Eight sites for supercomputing centres have been selected across the EU to host the first European supercomputers. They will support Europe’s researchers, industry and businesses in developing new applications in a wide range of areas, from designing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change.
The new high-performance computing machines will be located in Sofia (Bulgaria), Ostrava (Czechia), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), and Barcelona (Spain). They will support the development of major applications in domains such as personalised medicine, drug and material design, bio-engineering, weather forecasting, and climate change.
The supercomputers are expected to become operational during the second half of 2020.
Bulgaria climbs one place up to 18th out of 48 locations around the world in the global Manufacturing Risk Index 2019 produced by Cushman & Wakefield consultant company.
The index evaluates the countries according to 20 different criteria in order to reach the final rankings in three categories: General conditions, Operational expenses and Risk. The report analyses locations that are considered the most attractive for expansion and/or relocation of the activities by the global manufacturers. Our country is regularly in the ranking and among the first 20 countries because of the low operational expenses and the good conditions for industrial production.
The leaders in the index for 2019 are China because of the high government investments in technologies, and the USA because of the minimal risk of economic and political threats.
Among the European countries, the best-performer is the Czech Republic (number 6 in the overall ranking). Some other Central European countries which are also in top positions are Poland, Latvia and Hungary.
China is also leading the ranking when it comes to low operational expenses. Generally, the Asian countries dominate Top 10 on this criteria. The only countries outside Asia in Top 10 in this category are Lithuania and Romania – in the 8th and 9th position respectively.
The entire report Manufacturing Risk Index 2019 is accessible here.
The Fund of Funds chose First Investment Bank as an intermediary for the implementation of a financial instrument “Microcredits with shared risk” under OP “Human Resources Development” 2014-2020. The budget for allocation to startups and social enterprises amounts to BGN 26.4 million and will be provided in the form of microcredits. They can be up to BGN 48,895 with a repayment term of up to 10 years.
The bank will provide additional BGN 8.5 million of private resources to the public resources managed by the Fund of Funds The funds under the financial instrument are provided at zero interest, thus the final recipients will pay more favourable interest on the loan.
Funding will support entrepreneurship (including social), and individuals from certain vulnerable groups – such as unemployed over 6 months, people with disabilities, youths up to 29 years old, etc. Funds should be used in activities related to the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets; capital in relation to the development/expansion of activities of the enterprise or the self-employed person; the development and upgrading of the skills of the employees or the entrepreneur in the case of self-employment.
Projects under the programme Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Security will be funded for nearly € 33 million. The budget is for street lights, geothermal and hydropower utilisation, energy efficiency in buildings, etc. Beneficiaries can be the state, municipalities and private enterprises that would like to improve the efficiency of their production processes.
The programme is funded by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 with a partnership between the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Water and Energy Directorate of the Kingdom of Norway and the National Energy Authority of Iceland.
The main objective of the programme is to increase the production of energy from renewable sources, to improve energy efficiency in buildings, industry and municipalities, as well as to increase the expertise in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Opportunities for funding for SMEs and Technological centres in the area of manufacturing are available through grants of the project H2020 KET4CP (Key Enabling Technologies for Clean Production).
Micro-funding options up to 50 000 EUR are offered for transnational projects for cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises and at least 2 technological centres. Such projects should have as a goal to integrate key technologies for solving the
The research and development laboratory Industry 2030 – RILab i2030 was opened in Sofia. Sofia Investment Agency is a strategic partner of RILab i2030. The laboratory will provide support to the scientific and development work of small and medium-sized enterprises and high-tech industry with scientific research services and trainings.
The laboratory is located in the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies and it will integrate the already available resources of academic, high-tech and innovative partners: the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; the Institute of Mechanics at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Festo Ltd. Bulgaria; DAVID Holding Co./SpaceCAD Ltd.; AMG-Technology; Nano Tech Lab Ltd.; as well as the Sofia Laboratory for Innovations SofiaLab at the Sofia Municipality.