation Management Assessment of SME”.

As a beneficiary of SME Instrument, Comac Medical was represented by Monika Panayotova and Tsvetomir Kadinov. They shared the experience of COMAC in different project phases – from the application process to the realization of the feasibility study on: “Improving diagnostics of respiratory diseases and boosting the Comac Medical competitiveness and growth by validation of fractional EBT biomarker through new method of measurement and device.”

Innovation-Business-Breakfast-06.10-smallAs part of Comac Medical dissemination strategy, the representatives of the company shared valuable “recipes for success’’ which aimed at motivating more Bulgarian SMEs to participate in Horizon 2020 programme.

Comac Medical believes that business partnerships and knowledge sharing can not only help companies grow and internationalize their business but they can also contribute to the increased competitiveness of Bulgaria and the entire European Union in the global competition.