The WEBIT.Festival Europe 2018 team will let a group of young and ambitious volunteers join the activities behind the scenes at the prestigious festival to be held this year on June 26-27, 2018 in Sofia Tech Park. A total of 50 active, responsible and outgoing individuals with interest in the subject of the festival, namely global digital transformations, will be selected as volunteers. Their responsibilities will include organizational activities during the event, reception of delegates and speakers, provision of assistance to VIP guests, etc.
The volunteers outside the theaters will be busy only during one of the two days of the event. Those inside the theaters will be busy both days, and thus will be able to listen to all the presentations. A complete description of the requirements and the application form can be found on the website of the festival.
Webit.Festival 2018 is one of the most influential forums in Europe dedicated to business, technologies and innovations. Sofia is one of the annual locations of the prestigious festival together with Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore and New Delhi.
The theme this year is re:Inventing Europe’s Future. Again Webit Congress will gather top executives for a main planetary session, 12 parallel conferences, and a number of workshops and discussions on human health, digital infrastructure, smart cities, mobility and many more.
The programme, keynote speakers, attendees from 2017 and the registration form for 2018 are available at http://www.webit.bg.
PowerUp! by InnoEnergy
InnoEnergy, Europe’s largest sustainable energy accelerator, launched PowerUp! – the biggest regional competition for energy start-ups in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
The competition calls for innovative ideas in sustainable energy, smart buildings, cybersecurity, tackling smog, cleantech. PowerUp! Offers financial awards up to €30,000 and an opportunity of a €150,000 investment.
Projects will be accepted until April 19th, 2018. The form has to be submitted in English. Website: http://powerup.innoenergy.com/en/
Pioneers into practice by Climate-KIC
Operating in eight European locations, the Pioneers into Practice programme runs from May through to November and consists of a 4-6 week placement (domestic or international), workshop programme and online training. Pioneers Programme brings together climate change professionals and organisations from across public, private, research & not for profit interested in applying innovations in the area of climate change.
Projects will be accepted until April 15th, 2018. Website: https://pioneers.climate-kic.org/
ClimateLaunchpad by Climate-KIC
The world’s largest cleantech business idea competition kicks off again – ClimateLaunchpad 2018 is now open for applications. Individuals, teams, start-ups, entrepreneurs and researchers are invited to submit their cleantech ideas. Entries are judged on their impact on climate change. The most promising entries gain access to Climate-KIC’s Accelerator programme and a cash prize of € 10 000. Projects will be accepted until April 30th, 2018. Website: https://climatelaunchpad.org
If you have any questions regarding the competition, you can also contact Cleantech Bulgaria, a non-governmental organization that coordinates the competition at a local level.
The European Commission launched The European Social Innovation Competition. The competition calls all Horizon 2020 associated countries to come up with ideas including, but not limited to:
Initiatives that use new technologies and ways of working to provide opportunities for youth within their local communities;
Ideas that assist young people who wouldn’t have otherwise become innovators to create their own opportunities in their local environment;
Ideas co-created with young people to respond to requirements in their local community for skills, experiences and opportunities;
Solutions to improve the quality of life and financial security of young people in irregular work
Innovations that provide information, advice and guidance to young people so they can navigate their options in the new economy;
Programmes that equip the next generation of workers with skills that allow young people to harness technological change;
Ideas that are led by young people themselves are particularly encouraged.
Our monthly newsletter provides information on upcoming international trade exhibitions and fairs where you can introduce your business to a professional audience and potential partners and customers. Registration for participation in such forums usually takes place weeks and even months before the start of the events. The trade fairs listed below will take place in June, so you have the necessary time to prepare your application.
Architect@Work France Lyon
07.- 08. June 2018 | Trade fair for architecture
Architect@Work France is a trade fair for professional visitors only: architecture, interior design, technologies, equipment, tools, installations and materials for house construction. It will be held in Lyon. The aim of the fair is to create an optimal environment for the development of contacts between architects, designers, interior designers, engineers and employees of local institutions. Presented are new technologies, equipment and materials in the market.
The Architect@Work France will take place on 2 days from Thursday, 07. June to Friday, 08. June 2018 in Lyon.
all about automation, Essen
06.- 07. June 2018 | Regional automation trade fair
The “all about automation” fair in Essen, Germany, is focused on proven and successful products, turnkey solutions and powerful concepts of industrial automation technology. The exhibition linkes sales departments in the region with potential prospects and existing customers. The organization concept offers more time for talks, short distances to and at the fair and minimal organizational effort by all-inclusive packages for exhibitors and visitors.
The “all about automation” fair will take place for 2 days: from Wednesday, 06. June to Thursday, 07. June 2018 in Essen.
