The national “Innovative Enterprise of the Year” contest has been recognized by the European Commission as the best national practice for promoting innovative business development. The Excellence in Innovation label of the Applied Research and Communications Fund is granted annually to the finalists in the national Innovative Enterprise of the Year Contest. The label recognises excellence, impact and effectiveness of cutting-edge innovations developed by Bulgarian enterprises.
Ten innovative companies are the winners in the different categories of the Innovative Enterprise of the Year Contest 2023, as follows:
For Market Leadership 2023 – statuettes and Honorary Diplomas were awarded to Barin Sports AD and BizPortal AD.
Barin Sports 360 has developed an integrated athlete health-tracking system that brings together all types of data for fatigue monitoring and non-contact injury prediction. The system is easily portable and incorporates machine self-learning and artificial intelligence. Data and cross-analyses are presented in real-time, and the device itself operates over large distances, fully automated, without the need to use multiple satellites to transmit a large database.
BizPortal develops innovative information products in the field of alternative data, while providing procurement and supply chain tracking data at public and corporate level. Through its core product, Tender Alpha, the enterprise is a pioneer in offering investment analysis and credit-rating data. BizPortal develops unique data sets for global clients located primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom in the areas of institutional investing, credit rating, academic research and intelligence.
For Green Innovation 2023 – Honorary Diploma
Balevski & Kirov Ltd. is a bio-certified enterprise for processing rosehips. The company uses the moss separated during the processing of rosehips and converts it into pellets. The pellets are burned in an in-house designed combustion chamber, fully covering the heat needed for drying the fruit. The company has also constructed its own photovoltaic plant, and the residual carbon dioxide released into the air is offset by the trees planted in the area of the production facility.
The company manufactures fuel cells to improve fuel combustion in diesel engines by adding oxy-hydrogen. The device controls the process depending on the state of the battery, reducing energy consumption, aiding complete fuel combustion, and releasing more mechanical energy without producing harmful emissions. In addition, the fuel cell has an innovative design and nano-coating that reduces heating and electrolyte consumption, thus extending the life of the device.
For Innovative start-up in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
The enterprise has developed the “Skipter” innovative system for monitoring and control of wine production. With the help of artificial intelligence, the software assists winemakers in optimizing the production process and achieving higher efficiency. Based on real-time data analysis, the system enables the creation of wines tailored to specific preferences and end-customer requirements.
For Innovation Management in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
The company specializes in the production of milling products. The production process is fully automated, based on the use of a unique set of raw materials and high quality of finished products. The management team of Lulis Mel develops an innovation-focused organizational culture based on effective communication with all staff members and attention to customer needs and requirements. The company contributes to the creation of high added value in relation to its partners in the technology chain (suppliers and industrial customers) by jointly developing and implementing process and product innovations, which are already established on the market.
For Digital Transformation in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
Giga Automa is the creator of the first Bulgarian collaborative robot. Animoto is an auxiliary robot, a type of robotic arm that weighs only 22 kilograms and offers exceptional precision. It can operate in large temperature amplitudes and carries loads of up to 5 kilograms over distances of up to 1 meter. No specialised technical training is required for the installation of Animoto, and set-up time is reduced several times compared to other similar robots thanks to the innovative “learn by demonstration” software.
For Innovation in the Creative Industries in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
The company has created a Dulo guitar amplifier suitable for working with all types of effects used in the industry. At the same time, the device is extremely compact and fits into a guitar case, eliminating the need for musicians to carry around bulky and heavy guitar ‘heads’. The amplifier is as streamlined as possible without distorting the sound in any way, which has piqued the interest of the largest musical instrument suppliers.
For Social Innovation in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
The company has developed a platform for assistant support at home for people with health problems. Real-time information about the clients’ physical and mental condition, medication intake, as well as tasks and reminders for the assistant on subsequent visits are entered on the platform. Client profiles allow for the retrieval of complete reports on the condition of individuals with health issues, facilitate their diagnosis when seeing a specialist, and provide complete transparency in the hiring of assistants and tracking of the care process.
For Innovation for Quality of Life in 2023 – Honorary Diploma
Algaea OOD offers a device that improves air quality using a specific strain of aquaculture in combination with a nanofilter membrane. The device works through photosynthesis and artificial lighting, with the aquaculture absorbing the pollution and transforming it into oxygen and algal biomass that can be used for fertilisation. The unit is suitable for areas up to 30 square metres. For air purification in larger rooms, modular solutions can be built.
All finalists awarded with the Excellence in Innovation label in 2023:
The company has developed a system for processing and managing medium-sized shipments. The processing speed of a shipment is ¾ of a second, which makes the system extremely fast, achieving over 98% processing correctness. The system is integrated in Speedy Bulgaria (part of DPD), the largest Bulgarian online store offering entertainment and leisure products, in some of Amazon’s warehouses, as well as companies in Israel and Germany.
The company designs, develops and supplies innovative microelectronic solutions. In 2000, the company started its operation in Bulgaria with a team of 50 people, which currently numbers over 870 employees. The innovation they applied with is the MLX90632, a miniature temperature sensor developed in 2020 with surface mounting for accurate non-contact temperature measurement, especially in environments with rapidly changing temperature conditions and limited space. It is available in a medical accuracy version and one for general applications. The product finds widespread use in ear/forehead thermometers as well as a variety of health monitoring devices and accessories.
