The crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 has exacerbated existing problems and highlighted the need for entirely new services and solutions. The consequences of the crisis will not pass quickly, but the crisis itself can turn into an opportunity for growth and new activities to ensure sustainability.
The pandemic revealed the high importance of digital assets and how networks, connectivity, data, and good digital skills support the economy and society. Digital technologies will play a key role in economic recovery.
Sofia Municipality is starting a pilot programme, The Crisis as an Opportunity, supporting civil society organizations, social enterprises, and micro-enterprises to more adaptive and sustainable activities and business.
“The Crisis as an Opportunity” covers two areas:
Deadline for electronic submission of projects: from October 23, 08:00 to November 16, 17:00.
You can find application guidelines HERE.
Prospective candidates who wish to participate in one of the online information days can register HERE.
Sofia Municipality and Plovdiv Municipality have taken the initiative to build a national union of the major industrial centers in Bulgaria, aiming to develop a unified strategy for establishing our country as an attractive investment destination. The idea behind the initiative is to increase foreign investment in the country and attract strategic investors through joint efforts, resource sharing, and a unified marketing strategy for our country.
The Sofia Investment Agency team, led by Maria Hristova, Head of the Investment Analysis Department, Stefan Stefanov, Deputy Mayor of Plovdiv in charge of Education and Business Development, and Engineer Emil Yankov, Business Development Manager from Thrakia Economic Zone held a meeting in Plovdiv in connection with the initiative. It was decided to invite the other major industrial centers to join, thus constituting a common national union.
Part of the initiative’s specific activities is the creation and development of each of the major cities’ investment profiles, to identify the strengths of local industries, the specifics of the workforce, the talent pool, and other economic indicators that are subject to investors’ interest.
The cities’ teams will also work on creating a national campaign, which aims to familiarize foreign investors with the opportunities to find the appropriate place for setting up their business in our country according to their specific needs. The ambition of the team of the Sofia Investment Agency and the Business Development Department in Plovdiv Municipality is to direct potential investors towards the most suitable locations for them in the country according to the sector in which they operate and the economic ecosystem of the respective region.
Maria Hristova stated Sofia’s readiness to join forces with experts in key areas from other cities. “Only joint efforts between the big cities can help Bulgaria sustain its pace of establishing itself as an increasingly attractive and recognizable destination for key international businesses. This leads to an increase in employees’ purchasing power and, respectively, to a higher quality of life, which is our primary goal. “
One of the planned initiatives for attracting investors is presenting Bulgaria to top employers in Europe and to describe the advantages of our country compared to other countries in the region.
According to Stefan Stefanov, Deputy Mayor of Plovdiv, the big cities together have a stronger potential to position Bulgaria among the leading investment destinations in the EU. “When we work on a request from a potential investor, we compete
The event is the best place to get to know the SEE market, learn market specifics, know the right people in each country if you want to expand, find prospective partners, and scout for clients!
A great crowd of PropTech expert speakers is on board. Event speakers come from 15 PropTech countries, namely, Belgium, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, South Korea, Bulgaria, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Singapore.
We are glad to announce that Invest Sofia will join the event as an institutional partner of one of the workshops to be held during the second day of the conference – Sustainnovation in the PropTech Sector with Peter Guendling, Belgium.
Book 4-5 November 2020 г. The event will be fully digital.
The importance of PropTech
Construction industry is the largest industry in the world as it contributes 13% of the global Gross Domestic Product. If we count in real estate and other sectors closely related to construction, its share in global GDP reaches up to 20%.
However, construction industry and existing buildings also have a significant share in another type of statistics, too. They contribute to
According to the World Bank the global real estate market is estimated to be USD 217 trillion, and 75% of it are residential buildings. The annual turnover of real estate transactions reaches immense volumes, e.g. in 2015 it reached up to USD 900 billion.
These trends will gain an enormous speed in the coming years. By 2050 Earth’s population will double, and 70% of people will leave in cities. A sizeable part of these problems’ solutions can be found in PropTech – the tech solutions for the construction industry and the real estate sector.
