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.


Help shape the EU Circular Economy Strategy and Agenda!

images/projects/CICERONE_Project_Update_J_2019.pdfHelp shape the EU Circular Economy Strategy and Agenda!


Beginning June 4, 2019, the project CICERONE is launching an online consultation. The consultation aims to identify key objectives and innovation fields for the circular economy, that will feed into the EU EC Roadmap and Strategy. The online consultation will compile common circular economy objectives at European level and develop corresponding research and innovation areas. These will be integrated in the European Circular Economy Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda, enabling alignment between member states on where we should focus our efforts to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The consultation platform can be reached here:

We invite program owners at EU, regional and local level to take part in the consultation process by registering to the online consultations.




Sharing Challenges, Creating Solutions for Integration of Third-Country Nationals at Local Level

Date: 11 June, 2019
Session 1:
Venue: European Committee of the Regions, 101 rue Belliard, JDE 53, Brusses
Time: 9:30 – 13:30

Session 2:
Venue: Permanent Representation of
the Republic of Croatia to the EU
Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 50, Brussels 
Time: 14:00 – 15:00

The integration of third country nationals is one of the most formidable tasks we face. Cities play a major role in integrating these newcomers and empowering them to contribute to their new communities. However, integrating migrants can be challenging because they constitute highly diverse groups, consisting of different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds with different motivations, skill sets, educational levels and experience.

The EU INTEGRA day is designed to explore the city-to-city approach to third country nationals integration, practices, tools and resources, lessons learned and policy recommendations based on the experience of the project partners from Sofia (Bulgaria), Prague (Czech Republic), Kosice (Slovakia), Rubano (Italy) and Osijek (Croatia).

REGISTRATION by 03.06.2019:

Sofia Development Association at WEBIT

For another year in a row, Sofia Development Association took active participation in the program of Webit Festival. The event was open on 14th of May by the Mayor of Sofia Municipality Mrs. Fandakova and the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Radev. “Sofia is more competitive than ever and attracts more than half of the foreign investments in the country. The startup ecosystem in the city continues to grow successfully. “Startup Sofia Accelerator” and SofiaLab work to support this community. At the same time, we organize hackathons and datathons that bring together dozens of young people willing to apply their skills in the context of the challenges we face in managing the city,” said the Mayor at the opening of the festival.

In the venue of the festival there is a separate Sofia area - SOFIA's PLACE, where during the two days of the festival Sofia Municipality and its partners presented programs, initiatives and successful stories in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation; prototypes and new technologies, products and services. Mrs. Fandakova and Mr. Radev visited the area and got acquainted with the latest news from Sofia innovation laboratory - SofiaLab.

At SOFIA's PLACE Sofia Development Association presented the innovation laboratory SofiaLab and some prototypes and products created through its programs: five video games developed during the Hack and Design Challenge, as well as the mathematical model-winner at the Datathon for combating air pollution, organized by the "Green Sofia" project. We also presented the social enterprise "Maria's World Foundation", which supports the employment of people with intellectual disabilities - employees produced badges with motives of Bulgarian embroideries on spot for the visitors.







Scientific-industrial laboratory RILab i 2030 Opening

On May 13, 2019, a scientific-industrial laboratory RIL i 2030 opened doors in the Bulgarian Academy of Science, with the participation of Sofia Mayor Mrs Fandakova, Eurocommissioner on Digital technologies and society Mrs. Gabriel and the Chairperson of the Bulgarian Academy of Science academic Revalski. The laboratory is established by a consortium consisting of two Bulgarian Academy of Science institutes, private businesses and SofiaLab of Sofia Development Association, while Sofia Municipality and Sofia Investment Agency are consortium partners. The goal of the lab is to support with R&D activities SMEs and technology intensive businesses in the light of Industry 4.0. The lab will provided modeling, prototyping, experimental research and testing, virtual production, staff training and public outreach events.

RILab i 2030 will contribute to the digital integration of science, business and education in the implementation of Sofia Smart Specialization Strategy.



Train the trainers workshop on Social impact investment

On April 25, 2019, Finance4Social Change project partners gathered in Vienna for a Train-the-trainers workshop on social impact investment, hosted by the Austria partner Ashoka. Based on the catalogue of good practices – among which is Sofia Public-Private Fund for Innovations promoted by Sofia Development Association – participants selected a few case studies in different categories: public-private investment, public investment, private investment, other options. Thus, the key actions, players, timeframe and financial scale were defined, proof of success was checked, and transferability prerequisites and conditions were discussed.

The workshop coincided with the regular project Steering Committee meeting, that subjected to discussion the methodology for the soon to be developed regional action plans, some upcoming project and communication activities.

The Finances4SocialChange project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI). More about the project is available at



In Bucurest, Romania was held a meeting under the project „Finance 4 Social Change“

On 23rd of April 2019 in Bucurest, Romania was held a meeting under the project „Finance 4 Social Change“. The meeting was in the form of pitching sessions during which selected social entrepreneurs from Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria presented their business cases. The audience was composed of policy-makers, experts from regional agencies, social impact investors and project partners. As partner of the project Sofia Development Association presented the case of two social entrepreneurs who developed their product during the Balkan Hackathon. They pitched an application called BookvAR which allows you to see objects with augmented reality (AR) in educational books in order to make learning more effecient and fun for the children. This application is an innovative and useful instrument for education which could lead to long-term changes in the way of teaching. The experts gave feedback to all social entrepreneurs and evaluated the impact of pitches. They identified key problem and success factors. All social entrepreneurs received valuable advices and hints for improvement of their products and how to lead a pitching session.

Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI) 
More information can be found at



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