Oslo Meets Sofia Events

About the project “Sofia meets Oslo”/“Oslo Meets Sofia”

Sofia Investment Agency (part of Sofia municipality) in cooperation with Innovation Norway (Norwegian state owned entity) are organizing a matchmaking event between Norwegian and Bulgarian organizations and companies. The event will be organized in two stages – “Sofia meets Oslo” during the period 24 – 26 January 2017 in Sofia, and “Oslo meets Sofia” in May 2017 in Oslo, and is supported through the Fund for Bilateral Activities, part of BG10-Green Industry Innovation Programme Bulgaria. The series of events seek to promote the bilateral relations between Bulgarian and Norwegian business, establish and enhance the commercial ties between the two cities based on common interests and sharing of knowledge and good practices within the green innovation, ICT, tech and other sectors, as well as to emphasize on the importance of sustainable development.

 

The main goals of the current project are:

  • To promote and strengthen commercial relations between Oslo and Sofia;
  • To present good examples and well-established companies and other institutions from Oslo and Sofia;
  • To promote different sectors through exchange of knowledge and collaboration;
  • To promote cooperation between entrepreneurial hubs in Oslo and Sofia;
  • To connect businesses and institutions from Oslo and Sofia. To establish the basis for the future development of business relations between organizations and companies;
  • To raise awareness of the business opportunities that are available in both countries;
  • To build on existing network, cooperating partners and results from previous initiatives.

 

The project will start with an informational kick-off meeting on the 17th of January 2017, 18:00 – 20:00h., Sofia.

CONTACT US TO BECOME A PART OF THE EVENT

Apply to become one of the Bulgarian partners of the events.

The following documentation must be provided before March 31:

–          Filled application form;

–          Certificate for lack of outstanding tax obligations issued by the National Revenue Agency;

–          Balance sheet and an Income statement.

Our selection criteria and further project details are described below.

COMPANIES SELECTION CRITERIA

Innovation Norway and Sofia Investment Agency agreed on several selection criteria which applicants must cover to become project participants:

1. The company must be incorporated in Sofia, Bulgaria

2. At least 2 years of operations and at least 100 000 BGN in revenue

3. Outstanding commercial reputation

4. Compliance to ethical and environmental criteria

5. Operating in the following sectors:

  • ICT
  • Business Services/Business Process Outsourcing
  • Manufacturing
  • Well-being
  • Urban Environment/Smart city solutions
  • Retail
  • Travel and Tourism

6. Proof of tax compliance

7. Previous experience with EU clients/partners, at least 1 year

Innovation Norway will cover accommodation and most meals for one person per company.

Companies are responsible for their travel expenses to Oslo.

Events Schedule

The meeting will serve as an informational event on the planned bilateral activities. It will also give an overview of the application process for the “Oslo Meets Sofia” project.

 

The preliminary agenda is:

18:00 – 18:15 h

  • Welcome speech – Vladimir Danailov, CEO of Sofia Investment Agency;
  • Introduction of Sofia Investment Agency and the events under the Sofia Meets Oslo/Oslo Meets Sofia project;

18:15 – 18:30 h

  • Introduction of Innovation Norway activities and presentation of BG10-Green Industry Innovation Programme Bulgaria – Venceslava Yanchovska, Manager Innovation Norway in Sofia, Bulgaria;
  • Presentation of “Sofia Meets Oslo”/“Oslo Meets Sofia” project & guidelines on how to apply;

18:30 – 18:45 h

  • Presentation of a successful project implemented with a Norwegian partner under the Norway Grants Financial Mechanism – Stoian Boev, CEO of Inter Consult Bulgaria (ICB).

18:45 – 20:00 h

  • Meet & Greet session.

The event will bring together Norwegian and Bulgarian business organizations and companies. Presenting the business climate of the two countries, experience sharing, networking and opportunities for doing business together will be the main focus of the event.

