The virtual event was organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and Digital National Alliance.  As part of Bulgaria’s preparation for accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the forum focused on the necessary steps towards digital transformation and the Artificial Intelligence as one of its main drivers and a significant factor in ensuring the competitiveness of the European economy. The event outlined specific guidelines on Bulgaria’s path to digitalization in compliance with OECD global standards and showcased successful implications of cross-sector collaborations for effectively embedding data science and artificial intelligence into delivery solutions.

GATE was represented by the Director of the Institute, Prof. Silvia Ilieva, who highlighted its role in strengthening the capacity in the field of artificial intelligence and in particular in creating new, more technologically and practically oriented master’s and doctoral programmes, with the support of industry and partnering European universities. “GATE is an investment in people and it will create an environment for the development of young talents and their ideas,” said Prof. Ilieva, explaining that the Institute would create spinoff firms. As an example of successful cross-sectoral collaboration, Prof. Ilieva pointed out the GATE’s pilot project “Digital Twin City”, implemented in cooperation with Sofia Municipality, Sofiaplan, startup companies and industry, and aiming at helping solve real problems of districts and municipalities.

“The profession of ‘researcher’ in the field of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is promising, it will develop and will contribute to the better life of people” said Prof. Ilieva in conclusion.