Sofia Tech Park and The Technical University – Gabrovo will establish an Association of Science and Technology Parks in Bulgaria. The founding strategic partnership agreement for the establishment of the organization was signed at an official ceremony on 01.02.2023 by the chairman of the Management Board of Sofia Tech Park Vassil Karaivanov, the Executive Director of Sofia Tech Park Todor Mladenov, the Rector of Technical University – Gabrovo Prof. Ilia Zhelezarov and the Chairman of the Technological Park at the University Prof. Raicho Hilarionov.
The two organizations will unite their efforts in the field of science and technology transfer, support of start-up businesses, development of science, education and innovation in Bulgaria. The agreement provides for achieving synergy for the joint use of research infrastructures positioned in the two science and technology parks, creating a more effective relationship with national and international companies, participation in new joint developments and organizing joint events.
“Today we are launching initiatives and events to lay the foundations for the association of technology parks and technology transfer actors in Bulgaria. Sofia Tech Park’s team has been working for some time on the establishment of a Balkan Association of Tech Parks so that our hub can grow into a Balkan Hub,” said Vassil Karaivanov. In his words, the initiative is aimed at developing technology transfer from science to business and supporting the country’s economic growth.
“We’ve come quite a way and we have enough experience in business and science development. We know how important it is to share the resources and experience we have,” said Todor Mladenov, Executive Director of Sofia Tech Park.
“Today is a celebration for the Technical University – Gabrovo and for the Technology Park at the university because together with Sofia Tech Park we are creating an association of science and technology parks in Bulgaria in conditions of a lasting partnership. This framework agreement brings with it many goals and objectives. The main ones are – to build a knowledge-based cooperation network through collaboration between the science and technology parks, to commercialize research, to bring a new culture of innovation and sustainability, and most of all economic development by sharing our resources,” said prof. Zhelezarov.
“The alliance between strong units has always produced good results in history. Gabrovo needs support and communication with business, it needs to present its ideas. Gabrovo is business, education, science, innovation,” said prof. Illarionov.
Sofia Tech Park is the first science and technology park in Bulgaria that develops activities to support start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, science, education and innovation. It functions as a hub for researchers, innovative start-ups and mature technology companies from Bulgaria and the region. Its activities are dedicated to the development and management of a unique environment to support and grow small and medium-sized companies by providing know-how, networking opportunities and access to new technologies in three key areas: information and communication technologies, life sciences and clean energy. The organisation is based on connecting knowledge, people and technology, and includes several key components: a laboratory complex with 11 high-tech units in biotechnology, bioengineering, 3D printing and prototyping, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cyber security, etc., a Business Incubator, Petascale Supercomputer Discoverer, an interactive science and technology centre, and an event forum. The project is funded by the Operational Programme “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” 2007-2013 and the Operational Programme “Innovation and Competitiveness”.
The Technology Park at TU-Gabrovo includes 18 laboratories from the Centre of Competence “Intelligent, Mechatronic, Eco- and Energy-Saving Systems and Technologies”, the Centre of Excellence “National Centre for Mechatronics and Clean Technologies”, the Centre of Competence “Quantum Communication, Intelligent Systems for Security and Risk Management” (QUASAR) and the Centre of Competence “Digitalization of the Economy in a Big Data Environment”. The centres are funded by the Operational Programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth”, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.