 

24th of January 2017 (Tuesday):

09:30 – 10:00 h

  • Welcome coffee & registration

Conference “Sofia Meets Oslo” – Moderator Venceslava Yanchovska, Manager Innovation Norway, Sofia Office

10:00 – 11:00 h

  • Welcoming speech by Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia (tbc);
  • Welcoming speech by H.E. Mrs. Tove Bruvik Westberg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Presentation of Sofia Investment Agency, Vladimir Danailov, CEO of Sofia Investment Agency –  Sofia As an Investment Destination;
  • Presentation of Invest Bulgaria Agency, Stamen Yanev, Executive Director of Invest Bulgaria Agency – Investment Climate In Bulgaria.

11:00 – 11:15 h.

  • Coffee break

11:15 – 12:30 h.

Other event participants: 

Bjørn T. Nøstdahl, Senior Software Advisor in Gunnebo Nordic AS;

Eirik Henriksen, Innovation Norway, Oslo Akershus District Office;

Elisabeth Kalsnes, Executive Director of Oslo International House;

Anna Hansen, InnoVius AS;

12:30 – 14:00 h.

  • Networking lunch

 

Visits to Puzl CowOrKing Space

14:30 – 14:45 h.

  • Opening – welcome speech by Puzl

14:30 – 15:00 h.

  • Presentation by LauncHub and Eleven – “Why To Choose Sofia as Destination for Starting Up a Business” (tbc)

15:00 – 15:30 h.

  • Office tour

15:30 – 15:45 h.

  • Coffee break

15:30 – 15:45 h.

17:00 – 18:45 h.

  • Free time/optional B2B meetings (Radission Blu Grand Hotel – Lobby)

19:00-21:30 h.

 

25th of January 2017 (Wednesday):

10:00 – 12:30 h.

Business breakfast at Telenor:

Presentation by Innovation Norway;

Presentation of Telenor – “Doing Business In Bulgaria”;

Presentation of the Norwegian-Bulgarian Business Group and its members;

B2B meetings.

13:00 – 14:00 h. 

  • Lunch

 

Visit to Sofia Tech Park:

14:30 – 14:45 h. 

14:45 – 15:00 h.

  • Presentation of the Bulgarian Association of Clusters (Sofia Tech Park, Cleantech offices);

15:00 – 15:15 h.

15:15 – 15:30 h.

  • Coffee break

15:30 – 15:45 h.

15:45 – 16:30 h.

17:00 – 

  • Free time

 

26th of January 2017 (Thursday):

10:00 – 11:00 h. 

Presentation of the Project with the Norwegian partner.

12:00 – 

  • Departure

Main objectives:

“Oslo meets Sofia” is a follow up event of the “Sofia meets Oslo” project with the following objectives:

  • To promote and strengthen commercial relations between Oslo and Sofia;
  • To present good examples of partnership projects, implemented in the frame of the Green Industry Innovation Programme in Bulgaria, Norway Grants 2009-2014;
  • To promote cooperation between entrepreneurial hubs in Oslo and Sofia;
  • To present good examples and well-established companies in Sofia and facilitate establishment of partnerships with Norwegian entities;
  • To raise awareness of business opportunities in both countries;
  • To create opportunities for development of business relations between Norwegian and Bulgarian entities in the private sector;
  • To promote different sectors through exchange of knowledge and collaboration;
  • To build on existing network, cooperating partners and results from previous initiatives.

 

Target group:

  • Selected Bulgarian and Norwegian private companies;
  • Selected Project partnerships (Green Industry Innovation programme Bulgaria);
  • Bulgarian and Norwegian business and municipal organizations tbd.

 

Priority sectors:

  • IT;
  • Energy;
  • Clean technology.

The participants will meet Oslo business organizations, receive an understanding of the Norwegian key business values, ethical and environmental criteria and priorities.  The Bulgarian companies and organizations will have the opportunity to meet with potential partners in Oslo, to exchange knowledge and ideas about the development of future joint projects.

