Conference 2013

“Innovation: Engine for Economic Growth” is an international scientific forum that took place at VUZF University on October 1, 2013. Top professors and senior researchers from Germany, Greece, Denmark, India, and USA participated in the event. Members of the Innovation Research Unit at VUZF University also took part in the forum as speakers. Representatives of the Bulgarian innovation eco-system joined the discussions, as well as top managers of lead international firms and Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises.

VUZF University has a clear mandate from mid-2012 to conduct research activities and organize scientific events for the benefit of private business and the state. The goal is that the academic debate reaches policy-makers in areas, like finance, pensions and insurance, financial consumer protection, innovations, information and communication technologies, and economic development.

Prof. Grigorii Vazov

Prof. Grigorii Vazov,
Rector and President, VUZF University

Prof. Grigoriy Vazov serves as President of VUZF University since 2002 and Rector since 2005. Between 1998 and 2010, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Finance and Accountancy of the largest state-owned University in Bulgaria – Sofia-based University of National and World Economy. He was the Chair of the Board of Directors of a trading company (1998-2001), Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of a banking institution, TB “Balkanbank AD” (1994-1995 and 1992-1994). Since 1994, he is the manager of Vazov Institute Ltd, Sofia, which develops financial analysis, restructuring projects, projects related to EU Structural Funds. He served as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce between April 1992 and June 1992 and then Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry between June 1992 and May 1994. He was a lecturer at D.A. Tsenov Academy of Economics between 1976 and 1999.

Opening speech

Detelina Smilkova

Ms. Detelina Smilkova,
Vicepresident, VUZF University

Ms. Detelina Smilkova is the Vice-President of VUZF University (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Member of the Board of Trustees since 2008. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of JV Kapman Green Energy Fond since 2007, which invests in the field of renewable energies. Between 2005 and 2009, Ms. Smilkova has served as Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Energy. Before that, she had experience as manager of private businesses in the field of energy. She has graduated from the Sofia Technical University and the University of National and World Economy. Ms. Smilkova is the chair of Business Lady Club in Bulgaria.



Scientific Program Committee


Prof. Grigorii Vazov
VUZF University, Rector
Deputy Chairman
Prof. Evgeni Evgeniev
Dean for Scientific Research, VUZF University


Prof. Panagiotis Ketikidis,
Vice Principal: Research, Innovation and External Relations of City College, International Faculty of Sheffield University
Prof. Mihaly Laki,
Scientific Advisor to the Economic Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences members
Prof. Sudhanshu Rai,
Copenhagen Business School and Director of Research Institute
Fernando Montes-Negret,
Lead Financial Consultant
Prof. Yordan Hristoskov,
Deputy Rector, VUZF University
Prof. Ogniana Stoichkova,
Director “Finance” Department, VUZF University
Prof. Radoslav Gabrovski,
Director, “Insurance and Pensions” Department, VUZF University
Prof. Sava Grozdev,
VUZF University
Prof. Georgi Nikolov,
Director, “Accounting Department”, VUZF University


Organizing committee

Prof. Nikolai Ivanov,
Deputy Rector for science activity and institutional relations, VUZF University
Prof. Virginia Zhelyazkova
Prof. Stanislav Dimitrov
Prof. Zhelyo Hristozov
Zoya Tzvetanova,
Chief Accountant
Deputy Chairman
Prof. Yakim Kitanov,
Dean of VUZF University
Chief Assistant, Dr. Radostin Vazov
Chief Assistant, Dr. Boyan Ivanchev
Assistant prof. Emilia Shehtova
Dr. Yulia Dobreva
Nikola Dimitrov




International Scientific Forum

„Innovation: Engine for Economic Growth”

1 October 2013

VUZF University

09.0009.30 Registration

09.30 – 09.35 Opening– Prof. Grigorii Vazov, Rector, VUZF University

09.35 – 10.00 Welcome speech by Krassin Dimitrov, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy

10.00 – 12.00 Panel I: ICT, Innovations and Economic Growth

Moderator: Assoc. Prof. Evgeni Evgeniev, PhD, VUZF University

The Natural State of Innovation in a Country, Exploring the Ecosystem as an Enabler, Prof. Sudhanshu Rai, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Transforming Regional Economies: Innovative Practices or Business as Usual? Prof. Panagiotis Ketikidis, City College (Greece)/University of Sheffield (UK)

The Impact of Economic Crisis on Public R&D: Comparing EU Member States, Japan and Korea, Dr. Georg Licht, Centre for European Economic Research (Germany)

Danish Way of Cooperative Thinking and How it Applies to Bulgaria, Mr. Allan Andersen, Entrepreneur and Investor (Denmark)

Back to Individuality. Art in Favor of Business – Treasure’s New Approach, Mr. Nikolai Kapitanov, Sales Manager, Treasure Ltd.

