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The Public and Private Sectors Present Pilot Project Proposals under Digital Cities Challenge

In November, Sofia Investment Agency held three working meetings with representatives of the sectors of ICT, transport, utilities and city administration, aiming to identify the first pilot projects that will work for the digital transformation of Sofia. The local meetings are part of the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge program, where Sofia will participate together with 40 other cities. The program aims to provide high quality consultancy services to the cities and help them build innovative ecosystems by deploying modern technologies.

During the discussions in November, we described 15 projects related to smart urban transport and traffic management, air quality, energy efficiency of buildings, efficient business model and smart allocation of resources provided by utility companies, digitization of data on use of public utilities and their tracking in real time, activities to support startups, to encourage risky investments, to attract international educational programs to the universities in Sofia, etc.  Implementation deadlines, necessary resources, stakeholders, goals and expected results have been specified.

The generated ideas came in response to the main conclusions of the Sofia Assesment Report, prepared during the first phase of the project. According to the conclusions, the ICT ecosystem of the city is comprised of companies with a high level of technological competence and experience, allowing them to offer a wide range of products. The sector, however, is very export-oriented and currently it does not contribute sufficiently to the modernization of the local economy and urban life. The ecosystem’s further growth will depend on the creation of a local market and the demand for technological services that would enable ICT companies to develop a local environment for the creation and development of their products.

The pilot projects for Sofia will be discussed at the next academic meeting between the cities participating in the Digital Cities Challenge and the 6 mentoring cities in the program. The meeting will take place in January next year in Spain.

If you want to learn more about the project, you can contact Nadia Soultanova, head of the Agency’s Investment Analysis Department at nadia.soultanova@investsofia.com.

Our team would like to express its gratitude to the growing network of local stakeholders and European cities that have joined the project.