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.

SofiaCoin Rewards the Most Active Participants in the European Mobility Week – “Save Energy"

Sofia Development Association encourages all citizens of Sofia to participate in this year's edition of the "European Mobility Week," which will take place from September 16th to September 22nd. Two of the most active users of the SofiaCoin app will have the opportunity to receive an award.

One of the ways each of us can contribute to energy conservation and environmental protection is by walking or cycling. This is where SofiaCoin comes in, the popular mobility app in the city.

The user who covers the longest distance on their bicycle during the "European Mobility Week" will receive a fantastic reward - a Scandinavian moss painting provided by MOSSaika. And the most active pedestrian will receive a gift card for Vuzrazhdane Theater, containing two tickets for a performance of your choice.

All participants registered in the app have an equal chance to win. Kilometers covered only during Mobility Week (September 16-22, 2023) are collected and calculated, so everyone has an equal chance to win, regardless of whether they have accumulated kilometers before this period!

This year, the city of Sofia will join the "European Mobility Week" initiative, which calls on citizens to engage in sustainable forms of transportation and efficient energy use. The culmination of the initiative is the Car-Free Day, celebrated on September 22nd.

European Mobility Week and the SofiaCoin initiative provide an excellent opportunity for Sofia's citizens to engage in a more sustainable way of life and support efforts to protect the environment. Sofia can become a cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant city for all of us, and everyone can contribute to this process. Don't forget to download SofiaCoin and participate in the competition for the most active pedestrian or cyclist during Mobility Week. Let's save energy together and make Sofia a cleaner and more sustainable place to live!

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. This is the first Bulgarian project selected for funding by UIA.


INNOAIR at Webit 2023

The achievements of the INNOAIR project were a key topic at the international event Webit 2023 - AI: A FUTURE TO SHARE. Innovative and green urban transport on demand was the topic of the panel “Digital Sofia 2023 - Smart City: Responsible and sustainable solutions for smart growth”.

The two applications BUSSINN and SOFIACOIN found even more partners and users. They were presentet as the new services introduced by the Sofia Municipality with the financial support of the Inoair project, financed by the UIA program of the European Commission. "The co-creation and design process of the new service was at the center of the achieved success. This new service and the process of its implementation is already attracting interest from both our neighboring countries and the geographically distant city Semarang, Indonesia," said Svetlana Lomeva, director of the Sofia Development Association. Dimitar Dilchev, director of the Center for Urban Mobility, also a partner of the INOAIR project, took part at the "Digital Sofia" panel. The discussion was moderated by the Deputy Mayor for "Digitalization, Innovations and Economic Development". Gencho Kerezov, who shared "The digital revolution in urban transport has been successfully completed - millions of citizens and guests travel annually with electronic tickets purchased through an application, directly with a bank card or online. Flexible technology was applied to meet the innovative pricing policy adopted by the Sofia Municipal Council. It generates a huge amount of data that serves to optimize transport lines. Project INNOAIR contributed significantly to the already prepared ecosystem of innovative urban transport and gave us the opportunity to test solutions that do not yet exist in other European countries." The topic of digital services of the Sofia Municipality was continued by arch. Zdravko Zdravkov, Chief Architect of Sofia, Maria Hristova, director of the Sofia Agency for Privatization and Investments, as well as Georgi Todorov in connection with the introduced throughout Sofia platform for electronic change of address registration.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. This is the first Bulgarian project selected for funding by UIA.



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On 8 June, the final of the hackathon "InnoAir & Europeana: Sustainability and Social Justice" took place and the winners of the competition were announced. The event took place with the support of Europeana and under the InnoAir project, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

The final was the culmination of a whole range of activities within the competition. Until 31 May, anyone interested could register their teams to take part, and on 2 and 5 June the mentor meetings took place, during which each team had the opportunity to present their ideas to the competition’s mentors and hear feedback on them, as well as ideas for improving them.

The jury of the hackathon included Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Head of the InnoAir Project, Dimitar Dilchev, Director of the Urban Mobility Center, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski” Prof. Dr. Todor Yalamov, Head of the International Cooperation at NAMRB Yana Docheva, Antonia Shalamanova from Green Sofia, Jolan Wuyts from Europeana and Velko Velkov from the Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development Department at Sofia Municipality.

