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Work meetings of Cluster Sofia Knowledge City in the United Kingdom

Work meetings of Cluster Sofia Knowledge City in the United Kingdom

In the implementation of the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City’s goals for organizational capacity building, internationalization, and for the creation of successful international partnerships, several working visits were organized in leading cluster organizations, research institutes, accelerators, non-governmental organizations and agencies, technology parks, and smart cities organizations in Austria, Slovenia, Italy, and the UK.

 At the end of July and the beginning of August (30.07-03.08) Deyan Pushkarov - Marketing and PR Expert and Adelina Hristova - Internal Communications Expert on the cluster visited the United Kingdom and participated in a number of meetings with organizations from the city of London and the city of Peterborough.

The meeting with Future Cities Catapult was very beneficial and interesting in terms of an organization that not only supports the process of transforming cities into smart cities through state-of-the-art information technologies and the Internet of Things but rather uses the concept of managing knowledge and its impact on the economic development of the cities with an extraordinary focus on citizens. Possible joint activities in the smart cities area and infrastructure innovation projects were discussed.

The representatives of the cluster visited two of the most successful business accelerators - Collider Accelerator, which is one of the five top seed accelerators in Europe, and The Bakery. During the meetings, a few pieces of evidence were presented regarding the inclusion of large companies in the process of setting up new businesses and attracting a wide range of stakeholders to create a successful entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. Collider Accelerator presented information about their experience in the commercialization of innovation in marketing and advertising, and The Bakery explained how they were attracting big companies and their approach to establishing a good reputation for the accelerator.

Of great importance for the cluster was the meeting of our representatives with London & Partners, an agency directly involved in promoting the work of the Mayor of London. Its main objective is to create an international reputation for attracting foreign investors to the city. The agency presented the methods and marketing tools it uses to attract investors and talents for the implementation of smart cities projects. The London Tech Week event, which attracts over 55,000 attendees and high-tech businesses, is a good example.

Later that day a discussion visit was made to NESTA, a foundation for research and innovation promotion across a wide range of economic sectors. The Foundation presented its experience in exploring the smart technology market. The organization's initiatives and activities to support smart cities, social causes, and innovations in public benefit were discussed.

The meeting with Opportunity Peterborough, an organization supporting business development in the area, focused on the marketing and the engagement of local companies to support Peterborough's smart growth as well as exploring approaches to attracting and retaining talent in the city. Also, during the meeting the opportunities of the organization for establishing a partnership with the municipality to work on future & smart cities projects, the circular economy, tackling urban challenges, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, were discussed.

Within the last day, the cluster representatives visited two technology companies, Living PlanIT - the world's first UOS system, which together with the products it supports and combines, unlocks the full potential of data to make cities better, safer, and more social living places and Universal TrustMe Engine with its product TrustMe ™ - blockchain engine technology allows for the deployment of a trusted 3rd party platform where transactions are conducted and recorded on blockchains using pre-configured and automated blockchain contracts ('smart contracts').

Detailed information on the meetings, conclusions, and recommendations that were covered during the meetings will be presented to the members of the cluster in September 2018.

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