ISOPTT: Increasing the SMEs Own Potential for Transnational Technology Transfer

ISOPTT: Increasing the SMEs Own Potential for Transnational Technology Transfer

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Success Cases: Globalisation – internationalisation

Vitosha Research - an example of a successful company that goes international

Vitosha Research (VR) is a research company of the Sofia based Bulgarian think-tank Center for the Study of Democracy ( As a strategic response to foresighted donor exit from Bulgaria and increased demand for commercial services, VR was incorporated in 2000 and inherited the ten-year experience, networks and the team of the CSD’s sociological program Vitosha Research..It conducted the first independent pre-election and post-election surveys in Bulgaria as early as in 1990.

The company has became a preferred partner of a number of international, state and non-governmental institutions (among them: the World Bank, the European Commission, UNDP, the Japan International Cooperation agency (JICA), the World Economic Forum in Davos and others). In addition, VR started to offer advertising and media research services. VR’s specific competency is in the field of social assessment. The company has also expertise in the elaboration of methodological tools and practical assessments, and in UNDP funded projects aimed at capacity building and education at local level.

The first survey about human security in Bulgaria was carried out in 1997. A follow up survey on the same topic was carried out in September 2000 to collect comparative information about the level of satisfaction and the future expectations of public regarding economic, social, environmental, personal and political security. As competition for market, social, socio-political, advertising and media research increases, both from domestic and international companies, VR decided that its growth strategy could be based on internationalization as well – “selling its unique experience of doing research in transition countries” to other countries or regions. Among the target areas were Southeast Europe (geographical proximity) and New Independent States of the former USSR. VR gained valuable experience from previous projects and soon UNDP commissioned a study on human security aimed at gauging public attitudes towards terrorism in the Caucasus region- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (2001/2).

VR is internationally renowned for its surveys and reports on corruption. In 2001 the company participated in a project for regional monitoring of corruption funded by SELDI (Southeast Europe Legal Development Initiative). VR has also elaborated specialized systems for monitoring the hidden economy that can be used as a foundation for conducting international surveys.

In cooperation with the International Development and Law Organization (IDLO) VR conducted a needs assessment judicial survey. This was one of the first surveys in Bulgaria focused on the judicial system. The study aimed at exploring the possibilities of improving magistrate's education and streamlining court administration procedures. IDLO has extended partnership and commissioned VR to conduct similar research in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and Georgia (2006).

Another aspect of the internationalization of VR is its partnership with Gallup Hungary. As a partner of Gallup Hungary, VR is responsible for carrying out European Commission’s surveys in Bulgaria (the Eurobarometer, the FlashEurobarometer, and the European working conditions surveys).

Vitosha Research was among the first research agencies in Bulgaria to monitor information society developments (as early as 1996), jointly with ARC Fund developed Bulgarian e-Readiness methodology, conducts online surveys and develops new methodologies and tools for measurement and analysis in the knowledge economy as one of the key pillars in internationalization strategy of VR.


ISOPTT: Increasing the
SMEs Own Potential for
Transnational Technology