Bulgaria and the SEE region on the PropTech map
It is not by any chance that PropTech is one of the five tech sectors which attract most investment in Europe, as recorded by the European Tech Scaleup Report 2018. For a 10 years’ period, 2010 – 2020, г. 11 200 PropTech companies globally have received external funding amounting to USD 92.4 billion.
Bulgaria stands out with at least 106 PropTech solutions which PropTech
At the invitation of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Invest Sofia, together with business representatives, investors, and partners, will participate in an international competition for innovative entrepreneurship, which will be held online on 8 October at 14.00. Innovative products with high market potential from Bulgaria, Turkey, and Lithuania will be presented.
We invite everyone interested in new international partnerships aimed at commercializing innovation to join the event.
The competition is in its third round after the previous selections, held in August and September. It’s organized by the BCCI in collaboration with partners from Lithuania and Turkey.
A total of 10 participants will present their ideas to the business communities of the three partner countries. Most of the projects that have been admitted to this stage of the competition are Bulgarian.
Project 1: Last-minute box – a platform for the utilization of unsold food at the end of the day from restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets.
Project 2: ISPEAK – an online platform that connects students who are learning a foreign language with a mentor who speaks the mother tongue; the goal is to give every child a chance to practice a foreign language in an authentic environment.
Project 3: Outdoor activities school – a platform for courses with outdoor activities to help people who are dealing with a stagnant lifestyle, depression, burnout, or are looking for new hobbies and experiences.
Project 4: “Atlas of Histological Specimens” – the product shows detailed 3D models of basic systems of the human body, surgical incisions, and images from an electron microscope at the cellular level through the use of augmented reality.
You will be able to see more about these and other projects at the event. To participate, please register on the following platform here.
The Municipal Councilor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sofia Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency, Mr. Nikolay Stoynev, took part in the panel “Zones with potential for development in the context of a compact city,” part of the programme of Urban Development Forum 2020 (UDF2020).
The panel discussed the future and the models for transforming the former industrial zones in Sofia, which with proper planning and a balanced mix of functions, would become modern multifunctional urban centers. As examples of good practices were recognized railway areas and abandoned industrial sites in large Western European cities such as Vienna, Eindhoven, Paris, Barcelona, which have already become successful examples of modern urban spaces built up with well-coordinated public and private sector efforts.
“Sofia Municipality is trying to partner with investors to build together a new quality of the urban environment. Investments by private investors in the social and public infrastructure increase real estate price and return on investment. We have all drawn our conclusions from the chaotic construction without the envisaged social and public infrastructure. Citizens want to have a kindergarten, school, green area, sports ground nearby, and travel comfortably to other parts of the city. Sofia Municipality is ready to be a partner of the construction of the next large terrains in Sofia, to contribute to the development of the transport infrastructure, the management of kindergartens and schools envisaged by the investors. The old and dilapidated research and production areas of Sofia have the potential to become new neighborhoods providing everything needed. This is feasible through a partnership of the municipality with the private sector, with public interests having the lead “, said Nikolay Stoynev in the discussion.
This year The City Media Group’s forum was held as a hybrid event on 2 October and was organized in partnership with the European Investment Bank. You can find highlights from the “Zones with development potential in the compact city context” panel and other topics from the forum on The City Media Group’s website.
At the invitation of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology (AIBEST), our team will attend the Annual Conference of the Association. This year, the event will be held on 2 October in Burgas.
The annual conference of AIBEST is the most significant event dedicated to the knowledge industry in Bulgaria. During the forum, the AIBEST will present its annual report on the development of the knowledge economy in the country with data on the high value-added business services sector, forecasts for the impact of the crisis, analysis of industry priorities, and more. There will also be a discussion of the factors and the necessary measures that must be taken at the local and national level to attract new investments and maintain a favorable business environment for the sector’s development.
The event will bring together representatives of the largest technology companies in Bulgaria, local authorities, and the government.
