The building is designed with energy efficiency in mind achieved through passive and active measures. Passives are highly effective enclosing elements – glass and insulation. The active ones are energy-efficient heating and cooling system. The building will house innovative laboratories, presentation halls and open spaces for meetings and discussions. It will be located on an area of ​​over 600 square meters, will be on four floors and equipped with modern technological solutions that allow mobility and versatility during operation.

The building will be located on the campus of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ” between the faculties of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI), Physics (FP) and Chemistry and Pharmacy (FCP), and two other centres funded by the Operational Program “Science and Education for Smart Growth”. This is the most suitable place for the creation of a Science Park at Sofia University, believes Prof. Silvia Ilieva, director of the GATE Institute.

“Our mission as researchers is to turn the institute into a bridge between science, government and industry, to contribute to improving the quality of people’s lives through the research and multidisciplinary projects we work on. Our goal is to create a new research culture to enable young researchers to develop and achieve their scientific ambitions in the country and to motivate the return of more Bulgarian researchers from abroad. The building is the first step in creating a national research infrastructure in the field of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, which will bring together our aspirations. It will be the home of the institute and the researchers will work for the benefit of society, with the help of modern achievements of science and technology”, said Prof. Ilieva.

In addition to GATE researchers, the new building will be open to students and partners for demonstrations, experimentation and testing of new technologies and solutions, as well as for seminars and events.

“In today’s dynamic and intense world, it is very important that scientific achievements are visible around the world in order to be useful to people. To build real research centres in which dozens of scientists can pursue the same goals and work on related tasks in order to be able to compete with their colleagues around the world. In the next few months we will do everything possible to attract colleagues from Bulgaria and abroad so that we can make the country’s scientific activity again leading in the world”, said Prof. Nikolay Denkov, Minister of Education and Science.

A special live address to the event was made by Dr Manuel Aleixo from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. “This project is the result of intensive cooperation and a lot of effort, and the building is not its beginning. The GATE Institute has been behind us for several years now and continues to grow thanks to the efforts of many people both in Bulgaria and here in the European Commission. It is impressive not only what has been achieved so far but also the fact that the GATE Institute brings together two institutions – Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”and Chalmers University. This partnership is extremely important and I believe it shows how investment in research leads to progress and improved excellence. Projects like this show what Europe means and what its mission is” said Dr Aleixo.

Since its founding, the GATE Institute has managed to attract funding from national and international projects, which exceeds the planned more than twice. Attracted researchers are 15% above the set and the institute has launched two significant pilot projects of major public importance – in the application areas “Future Cities” (“City digital twin”) and “Digital Health” (“Digital twin modelling of patients with cognitive disorders”). All this contributes to the prestige of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”, as well as to the entire scientific activity in Bulgaria.

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”has always stimulated the development of scientific research and we are proud of what we have achieved in recent years in the field of science, thanks to the many large-scale projects. The area in which the GATE Institute is developing is extremely important, and while until recently such centres existed only in Western Europe, we are now rapidly compensating for this – the result for the first two years of the institute’s existence is visible. Congratulations to the whole team, I wish you success and I hope that this building will be a prerequisite for even greater interest in the activities of GATE “, said Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov, Rector of Sofia University” St. Kliment Ohridski.

“With this institute, Bulgaria will be placed on the scientific map of Europe and I am extremely happy that we will have the opportunity to make decisions based on data. GATE Institute is also a reason for young people to stay and build their future in Bulgaria. I am even more glad that a modern place meeting the highest world standards will appear in the Lozenets district. This can be an example of what an urban environment should look like, which we should continue to expand in order for Sofia to become what it should be”, said Mr Konstantin Pavlov, Mayor of Lozenets district.

As part of the official ceremony, the guests had the opportunity to address their wishes to the institute and place them in a special time capsule to be opened in 10 years.