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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The digital TeenLab opened its doors at Sofia Library

Nowadays, digital skills are a necessary condition for a full participation in daily life. Sofia Development Association supports the development of the youth in this direction through the organization of events, trainings and competitions that develop digital and media literacy. These events are held in the framework of project activities, through the innovative space SofiaLab, as well as through activities related to the implementation of the Sofia Youth Strategy (2017 - 2027).
SDA, together with Sofia Municipality, are also assisting in the creation of a digital hub for children and youth with 4 locations in Sofia Library - American Center, Children's Center, Digital Center and Teen Lab. The project for the establishment of the digital lab for teenagers is implemented at the instigation of Sofia Library and with the financial support of the US Embassy in Bulgaria. It aims to modernize the library’s appearance and provide opportunities for intellectual training and digital creative activities to share innovative ideas in the digital society, and to create successful interactive products in the creative industry.


The digital lab for teenagers was officially opened on 24.02.21 by the director of the Sofia Library Mrs. Tsinzova and HE Hero Mustafa, US Ambassador to Bulgaria. Among the guests of the ceremony were the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Education Assoc. Prof. Dr. Todor Chobanov, as well as Vanya Kastreva - Head of the Regional Department of Education - Sofia. All those present observed with great interest at the modern equipment and the comfortable space, where the first workshop on 2D animation was taking place with the famous Bulgarian animator Nadezhda Slavova and the participation of students from NPGPTO "M.V. Lomonosov” Sofia.


The Teen Lab will work with the global current synergistic educational model - "EDUTAINMENT", which combines non-formal education and interactive games, the acquisition of new knowledge through creative activities and entertainment. The innovative programs of the Teen Lab will enable young people to learn a variety of digital skills in the field of interactive arts such as digitization and creative presentation of literary heritage, graphic design, 2D and 3D modeling and animation, creating VR/AR reality, Game design, etc. In addition to experienced trainers, TeenLab provides its users with modern high-tech equipment - powerful gaming computers and laptops, 3D printer, Vivitek projector with Avers screen, graphics tablets, book scanner, Leap Motion, 3D Oculus Rift glasses.

    

    

DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR STIMULI FOR CITIZENS TO SWITCH TO SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION - CO-CREATION WORKSHOP REPORT


The transition to the use of public and sustainable transport is a task that requires motivation not only from institutions, but also from citizens and the business sector. In this regard, Sofia Development Association, in partnership with Sofia Municipality, organized a co-creation design workshop in the framework of INNOAIR project, which was held online on February 23, 2021. More than 30 participants, among which young and active citizens, businesses and local institutions, took part in a lively discussion to identify incentives to stimulate citizens to give up everyday car use and switch to sustainable transport in the city.

The design workshop used a variety of tools and approaches to gather ideas. The meeting was held in the form of an open discussion on an online platform, combined with a real-time collaboration tool (an online whiteboard), where participants anonymously added their ideas. During the conversation, various proposals for incentives were discussed, ranging from the creation of an application that integrates all types of transport services in one access system, to the creation of an information campaign with general publicity, from parking discounts to integrated pricing policy with municipal cultural services. institutes. All discussed proposals for future incentives, a list of existing practices for promoting the use of public and sustainable transport in Sofia, as well as recommendations and conclusions from the discussion can be found HERE.

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

 

 

THE POWER OF INCLUSIVE COOPERATION: INNOAIR CO-DESIGN WORKSHOP

INNOAIR invited Sofia citizens to reimagine how they live and move around a city. Sofia Development Association in partnership with Sofia Municipality held a radically different event, putting people at the heart of the design process, to co-design solutions for more public transport usage and drive these solutions forward. The virtual co-design workshop took place on February 23, 2021.

The co-design workshop brought together over 30 end-users, company representatives, city officials, researchers, to collectively explore the key factors - trends, drivers, challenges, forces that could have an impact on the type of transportation we use daily. The workshop activities consisted of group discussion and work session designed and carried out on an online collaborative whiteboard platform where multiple users can draw, work, and communicate interactively.
Ensuring a diverse range of perspectives resulted in the development of tens of ideas for stimuli, varying from the creation of an application that integrates all types of transport services in one access system to the creation of an information campaign with wide publicity.

The outcome of the co-design workshop will be the basis for discussions with Sofia Municipality, funders, mobility and technology companies who are willing to commit resources to translate ideas into action.

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

WHAT WE ACHIEVED WITH INNOBRIDGE PROJECT

Sofia Development Association is completing the InnoBridge project: Bridging the innovation gap through converting R&D results into commercial success in a more effective and efficient way, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through INTERREG Europe programme.

