GATE is approved as institute by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria approved the establishment of two institutes in the structure of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" - Southeast European Institute of Law, Economics and Intellectual Property and Big Data for Smart Society (GATE).

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

GATE team has made festive branded cookies to wish all partners, collaborators and friends bright and sweet Christmas!

We hope that the New Year will bring us a Big Data Centre of Excellence.

Interactive Debate Session at EBDVF 2018

The European Big Data Value Forum was held at the Austria Centre Vienna (November 12 and 13, Conference) and at the Siemens Conference Centre Vienna(November 14, workshops). Prof. Sylvia Ilieva, was a panelist in an Interactive Debate Session aiming to discuss the evolving nature of Data Science skills needed to deal with Big Data and AI technology. After a brief introduction from the moderator Edward Curry, Research Leader at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and at LERO, the following two discussion questions were debated:
1. In the context of AI, are we seeing the death of the data scientists?
2. User, SME, Entrepreneur: Is European society prepared for AI-driven Innovation?
The outcome of the session will support the BDV PPP and the larger audience by gaining further information from stakeholders about the challenges for data science and AI skills. The session was concluded by inviting participants to join the BDV PPP in its actions to move the Data and AI skills agenda forward and support the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.

The great expectation began

GATE team has submitted the proposal for Phase 2. We cross our fingers for positive evaluation that will further support the fruitful Bulgarian-Swedish collaboration, to provide focus for increased scientific excellence and sustained Big Data growth, through attractive and stimulating research environment, advanced infrastructure supporting open innovation and vibrant ecosystem to enable responsive research and innovation. This will allow GATE team to fully exploit the opportunities created by the innovation ecosystem boost and the Big Data market pull in Bulgaria, the Artificial Intelligence technological push in Sweden and the EU and global research and development urge for Big Data.

GATE will bridge the gap between Eastern Europe and the 55 centres in Western Europe and will play a strategic role for disseminating the best practices and innovative models to the widening countries, creating a great impact not only at national and regional level, but also at European.

GATE last meeting for Phase 1

GATE last project meeting took place in the sunny autumn Gothenburg. The project team has worked very intensively during the three meeting days to complete the Business plan for the future Centre of Excellence in Sofia.

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GATE Phase 1 successfully completed

Phase 1 of GATE project has been successfully completed and the results achieved will provide a strong basis for ensuring long-term sustainability of the Centre of Excellence. The project team endeavours and huge effort has been acknowledged in the positive review report. The report states that the project has fully achieved its objectives and milestones. The work plan and deliverables were completed in line with the Grant Agreement and the quality of deliverables is very good. The report also outlines that the project will likely provide results with significant immediate or potential impact. Furthermore, it is also emphasized that the number of women involved in the field of ICT is impressive and that the consortium participated in a high number of dissemination/stakeholder events.

GATE current oucomes was shared on CyberCon conference

The CyberCon conference was held in Bulgarian Academy of Science on 15-16 June 2018. The general objective of CyberCon conference is to support the integration and interaction between private and public bodies with experts in cybersecurity, critical infrastructure management, eHealth and Smart Cities solution providers.


The GATE pilot project on Future City was presented at Sofia's place during the WEBIT.FESTIVAL on 27 June 2018.The organisers of the event were Sofia Municipality, Sofia Investment Agency, Sofia Development Association and Sofia Tourism Administration.

The overall aim of GATE Future City pilot is to provide city stakeholders with ability to make better decisions by relying on data from each other instead on their own data. As a result, a City as an Intelligent platform approach will be elaborated to address the city challenges through utilizing Big Data and IoT technologies.

How can a best practice guide of the Network of National Big Data Value Centres of Excellence facilitate the first Big Data Centre of Excellence in Bulgaria?

It was with great enthusiasm, when we received the news about a recent attempt to create the first dedicated Big Data Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Bulgaria that would also make it the first one in Eastern Europe, according to our findings. This project, “GATE – Big Data for Smart Society”, is funded by Horizon 2020 WIDESPREAD-2016-2017 TEAMING Phase 1 programme and involves partners from Sofia University (Bulgaria), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and Chalmers Industriteknik (Sweden). Their goal is to create a sustainable plan for a Big Data Centre that will be evaluated by the European Commission to be given the green light and the necessary European and National funding for the establishment of the CoE.

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Big Data Value Meet-Up @ GATE

The GATE potential to bridge the gap between the number of Big Data Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Western and Eastern Europe was presented on Big Data Value Meet-up in Sofia. The goal of the GATE is to create the first dedicated Big Data CoE in Bulgaria that would also make it the first one in Eastern Europe.