Guests at the event were Romain Descroix from the French Cultural Institute in Sofia, Zornitsa Stoykova from the Portuguese Cultural Institute Camões, Nelly Dimova from the Hungarian Cultural Institute, Axel Bayer from the Goethe Institute and Elena Kirova from the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia.

Five teams with different ideas and prototypes were selected to take part in the final and present their ideas to the jury - Day Off, SparkBot, CY Power, SOFIA PASS and the team of "Pencho P. Slavejkov" school.

The Day Off team, who were the winners of the second InnoAir project hackathon, came to defend their title with their concept and prototype for a gaming app with an environmental focus.

Students from the School of Technology "Electronic Systems" at the Technical University - Sofia with team SparkBot presented their project "SPARKBOT - the little city helper " - a concept and prototype of a robotic device for cleaning the city bike lanes and signaling for problems in the real city environment.

Team SOFIA PASS, on the other hand, presented to the jury and the participants their idea of creating a electric bicycle service and so-called E-Hubs (places where people can use multiple forms of public transport where these bicycles can be provided) and what its business model would be.

Representatives from Team CY Power shared their idea for the "Power" dynamo batteries, which can be mounted on a bicycle and used to charge various devices, charging through the movement of the bicycle.

The students from the “Pencho P. Slaveykov" school presented the project "Eco-port", which includes the creation of an application that will help those using public transport in the capital in their daily commute with a variety of different data and gadgets.

After the presentation of all the projects, the jury of experts in green transformation, urban mobility and technology made their choice:

1st place went to team SparkBot with their project "SPARKBOT - the little city helper", who won 8 000 BGN.

2nd place and a financial prize of 5 000 BGN was awarded to CY Power with their prototype of a dynamo battery for bicycles.

3rd place and 3 000 BGN was awarded to the visionaries from SOFIA PASS with their bringing service using electric bicycles.

There were also special prizes for the team of the "Pencho P. Slavejkov" school from the Urban Mobility Center - free public transport cards for a whole year, as well as courses for learning different foreign languages from a number of cultural institutes in the capital for the Day Off team.

For this hackathon, the organisers introduced a whole new kind of approach to the participating teams by giving everyone access to useful datasets about the capital's public transport, the history of Sofia in terms of urban mobility and the commuting habits of the capital's citizens - data generated by the InnoAir project as well as provided by Europeana. Through this data, participants could tailor their projects to the specific needs of the city, which they could derive from real, up-to-date data on urban mobility, history and cultural identity of Sofia.

"We went through absolutely every database. In the database provided by Europeana, for example, we found an interesting motivational photo that served as a transition between the past and the present. We were also able to see statistics about people's attitudes about whether they would switch to an alternative method of getting around. We were also able to analyze the information about all the bike racks positioned on the territory of Sofia in blue and green zones, which allowed us to create a map on which all such racks can now be seen," said the SOFIA PASS team about the databases available during the race.

"Such competitions are a very good investment for us as students because they give us the opportunity to meet many new people, exchange ideas, get better and challenge ourselves." said the winners of the hackaton for SPARKBOT.

The hackathon "InnoAir & Europeana: Sustainability and Social Justice" was supported by Europeana and is under the auspices of the InnoAir project, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

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innoair challenge 2023 SDA 1engWe have great news for the upcoming INNOAIR hackathon! The European cultural institutes – EUNIC members, join to support the design of innovative ideas and prototypes with exciting prizes!

The best innovators will not only receive financial awards and be invited to Sofia municipal sandbox for further development but will also be able to improve their language skills in a variety of languages – choosing between Portuguese, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Hungarian! Each Institute will be able to provide one course, for one semester, starting in the Autumn of 2023:

          • Camões Institute (Portugal)
          • Cervantes Institute (Spain)
          • Goethe Institute (Germany)
          • Institut Français (France)
          • Italian Institute (Italy)
          • Liszt Institute (Hungary)

Registration to sign up your team for the hackathon is open by May 31, 2023.

If you are interested in sustainability technology and innovation, and if you have ideas that can improve our urban environment, do not miss this fabulous opportunity!

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. This is the first Bulgarian project selected for funding by UIA.



Today in Sofia was held the Final Conference of the InnoAir project. The event aimed to summarize the project's achievements and chart the way forward for urban mobility and green transition in the capital.