12.00 – 13.00Panel II: Innovations in the Financial Sector

Moderator: Prof. Ogniana Stoichkova, Director, Finance Department, VUZF University

Regulator’s Response to Innovations in the Financial Sector: Limitations of the Current Institutional Model, Ms. Ralitsa Again-Guri, Innovation Research Unit, VUZF University

Developing Alternative Distribution Channels in the Bulgarian Banking Sector, Mr. PetrosAngelakis, COO/CIO, Postbank and Assoc. Prof. Virginia Zhelyazkova, Innovation Research Unit, VUZF University/Universityof Sheffield

Innovations in the Bulgarian Insurance Sector, Chief Assistant Professor, Radostin Vazov, Innovation Research Unit, VUZF University

13.00 – 14.30 Lunch

14.30 – 16.00 Panel III: Innovations in Organization and Society

Moderator: Dr. Julia Dobreva, VUZF University

Corporate Language and Learning, Prof. Mette Zoelner, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Innovation: A new word in Bulgarian Parties’ Vocabulary, Dragomir Stoyanov, PhD candidate, Innovation Research Unit, VUZF University/University of Sheffield

Reinventing and Enhancing Education through Technology and Gamification, Mr. Nikola Dimitrov, Innovation Research Unit, VUZF University/University of Sheffield

Sofia Tech Park and the Economy of Knowledge, Ms. Elitsa Panayotova, Executive Director, Sofia Tech Park

16.00 – 16.15 Lecture by Dr. Giuseppe Gramigna, Chief Economist, US Small Business Administration (audio/video connection Sofia-Washington DC).

16.15-16.30 Rapporteur – Mr. Nikos Zaharis, Director, Southeast-European Research Center (Greece)

20:00 Classical Concert “Arte Classica and Innovations” (

Place: Sofia Live Club (, underpass Galleries of the National Palace of Culture






Krasin Dimitrov

Mr. Krassin Dimitrov,
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy and Energy

Mr. Krassin Dimitrov has an MA degree in management and organization of the industry of University of National and World Economy and Business Administration MBA-LBS University of Lincoln, UK. His professional career has passed through various positions in international organizations and institutions – Regional Director of the Department “Trade and Industry” in the UN and EU Government in Kosovo (UNMIK-EU), Team Leader of Economic Reform in Montenegro program USAID, Team Leader of Privatization Program EAR-EU in Serbia, a Senior Financial Expert and Team Leader for Economic Reforms to improve the business environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Program of USAID, a Senior Financial Expert and Team Leader for Crisis Management in Serbia, a Senior Expert in Finance and Management of SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (World Bank), a Senior Finance and Privatization expert in Kosovo for the Program of EuropeAid and others.Currently he is an Associate Partner at Wyn River Ltd. and an International Consultant to UN, EBRD, WB, IFC for the Central and Eastern Europe and the countries from former Soviet Union. His qualifications are in the field of economic reforms aimed at achieving growth through regulation and control of the business environment, promoting the development of SMEs, public-private partnership, competitiveness, innovation and more.

Opening speech



Chief assistant professor Radostin Vazov,
VUZF University

Chief assistant professor Radostin Vazov is the CEO of VUZF university. He is a lecturer in the courses: Fundamentals of Finance and Public Finance and participates in the Innovation Research Unit of VUZF. He is an expert in financial analysis at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and founder of the “Foundation for Quality Management.”

Radostin Vazov studied at South Bank University London and London School of Economics and Political Science. He has Master’s in Economics in Theory of Finance, Finance of the Enterprise, Insurance and Investment.

