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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LAUNCHING A NEW HORIZON2020 PROJECT ON TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE

SDA is a partner of the new Horizon2020 project RRI-LEADERS - Leveraging Leadership for Responsible Research and Innovation in Territories.

The project adopts a meso-level approach, and will explore the application and sustainability of the RRI (responsible research and innovation) paradigm within territorial innovation systems. In RRI-LEADERS a “territory” is understood as a confluence between three interconnected primary aspects: geographical location, socio-economic and cultural bonds, and administrative authority. The project will involve four distinct territories from different parts of Europe, representing different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, different scope of territorial oversight, different institutional and decision-making infrastructures, different R&I landscapes, and different dynamics among territorial actors. As such, the four territories will represent a diverse range of opportunities and implications for RRI, which will enable the RRI-LEADERS consortium to carry out a thorough assessment of the RRI relevance to territorial governance and have the involved territories act as demonstrators for the potential of RRI on subnational level. The partners will engage in a multi-stage co-creation process that will mobilise territorial quadruple helix stakeholders towards the elaboration of future-oriented strategy and action plans - territorial outlooks for each of the participating territories. Territorial partners will have the leading role in this process, and will additionally work to ensure the broadest societal and governance-level endorsement. The Consortium will further use the accumulated knowledge to chart a detailed outlook for the future potential of RRI as a guiding framework in territorial governance of R&I, and will aim to provide an evolutionary perspective on RRI for the upcoming Horizon Europe programme.

RRI-LEADERS represents a partnership of 9 organisations, of which five are methodological partners and four are territorial partners, collectively coming from 5 countries – Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Spain (Catalonia) and Switzerland.

Project period: 3 years (2020-2023)

Consortium members:
Project coordinator: APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND (ARC Fund) - Bulgaria
PANEPISTIMIO DYTIKIS MAKEDONIAS (UoWM) - Greece
FONDEN TEKNOLOGIRADET (DBT) - Denmark
FUNDACIO CATALANA PER A LA RECERCA I LA INNOVACIO (FCRi) - Spain
ZURCHER HOCHSCHULE FUR ANGEWANDTE WISSENSCHAFTEN (ZHAW) - Switzerland
REGIONAL ASSOCATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF WESTERN MACEDONIA (LGA-WM) - Greece
MUNICIPALITY OF THALWIL (THA) - Switzerland
PROMOCIO ECONOMICA DE SABADELL SL-PES (PES SL) - Spain

Sofia Development Association participates in the evaluation of the National Youth Strategy (2010-2020)

On July 21, 2020, Sofia Development Association took part in a focus group on the project "National Youth Strategy - Monitoring and Evaluation", organized by the National Youth Forum.

Sofia Development Association implements the Sofia Youth Strategy (2017 – 2027) and supports the development of youth through the activities of the Sofia Youth Innovation Laboratory (SofiaLab), established under the project "New Generation Skills" in 2018. Since then SDA contributes to the acquisition of skills necessary for the realization of young people in a real work environment by organizing and hosting various events and trainings. These activities were the reason for the participation of Sanya Raeva - SofiaLab developer in the discussion on Strategic Area №2 of the National Youth Strategy, namely "Improving access to information and quality services".

Among the participants in the online meeting were experts in the field of youth policies, representatives of various organizations and young people who have experience in working on any of the 9 strategic areas of action of the National Youth Strategy. During the webinar were discussed the results achieved from the implementation of the Strategy and were presented proposals and recommendations for the creation and implementation of more effective and evidence-based youth policies.

At the end of the year, the team of the National Youth Forum will prepare a report, containing recommendations for the next youth strategy and general recommendations for the creation and implementation of youth policies in the country.

State-of-the-art Technology to Improve Public Transport and to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19: SDA Joins a Winning Consortium Funded by EIT Urban Mobility

In response to the EIT Urban Mobility Crisis Response Initiative dedicated to addressing urban mobility challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SDA was invited to join a consortium led by the Technical University of Catalonia for the CO-APS project. The initiative is called Crowdsourced Obtention and Analytics of Data About the Crowding of Public Spaces for the benefit of Public Transport and Mobility in Cities and is one of the 11 innovative projects funded by the EIT. The initiative aims to introduce state-of-the-art technology in just 6 months (July-December 2020) in the partner cities to help public transport authorities deal with the pandemic.

