The third workshop for the Digital Cities Challenge project was held on September 10th at the Microsoft Innovation Center at Sofia Tech Park.
The previous two workshops were focused on creating a community of stakeholders, implementing an “as is” analysis and defining the Vision and Ambition for digitalization of Sofia.
This one was the first workshop dedicated to strategy formulation.
The workshop gathered local stakeholders from the ICT sector, the start-up community, utility companies and the local government with the goal to review and validate the marked Operational Objectives and to identify potential actions and KPIs for the digitalization of the city in the areas of Government, Utilities, Transport and Start-up Ecosystem into a single strategy document.
The Digital Cities Challenge is an initiative of coaching and facilitation by the European Commission to help European cities develop and implement policies that focus on smart, sustainable growth through the uptake of advanced technologies by local businesses.
The aim of the Challenge is to offer high-level advisory services to 15 European cities and help them build up innovation ecosystems through the deployment of advanced tech. Due to the high interest showcased by the 92 applications from cities all over Europe, the initiative has increased its outreach to include 21 Fellow cities that have joined on their own resources and 6 Mentor cities that inspire and share best practices with the group. Together they create a network of over 40 cities that participate in the initiative.
Sofia was among the first 7 cities approved to take part in the implementation of the project and to develop its own strategy for digitization. Sofia’s participation is managed by the Sofia Investment Agency.
The mission of the digital transformation strategy of Sofia is to define a series of actions strengthening the business ecosystem of the ICT in Sofia in order:
(a) to develop and offer ICT solutions for the digital transformation of the city;
(b) to identify and open markets for digital products and services, local, national or global, and facilitate the access to these markets; and
(c) to support the local system of innovation for enabling the Digital Transformation.
Sofia Investment Agency will present the current project results on the next Academy Seminar that will gather representatives of all the 43 participating cities in Thessaloniki on October 17th and 18th.
The Academy Seminar in October will kick-start the next steps in the process. All cities will have to:
– Develop a detailed roadmap for the implementation of the strategy;
– Subdivide strategy into project tasks and define priorities;
– Define the governance and strategic steering of the strategy;
– Identify potential funding streams for the implementation of priority projects.
We would like to thank Microsoft Innovation Center for hosting the event, and all of the local project stakeholders – Sofia Municipal Council, Vision for Sofia, the Center for Urban Mobility, Sofia Tech Park, Sofyiska voda, Sofia University, ICB, Bulpros, Scale Focus, Resonator (Bozhana Ivanova), Fund of Funds Bulgaria, ICT Cluster, Evrotrust Technologies, Foundation Vision for Science & Technology Growth.
If you want to learn more about the project, please contact Nadia Soultanova, Head of ‘Investment and Business Development’ at Sofia Investment Agency by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.