George Sharkov, European Software Institute (

Although structural transformation to ‘knowledge-based economy’ was underway prior the global economic crisis burst, the urge to IT-enabled economy as a ‘cure’ exposed again the commonly accepted as ‘natural’ gap between the research and business. The presentation will outline the roots of this gap (or ocean) and the ways to transform the R&D activities from a ‘money pit’ to profitable and sustainable business. A correlation between IT industry competitiveness and R&D investments will be shown, accomplished by achievements of ESI (part of Tecnalia Research & Innovation, partner of SEI-CMU) in:

- industrialization of software production - two approaches delivered from R&D to market - Reuse Based Software Factory and SPL (Software Product Lines), by the products: GNSIS (for large and distributed software development and maintenance teams) and PLUM (Product Line Unified Modeler)

- software engineering and IT management – ITMark: adaptation for small enterprises, based on classical models (CMMI, ISO, SPICE, etc)

- knowledge economy support – “Digital enterprise” or opTIma: IT-enabled business assessment

- Knowledge society – IT skills assessment methodology by ITcard

Cases from Europe, Eastern Europe and Latin America will be presented.

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Dr. George Sharkov is the Regional Manager for Eastern Europe of European Software Institute (ESI, Spain – ). He graduated Mathematics and Computer Science at Sofia University, obtained PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence), specialization in applied informatics, research in biophysics and genetics, enterprise information systems architectures.

Since 1994 he is leading international software teams and projects for banking and finances, online trading and auctions, e-business, internet exchanges and B2B markets, innovative e-trading solutions. Since 2003 he is director of ESI Center Bulgaria (, and member of the Board of ESI. He is instructor in SPI (Software Process Improvement), software engineering quality and management, implementation of CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration, SEI), accredited IT Mark appraiser (covers information security, business maturity and quality of processes).

He was a founder and Chairman of BASSCOM (Bulgarian Association of Software Companies) till 2007. Initiator and promoter of the regional ICT branding and competitiveness initiative (SEE IT), founder of the ICT Cluster Bulgaria. He was leading several EU projects in the field of ICT skills and industry competitiveness. Leader of research network in Cryptography and Information Security. Lecturer at Sofia University.