The conference will host the AIBEST Annual Award ceremony, which acknowledges companies, good practices in the sector, the proactivity of local authorities, and the contribution of participants from the ecosystem to industry development in our country. The seven award categories are: “Employer of the Year,” “IT (Outsourcing) Company of the Year” “Best Business Process Outsourcing Company,” “Innovation of the Year,” “Project of the Year,” “Most Socially Responsible Company” and “Best strategy for business sustainability in times of crisis.”
The access to the conference is free but requires pre-registration on the event website: aibest.org/annualsummit2020.
The first edition of the international business forum h. i summit will be held on 11.11.2020 online with live streaming and on-site in Inter Expo Center. Human Business Studio organizes the event in media partnership with Investor Media Group. The event marks the launch of a long-term platform for sustainable solutions for our future in the times of dynamic social, political, technological, and demographic changes.
h. i summit will present in-depth global key tendencies in:
– Change management
– Development of the human intellect and potential
– Organizational design and culture
– Forecasting and strategic planning
The event will bring together business leaders, thinkers, artists, futurists, and provocateurs of the status quo from Bulgaria and abroad.
“In the times of health, economic, and political turbulence, we feel the need to strengthen the meaningful dialogue about people. It is part of our company’s mission, and we think that now we have a great need for an authentic conversation about our future. In the first edition of h. i summit in November we put the focus on the next level of human-to-human, human-to-business, and human-to-society interaction. Our goal is to inspire participants and give them practical solutions for the new human intelligence, the innovations in people’s progress, the inclusion in the age of globalization, and the paradoxical atomization of people, the presence and the trace that we as humans would like to leave one day”, share Nina Vladimirova and Karina Karagaeva – managing partners of Human Business Studio.
h. i summit 2020 is a one-day event, with the possibility of on-site attendance and online streaming. It is aimed at senior and middle management in organizations, human capital experts, business owners, entrepreneurs, young professionals, and everyone interested in the future of humanity.
The programme is divided into five panels – iNTELLIGENCE, iNNOVATION, iNSPIRATION, iNTEGRITY, iNCLUSION, with main accents:
– What are the key skills of the human of the future?
– Can we be designers of the technological age?
– How are traditional corporations changing, and how are the different generations in the workforce adapting to the new working conditions, the challenges in developing talent? – What is the new social responsibility of corporations?
– Is there another alternative to the consumer society and the economy in its current form?
– How do we cope with loneliness, alienation, and exclusion in times of technological boom and innovation?
Sofia Development Association invites you to take part in the final InnoBridge online event ‘Streamlining Public Support for SME Innovation’ to be held on 30 September 2020.
Early evidence shows that the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected the SMEs and businesses around Europe. Now more than ever we need good policy responses to foster SME resilience, to help them grow stronger and more innovative after the crisis. What are the measures implemented in different European countries and which have proven to be effective?
Join the conference to discuss related issues and approaches with representatives of regions from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. See the full program of the InnoBridge project event here.
Political figures, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, representatives of the business community and civil society will share experience and ideas on a wide range of topics: “Cities as innovation hubs,” “Connecting Danube Region SME challenges with local goals in place-based innovation policy,” “Making a difference through partnerships,” “How to foster innovation in SMEs.” We invite you to take this opportunity and to engage in a fruitful exchange with our panelists!
The working language of the event is English. It is free and open to the public, but you must register to gain access to the meeting. If you would like to participate, please register here.
InnoBridge is funded by the INTERREG EUROPE programme, cofunded by EU’s ERDF.
The Municipal Councilor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sofia Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency, Mr. Nikolay Stoynev, will participate in the Zones with development potential in the compact city context panel, part of the programme of the Urban Development Forum 2020 (UDF2020).
UDF2020 is a hybrid event of the City Media Group, organized in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. It will take place on 2 October and will be broadcasted live. The event will focus on the solutions that the public and private sectors are looking for to create a sustainable urban environment with good living, business, social and cultural activities.