With mobility restrictions being eased in most countries, people are encouraged to go back to work, and the use of public transport and public spaces will grow steadily. Overcrowding and keeping social distance are critical challenges in this respect, with significant impact on life in the city, including also public transport, the economy, social activities, etc. CO-APS will consider these aspects by implementing Mobile, Web and Cloud technologies. CO-APS will collect data to provide analytical solutions with added value information about crowds and their mobility that will be tested in various use cases/small scale pilots involving the consortium stakeholders: TMB-Spain (Barcelona train stations), City of St. Germain-France (pedestrian commercial streets), Karditsa-Greece (multi-modal mobility), Sofia and Istanbul-Turkey (transport hubs).

SDA will cooperate with the Center for Urban Mobility and Directorate Public Transport of Sofia Municipality in this initiative.

Read here about the initiative and the winning projects.

5 social entrepreneurs from Bulgaria selected to enter the second stage of #AirCompetition


5 out of 25 companies with social impact business in Bulgaria were selected by a Jury consisting of social impact investors and experts to continue in the second stage of the international #AirCompetition organized in the framework of the Finances4SocialChange project, co-financed by Interreg Danube.

The areas of intervention of the companies are diverse – from circular economy and environmentally friendly production to education through video games, social and labour inclusion of people with disabilities, enhancing functional literacy of students through online games, community center.

The selected companies will develop business plans, social impact KPIs and compete with companies from Serbia and Moldova in November 2020 for winning 10 000EUR investment secured by Unicredit Bulbank Hungary.

 

      

AGORA project (Advanced Co-Generation Options for Reintegrating local Assets)

Sofia Development Association started working on AGORA project, which aims at faster and better regeneration of the urban environment. Achieving this goal requires increasing the capacity of the public administration, developing better inclusive policies and incorporating the tools needed to implement these policies into governance. Priority of the project are public-private partnerships with broad citizen participation.

AGORA offers a model for addressing these challenges by deploying and adopting new, creative governance instruments for public administrations. The project supports the building of administrative capacity for effective involvement, connection and empowerment of a wide group of stakeholders in the reintegration of vacant buildings and land, public and private, into the productive city value system. AGORA aims to achieve a significant change in the work process of public administrations at the local level, as well as to create a transnational training platform to assist the cities of the Danube region in the reintegration and rehabilitation of underused urban assets, giving new meaning to abandoned industrial areas and desolate lands as well as declining urban areas.

The consortium of AGORA project consists of 28 partners from 14 countries in the Danube region, including municipalities, NGOs, European networks and others. The leading partner of the project is the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca. The variety of partners provides an opportunity for the most effective exchange of experience, good practices and ideas. To fulfill the goals of the project, the Sofia Development Association will work in collaboration with Sofia Municipality. The project duration is 2 and a half years (01.06.2020 - 30.11.2022).

On July 16, 2020 the project partners held their kick-off meeting online, at which they planned their future joined work, acquainted each other with the context and the challenges each city is facing, and discussed the thematic clusters for our joined learning and exchange.

The AGORA project is implemented under the INTERREG Danube program and is co-financed by the European Union funds (ERDF, IPA II).

    

 

SMART HOMES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY AGAINST COVID-19: SOFIA IS AMONG THE WINNERS OF THE EIT CLIMATE KIC EXTRAORDINARY POST COVID-19 REGENERATION CALL


SDA is set to start the implementation of the new project TRANSFORM - SMART CLIMATE KIC CITY TRANSFORMATION.

The Covid-19 economic and public health crisis highlighted the instability of our incomes and the fragility of our immune systems, and the need for us to become more resilient towards external changes. In this TRANSFORM project we want to achieve that in two separate ways: “digital” and “full urban transformations” of homes in order to reduce energy consumption, improve physical and mental health of citizens, and reduce recurring costs thus freeing up extra capital. All of which will improve longevity and quality of life, increase creativity and productivity and promote economic growth, job creation and quicker recovery me. Through the project we expect to refurbish up to 30,000 homes until 2024, with an overall job creation of more than 15,000 FTEs and an annual climate impact and CO2 reduction of 45,000MtCO2e/year, which we will begin planning for in the second part of 2020. We will use the initial funding to develop and demonstrate the solutions for the digital; and prepare for the full urban transformations starting in 2021.

The consortium is led by JIBE Company (NL), with partners Bankers Without Boundaries (UK), Dark Matter Laboratories (NL), Virtech Ltd (BG), Topsportslab (BE). It is co-funded by EIT Climate KIC.

Read here about the initiative and the winning projects.

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