19.- 22. June 2018 | International Trade Fair for automation technology
Automatica is an international trade fair for automation technology, which takes place once a year at the fair in Munich, in the heart of Europe’s largest market for Robotics and Automation. International products at the core areas of assembly and handling technology, robotics, and industrial image processing are presented to the visitors; related technologies are shown as well. Automatica is the first international trade fair, where people can see all segments of the robotics and automation division. It is an independent event, where interested people find all kinds of automation technology under one roof.
Automatica will take place on/for 4 days: from Tuesday, 19. June
TEOCR Prague has extended an invitation to Bulgarian companies to participate in the Amper 2019 international fair. The deadline for submitting an application expires at the end of May this year, so that the team of TEOCR Prague will be able to negotiate preferential terms with the organizers and help with timely organization for the good performance of participants from the Bulgarian business.
The fair is an excellent opportunity for Bulgarian companies with activity in the field of electrical engineering, electronics and automation, enabling them not only to present their products as exhibitors, but also to make good business contacts as visitors, as well as to learn the latest trends at the numerous events during the fair.
If you are interested, you can send the following basic information to Mr. Georgi Stoilov at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Bulgarian companies and branch organizations will have enough time to prepare and can rely on the assistance of the Trade and Economic Office in the Czech Republic for consultations on the options for participation and the cost of the various options, as well as detailed information and assistance on important details for good presentation /arrangement of the space, way of presentation, provision of translation services, type of partners it is important to make contact with, etc.
More about Amper
The Amper International Fair is held annually and is one of the largest fairs related to electrical engineering, electronics and automation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Traditionally, the fair is a place to contact international partners, present own brands, establish competitive market positions, and last but not least it provides the opportunity to present new products not only at the fair itself but also through the media partners of the fair and through the site of the fair amper.cz. Thus, the effect of the fair exceeds
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Union (EU) have opened a window for participation in the “Advice for Small Business” program in support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) willing to receive consultancy support for sustainable growth.
In the first two years, the program will enable more than 70 Bulgarian companies to gain access to up-to-date, local and international consultancy services in a wide range of areas such as strategy, trade and export promotion, financial management, resource efficiency, marketing, and many more.
Most local companies with a turnover in the range of EUR 0.5 – 50 million and less than 250 employees are eligible to apply for the program. In close cooperation with EBRD, the company’s first step within the program is to assess its needs and growth opportunities. Then EBRD puts the company in touch with a specialized consultant or an international expert who can offer the necessary expertise. The program refunds 67% of the cost of a consultancy project after its successful completion.
The program was launched in 1993 and is currently present in 27 countries, helping more than 20 000 companies grow their businesses, often recruit additional staff and gain access to external funding.
More information on how you can take advantage of this opportunity is available here: http://www.ebrd.com/knowhow/bulgaria
The UK IT Roadshow is an initiative of the British Bulgarian Business Association aiming to promote Bulgaria as an IT business destination and to create business opportunities for both UK and Bulgarian interested parties. Bulgaria is named Offshoring Destination of the Year by the Global Sourcing Association (2016). The country also ranks 1st in Europe and 3rd in the world in IT-certified specialists per capita and offers excellent Internet and telecommunication infrastructure and strong programming and foreign language skills.
The UK IT Roadshow will take place during London Tech Week and the International Business Festival in Liverpool. The BBBA delegation at these unique events will comprise of representatives of IT companies, which intend to develop or extend business links between Bulgaria and the U.K.
A rich programme of events has been developed, with the emphasis on networking and presentation activities, as well as opportunities for 1-to-1 meetings, and participation in the two big international events in London and Liverpool. The delegation will be promoted among interested UK parties on the following web page where delegates will upload their profiles.
This is a unique opportunity to display your business on a truly global stage at two world-class events, each with hundreds of thousands of attendees. By aligning with the BBBA, participants will be able to access some of the most high-value events, as well as a number of unique networking opportunities and the pre-meeting selection tools will allow optimal time management and meeting effectiveness.
London – Market Briefing and Networking with Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce; Participation in London Tech Week;
London – Attendance of Createch Event at London Tech Week; Official Reception at the Bulgarian Embassy, promoted as part of the London Tech Week programme;
London – Dedicated matchmaking event with interested UK parties; Networking event, hosted by Gatwick Diamond OR Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce (TBC);
Liverpool – Participation in International Business Festival; Evening networking event with Northern Powerhouse Business Network;
Liverpool – Market Briefing and Networking Event with Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
The British Bulgarian Business Association represents a strong group of IT companies, both Bulgarian and British, which have all been invited to send their delegates with the Roadshow. Confirmed delegates: Accedia, Athlon, BGO Software, Bulbera, Elando, Grafixoft, Mish Mash, Newtrend Agency, R&D Solutions, ScaleFocus.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com and review
At the end of March, the Urban Mobility Center (UMC) launched a new service, allowing fast and easy mobile payment for a stay in a zone-paid parking area. The application also allows for a package payment for up to 2 hours for “blue zone” and up to 4 hours for “green zone”.