 

Preliminary agenda:

Moderator: Alexandra Almasi, Project Manager OREEC

01.05.2017 (Monday) – Arrival in Oslo

02.05.2017 (Tuesday) – Opening event: International Matchmaking in Oslo:

09:00 – 09:10 h.

Welcome and intro to the day’s program – Alexandra Almasi

09:10 – 09:30 h.

EEA-Grants and business opportunities for Norwegian companies, Knut Ringstad, Innovation Norway Programme Director

09:30 – 09:50 h.

The business climate in Bulgaria – Invest Bulgaria Agency, Stamen Yanev, Executive Director (tbc)

09:90 – 10:10 h.

Coffee break

10:10 – 10:30 h.

Business Environment & Key Sectors of Sofia, by Sofia Investment Agency;

10:30 – 10:50 h.

Solar energy sector in Norway and its digitalization needs- by Trine K Berentsen, CEO Solar Energy Cluster

10:50 – 11:10 h.

The Development of Green Monitor, Software for Online Maintenance & Manufacturing Support by ICB (Dimitar Nikolov) and Kongsberg TeroTech (Jarle Gjosaether)

11:10 – 11:30 h.

Waste-to-Energy, by HEC (Mila Traykova) and Hydrogen Partner (name tbc)

11:30 – 11:50 h.

Q&A

11:50 – 13:00 h.

Lunch

13:00 – 15:30 h.

Pitching Session:

  • Companies have the opportunity to present themselves in plenum;
  • Each company will have 5 min for the presentation and will use a pre-defined template for the slides;
  • Download the template here and send the completed version to alexandra@oreec.no by the 27th of April the latest. Presentations sent after this date will not be accepted.

15:30 – 17:00 h.

Tapas and networking drinks

18:00 – 21:00 h.

Networking dinner

 

03.05.2017 (Wednesday) – Visit of selected companies and business organizations in Oslo:

09:00 – 10:30 h.

Oslo Municipality- Smart City Strategy and Pilot projects for digitalization – by Lene Lad Johansen

11:00 – 12:30 h.

Hafslund Nett – Digitalization in the energy sector in Norway (TBC)

Afternoon travel by bus or train to Skien.

 

04.05.2017 (Thursday) – Visit to Skien/Telemark county

09:00 – 09:05 h.

Welcome by Innovation Norway Telemark office (Anniken/Tommy)

09:05 – 09:20 h.

Skagerak Arena, a place of innovation (Einar Håndlykken)

09:20 – 09:50 h.

Introduction to business life in the county (Anniken)

09:50 – 10:20 h.

Introduction to ICT Telemark (Torkild Follaug)

10:20 – 10:30 h.

Short break

10:30 – 10:50 h.

The business climate in Bulgaria, by Invest Bulgaria Agency Business

10:50 – 11:10 h.

Environment and key economic sectors in Sofia, by Sofia Investment Agency

11:10 – 11:30 h.

EEA-Grants and business opportunities for Norwegian companies, Knut Ringstad, Innovation Norway Programme Director

11:30 – 11:50 h.

Solar energy sector in Norway and its digitalization needs- by Trine K Berentsen, CEO Solar Energy Cluster

11:50 – 12:10 h.

Successful partnership under GII, by ICB (Dimitar Nikolov) and Kongsberg TeroTech (name tbc)

Q & A

12:10 – 13:10 h.

Lunch & Networking

13:10 – 16:00 h.

B2B sessions (alternatively a company visit)

16:00 h.

Travel back to Oslo

 

05.05.2017 (Friday) – Travel to Sofia

Contact Us

The Project Partners

Get to know the organizations that stand behind the Sofia Meets Oslo/Oslo Meets Sofia Events – learn who we are and what we do. Visit our websites for detailed information on how we support the business environment.

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government’s most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. Learn more…

The EEA Grants and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 16 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. Learn more…

Sofia Investment Agency (SIA) is part of Sofia Municipality and offers a one-stop service for foreign and Bulgarian companies, entrepreneurs and startups, looking to set up business in Sofia. SIA also supports the local business expansion on foreign and global markets. Learn more…

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