For 60 months – from April 2016 to March 2021 - nine partners from eight different European Countries: Office of the Regional Government of Lower Austria (Austria) – Lead partner; FUESCYL - Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León- (Spain); Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol (Italy); Pannon Novum West­Transdanubian Regional Innovation Non­profit Ltd. (Hungary); Council of Tampere Region (Finland); ADRAL ­ Regional Development Agency of Alentejo (Portugal); Foundation "Sofia Development Association" (Bulgaria); Applied Research and Communications Fund (Bulgaria); Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region (Poland) worked together on improving their regional innovation performance.

InnoBridge in numbers:

- We included representatives of Sofia in 20 interregional learning events: workshops, peer reviews, study visits, conferences.

- We collectively identified, presented and promoted 24 regional good practices, 3 of which from Sofia.

- 15 experts from Sofia Municipality, Sofia Municipal Council, the Ministry of Education, the Consultative Council on Science, Technology and Innovation with the Mayor of Sofia, Sofia University and SDA increased their professional capacities by engaging in the project activities.

- We achieved 50 appearances in Bulgarian media.

SDA took part in the project with the Public-Private Fund for Innovations that we administer. In result of the interregional learning and exchange, the Action Plan for the improvement of this policy instrument that we developed and implemented over the last two years, included measures inspired by other regions: Uni-Business Challenge from Castilla y Leon, the , FabLab in EvoraTech, the Innovation Festival of Malopolska Region. So far over 1 million euro has been influenced by the Find and its Action Plan, varying from financial support for entrepreneurs to mentorship, from trainings to showcasing; from hackathons to SofiaLab programing. You can see a short video on the achievements and developments here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC6s0NwCkrM&feature=emb_logo

More about the project: https://www.interregeurope.eu/innobridge/

INNOAIR Co-Creation Workshop: Incentives for sustainable mobility

On behalf of Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, Sofia Green and Urban Mobility Centre are pleased to invite you to join a working group to generate ideas for incentives that would help the transition to sustainable mobility.

The event is part of the INNOAIR project and will take place on 23 February, 2021 (Tuesday) from 5 pm to 7 pm online. The seminar would be held in Bulgarian and it is a brainstorming session which aims to propose and discuss ideas for incentives for citizens to start using more environmentally friendly ways of transport. During the event, an evaluation and analysis of the proposed ideas will be made. Those, who would like to participate can register here and will receive a link to the online meeting.

In the framework of the project is planned to create a bonus system for the active citizens with the incentives offerred by themselves. Thus, Sofia Municipality aims to support the transition to the use of public, bicycle or other sustainable transport in the city.

Through INNOAIR project, Sofia will test for the first time in Europe an innovative practice for "green public transport on demand". This innovative public transport service will be implemented together with a wide range of initiatives: low-emission zones, green corridors, congestion charge, promotion of active mobility. This coordinated effort by Sofia will reduce air-pollution and protect the air we share, while modernizing and renewing our public transport. Throughout this process, citizens are actively involved to share their concerns and suggestions to the Municipality.

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

SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION PRESENTED THE INNOAIR PROJECT TO THE EUROPEAN NETWORK OF LIVING LABS (ENoLL)

Sofia Development Association is a member of the European network of living labs through SofiaLab since 2019 and it is pleased to exchange knowledge and share experience with nearly 150 other living laboratories around the world.

On February 2, 2021 the SDA team took part in a meeting within the Mobility working group, organized by ENoLL. During the discussion, various topics related to mobility services were discussed, such as the efficient collection and use of data, the analysis of incentives and barriers to behaviour change, as well as the sustainability and accessibility of the services.

Sofia Development Association shared its experience in the field of mobility by presenting the INNOAIR project and the upcoming activities of its implementation, focusing on the launching of “on-demand green public transport” for the first time in Europe. INNOAIR launches the eco transport not only as an innovative mobility service, but also as a solution for reducing the air-pollution, which will be combined with other measures such as congestion charge model, low emission zones and green corridors. Specific for the project is that it engages citizens by challenging them to find sustainable solutions through participation in hackathons, workshops and competitions, organized within the project.

The aim of the Mobility working group is to create a common reference system to map and characterize, compare and analyse mobility relevant labs in Europe allowing for a better understanding of the (social) impact of new mobility solutions relying on the scientific outcomes from different active Living Labs on mobility and to share experiences & lessons learnt in running a living lab on mobility (methodological & operational) as well as targeted knowledge exchange and networking opportunities.

Learn more about the INNOAIR project HERE.

Learn more about the European Network of Living Labs HERE.

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

    

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