The kick-off meeting of the GATE project partners took place on 10th October 2017, at the Science and Technology Park in Sofia, Bulgaria. The meeting was attended by representatives of the participating structures of Sofia University – Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Faculty of Physics and the Technology Transfer office, and by representatives of the partnering institutions from Sweden - Chalmers University of Technology and Chalmers Industrial Teknik.
The project “GATE – Big Data for Smart Society” is funded by Horizon 2020 WIDESPREAD-2016-2017 TEAMING Phase 1 programme and it aims to prepare the creation of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the field of Big Data. It is unique for Bulgaria as it is the first attempt towards establishment of a CoE in this fast developing field and also because it won the grant in a severe international competition with 286 project proposals. Within one year, the project consortium will elaborate a sound business plan that will be then evaluated by the EC and if successful, it will get European and national funding for the real establishment and functioning of the CoE.
The project team was greeted by Prof. Ivan Dimov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science. He pointed out that there are few areas where Bulgaria is good and one of them is the data analysis. Prof. Dimov declared the support of the Bulgarian government for the project.
Prof. Nikolay Vitanov, Dr. Habil., Vice-rector of Research and Project Affairs at Sofia University and a member of the project team, expressed his expectations for GATE's significant contribution to the development of relations with industry and commercialization of scientific results.
The meeting continued with presentations of the participating partners and project work packages. The “Chalmers” representatives shared their concept of developing a business plan that will pave the project’s way to European and national funding for establishment of the Centre of Excellence.
Prof. Silvia Ilieva, GATE’s project leader, declared the commitment of the Bulgarian side to the successful completion of the project and expressed her strong believe in the fruitful cooperation with “Chalmers”.