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Invest Sofia Presented the Development of Creative Industries to Delegates from 12 European Countries

25 Hours in Vienna: a Creative Sofia Delegation Visits Creative Vienna

The “25 hours in Creative Vienna” event took place on 25-26 September, 2019 in Vienna. Fourteen Sofia-based companies from sectors like film, gaming, cultech, marketing and advertising, animation, a co-innovation hub and a creative hub joined the delegation.

The  ‘25 Hours in Vienna’ format aims at introducing Bulgarian entrepreneurs to the business environment in Vienna, helping them to establish key contacts with local partners, to encourage the exchange of know-how and to facilitate collaboration. This is the second joint business visit  under the ‘25 Hours in Vienna’ format

The first ‘25 Hours in Vienna’ delegation took place last October with  focus on biotech and fintech and was combined with a meeting of Sofia’s Mayor Mrs. Fandakova and the Mayor of Vienna Mr. Ludwig. During the meeting Sofia Investment Agency and Vienna Business Agency signed the City-to-City cooperation agreement.

The focus of last week’s event were the creative industries.

The program included presentations from  the Vienna Business Agency, Invest Sofia, the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna, MA 7, the Austrian Investment Agency, the Vienna Film Commission, the Vienna Tourist Board, the creative SAE Institute Vienna (with more than 50 campuses in 26 countries), as well as representatives of the – one of the largest contemporary arts and culture districts in the world, encompassing 60+ cultural institutions, Subotron gaming hub, part of MuseumsQuartier and visits to Mumok Museum, Central Europe’s largest post-modernist art museum,  ‘Dockyard Create & Studio’ film studio, the innovative gaming studio ‘Lost in the Garden’ and the award-winning ‘ARX Anima’ animation studio.

The Sofia Investment Agency team would like to express sincere gratitude to the team of the Vienna Business Agency for their hospitality, the interesting program and the unforgettable experience the Sofia delegation had in Vienna!

We would also like to thank the 14 companies that joined the ‘25 Hours in Creative Vienna’ delegation: AECO Space/Creative Industries Foundation; Brigada&Co; CastFolio&BAICAA; Ligna Group; Missia 23 Creative Hub; No Blink Studios; Phoenix Media; Pro Design; Resonator Co-innovation Hub; Sirma Group; Technofy; Vangavis; Vision 21.


Nadia Soultanova and Ana Georgieva from Invest Sofia presenting the development of Creative Sofia at Vienna Expat Center

Why creative industries?

Creative industries are a priority sector for both Vienna, which is known as one of the most creative capitals in Europe, and  Sofia, which is an established regional ICT and start-up hub and a rapidly developing creative and innovation center.

–  The global creative market amounts to  €468 billion and doubled in size in the last several years.

–  Europe is the largest exporter of creative goods among developed economies. The European creative market is €157 billion

–  Creative industries account for 8% of Sofia’s economy, which is above the EU average.

–  Over ¾ of the creative industry in Bulgaria is concentrated in Sofia

–  The added value at factor cost of the creative industries in Sofia is  around €911 million (latest data 2015)

–  Ubisoft, Gameloft and SEGA, some of the biggest global gaming companies, have studios in Sofia

–  The film sector in Sofia consists of 900+ companies and employs  3 900+ people

–  The Sofia-based software company Chaos Group  won a Technological Oscar in 2017 for the overall contribution to the movie industry for their product  V-Ray

–  The majority of the creative companies in Sofia are export-oriented, and despite their high added-value (often more than 100%), they are not vocal enough  in the local ecosystem.

–  Film, video and TV production, digital visualization, software and gaming development, architecture,  design, AR and VR – that unite creativity and technology- are the fastest developing creative sectors in Sofia.