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.

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STUDENTS FROM NBU CREATED THE DESIGN OF A NEW TRANSPORT SERVICE IN SOFIA

Very soon, a new transport service will be introduced in Sofia - public transport on demand in the south-western districts of Sofia. The minibuses will be electric and their routes will be determined based on the demand of the users. The new electric minibuses will be requested by a mobile application, they will pick up citizens from the nearest possible point and take them to the nearest subway or tram line. This innovative transport service is implemented for the first time in Europe and in the framework of INNOAIR project.

Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association organized a design competition for the new transport service in partnership with New Bulgarian University. The students' task was to create a design that shows that the minibuses are part of the public transport system, but also that their use is via an application and without a fixed route.

Students from the Bachelor's program "Web Design and Graphic Advertising", NBU, took part in the competition and worked on the projects with great desire and enthusiasm. The projects they present are creative and colorful, modern and simple. A jury composed of representatives of the Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association and New Bulgarian University made the difficult decision which projects should be implemented. Three projects reached the final, and two of them will be realized, as their designs are similar and complement each other. These are the projects of Kemi Dimitrova Kostadinova and Vanessa Ventsislavova Panayotova. Congratulations on the ideas, we look forward to seeing them implemented soon!

The competition is held within the INNOAIR project, the first and so far the only project from Bulgaria, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. The project introduces for the first time in Europe on demand public transport, as well as for the first time in Sofia and Bulgaria low emission zone, green corridors, and the mobile application SofiaCoin with awards for active transport.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

            

The Sofia Development Association published two reports on the subject of social innovation

The Sofia Development Association published two reports that study the need for social innovation and different strategies used for the implementation of such practices in Bulgaria and throughout the EU.

The two studies are a key component of the “Social Innovation Plus - Competence Centres (SI PLUS)” project, which is funded by the European Commission, the European Social Fund and the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation. 

The first report studies a few already existing examples of centers for social innovations in the EU. More specifically it concentrates on interesting practices from Portugal, France and Poland.

The second report observes the need for social innovations in Bulgaria and other countries in the EU. It focuses on the main changes in those needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also focuses on the main potential beneficiaries of such projects as well as some key target groups – from the corporate world to risk groups and others.

The two reports, as well as other information on the “Social Innovation Plus - Competence Centres (SI PLUS)” project are available here.

The project is funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, European Social Fund and European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.    

    

Sofia and Semarang cooperate on sustainable urban mobility

With support from the EU-funded International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme, from June 27th to July 1st, 2022, a delegation from Sofia visited the Indonesian city of Semarang to exchange experiences, share good practices and identify joint pilot actions both cities would implement in 2023 in the area of sustainable urban mobility.

“The European Union is committed to contributing to Indonesia’s urban development and its aspirations to achieve the SDGs and Vision 2045,” said HE Vincent Piket, Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. “We are delighted to support the partnership on urban mobility between Semarang and Sofia under the IURC programme as this is a notable issue that cities around the world are facing. I hope this cooperation will offer new opportunities for learning to address the challenge.”

Since the launch of their cooperation last November 2021, this is the first time Sofia and Semarang officials have met in person. In a series of online meetings prior to this visit, the two cities have identified sustainable urban mobility as their area of interest. The Indonesian city is keen to share its experience in working with the private sector to provide public transport and discuss the plans to develop dedicated bus lanes for Bus Trans Semarang and the reactivation of the tram system to connect with tourist areas. “According to our Urban Mobility Plan, the goal is for the use of private vehicles to decrease to 60% and that of public transport to increase to 40% by 2040,” said Mr Hendrar Prihadi, Mayor of Semarang City. “Also, the integrated mass transit system is expected to cover 95% of the city’s total area. We believe our cooperation with Sofia will deliver concrete recommendations on the execution of our plan to achieve the 2040 target.”

Semarang and Sofia city officials visited the city’s Traffic Control Centre to observe its work, experienced Bus Trans Semarang, visited Semarang’s tram routes, and met with the mayor of Semarang, city official, representatives from Gojek company to explore cooperation and possible business opportunities. The Sofia representatives shared good practices appropriate for transfer, such as the INNOAIR project on-demand public transport, SofiaCoin mobile app encouraging active and public transport use by citizens, branding public transport vehicles to promote tourism, etc.

Following this visit, Semarang is scheduled to visit Sofia in September 2022. A joint pilot action between the two cities is expected to be developed soon afterwards.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

          

          

JULY CALENDAR WITH ACTIVITIES IN THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS

The Bureau for Information and Services for third country nationals in Sofia presents to your attention the Program with activities for the month of July.

A full list of the services offered by the relevant organizations, days and hours of visit, opportunities to participate in useful events, and other details can be found in the Program for July.

The program and the services provided by the Bureau are in several languages:

You can find the program for July in Bulgarian HERE.
You can find the program for July in Ukrainian HERE.
You can find the program for July in English HERE.
You can find the program for July in French HERE.
You can find the program for July in Arabic HERE.
You can find the program for July in Farsi HERE.
You can find the program for July in Russian HERE.

https://infobureau.bcrm-bg.org/en

The Bureau for Information and Services for third country national is established under the #CONNECTION project and is funded by a European grant.

 

 

CONNECTION project: CONNECTING Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

 

 

More than 20 experts and activists gathered in Varna to discuss social innovations with the Sofia Development Association

On 29th June 2022 in Varna, Bulgaria the Sofia Development Association organized a seminar that aimed to create a step-by-step model of the completion, structure and key components of a brand new competence centre for social innovation in Bulgaria.

The seminar is part of the “Social Innovation Plus - Competence Centres (SI PLUS)” project, which is funded by the European Commission, the European Social Fund and the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.The event was held in The Social Teahouse, a local partner of SDA in this particular project.

More than 20 people from different Bulgarian cities gathered to discuss and debate ideas on the creation and structure of the centre, among them members of non-governmental organizations, people with an academic background, representatives of the Varna Municipality and other members of the public administration in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Varna. Representatives from the Foundation for the Technical Development of the Industry – Hungary, a partner organization on the project, also joined the event as part of the peer learning activities and shared their experience in supporting social innovation and building networks of stakeholders from the quadruple helix for setting up Social Innovation Competence Centre.

Denitza Lozanova, SI PLUS project manager, presented a study that observes similar organisations throughout the EU and also conclusions on the subject of implementation of different social innovations. Csaba Novak, director of international affairs, and Tamas Szenttamási, social innovation expert at the Foundation for the Technical Development of the Industry – Hungary, presented a research in the field of social innovation, support policies and practices in Hungary.

SI PLUS has a duration of 24 months as a whole and includes institutions from countries with diverse levels of economic development and different experiences of social innovation.

The project is funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, European Social Fund and European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.

 

        

      

      

    

    

Learning-by-Sharing: The First Policy Brief of the RRI LEADERS Project is Published

 

This new publication of the RRI LEADERS project the first policy brief - aims to address policymakers at the national, territorial and EU levels and report on the interim status of the project. It highlights findings from the first half of the project with the goal of creating a discourse around policy implications beyond the involved territories’ contexts. Furthermore, this policy brief features some RRI good practice examples from the territories as supporting evidence for possible policy options. Read how local authorities, research communities, and NGOs integrate responsible research and innovation to improve territorial governance and tackle societal challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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