Furthermore, the new service will make it easier for foreign guests of Sofia who are not able to pay for parking via SMS, when external operators do not allow this type of payment.
Payment via SMS will also be possible, as such an option is built into the new application.
The application is available for download here: https://www.sofiatraffic.bg/bg/mobile-apps
The construction and development of Sofia Metro is “The Most Successful Infrastructure Project of the Decade” for the period 2007-2017. The project was awarded at the special edition of the Infrastructure Bulgaria Awards 2018 initiative. The award was presented on March 20 at an event organized by the City Media Group, part of the calendar of events of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council 2018. Photos are available on the website of Sofia Municipality.
“Spring Cleaning”, the traditional initiative of Sofia Municipality, started on March 26. The campaign will continue until April 28 and will take place in two stages: area cleaning and landscaping.
The campaign has its own website, where you can learn more about the organization and how to get involved – spring.inspectorat-so.org
Italian university Universitas Mercatorum will open a branch in Sofia, as announced at the European conference EURONET-Italian Networking around Europe, organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. The University will offer bachelor’s and master’s degree courses in economics and tourism.
Universitas Mercatorum is a public-private university of the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Europe. By opening a branch in Sofia, the university aims to provide entrepreneurs in Bulgaria with professionals, trained in accordance with an Italian model of education, Giuseppe Saccone, a university representative said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. He was in Bulgaria to participate in “Innovation and Digital Innovation in Sofia as EU Digital Capital Markets”, a discussion panel within the framework of the conference of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria.
Sofia will have another vocational high school profiled in digital technologies and skills. The school called SoftUni Svetlina is a project of SoftUni – the largest software university in Bulgaria, and is in line with the institution’s policy to offer modern education. The concept of the digital technology school is to turn students into professionals, mastering modern digital and practical skills that meet the needs of the companies that would hire them.
One class in each of the three profiles – Programming and Software Technologies, Graphic Design and Multimedia, and Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship – will start in the autumn. The school offers regular and online mode of education. Distance students are also required to pass the respective exams in order to obtain an accredited postgraduate diploma in accordance with the state requirements.
The program of the school is focused on social skills, practical projects, teamwork, ideas protection, problem solving skills, creative thinking – skills that aim to prepare high school students for the real life and turn them into young professionals for their future employers. The team of teachers has the ambition to present the traditional material in a more interactive, intriguing and attractive way for children, in contrast with standard way of studying by memorizing without any practical tasks.
Students who study online will go in for examinations at the school several times a year. Thus, students from other high schools will be able to study in parallel at SoftUni Svetlina and to obtain the respective diploma. A live interview will be conducted with those who applied for admission, including students and parents, prior to the final admission
Bulgaria ranks second in terms of wage growth in the European Union, data from Eurostat for the fourth quarter of 2017 showed. The increase in remuneration in Bulgaria reached 12.2% for the reported period. The labor costs for employers grew faster only in Romania – by 14.3%. Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia rank immediately after Bulgaria. Overall, the average EU cost of labor rose by 2.3%. A drop in wages was reported only in Italy and Finland.
Despite the reported wage growth in Bulgaria, Eurostat data from January 2018 show that the minimum wage of EUR 261 in the country remains the lowest among the 28 EU countries. We are followed by Lithuania with a minimum wage of EUR 400.
Eurostat data released in January also showed that the unemployment rate in the EU has reached its lowest level since 10 years – 7.3%. In Bulgaria, unemployment has reached its lowest value since February 2009 – 5.9%. This ranks the country 12th in the EU in terms of lowest unemployment rate. Bulgaria is also among the 17 EU countries with unemployment lower than the EU average.
The lowest rates of unemployment were reported in the Czech Republic – 2.4%, Malta – 3.5% and Germany – 3.6%. The unemployment was higher in Greece (20.9%) and Spain (16.3%).
The full Eurostat data on wages and unemployment rates by country are available on the following pages:
According to preliminary data of BNB, foreign investments in Bulgaria showed an annual growth of 64.6% in January and reached EUR 158.8 million. Investments were almost entirely in the form of debt instruments. Equity proceeds amounted to EUR 19.9 million. No data is available on the reinvested earnings yet. The figures are to be revised after BNB receives reports from the companies.
Most foreign investments came from the UK (EUR 58.8 million), the Netherlands (EUR 20.8 million), Germany (EUR 20.1 million) and Liechtenstein (EUR 19.6 million).