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Representatives of Sofia municipality and business took part in the first workshop on the Digital Cities Challenge project

Sofia Investment Agency team organized a workshop "Vision and Ambition" on 9 May 2018 as part of the EU project "Digital Cities Challenge". Representatives of the municipality and business, as well as representatives of utilities, telecoms and academia, participated in the discussion. The purpose of the meeting was to formulate Sofia's vision and ambition to achieve digital maturity to serve as part of a roadmap for the development of a digital transformation strategy for Sofia city.

Initivative seminar Virtual Cities - Opportunities and Challenges

GATE was presented at initiative Seminar Virtual Cities - Opportunities and Challenges. The seminar, held at the Visual Arena, Lindholmen Science Park, gathered several prominent researchers and involved parties. The agenda showed a wide variety of subjects; among others Jarmo Suomisto, City of Helsinki, presented the 3D-modelling project of the city of Helsinki he has managed for several years, Eric Jeansson, geodata strategist at the City of Gothenburg, described several different city environment visualization projects within the City of Gothenburg, and Anders Logg, Chalmers, accounted for the project VirtualCity@Chalmers.

GATE presented at Bulgarian Presidency Flagship Conference - Research Infrastructures beyond 2020

GATE was presented at the Bulgarian Presidency Flagship Conference "Enhancing Long Term Sustainability and Opening Up Research Infrastructures to Society and Industry - Research Infrastructures beyond 2020 – sustainable and effective ecosystem for science and society" which took place at Sofia Tech Park - 22-23 March 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria. Building an effective, sustainable and inclusive European Research Infrastructure ecosystem is one of the key elements for the development and improvement of knowledge and technology and for the overall competitiveness of EU. Being already involved in the national roadmap GATE will extend the provide advance Research Infrastructure as an important hubs for generating new knowledge and training highly skilled human capital.

Gate Advisory Board Meeting

The first GATE Advisory Board meeting was held on the 1th of March in Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg.

GATE attracts researchers’ interest through Big Data for Smart Society seminar at Chalmers

Area of Advance Information and Communication Technology at Chalmers, which is part of GATE team, organized on the 1st of March a lunch seminar Big Data for Smart Society. The aim of this seminar was though a series of presentations to give participants an opportunity to hear about some of the research that is being carried out in different projects and departments at Chalmers in the area of Big Data for Smart Society. The seminar attracted more than 50 participants and the desired outcome of the seminar was successfully achieved - greater awareness of what's going on in this area at Chalmers, and identifying and discussing new opportunities for collaboration within the scope of GATE future Centre of Excellence.

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Great start of the New Year for GATE!

Year 2018 starts very well for GATE team, as SofiaUni team was approved as a member of Big Data Value Association – the biggest European Big Data related ecosystem that involves large industries, SMEs, research organizations and data users and providers to support the development and deployment of the EU Big Data Value Public-Private Partnership with the European Commission. BDVA focuses its activities on updating the multi-annual roadmap and on providing regular advice to enable the European Commission to prepare, draft and adopt the periodic Work Programmes, as well as on delivering Data Innovation Recommendations, developing Big Data Value Ecosystem, guiding Standards, and, facilitating Know-how exchange.

First GATE workshop

The first GATE workshop held on the 6th and 7th of December in Sofia Tech Park was a great success and a pivotal step towards the establishment of GATE community, by involving in fruitful discussions more than 100 participants. The workshop aimed at gathering Big Data researchers, industry representatives and policy makers, in order to jointly identify the priority research areas and potential pilots within the frame of the four innovation pillars (Data Driven Government, Data Driven Industry, Data Driven Society and Data Driven Science). The main goal was through collaboration and ideas co-creation to define the baseline for the science and innovation to be developed by the future GATE Centre of Excellence.

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GATE is partnering with BCCI for identifying the needs of Bulgarian industry

On 4th of December a meeting was held between representatives of GATE team and Bulgarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). BCCI, as a nationally represented employers' organization, having more than 43 000 member companies from different sectors and maintaining a single trade register will play an important role to help GATE in identifying the needs for Big Data management of large national business and especially of SMEs. In this context, a questionnaire prepared by GATE team has been made available on the BCCI Info Business portal to reach out more than 6000 BCCI members, most of them being SMEs.

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GATE presented at National Initiatives session at EBDVF

GATE was invited to present its vision and objectives at the National Initiatives session at European Big Data Value Forum as the only Centre of Excellence of such kind to be established in Eastern Europe. [...]

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European Big Data Value Forum

GATE team took part in European Big Data Value Forum that was held in Versailles (Palais des Congrès), France from 21st to 23rd November 2017. It is a is a key European event for industry professionals, business developers, researchers, and policy makers to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the European data economy and data-driven innovation in Europe. GATE team has the opportunity to establish contacts with other relevant initiatives such as Big Data Value Association, Big Data Europe project, EUDECO project, The European Data Portal, Digital Catapult CoE, Hobbit project, etc. A very fruitful meeting and discussion was held with Edward Curry who is a member of GATE Advisory Board. Mr. Curry is a BDVA Vice President and Research Leader at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Ireland..

ICT Proposers' Day 2017

ICT Proposers' Day 2017 was taken place on 9 and 10 November in Budapest, Hungary. This networking event centres on European ICT Research & Innovation with a special focus on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2018-20.

GATE Advisory board established

GATE team has the pleasure to introduce its Advisory Board that will guide and support all project activities. The Board will supervise the CoE research and innovation strategy and will provide expert opinion regarding strategic choices. In order to strengthen the GATE CoE vision, the Advisory Board consists of people with experience, knowledge, skills and talents that will make a significant contribution.

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Between Sofia and Oslo: Health data analysis conference

The “Between Sofia and Oslo: Health data analysis” conference was held on 30 October 2017 at Sofia Balkan Hotel. A special panel was dedicated on Big Data application in Healthcare sector. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how health data can be used to improve the people's quality of life, diagnosis and treatment, while using new technologies and tools. The meeting was attended by representatives of the public administration and government - the Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Fund, directors of hospitals, Sofia Municipality, representatives of the pharmacy industry, IT companies and media. The GATE project objectives to establish a CoE as national, regional and European hub in research, education and innovations in Big Data were introduced.

GATE Information Day at FMI

On 31st of November GATE project team has organized an Information Day at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University, in order to present GATE objectives and Big Data research topics. [...]

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GATE project was presented at the European Day of Entrepreneur

GATE project was presented at the European Day of Entrepreneur (EDE) on 25th of October 2017 by assoc. prof Dessislava Petrova-Antonova, leader of Work Package 5 "Dissemination and Communication". [...]

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GATE team participated in SKILLS+ project workshop hosted by Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

GATE was invited to present its vision for the strategic role of academia in the process of digitalization and especially for the establishment of the Centre of Excellence to serve as a national and regional innovation hub that will accelerate the digital transformation of society. The overall objective of the SKILLS+ project is to enhance the ambition of SMEs by promoting the uptake and integration of modern ICT tools in daily business routines. Its aim is to optimise existing policy instruments by either giving more priority to the specific needs in rural areas or by proposing complimentary measures to increase the share of available funding for rural areas in order to overcome the digital gap between urban agglomerations and the periphery. The two projects are complementary in their objectives and will continue the collaboration.

GATE at International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business

The International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business – i-KNOW – has a 16-year history of bringing together the best minds from science and industry. Together we have successfully shaped research and practice on how knowledge and data are best leveraged in business and industry, and how knowledge technologies shape this relationshipGATE team participated in the International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business – i-KNOW conference that was held on 11th of October in Gratz. The conference has a 16-year history of bringing together the best minds from science and industry in the Big Data area. The aim is to combine research and practice on how knowledge and data are best leveraged in business and industry, and how knowledge technologies shape this relationship. As this year conference attracted more than 500 participants the GATE team participation was very beneficial with regard to establishing contacts with relevant research groups and research network widening.

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GATE Kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of project GATE took place at Sofia Tech Park on 10 October 2017. [...]

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GATE is welcomed in the European Network of National Big Data Centres of Excellence

GATE CoE was invited to become a member of the European network of Big Data at a network workshop organized in Gratz. European network of Big Data CoE aims to create a landscape and connect Europe’s Big Data Competence The objective is to collect best practices and key achievements of each centre, define big challenges, meet on regular basis, and align with other European initiatives, with the ultimate goal of defining the data-driven future of Europe. The centres work together on major pillars of Big Data: Education, Systems, Analytics, Visualization, and Business Models. As the only Big Data Centre of Excellence to be established in Eastern Europe, GATE will play a strategic role for broadening the network and disseminating the best practices and innovative models to the widening countries, thus creating a great impact not only at national and regional level, but also at European.

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First public presentation of GATE project

The GATE project was presented for the first time at the event on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Software Engineering Department. The event took place at Sofia Tech Park on 28 of September and was released in online journal Computer World. [...]

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