SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


Interregional InnoBridge Project Workshop


The 4th interregional InnoBridge project workshop took place in Tampere, Finland, from March 7 to 9th, 2017. The Tampere Region Council and the Foundation of Universities in the region of Castilla y Leon, Spain, presented their programmes and initiatives for fostering regional innovations and encouraging SMEs to utilize R&D findings. Both regions also proposed their own good practices that might be transferred to other interested localities, which varied from on-campus business representation to a staff person allocated to stimulate open data utilization for business purposes.

InnoBridge project is funded by the INTERREG EUROPE programme and unites eight partners from seven countries. Sofia Development Association takes part in it, also representing Sofia Municipality. Apart from SDA team, two representatives from Sofia Municipal Council and the Expert Council on Science and Education participated in the event.

Sofia hosts the first Sofia Innovation Camp this weekend

Sofia Municipality in partnership with the Green Sofia Division of the Sofia Development Association, together with the Ministerial Council and European Commission’s DG CONNECT are co-organizing the first Sofia Innovation Camp that will take place on 11th and 12th March 2017.

The camp will bring experts from diverse countries together to address policy challenges related to open innovation approaches for co-creating innovative public services, co-creating public disscusions on green topics, and co-creating the public administration.

The Camp is organised in the context of the forthcoming Bulgarian EU presidency in the first half of 2018.

The innovation camp will be a small-scale innovation dialogue leading to concrete results. The intention is to produce concrete proposals and prototypes for dealing with the challenges in the coming months.

Approximately 30 people will take part in the Camp. Participants are experts in their respective spheres and stakeholders of the specific challenges and have been selected by the organisers. Participants will be divided in dedicated workgroups, each one addressing a specific challenge.

Coalition of Positive Messengers Goes to Bucharest

The NO hate practitioners' meeting. Mainstreaming best practices, organized by the Civil Society Development Foundation (Romania) took place in Bucharest 1 – 4 March 2017.

The main aim of this event was to share experience and discuss possible mainstreaming of best practices related to countering hate speech in Europe. Participants from more than ten European countries were invited to share national realities related to the hate speech topic, to discuss differences in approaches used in different countries in order to counteract hate speech, and to plan new joint interventions in their local communities.

The event was a great opportunity to share the methodology and objectives of the project Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech, implemented by 7 EU countries and coordinated by SDA. Snezhina Gabova from SDA participated in the event and presented the project in the first of the NoHate Talk sessions in the program.

Under the Coalitions project several training sessions for local stakeholders to design counter narratives to hate speech will be held in the partner countries (among them Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece). Interested CSOs will be invited to attend the local training sessions organized by SDA‘s partner in each of these countries. The event in Bucharest was an important forum to establish new connections and to exchange fresh ideas on an important but also challenging topic as hate speech.

NewGenerationSkills Kick-off meeting and Launching event

Municipality of Újbuda as Lead Partner of the NewGenerationSkills Interreg Danube transnational project welcomed the projects to Kick-off Meeting and launching conference on 28 February – 1 March 2017 in Budapest.

The Sofia Development Association team, as knowledge partner and WP Innovation Capacities Coordinator took part in the meeting and launching event.

On March, 1 the project Launching event gathered 80 experts and citizens in the Bartok.32 Gallery to discuss the innovation potential of the youth, their entrepreneurial skills and preparedness to become entrepreneurs.

We presented the innovation potential of Sofia and what we will bring to the project.

As the March, 1 is also a Bulgarian traditional holiday called Baba Marta we surprised the partners and guests sharing our tradition by offering all of them the traditional Bulgarian martenitza.

More details about the programme are included in the Agenda

SDA and Sofia Municipality partner and host Innovation Explorer Day for a second year in a raw

Sevdalina Voynova with Sofia Development Association participated in the roundtable “Public-private innovation partnerships” in the framework of the annual forum Innovation Explorer Day in Sofia on February 23, 2017. Examples of successful innovation partnerships in the public domain in three areas: education, climate and digital society, were presented at the forum. International guests also took part in the presentation of good practices and ideas for urban innovations. Sevdalina shared initiatives and project of Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association to foster the innovation ecosystem like the Strategy for Smart Specialization, the coordination of the Digital Transition partnership - part of the European Urban Agenda, the Public-Private Fund for Innovations. The roundtable ended with an open discussion on the three themes.

Kick-off Seminar for Lead Partners


Sofia Development Association took part in a kick-off seminar for lead partners of projects funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, call JUST/2015/RRAC/AG. Only nine projects have been approved out of 134 applications. Sofia Development Association is the only lead partner from Bulgaria, with the project “Coalition of Positive Messanger fo Counter Online Hate Speech". The seminar, held on February 16, 2017 at the premises of DG Justice, walked the lead partners through the project management, administrative and financial rules and reporting requirements. A special roundtable session was devoted to discussion with DG policy officers regarding relevant EU policies and the contribution of each project to them.

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