Nikolay Stoynev is a Municipal councilor, Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic and Property at the Sofia Municipal Council, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Sofia Municipal Privatization & Investment Agency. He will join the discussion on the rapid development of the area Hladilnika – Sofia’s increasingly hot investment zone. It has earned this status not only due to its attractive location (close to the city center, two city parks, and metro station) but also because of the constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors. Another success factor is the investors’ understanding that mutual efforts and coordination will create a modern multifunctional environment with high value of the project in the area.
The panel will present the point of view of the municipality, experts, and investors involved in the progress of the urban planning processes and strategic projects of ‘Hladilnika’, what are the main challenges for the second half of 2020, and what lies ahead.
UDF2020 aims to provide a platform to urban leaders, leading investors, urban planners, designers, builders, experts, and other participants in large-scale public and private projects that shape the image of Bulgarian cities to discuss and summarize good models and practices in the development of urban areas and the creation of a vibrant and functional city environment.
The topics in the program include:
For more information and free registration, please visit:2020en.udf.bg
Biotech Atelier 2020 will be held virtually on 24 – 25 September, via Cisco Webex.
2 Days | 30+ topics | 120+ speakers from around the Globe | 200+ organizations |1.000+ attendees
Biotech Atelier 2020 is the largest and the most intriguing edition of the series. The two days of the conference will cover relevant topics from Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Pharma Industry and Digitalization:
ATMPs | Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence | RWE | COVID-19: the new reality |Personalized Medicine | Patient centricity | Digital Therapeutics | Clinical Trials | Innovation and Investment | Plant Biotechnologies | Water and Biotechnologies
Over 120 speakers, tuning in from various points of the Globe, will authentically present their personal views on the topics of interest, enabling exciting discussions and giving ground to entirely new perspectives. Over 200 regional and global organizations will represent the science and business perspective and will join the discussions to give additional depth to the discussed topics. This year the conference is expecting over 1.000 attendees from around the Globe.
Biotech Atelier 2020 will be live-streamed on the website of the event. Attendees, joining via Cisco Webex, are invited to participate actively and send questions during the sessions via the Chat function. The most interesting ones will be discussed at the end of each panel.
Register now (free of charge) and claim your spot at the European Annual Biotech Conference!
If you are open to career opportunities and you want to meet professionals from all walks of life, join us at Tuk-Tam Hive 2020 – the event you don’t want to miss this September. During the event, you will meet more than 50 companies that hire, hear over 30 speakers and take a look at the products crafted by local Bulgarian startups, as well as to attend various career-related workshops and broaden your professional network.
The event will take place at Inter Expo Center on September 17, and online between 10 am and 17 pm. Find out more about Hive 2020 and register on the website of the event.
At the initiative of the International Economic Relations Center at BIA, our team will join the online B2B event FOOD CONNECTIONS 2020. FOOD CONNECTIONS is organized annually by the Belgian Food Industry Competitiveness Cluster Wagralim and aims to celebrate the innovation in the sector and create a network of companies, experts, universities, and research centers in Europe and worldwide.
This year the event will take place on 17th, 22nd, and 24th September. On behalf of Sofia Investment Agency, Maria Hristova, Head of the Investment Analysis Department, will participate in the webinar and the discussion session on 17 September.
The first day of the B2B event will focus on sustainability and best business practices during COVID-19. We will join the discussions on two main topics:
– The urgent digitalization – with examples of the successful adaptation and accelerated digitalization of startups and large companies in the time of crisis; the characteristics of the different participants in the sector; the transition from B2B to B2C model as a survival tool;
– Getting off to a good start in food E-commerce – what happened in the direct sales from producer/wholesaler to the consumer, distribution chain, competition, and the operational activities such as payments, logistics, and more.
The seminar will present an alternative perspective on e-commerce – that of the “seller.” It will focus on the success factors, the challenges, and the risks (particularly in the food industry), the critical steps in creating and launching an online store in the short-, medium- and long-run.
The meeting on 17 September, starts at 15:30 and will last until 17:00. More than 250 participants from 29 countries have confirmed their participation so far, including the USA, China, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, and others.
You can join FOOD CONNECTIONS 2020 and register for free until 15 September at the following address: https://foodconnections.b2match.io/