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.



The Sofia Municipality, the Sofia Development Association and the Regional Center for Contemporary Arts "Toplocentrala" in partnership with the International Choreographers' Organization and Networking Services - Dance ICONS, Inc. stay behind the initiative for professional development of contemporary Bulgarian choreographers.

The project is called "HELIOS" - an abbreviation of Choreographic Experimental Laboratory and Innovative Educational Stage, and its director and presenter will be Vladimir Angelov - choreographer, lecturer and CEO of Dance ICONS, Inc.

The creative laboratory for young choreographers will take place from the 15th to 25th June 2022 at the Regional Center for Contemporary Arts "Toplocentrala".

The seminar will require their presence daily, from 10am to 5pm. The program will include theoretical lectures on choreography, including improvisation, experimentation and dance composition, followed by discussions and suggestions about the creation of the day.

The purpose of this experimental educational process is to enable each of the choreographers to create enough material and to be organized into new short experimental works, which will be presented to the public, on stage, on the last day before the closing of the creative laboratory.

Choreographers will have the opportunity to invite dancers to participate on a voluntary basis in their newly created works.

The project is subsidized by Sofia Municipality through the Summer Cultural Management Academy of the Sofia Development Association. The participants will be determined by a jury and their participation in the project will be free of charges.

The online registration starts on March 21, 2022 on the following link and will stay open until April 15, 2022.

The approved choreographers will be announced on May 9, 2022.

You may find more information in Bulgarian at:

INNOAIR - one of the projects that turns Sofia into a smart city

"The smart city is truly smart only when decisions about its development are taken according to the local conditions and together with the citizens. INNOAIR does exactly that - introduces innovation that Sofia needs, engages citizens and offers incentives for positive change in their behavior." Sevdalina Voynova, program director of the Sofia Development Association and coordinator of the INNOAIR project.

During the discussion "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities", organized by BNR Radio Sofia and held on March 8, 2022 in Sofia Tech Park the INNOAIR project and its holistic approach to switching to sustainable ways of getting around was presented.

The project not only introduces innovations such as green public transport on demand, which determines its route according to the consumer demand, but also focuses on the second important layer in the understanding of innovation, namely the involvement of citizens. The platform through which every citizen will be able to request the vehicle to the nearest corner has already been developed, and electric minibuses will start operating in the second half of the year.

The participants in the discussion also got acquainted with the latest method INNOAIR uses to engage citizens - the SofiaCoin application, through which the most active users traveling on foot, by bicycle, electric bicycle or scooter can win attractive prizes. The winners for the first four months and the most frequently used routes, which will become a priority in the investment program of Sofia Municipality will be announced very soon.

The discussion was also attended by other representatives of the non-governmental sector, Gencho Kerezov - Deputy Mayor of Sofia in the field of "Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development", representatives of the business sector and futurists. They all shared their views on how we can turn Sofia into an even greener and more innovative city.

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



Sofia Municipality and the Sofia Development Association (SDA) invite you to join a discussion on the integration of third-country nationals (TCNs) in the labor market, which will be held on March 14, 2022 from 13:00 – at SofiaLab (1 Serdika str., 3rd fl.) and online, through the ZOOM platform – HERE.

The event is another step taken by local authorities, together with civil society organizations and public institutions, in order to improve the employment opportunities of the TCNs, as well as to facilitate employers who want and have the opportunity to hire migrants. Within the CONNECTION and UMN projects, and together with CITUB, UNHCR, Caritas, BRC, SDA and Sofia Municipality, they implement various initiatives – trainings, information and advocacy campaigns – to prepare the city to more effectively manage the integration of migrants. In view of the emerging (unexpected) wave of refugees from Ukraine, it is necessary for the capital to plan measures that will allow normal living and working conditions not only for Ukrainian citizens but also for foreigners already residing in the city now and in the future.

We invite you to take part in discussion with Ms. Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia, Mr. Svetoslav Andreev, European Committee of the Regions, Ms. Malina Edreva, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity of the Sofia Municipal Council, Mr. Nikolay Stoynev, Chairperson of the Committee on Economy, Property and Digital transformation of the Sofia Municipal Council, BCCI, CITUB, UNHCR, Caritas, non-governmental organizations, employers, employers’ organizations, etc.

The discussion aims to hear the views of all stakeholders on how local authorities could contribute to the labor integration process. Let’s set our clocks and plan our next steps together. You will have the opportunity to hear brief analyzes of the unemployment rate and labor market trends, shared experiences from companies that hire migrants, training and qualification opportunities, etc.

We encourage you to take part online via the following link, as places in the SofiaLab are limited.

For confirmation and questions, you may contact:

Sanya Raeva, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Snezhina Atanasova, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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





The Sofia Development Association presented the Bureau for Information and Services for third-country nationals during a discussion on civic participation organized by the Sofia Security Forum. The bureau was presented by Svetlana Lomeva, Executive director of SDA, as a good practice of Sofia Municipality in involving people to solve municipal problems.

To simplify foreigners’ access to services Sofia has joined forces with the Bulgarian Red Cross and UNHCR, and 13 NGOs active in the area of third-country nationals’ integration and set up a Bureau for Information and Services for TCN, which opened its doors in September 2021 and since then it works as a single point of reference, overcoming complexity. Moreover, the Bureau being a joint effort, allows for sharing resources, expertise, responsibilities, and vision between a broad variety of stakeholders.

During the event, the normative frameworks of civic participation at national and European levels were presented and discussed, and in addition to good practices from Sofia, the participants also got acquainted with achievements on the topic by the European Parliament.

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


First Policy Learning Workshop of the RRI Leaders Project

The first policy learning workshop of the RRI Leaders project took place online on March 1, 2022. The event was hosted by the territorial partners of Greece, the University of Western Macedonia and the Local Government Association of Western Macedonia. This is the first of four workshops that will take place till the end of the project. SDA will host the final workshop in the beginning of 2023. The purpose of the workshops is the dissemination of activities, good practices and policies that maximize the impact of RRI Leaders through transfer and exchange of knowledge. The first event brought together the whole spectrum of relevant territorial stakeholders from each partner country, i.e. academia, civil society, business, policymakers that play a key role for possible RRI-AIRR integration in future policy and development actions. The featured presentations focused on an innovation zone/innovation ecosystem in Greece; a district heating network in Thalwil (Switzerland), a women’s network and business innovation system in Sabadell (Spain). Veronica Manova, an expert at Sofia Municipal Council, presented the development of Vision for Sofia 2050; this practice was considered an excellent example of holistically integrating several keys of responsible research and innovation, most notably, public engagement and participatory process, open access, inclusiveness, forward-planning.




INNOAIR joins the event "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities"

The discussion on "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities" will be held on March 8, 2022 at 10:00 and INNOAIR will be a part of it. The event is organized by BNR-Radio Sofia within the project "Our Europe" and will be held in a hybrid - in Sofia Tech Park, The Venue Hall, Incubator Building and online at ZOOM.

The full program of the event can be viewed HERE.

If you want to learn more about the INNOAIR project, the transformation of Sofia into a smart city and to ask questions to experts in the field, you can get involved via the following link.


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