Chief assistant professor Radostin Vazov, Presentation



Dr. Georg Licht

Dr. Georg Licht,
Center for European Economic Research – ZEW (Mannheim, Germany)

Dr. Georg Licht is head of the research department of Industrial Economics and International Management at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), in Mannheim, Germany. He has held this position since June 1994. Before that he was a senior researcher at ZEW and at the University of Augsburg (since 1985). He gained his doctoral degree at the University of Augsburg and holds a degree in economics from the University of Heidelberg. Georg Licht was visiting researcher at the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and various research universities in Europe. Research interests comprise the economics of innovation and technical change as well as on the economics of small firms and entrepreneurship. For years he was engaged in the development of the community innovation survey (CIS) and innovation surveys in Germany in manufacturing and service industries. He is consultant to the OECD, the EU-Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the area of innovation and technology policy. He was a member of several expert panels in science and innovation policy. Recently, he served as a member of the “Knowledge for Growth” expert group. Currently, he chairs the OECD working party on industry analyses (WPIA). He has published various articles and books on fields like high-tech start-ups, industry studies, innovation and patents.

Dr. Georg Licht, Presentation 1

Dr. Georg Licht, Presentation 2


Assoc. prof. Evgeni Evgeniev

Prof. Evgeni Evgeniev,
VUZF University

Dr. Evgeni Evgeniev leads the Innovation Research Unit at VUZF University. He teaches BA/MA courses in areas, like financial consumer protection, business development, public policies and international financial institutions. Besides his academic engagements, Mr. Evgeniev works as Economist in the Private and Financial Sectors Development Department at the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. Since joining the World Bank Sofia Office in February 2007, Mr. Evgeniev has taken part in lending operations and analytical and advisory work in Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, among others. He has collaborated in dozen World Bank studies. For example, he co-authored “Going for Smart Growth: How to Make Research and Innovation Work for Bulgaria” (World Bank, 2012). He has also contributed to an OECD study on regulatory regimes in 2010 and has participated as international expert in the development of UNIDO Global Value Chain analysis tool in 2009-2011. He has published in international journals on issues related to globalized trade, industrial and firm upgrading, regulatory reform, innovation, and industrial competitiveness.

Mr. Evgeniev holds a PhD from the Central European University in Budapest. He has specialized in European Studies at the European College of Parma (October 2003-June 2004) and has been a visiting researcher at Bosphorus University (Sept.-October 2003) in Istanbul and the European University Institute (August 2004-March 2005) in Florence.



Prof. Sudhanshu Rai

Prof. Sudhanshu Rai,
Copenhagen Business School

Sudhanshu Rai is currently an Associate Professor of innovation in emerging economies at the faculty of inter-cultural communication and management, Copenhagen Business School. Sudhanshu’s research areas are innovation in emerging economies, Co-creation of innovation for future markets, Institutional logics, Indian reasoning, Disruptive innovation and Knowledge management. He has several research publications and contributions to books. He is currently working on two book titles “co-creating experience based innovation” and “Innovation in emerging economies, how can we learn from them.” Sudhanshu has been involved in executive teaching for at least a decade or so in his capacity as a business academic. His executive training experience ranges from innovation workshops, to his participation in the industrial development program. Sudhanshu has extensive experience in building a worldwide network for engaging with research and dissemination to the local industry. His co-creation of experience based innovation focuses on the notion of using experience as a resource complemented by knowledge. For this purpose he has an ongoing research project Sudhanshu sits on several boards. His recent appointment to the board of the Lauria University for applied science has acknowledged his international stature in the fields of co-creation of innovation. Sudhanshu has led several large EU funded projects, for instance he coordinated the Euro-India project which mapped India’s innovative potential and collaborative capacity. This project provided a robust and basic understanding of where Indian firms stand on technology innovation and the role of consultants during the innovative process. Today his work is used as a base line for Indian related policy making at a micro level. He also coordinated the EU-Asia project that sought to raise the livelihood of entrepreneurs in China, Vietnam, Philippians. Sudhanshu has worked for several leading firms at senior levels. He worked for the TATA Economic consultancy service (TECS) as senior economist appointed. He was appointed as Executive director projects for Trust4Health. He also worked for McKinsey in Singapore and looked after their evaluation business.


Meeting with students


Prof. Mette Zolner

Prof. Mette Zoelner,
Copenhagen Business School

Prof. Zoelner has Bachelor degree in European Studies from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, MA in French studies from Aarchus University (Denmark), MA in European Studies from KU-Leuven University (Belgium) and PhD from European University Institute (Italy). Prof. Zoelner has been working in Copenhagen business school since 1999. Her main area of ​​research is the area of organization and people and how cultural and institutional environments affect them. Professor Zoelner published in international journals and is often a speaker at international forums. She had experience also in 4 externally funded research projects.

