“What we see today was a dream that we didn’t even know if it would come true. But we knew that if we didn’t try, it would never be a reality. I remember when we were breaking ground here, I said that in Bulgaria there are leading world scientific centres that should be supported. They should be visible not only abroad, because they know them there, but also visible in Bulgaria.

The models that succeed are just like GATE – hot, very important scientific topics at the front of world science in collaboration with one of the best in the world – Chalmers University of Technology. And on the other hand, this fundamental science is used for applications that are useful for all of us,” Prime Minister Acad. Nikolay Denkov noted.

“GATE is an example of sustainable cooperation in the transfer of technological knowledge and experience. It is built on the basis of concrete results, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Gabriel. – You turn scientific achievements into practical solutions of social benefit. You show that being a visionary is not enough. I believe that the new high-tech infrastructure and the GATE building will be a key factor in the development of a sustainable research culture in Bulgaria. I believe that it will give the opportunity to thousands more Bulgarian talents to realize their ideas on home soil.

Today’s event invites us to be open to innovation. To surpass the boundaries of creativity that we have drawn, to participate in the development of an inclusive environment – an engine for creating innovations of global importance, she added.

The director of GATE, Prof. Silvia Ilieva, presented the achievements of the Institute, highlighting the role of the 49-member international team of researchers and experts. She emphasized the goal of the organization – to be a driver of change in the national research and innovation system, to create a unique research environment that will put Bulgaria on the map of Europe and work on problems of public importance. As a way to achieve this goal, she noted the cooperation with over 250 partners from Bulgaria and Europe, the participation in European initiatives, in over 20 national and international projects, the creation of over 85 publications in renowned publications and the first Master’s program ” Big Data Technologies” together with the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of the Sofia University.

“Today’s event is significant, because it shows the political will to put Bulgaria on the map of Europe, it shows the energy and the desire to show how technology can work for the benefit of society”, the rector of SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Prof. Georgi Valchev.

The Chairman of the Board of GATE and until recently rector of SU, Prof. Anastas Gerdzhikov, expressed his pride that Alma Mater participates in all the Centres of Excellence in the country. He thanked the researchers and Prof. Ilieva, “who dealt with all the problems during the construction of the new building, for which I congratulate her”.

Among the official guests of the event were also Konstantin Pavlov, mayor of the Lozenets district and Prof. Georgi Vayssilov, executive director of the executive agency “Education Program”, representatives of the European Commission.

After the official opening of the building, the event continued with the annual GATE Forum, whose first visionary session presented the trends of development of Data, Artificial Intelligence and Data Spaces. Prominent international experts and business leaders participated in it, including representatives of the Ministry of Innovation and growth, Big Data Value Association, Chalmers University of Technology, European Observatory for Digital Media, etc.

The two-day event also features thematic panels on ‘smart’ industry, urban digital twins, digital health, disinformation and GATE’s initiatives as a NATO test centre. Part of the program is a workshop for the city digital twins, as well as demonstrations and poster sessions that reveal the results of GATE’s work on various projects.

Thematic sessions are dedicated to the role of data sharing and artificial intelligence in the development of smart industry, digital health and future cities. The conference also focuses on countering disinformation at the local and regional level, as well as GATE’s functions as a test center for new dual-purpose technologies within NATO’s civil-military Defense Innovation Agency (DIANA).

From December 8 to 10 within the framework of the forum “Up to GATE. Technology, Big Data & Beyond. Open Up for Innovation” GATE institute will host the GATE-AEC Hackathon Sofia together with the organizers of the biggest hackathon in this field – AEC Hackathon (Architecture, Engineering and Construction Hackathon). The first event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, supported by this community, will promote the connection between information technology, global experts and representatives of companies working in the fields of architecture, construction, mobility and urban planning, with the final expected result being the solution of specific case studies related to the development of the urban environment.