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has updated the data for the previous two years. The foreign investments in 2016 were revised to EUR 1.08 billion from EUR 660 million, mainly due to an upward correction in reinvested earnings. The initially announced foreign investments of EUR 902 million in 2017 were revised to EUR 950 million, an increase compared to the preliminary forecast, but a decrease compared to the year before.
The country’s trade balance data have also been updated
Bulgarian imports totaled BGN 59 billion in 2017, showing a higher growth of 15.4%, compared to exports. Exports exceeded BGN 52 billion, an increase of 11%, compared to 2016. We exported most goods and services to Germany (BGN 5.6 billion), as well as to the Balkan Peninsula (BGN 13.7 billion), or 26 % of total exports.
We export machines, clothing, food and medicines, but the main engine is the production of automotive parts and IT products. These are also the two sectors creating the highest added value. About 170 companies manufacturing automotive parts and systems for large automobile manufacturers in Bulgaria create 4% of GDP and employ more than 40,000 people in the country. The information and communication technology sector generates a turnover of services in the amount of EUR 2.5 billion, with an added value of EUR 1.14 billion. According to Eurostat data, the sector records a steady and dynamic growth and employs 51,000 people.
Bulgaria ranks 58th among 115 countries in the world for enabling digital growth, according to the 2018 research from the leading trade credit insurer Euler Hermes. Its Enabling Digitalisation Index (EDI) analyses each country’s ability to provide the necessary environment for the business to succeed in an increasingly digitalized global economy.
The total score of each country (a score from 0=worse to 100=best) consists of five components – Regulation, Knowledge, Connectivity, Infrastructure and Size. Bulgaria scores best in terms of proactive digital regulation (Regulation) – 73.7 points. Its score is lower in the other four components: Knowledge – 46.1, Connectivity – 39.9, Infrastructure – 39.9, and Size – 0.5. Thus, Bulgaria’s overall performance is estimated at 40 points. The US tops the list globally with 87 points, followed by Germany – at 75.3 points and the Netherlands – at 74.3.
The EDI measures the conditions for companies to transform and thrive digitally. The score is made of the following 5 components:
Regulation: measures performance on regulations which matter for digitagility – ease of getting credit, investor’s protection and incentives
Knowledge: measures countries’ education and training score – secondary and tertiary enrollment rates, quality of the education system and the extent of employees’ training, as well as their efforts to boost innovation performance – stimulating R&D activities, collaboration between Universities and the private sector, intellectual property laws
Connectivity: measures the number of people using internet in % of population, mobile phone and fixed phones lines subscriptions per 100 people, and the number of secure servers per 100 people
Infrastructure: for this component Euler Hermеs uses the Logistics Performance Index tool by the World Bank as a proxy of soft and hard logistical infrastructure.
Size: measures the number of internet users, and their income (the component correlates with reducing digital inequalities)
The US is on top of the digital world with a score of 87 out of 100. The country benefits from a large market, a strong knowledge ecosystem and a stable business environment. In Europe, the best performer is Germany, ranking second best globally with a global score of 75.3 and leading the way in Europe.
Western Europe stands out when it comes to providing favorable environment for businesses to thrive in the digitalization era, with 16 countries ranked in the top 30 and four countries in the top 5: Germany, the
Women make up 44.6% of the workforce in Bulgaria’s technology sector, Financial Times wrote in an article dedicated to main statistical findings on the tech workforce in the EU. The technology sector is one of the fastest-growing in the country and holds the second-highest proportion of women as % of the total employment in the EU after Lithuania. The average for the bloc, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, is 32%. In general, Eastern European countries have the highest percentage of women working in the sector of high-tech industry.
We now have lots of female C-level managers in the digital industry. They’re very visible in the tech community and in society, FT quotes Sasha Bezuhanova, Founder of the social innovation platform Move.bg. According to Ms Bezuhanova the country also has growing numbers of female founders of startups. Between 10 and 12% of Bulgarian start-ups are founded by women.
More statistical findings from Eurostat on the topic*:
In 2015, 2.4 million people were employed in high-tech manufacturing, corresponding to 1.1 % of total employment. Overall, roughly one out of three employees in the high-tech sectors was a woman in 2015. However, the share of women was different in manufacturing and services:
The number of persons employed as ICT specialists in the EU-28 grew by 39.5 % during the period from 2006 to 2016, which was more than 10 times as high as the corresponding increase (3.6 %) for total employment. In 2016, some 8.2 million persons worked as ICT specialists across the EU-28. Across the whole of the EU-28, ICT specialists accounted for 3.7 % of the total workforce in 2016; this was 37 % higher than the share recorded in 2006.
*Data extracted in December 2017. ICT specialists are defined as persons who have the ability