Innovations are considered as a key driver for economic growth and increased competitiveness. Investments in agricultural research and development could generate not only economic and social effects but also environmental benefits. The study aims to analyse of agricultural innovation system in Bulgaria and the linkages with agricultural R&D to formulate conclusions and recommendation for future development.
The paper presents some of the theoretical concepts of innovation systems and the role of R&D in the process. Comparative, historical and monographic methods of analysis are applied. The results indicate the low share of R&D expenditures in the national GPD. The share of agricultural R&D expenditure is declining and Bulgaria is lagging behind the EU-28 average level. Despite the high potential of Bulgarian agricultural innovation system, it is characterized by unclear priorities and lack of coordination. Several challenges should be addressed: improvement of public funding, human resources capacity building and cooperation between research and business are some of the main priorities for agricultural innovation system development and transformation.