BioBenjamin produces organic vegan chocolates that are tasty and yet have no added milk. In the Innovative Enterprise of the Year Contest, they applied with a “non-chocolate” chocolate, based on carob and dates. The product is plant-based and certified BIO. The primary packaging consists of biodegradable film. It does not contain gluten, soy, GMO or traces of animal products. Instead of cocoa mass, the product contains 25% carob powder, which itself is extremely fiber rich and contributes to a complete diet. The “non-chocolate” chocolate is sweetened only with dried dates, with no added refined sugar. In appearance, smell and taste, it resembles standard chocolate, but without harming the health of young children, who are the main target group for this innovative product.
Biopharma Laboratories is a Bulgarian family-owned company, manufacturer of high-quality cosmetics, founded in 1994 in the town of Plovdiv. The BRAVE. NEW. HAIR brand was born in 2018 with the change of generations in the company, bringing new technologies and a holistic approach to solving various hair-related problems. BRAVE. NEW. HAIR. COCONUT CURL is an airy, no-wash mousse enriched with prebiotic and hydrating cactus enzyme for long-lasting curly hair styling. The product is a new generation curl mousse formulated with natural coconut-based foaming agents combined with natural, fully biodegradable styling agents (a combination of low molecular weight sugars) used for the first time in the world.
The company provides an intermediary service between employees in client companies and a select network of mental health professionals. The service is delivered through a proprietary web-based platform. The service includes the use of a proprietary platform to view specialists and book and manage sessions, conduct corporate webinars on a variety of topics – both by the MindFit team and by specialists from the network of psychologists and psychotherapists. The platform has no equivalent in Bulgaria, clients include Sutherland and MentorMate.
Rentronics AD offers the Addit service – for renting electronic devices in the following categories: phones, laptops, cameras, drones, smart home (robots, vacuum cleaners, purifiers), tablets, gaming, and children’s products. It is also developing a second platform (furbee.tech) on which it offers upgraded electronics.
The Sindeo platform developed by the company is an applied education academy that aims to help teachers build competencies by going through a number of courses and comprehensive education programs. Homo Deus EOOD works individually with each trainee as well as with the developers of the educational content to optimally bring together all the necessary skills for effective and high-quality teaching. The creators of the platform focus on teachers from all over Bulgaria, with priority given to smaller and poorer regions.
Foodobox is a marketplace platform that connects food businesses with end consumers. Registered businesses have access to a web platform through which they can upload daily quantities of unsold, but within shelf-life food and drink, to be bought at a discount by users of the platform. The aim of the platform is to reduce food waste in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. The app currently has over 60 000 users. In the almost 2 years of its existence, Foodobox is already operating on the Romanian market and in Bulgaria there are over 500 partner restaurants (mainly in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas).
The innovative product of the enterprise is an Andromeda-type planetarium with a dome diameter of 5 m. A multi-projector visual system is used to achieve the image, supported by a dedicated server that processes the video content. The main advantage of the planetarium is the dome made of polymer composite materials and the physical effect achieved inside it called “Sound Wave Reverberation”. The planetarium offers visitors a unique experience thanks to a “natural play” with sound.
Gamifino OOD is an ambitious technology and education company with a mission to make business and training more productive, interesting, creative, innovative and fun by implementing the methods and elements of gamification. Their product Gamifinnopoly is a gamification platform for task management for both companies and individual users. Gamifinnopoly is developed in the style of a board game where the user moves through an endless board with random rewards, surprises or exciting information. Tasks and achievements are both generated by the user and can also be achieved using artificial intelligence.
The automated ultrasonic pipe delamination inspection system offered by Multitest OOD is an innovation that consists of a device new to the world market, working with all ultrasonic defect detectors available on the market to date, making it versatile. The innovativeness of the method is ensured by the automatic (without human intervention) movement of the scanner on the edges of the pipes or on flat sheets and by its storage of of all the information obtained from the inspection of the controlled products on a computer, with the possibility of subsequent analysis of the information obtained, including the creation of a database.
Additional prizes for participants:
Lider.BG provided a media package of 6 publications for 2024 to Barin Sports AD.
The Professional Association of Robotics, Automation and Innovation (PARAi) provided a one-year membership in the Association to MELEXIS Bulgaria OOD.
TLL Media provided two additional awards:
- media coverage of LogiSoft EOOD in the portal of the Bulgarian industry, IndustryInfo.bg ;
- quarterly advertising and an information campaign in the technical e-magazine for ecology, Ecology & Infrastructure.
Sofia Tech Park provided New Energy Tech EOOD with 3 free workplaces and a mentor session with the Business Development team.
The BAS Joint Innovation Centre provided two additional prizes:
- A voucher for 10 hours of mentoring on “Intellectual Property Object Protection” to Balevski & Kirov OOD;
- a voucher for 20 hours of mentoring on “Business model and commercialization of innovation” to Barin Sports AD.
The Biotechnology and Health Cluster Bulgaria provided a one-year membership and mentorship to Outro Bulgaria OOD.
The Artificial Intelligence Cluster Bulgaria provided Tsarina Winery with a one-year membership and mentorship.