Prof. Zoelner, Presentation


Prof. Panagiotis Ketikidis

Prof. Panagiotis Ketikidis,
City university / University of Sheffield, SEERC

Professor Ketikidis is the Vice Principal for Research, Innovation & External Relations of CITY College An International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, and the Chairman of the Management Committee & Academic Director of the Doctoral Programme at the South East European Research Center (SEERC). He has over 25 years of experience in management, education, research, and competitive research funding with various networks established as a result of this experience. Professor Ketikidis has been listed in the Marquis΄s Who΄s Who, Publications Board in Science and Engineering Eleventh Edition 2011-2012. He is a member of the International Faculty Administration Board of City College which provides steer and leadership on the academic and development strategy of the College (1993-present). He was the Head of the Computer Science department of CITY College, an International Faculty of the University of Sheffield (1993-2001); Head of Continuing Education (1991-1993) at CITY College; He was also, a Project Leader at Sterling Drug Inc., responsible for all the phases of the Software Development Life Cycle to support Discovery Research at Sterling Drug Incorporation, Philadelphia, PA, USA (1989-1991); Database Administrator and Systems Analyst at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (1986-1989), and Research Assistant – Graduate Assistant at West Chester University, U.S.A. (1984-1986). Professor Ketikidis is the President of the Greek Computer Society – Macedonia-Thrace chapter (elected 2008-2010); He has been electedas President of the International Society of Logistics – Chapter Thessaloniki (1999-2005) and from 2006 he is anEmeritus President of the International Society of Logistics; Scientific Advisor of the Management Board for the Association of Information Technology Companies of Northern Greece (SEPVE: 1998-present); Member of the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece Management Board (SEPVE : 2006-present), etc.

Professor Ketikidis, Presentation



Mr. Nikos Zaharis,
Director, Southeast European Research Center (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Mr. Nikos Zaharis is the Director of SEERC (South-East European Research Center). His goal is to build up and expand SEERC’s research agenda and strengthen research partnerships internationally and in the South East European Region focusing on issues of economic and regional development, IT policy and social development.

Mr. Zaharis has a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, an MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, USA, as well as a series of continuous education certificates on various management topics.

He has more than 17 years experience as a consultant and manager working for industrial as well as public sector organizations on issues ranging from quality and environmental management to managing of research, economic and regional development in Greece and in a series of eastern European countries. Mr. Zaharis has also experience in 11 research projects.

Nikos Zaharis, speech


Associate Professor Ralitsa Agayn-Guri

Ralitsa Agayn-Guri
Associate Professor at VUZF University where she teaches Insurance Regulation.

Ralitsa Agayn-Guri has an MBA from Said Business School, University of Oxford, and M.Sc. and Bachelor degrees from UNSS, Sofia. She has headed the insurance supervisory body for four years (elected by the Parliament as a deputy chair of FSC in charge of insurance supervision), and the securities regulatory body for another year (elected by the Parliament as a deputy chair of FSC in charge of investment activity supervision). Ms Agayn-Guri has previously served as a Member of Parliament for a term of four years, where she chaired the Capital Markets Subcommittee. Ralitsa Agayn-Guri has written chapters in books on corporate governance in Bulgaria, as well as characteristics and specifics of special purpose vehicles for investment in receivables, and real estate.

Ralitsa Agayn-Guri – Presentation 

Mr. Petros Angelakis

Mr. Petros Angelakis,
Country COO/CIO and deputy chairman of the management board in Postbank

Mr. Petros Angelakis is continuing his professional carrier in Postbank (Eurobank Bulgaria A.D) since July 2012 in continuation of 23 years of Banking Experience in various areas including Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Financial e-Commerce and International Operations in various management positions such as Finance Director in Interbank of Greece SA (1990-1996), Assistant General Manager head of IT in Eurobank Ergasias SA (1996-2001), General Manger in Business Exchanges SA (2001-2007) and Deputy General manager Head of Operations and IT in the International General Division of Eurobank Ergasias SA(2007-2012). He started his carrier as a Financial Auditor in Alexander Young SA (1989) and the he moved to Pepsico as Management Reporting Manager in its Greek subsidiary Pepsico-IVI (1990). While working for the Eurobank Group he has participated in more than 7 merger and acquisition exercises leading the Operations or IT functions.

