The management and the team of Sofia Tech Park AD presented the planned activities and their implementation at the moment under the “Science and Technology Park – Phase 2” project, financed under the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020. The first phase was realized with a gratuitous financial assistance from the Operational Program “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” 2007-2013.
The main objective of the project is to attract and encourage innovative ideas and projects for products and services, thus helping to increase the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy and to create new jobs.
The start of the project is 11 April 2017. The deadline for implementation is 11 April 2019. The total amount of funding is 12 317 649.61 BGN. The financial assistance under the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 amounts to BGN 12 273 495.25 of which BGN 10 432 470.97 are European funds and BGN 1 841 024.29 is national co-financing.
The Executive Director of Sofia Tech Park AD Mr. Todor Angelov presented the main tasks of the project and the achievements so far. “We are building the innovation environment that embraces all aspects of research, technological development and innovation. The aim of the project is to improve the exchange of knowledge between academia and business by supporting start-up companies and innovative ideas, and by catalyzing the process of commercialization of research, “Mr. Angelov said. He pointed out that under the implementation of Phase 1 of the project the Park’s infrastructure with the Laboratory complex, business incubator, innovation forum, sports complex, park zones and multi-storey parking was built. Scientific equipment for the 11 laboratories was also provided.
Phase 2 activities include the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd., the supply of additional scientific equipment and furniture for the Laboratory complex, the supply and installation of a roof structure for the Sports Complex, the selection of a professional Incubator operator in the science and technology park and support services for start-ups, and the creation of a permanent interactive exposition in the Experimentarium building aimed at children in school age, and others.
The CEO noted that part of the project activities have already been completed and others are in an advanced stage of implementation. The pedestrian bridge over Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd. has already been built and put into operation, which provides easy access to the science and technology park. The roof structure over the tennis courts is also executed. Delivered and installed is part of the additional scientific equipment provided within the project. The work is underway to develop a new site of the Science and Technology Park, which will present the activities, projects and events that take place in the individual components of the Park and will provide comprehensive information on the opportunities presented by them. The work on the documentation for the selection procedure of a Business Incubator operator is also completed.
“Sofia Tech Park” AD is in an advanced process and in pursuit of the goals set for the revival of the building of Museum-Experimentarium. Mr. Angelov stressed that a civil society was established together with one of the most prestigious companies in the ICT sector – TechnoLogica EAD, for the creation of a permanent interactive exposition for children in school age. The idea is to create a place (about 1,000 square meters) with many activities to attract adolescents to science and technology, thus stimulating the development of their knowledge and logical thinking. Sofia Tech Park AD participates in the initiative by providing for use of part of the premises in the Museum / Experimentarium building. TechnoLogica EAD will provide a concept for the content and the necessary equipment, the design of all elements and interactive facilities, the design and expert design of the exhibition.
The exposition will be called TechnoMajiclLand. The Sofia Tech Park Executive Director, Mr. Todor Angelov, pointed out that the civil society that will develop the museum will work with no profit without any distribution to the participating countries, and if it is generated, it will be used only to further development of the exposure, to create new interactive activities. The Initiative for the creation of the Interactive Museum is open to all potential partners and followers to engage and support the development of this idea, centered on education and science. Mr. Angelov noted that “Sofia Tech Park” is looking for partnerships and ideas for the revival of the rest of the Museum / Experimentarium building, which is also intended as an innovative place for temporary expositions, exhibitions, conferences and other events related to the main focus areas of the science and technology park – ICT, life sciences, clean energies, education.
TechnoLogica Executive Director and BAIT President Mr. Ognian Trayanov said that the joint initiative with Sofia Tech Park AD for the creation of the interactive museum is a good example of a partnership between the business and the state. “Our goal is to recreate an environment like the one in which children naturally get to know the world. We have foreseen sectors with activities in physics, mathematics, robotics, informatics, artificial intelligence and many others. Children will learn science and technology in a fun, interesting and educational way. There will also be a competition element on the spot and on an internet platform, “said Mr. Trayanov. He stressed that the cost of the tickets for a visit to TechnoMajicLand will be low so that the exposure is available to most families whose children are interested in science and technology. The exhibition will also present the achievements of Bulgarian science in the past, new scientific projects as well as the opportunities provided by the Laboratory Complex of the Science and Technology Park. The interactive exposure is expected to open in the spring of 2018.
Information Day was held in Sofia Tech Park, in the building of the Laboratory Complex. Participation in the event was also the member of the Board of Directors of the company Mrs. Zhivka Takeva-Parvanova, the Chair of the Association for Research and Development Prof. Marin Hristov, the representatives of the Managing Authority of the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 : Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mr. Kalin Marinov, Head of Monitoring and Financial Management Department Mr. Stefan Popov, State Expert Mr. Todor Chilov, representatives of the media and others.