The conference was opened by Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Head of InnoAir, and Silvia Georgieva, Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, project partner.

Mr. Barbalov told the audience that this type of innovations require a combination of expertise, policies and the support of citizens.

Silvia Georgieva confirmed the importance of projects like this.

"The future belongs to the brave, to those who make non-standard decisions. They will be the first," she said, adding that these projects are important because they can test innovative but risky ideas, also difficult and unpopular decisions need to be made, but the process of working with citizens is very important to understand the benefits of improving the environment in which we live.”

The moderator of the first panel was Gereon Meyer, an expert on the Innoair project to the program "Urban Innovative Actions". In it, Ivan Nikolov, Director of the Transport Directorate at Sofia Municipality, shared more about the success achieved in the launch of public transport on-demand in the southern neighborhoods of Sofia, as well as details about the introduction of the “congestion charge” fee.

"At the heart of these neighborhoods that we identified, there was no possibility of normal transport, and thanks to these small electric buses, we were able to launch public transport that can be used with and without a mobile app, which makes it difficult for some of the citizens," he said.

The Director of the Traffic Management and Analysis Directorate at Sofia Municipality Dimitar Petrov talked about the structuring of the low-emission zones in the city. The Director of the Strategies, Innovations and International Projects Directorate at the Urban Mobility Center Metodi Avramov presented the green corridors and the logic behind them.

The second panel was moderated by Sevdalina Voynova, Program Director of Sofia Development Association.

"This is a service that fits people like a gauntlet - thanks to outreach work with citizens and their formal and informal organizations," Mr. Voynova said about the already active service.

 Radoslav Rizov from the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" took part in the panel. Kliment Ohridski", prof. Dr. Stanimir Kabaivanov, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarski", prof. Dr. Dimitar Atanasov from the National Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology and Svetlana Lomeva, Executive Director of Sofia Development Association.

"At our last meeting in Manastirski Livadi we received "Thank you" from citizens of the neighborhood.  This "Bmidfielder" for us is very important because it means that we have managed to do something together, and now I hope we will be able to build on it," said Mrs. Lomeva.

During the conference breaks, the participants had the pleasure to see an exhibition entitled "Get out of the car". The works from the installation are the work of students from 37. Secondary School "Rayna Knyaginya", Sofia Sofia with teacher Mikeryam Ibysheva and director Tsvetomira Georgieva. During the breaks an exhibition of projects related to air purity and mobility was held. At the exhibition Sofia Municipality presented its project CLIMABOROUGH "Construction of green and climate-neutral urban centers", Green Sofia presented  "Shred Green Deal", "100KTREEs", Compair, "School Bus Lines", Sofia Development Association presented "AeroSolfd", a  The Urban Mobility Center presented its activities through various communication materials.

After the end of the two discussion panels, the guests of the event were divided into three groups and had the opportunity to get acquainted with transport on request, the Traffic Management Center, the analytical system for urban transport and low-emission zones in a real environment.




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


After almost three years of research, data generation and analytics, programming, co-creation with citizens, testing, updating and new testing, on May 11, 2023, the innovative urban on-demand transport service for Bulgaria and the EU was officially presented to the public.

"In three metropolitan districts – "Manastirski livadi – East", "Manastirski livadi – West", "Pavlovo", the citizens of Sofia, with whom we have been working since the very beginning of the INNOAIR project, can benefit from a new type of public transport on request. The buses were purchased with European funds. The inclusion of transport "on demand" in the traditional public transport services of passengers is an important part of our overall policy for modernization of urban transport," said the Chairman of the Sofia Municipal Council Georgi Georgiev.  

Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and INNOAIR project manager, thanked the citizens of Manastirski Livadi for their active participation in the creation and testing of the service so that it best meets the needs of the residents of the neighborhood. Zafir Zdravkov, Sofia municipal councilor, emphasized that the new service not only creates new comfortable and accessible travel options for the citizens but also for the transport operators because dispatchers can electronically monitor buses, their occupancy, citizens' satisfaction.

"I would like to thank the Transport Directorate and the Sofia Development Association for including us. Involving citizens takes time, but it is the only way to do something innovative and effective, and to build trust between the municipality and the people," said Veselin Krastev from the Initiative Committee "Manastirski Livadi - West".

The new buses will run every weekday from 6:07 to 22:40. The service can be used with all passenger documents for public transport.

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



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