Association for innovation, business excellence, services and technology

Bulgaria: South-West (Bulgaria)
Nora Ishkova
90% completed


About us

AIBEST is an independent industry organization whose objective is to develop the Southeast region of Europe (SEE) and mainly Bulgaria as a leader for knowledge-intensive products, services, solutions, and globally recognized (world-attractive) destination for educated talent.

We make sure that our members collaborate between each other and exchange valuable information within the cluster;

We keep close relations with key institutions for the sector to advocate for our members. 

Through our partnerships with universities we boost cooperation between the authorities, the business and the educational system. And we make sure not only to help our members to produce but to be up-to-date with the universities R&D work.

We strengthen the positive image of the sector by contributing to the realization of joint projects for the digital transformation of the business, which boosts the technological and innovative potential, the productivity and the added value of the region. 

Our long-term plans for sector and economic development:

  • Community growth within the SEE region;
  • Nourish industry dialogue and collaboration for innovation and development;
  • Boost cooperation with authorities and the educational system;
  • Keep the positive image 
  • Focus on the youth and helping them to connect with the business
Established - 22 May 2012
Staff in the management team - 6-10
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Competence development
  • On-the-job training

Cluster composition

  • 64
    Cluster Members
  • 2
  • 45
    Large Companies
  • 8
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 9
    Other Ecosystem Actors

During 2014, in order to ensure sustainability, the organization applied and won funding from a national program called “Development of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy”. Our main priorities and activities on which our project proposal were:

  • Support for the administrative body of the cluster, including the need to increase their specific qualification for cluster management,
  • Expanding the membership through adequate positioning and recognition of the cluster not only in the country but also globally, as outsourcing services are the subject of global interest for many transnational corporations.
  • Improving the image of the industry in Bulgaria and abroad, which have been achieved through the implementation of support activities related to the project implementation, namely - conducting a series of events in different planning regions, in the form of presenting the cluster and intensifying contacts with universities and municipalities to present the need for support in the field of training for the needs of the outsourcing industry.
  • Fourth (but not least) was the preparation of market research to support the formation of an adequate strategy for cluster service and sustainability, as well as to identify future centers in the country where outsourcing can be developed successfully. This was especially important for the future development of the cluster and the strategy for repositioning in the upper segment of the table of top outsourcing countries in the world, which is in line with the priorities set for the national economy.

In 2016 AIBEST then known as the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, signed a contract with the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science. The contract allowed us and our members to participate in a National Program called "IT career training". The main goal of the program was to expand the base of students who have acquired a professional qualification in the field of Computer Science and/or want to continue their education in universities in the professional fields of Informatics and/or Computer Science. By being able to participate in this program we and our members have reaffirmed the need for a dialogue between the business sector and the state; to make sure that the state via the educational system can understand the needs of the business and to allow the business to keep in touch with school and universities. With an open dialogue it was possible to make a State Educational Standard for software specialist that was developed by the business in accordance with its needs.

Three years later we have been given another opportunity and it was to participate in another National Program called "The IT business teaches", where with our previous knowledge we were able to conduct trainings up to 18 school hours, as part of the profiled or professional training of high school students. The thematic areas in which the trainings were carried through were in accordance with the approved curricula for specialized and professional training by the Ministry of Education and Science. 

By participating in both of the national programs we have helped our members to discover and attract young talent.

During 2019 AIBEST and Sofia University were able to create a Master's degree called "Outsourcing Projects and Companies" . The offered training has a strong practical orientation and aims to build skills and competencies for solving real business problems in various areas of outsourcing and offshoring. Some of our members who have specialists with extensive experience in academia, outsourcing and offshoring business are lecturers. They provide an opportunity for students to get acquainted with the work environment and solve real cases. In this way, graduates of the master's program can find a job much easier, and our members can much more easily hire young talent.Some of AIBEST’s other achievements according to the association’s major fields of work are:

  • Advocacy: The establishment of a permanent standing committee in the National Assembly on Digitalization, Information Technology and Innovation - an initiative of BESCO and AIBEST
  • Education: 3 editions of the "Outsourcing Projects and Companies" Master's degree
  • Industry analysis: 5 editions of the AIBEST annual report
  • Community: annual events such as SEE ITS SUMMIT to connect with members and partners
  • Expansion: council representatives at The Global Technology and Business Services Council (GT&BSC)
Legal form of the cluster organisation
Languages spoken
Bulgarian English

Management team

Iliya Krastev
Cluster Manager
Nora Ishkova
ECCP Responsible Person

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Information and communication:J62 Computer programming, consultancy and related activities - Information and communication:J63 Information service activities
Sectoral Industries (NACE 4 digit)
Cross-sectoral industries
Digital Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Y04 - Information or communication technologies having an impact on other technology areas
S3 EU priority areas
Digital transformation:Artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, simulation, gamification & interaction technologies - Digital transformation:Big data, data mining, database management - Digital transformation:ICT trust, cyber security & network security

Key members

Profile name Location
A Data Pro


60 K




University of Veliko Tarnovo "St. Cyril and St. Methodius"



Support services provided

Advisory Services
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Support of Research, Development and Innovation
Development of human resources, such as staff mobility, access to training

Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Competence development - On-the-job training

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

United Kingdom
United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

North Macedonia

Transnational support activites

Promotional Activities - Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Connection to cluster organisation(s)

Membership in cluster networks, meta clusters and national associations of clusters

Profile name Location Network type
Global Technology and Business Services Council

Membership in Cluster Partnerships or initiatives

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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