Petros holds a diploma in Business Administration (major in Finance and Accounting) from the Athens School of Economic and Business Studies and he holds a Masters degree in Financial management and Marketing from VUZF University of Sofia. He also has a wide training exposure in the areas of Leadership Development and Management from INSEAD and the Hellenic American Union while he has participated in various training courses in the areas of Finance, Tax, IT Technologies, Procurement and Sourcing, e-commerce.

He is a licensed member of the Athens Economic Chamber and Member of EASE (association of top Management) and the Greek Telecommunications and Internet Committee (SEPE). He speaks fluently English and understands French, while his native language is Greek. He is married and he has three children in the ages of 23, 20, 9 years old.

Mr. Petros Angelakis, Presentation


Prof. Virginia Zhelyazkova,
VUZF University

Dr. Virginia Zhelyazkova is a member of the Innovation Research Unit at VUZF University and Associate Professor at VUZF University where she teaches various subjects in the field of banking and finance. She obtained her PhD in 2010 the field of international economics from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with advisor Prof. Dr. Rossitsa Rangelova, and thesis topic “Economic Effects from the Price Dynamics of Crude Oil”. She has received her Master degree in International Economics and Bachelor degree in International Relations from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Dr. Virginia Zhelyazkova is an author of a number of publications on subjects related to finance, green banking, climate change, environmental risk management and energy economics and has participated in various national and international conferences. In 2013 VUZF published her monograph “Climate Change and Environmental Risk Management for Financial Institutions” which summarized her latest research findings. Dr. Zhelyazkova is also a lecturer in the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield CITY College program in Sofia where she teaches a course in Financial Management.

In parallel to her academic career, since 2006 she has been working for Postbank, one of the leading commercial banks in Bulgaria in the area of budgeting, planning and project coordination. Since 2011 she is also Environmental Officer responsible for the operational implementation of the environmental policy of the Bank thus amalgamating her academic knowledge and research interests with best business practices.

Dr. Virginia Zhelyazkova, Presentation

Guiseppe Gramigna

Giuseppe Gramigna,
Chief Economist, US Small Business Administration, USA

Mr. Gramigna’s academic research focused on how changes in the financial markets affect small business lending. Giuseppe’s other academic research focused on labor migration during periods of economic transition. He later worked in the Equity Research Department of a major investment bank, where he focused on natural resource industries. At the SBA, Giuseppe advises the Agency on economic trends affecting small businesses, and leads research on strategic planning for the Agency’s various programs. He also serves as the U.S. Permanent Delegate to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship. He severs on the scientific committees of several academic institutions and publications, and is a frequent speaker on the domestic and international arena. Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, Giuseppe headed the consulting firm, DASSI Corp. His other areas of interest include the construction industries, tourism, information services, and regional economic development. Giuseppe earned a BA in economics from The State University of New York at Purchase, and a graduate degree in economics from The New School For Social Research. During 1996 to 2001 Giuseppe served as vice president and then president of the SUNY Purchase College Alumni Association. He also served as Alumni Representative to the Purchase College Council, a gubernatorial appointed oversight body.

 Dr. Giuseppe Gramigna, presentation

Nikola Dimitrov

Nikola Dimitrov
VUZF University

Nikola Dimitrov is an active intrapreneur and has worked for companies in the area of IT Consulting, Insurance, Real Estate, Tourism and Banking. Nikola has been involved in projects such as: Integration of CRM systems, Real estate project planning, management, marketing and sales, Corporate website creation, Online banking development, Mobile banking development and Self-service zone creation.
He is currently a Lean Navigator in one of the leading banks in Bulgaria with focus on Mindset and behavioural change, Improving motivational schemes, Efficiency and process optimisation, Sales increase strategies, and Branch network optimization and others. Nikola is also a lecturer at City College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield and part of the Business Administration and Economics Department. He teaches “Computing Skills for Business”, “Information Technology and Management” and “Decision Making with IT”. He is also a member of the „Innovation Research Group” at VUZF University.
He is interested and actively researching game theories and gamification of education and organisations. Other areas of interest include change management, coaching and body language recognition.

Nikola Dimitrov, Presentation


George Miaoulis

George Miaoulis,
Jr. Ph.D.

I am currently on leave as a Fulbright Scholar teaching marketing at VUZF University in Sofia, Bulgaria until March 2014. My professional profile follows.

