She was among the participants in the discussion “Trends in digitalization and cyber security of CEE”, together with Valentin Mundrov – Acting Minister of Electronic Government, and Prof. Dr. Georgi Angelov – Deputy. Minister of Innovation and Growth, Prince Boris Tarnovski – Prince Tarnovski and Duke of Saxony, Sasha Bilic – Executive Director, APIS IT Croatia and President of Euritas, Simeon Karcelanski – Cyber ​​Security Manager, Dario Zoric – Regional Head of Digitalization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and Coby Friedman – Founder of, and Christina Eshkenazi – Chair of the Biotechnology and Health Cluster and moderator of the panel.

Prof. Ilieva introduced the audience to the leading priorities in the activity of GATE, namely the institute’s applied research in various areas such as “Future Cities” and “Digital Health” for the development of sustainability and improvement of people’s quality of life – to work and live easier, under better conditions.

“Using the potential of artificial intelligence, our researchers are developing a digital twin of Sofia and a data space as complementary technologies for innovation. They support intelligent data sharing, analysis, and simulation related to air quality research, urban planning and design, walkability, and urban comfort, and enable people to provide feedback and input to improve urban conditions, in which they live and work”, noted Prof. Silvia Ilieva.

She also spoke about the tool developed by GATE to assess the pedestrian accessibility of residential buildings to various city services and facilities such as kindergartens, schools, green spaces, medical centers and hospitals, transport, and sports facilities, based on the concept of the 15-minute city. Based on the collected set of data from over 27,000 objects of interest in Sofia and the 15-minute access to them, the index of pedestrian accessibility on the territory of the “Lozenets” district was calculated. The analysis supports decision-making for the planning of new infrastructure meeting the needs of citizens within walking distance, leading to a reduction in traffic and congestion, lowering carbon emissions and generally improving the quality of life in the city.

Prof. Ilieva also drew attention to the fact that GATE applies the accumulated experience and developed tools and analyzes in a European project to create a data space in the field of mobility and transport. The project unites more than 40 partners’ efforts to share data and create new business models and services in urban mobility. GATE Institute, as a hub of the International Data Space Association, is a local technology partner in Sofia. Among the Bulgarian partners are the Sofia City Municipality and the Center for Urban Mobility, together with which GATE is working on the creation of new applications supporting the movement of citizens by public transport and the so-called “green vehicles” such as scooters, electric bicycles, and cars, as well as those related to parking and pedestrian movement.

GATE is also the coordinator of the European project VELES, aiming to stimulate innovation in Southeast Europe by creating a regional data space for smart healthcare and a sustainable local ecosystem in Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, and Romania. According to this project, in which the Ministry of Electronic Government, Telelink Business Services EAD, and the Biotechnology and Health Cluster – Bulgaria also participate from the Bulgarian side, advanced technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things are being developed for the benefit of personalized medicine, informed decision-making of solutions and the improvement of health services.

“This project is a significant step in GATE’s aspiration as the hub of the International Data Space Association to stimulate a data-based national and regional economy through the initiation of data spaces in strategic sectors such as healthcare,” said Prof. Ilieva.

Photo credit: @Bulfoto