Among the first more than 15 members of the Bulgarian Urban Data Space are various organizations such as the National Statistical Institute, Sofia Development Association and Sofiaplan, business representatives such as Overgas, CNSys, Kontrax, Rila Solutions, Telelink Business Services and Senstate, and the non-governmental organizations For the Earth, One Tree, and Data for Good. This was an initiative of the GATE Institute at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and it aims to promote innovation by using the opportunities offered by the development of the data-based economy.

The event was organized in Sofia in partnership with the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), of which GATE is also a member, and has attracted many experts in data management from all over Europe.

“I am glad that here today we see such great interest in the business and social benefits that data spaces can offer,” noted Prof. Silvia Ilieva, Director of GATE, at the opening of the Data Spaces Discovery Day conference, which gathered over 200 experts for the launch of the Bulgarian Urban Data Space.

In an opening address to the forum participants, the Minister of Innovation and Growth, Alexander Pulev, expressed support for the initiative and readiness for future cooperation with scientific circles and technology companies. He also noted the programmes proposed by the government with a total value of over BGN 5 billion for the period 2022-2023, which are intended for scientific research and development and aim at stimulating excellence and innovation and their implementation in the economy.

“Data spaces are the kind of magic that makes businesses, economies and lives incomparably better,” said Lars Nagel, CEO of IDSA. “Their introduction requires a holistic change – of technologies, the legal framework and some business processes. But the fact that the Bulgarian ecosystem is so mature for this event today shows huge potential and we expect business solutions with global impact to be created right here.”

“Municipalities have huge information arrays that we accumulate daily in the performance of our routine activities,” said Tanya Hristova, Mayor of Gabrovo Municipality. “We need partners to help us use this data to make management decisions.”

The participants of the event got acquainted with successful examples from the creators of a number of innovative data spaces from all over Europe.

The program of the event also included a special Data Space Discovery area with demonstrations of data spaces from the network of the International Association of Data Spaces, where the Bulgarian experts exchanged experiences and were closely acquainted with examples from Europe. The main highlight of the program were the discussions between Bulgarian and international experts on the business and social benefits of trusted data sharing and the importance of using data to solve the problems and challenges facing the cities of the future.

The full record of the Data Spaces Discovery Day could be seen here: