Sofia Tech Park, a multi-million euro science and technology park, was officially opened on December 11, with President Rossen Plevneliev hailing it as set to “put Bulgaria on the map of the future”.
Sofia Tech Park is a state-owned company working to boost innovation, research and technological development through various projects for which it creates partnerships with private and public institutions.
The total investment in the Sofia Tech Park is 42.6 million euro, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed 36.2 million from the “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” operational programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.
The park’s main focus areas are information and communication technology, life sciences and green energy. It is intended to foster knowledge exchange between academia and business while supporting start-ups and innovative ideas, thus providing a catalyst for commercialisation of research and making Bulgarian science and entrepreneurship more competitive, according to an official statement on the project.
This complements Sofia Tech Park’s overall aims of creating and managing a unique environment for innovation and supporting the marketing of new technologies, products and services.
Plevneliev performed the official opening, with those in attendance including Slovakia’s president Andrej Kiska, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer, European Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu, Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski and Sofia Tech Park executive director Elitsa Panayotova.
Plevneliev said that Sofia Tech Park was the first of its kind both in Bulgaria and in the Balkan region. He thanked those who put their trust in the Sofia Tech Park project, and said that it was creating 15 700 jobs in the IT sector.
The company Sofia Tech Park Ltd was founded in early June 2012. It is entirely owned by the state through the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
The company said that the objective of the project was to accelerate the competitiveness of science and entrepreneurship in Bulgaria by improving the knowledge exchange between academia and business, supporting startups and innovative ideas and thus catalysing the process of commercialization of research.