Dr. George Miaoulis, Jr. served as the Donald Brown Distinguished Professor of Business at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia and as Professor of Marketing at the University of Maine. He is a health care business develiopment consultant located in Camden, Maine.

He began his career in 1969 with the firm of Statistical Research, Inc. His clients included Warner-Lambert, IBM, New York Times, and ABC, NBC, and CBS television networks. After graduation from New York University with a doctorate in Mathematical Statistics and Marketing in 1974, Dr. Miaoulis founded his own firm focusing on marketing and strategic planning, marketing research, and new product /service development. Over the years, Dr. Miaoulis has compiled an impressive record of accomplishments with a broad range of Fortune 100 and 500 clients including Baxter Healthcare, UNUM Life Insurance Company, Warner-Lambert, Mead Paper Company, Aetna Insurance Company, and others. He has also served as marketing strategy consultant to President Reagan’s Task Force on Caribbean Development and the United States Agency for International Development.

Dr. Miaoulis works extensively with hospitals, health systems, medical practices, home care and service organizations, and nonprofit groups helping them to achieve success despite increasing competitive, regulatory, and economic pressures. He specializes in marketing research, marketing strategy development, and strategic planning for health care organizations.

His scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Marketing, the California Management Review, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Health Care Marketing, Journal of Economic Issues, Hospital New, and the Marketing News. He has also published nonprofit, service, and health care marketing case studies.

 George Miaoulis, Jr. Ph.D., presentation


Allan Andersen

Mr. Allan Andersen,
Investor, Denmark

Mr. Allan Andersen is a graduate of the Copenhagen Business School (Business organization and sociology, 1974), while he received his master degree from the Danish Technical University in chemical engineering (1970). He has over 25 years of experience in the management of the industrial sector and consulting and he is a former CEO of several large companies (e.g. COOP-Denmark), as well as chairman of the Board of Directors of several businesses. He is a consultant and investor in Bulgaria since 2002.

Mr. Allan Andersen, Presentation


Julia Dobreva

Dr. Julia Dobreva
VUZF University

Dr. Julia Dobreva is a part-time lecturer at VUZF University, as well as a co-lecturer for the Sofia-based programme of CITY College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield ( Dobreva teaches a BA course in Business Economics, Accounting Fundamentals and Sustainable Development (in English – Sheffiled programme) and BA and MA courses in Global Economy and Sustainable Development (in Bulgarian – VUZF programme). Besides her academic job, Dr. Dobreva works as a Financial Analyst /corporate clients specialist/ in the Corporate Loans Department at the Central Cooperative Bank, PLC – HQ, Sofia. Her day-to-day obligations include assessing and analyzing the financial standing of SME and corporate clients of the bank. She has also been assigned specific individual tasks with regard to financial due diligence. Dr. Dobreva has a number of publications in international journals on issues related to public finances, environmental issues and sustainable development. She holds a PhD from Sofia University St Kliment Ohridsky in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Elitsa Panayotova

Elitsa Panayotova

Elitsa Panayotova has started her professional career as an architect and urban planner whose projects included the Master plan and first two buildings of Business Park Sofia. After 6 years of designer practice, investment consulting and a second Master degree she served for three years as a commercial attaché at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC. Her activities were focused on the bilateral relations, B2B communication and investment promotion in all economic spheres. Upon her return to Bulgaria in 2005 the international exposure, combined with her technical background were an excellent entry to the Real Estate field and she headed the RE operations of Global Finance for Bulgaria. Later, in 2006, Elitsa Panayotova became CEO of Alfa Developments – a holding company with an investment portfolio of app. 1.0 mln sq.m. in projects, covering the full scope of real estate development. She was also the GM of Business Park Sofia. Elitsa Panayotova also created her own architecture studio “SKICA” and is currently the General Manager of “Sofia Tech Park”- a large-scale development project designed to advance research, innovation and technology growth in Bulgaria.


Dragomir Stoyanov

Dragomir Stoyanov
VUZF University

Dragomir Stoyanov is a member of the Innovation Research Unit at VUZF University and a Lecturer at City College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield. He teaches “European Union”, “Globalization”, and “Sociology”. Dragomir’s research areas of interests are: Europeanization, Political Parties, Democratic Transition and Consolidation, and Political Elite.

Dragomir Stoyanov, Presntation