The Inspiring Achievement in Public-Private Collaboration for Industry Competitiveness in the Basque Country! Sofia, May 18, 2004

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We were presented with “the key” which helped the Basque Country transfer from the past into the future of Information Technologies Development. Ms. Elena Gutierrez, the Advisor to the Councellor on Industry, Commerce and Tourism in the Autonomous Basque Government and Coordinator of the Basque programme for Information Society Development, and Mr. Inaki Suarez, Director of Information Society Area visited Sofia and presented “EUSKADI in the Information Society” – the Programme for Information Society development in the Basque Country. The programme was introduced to Bulgarian Government representatives and IT industry management.

The three main pillars and strategic goals in the Basque IT strategy are: 1) to become a reference model for Research and Technology in Europe; 2) to extend the principles of Total Quality as a way of managing organisations, and 3) to construct the Information and Knowledge Society. Key successes in the implementation of the Programme are: in twenty years the Basque society moved from a drawn-back industry to be one of the world’s highly innovative industries, now the 8th in EU in Information Technologies used by society and business. Also the Basque network of Technology Parks has become a reference model for tech parks establishment all over Spain. Central role in tech parks development and R&D investment is attributed to the European Software Insitute, based in the Basque Country. ESI is a global authority in technology and methodology standards in software engineering.

Since 2002 ESI has chosen Bulgaria to establish its Regional Software Excellence Center. The mission of the ESI Center Bulgaria is to promote the transfer of the latest methodologies in software engineering (CMMI, BITS, REUSE, SPICE, QualityMark) in order to increase industry competitiveness in the region of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Through professional trainings and facilitation of international IT Projects the operation of ESI Center Bulgaria is an invaluable chance for the regional companies to take advantage of global opportunities.

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