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The market research for Sofia Knowledge City was completed

The market research for Sofia Knowledge City was completed

The market research for Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, that was focused on the role of the cluster in the process of transforming Sofia into a smart city, was completed. The study together with the marketing strategy elaboration is the result of cooperation between the cluster and the consultancy company Euroconsultants Bulgaria SA - member of the international group Euroconsultants S.A. Sofia Smart City is a concept of urban development based on the achievements of information and communication technologies that transform the type, structure, and way

of using urban assets and resources in the urban environment for a better life of the citizens. In smart cities, these technologies are used to develop critical infrastructure in the city, including smart transport, smart water, smart construction, smart energy, smart security, smart education, smart healthcare, and smart management. The market trend is progressive growth - from about $ 517,629 million in 2017, it is expected to reach $ 2,402,121 million by 2025 at a combined annual growth rate of 21.28 percent. It is clear that from a technological point of view, interest in artificial intelligence, data analyzes, the Internet of Things and Cyber Security are significant as powerful elements that will have a huge impact on smart city initiatives over the next five years. At the same time, the most important technological advancement that will have a significant impact on the development of smart cities is the new 5G Internet generation that will become a platform for tomorrow's smart cities.

The study identifies different models for smart city management - through the creation of a specialized office, through the allocation of responsibilities between the departments of the municipal administration or through public-private partnerships, as the analysis shows that the most applicable for Sofia is the creation of a specialized office on the model of the city of Vienna.
The Office should function as the sole body responsible for the coordination of all stakeholders and thus help to centralize processes, clarify ownership of data and simplify communication. The document highlights the need for specialized expertise and capacity, and in this regard, the role of the KSWC (as the most appropriate form of unification of organizations in the knowledge triangle) for the development of a smart city. The role of the cluster is mostly indicated as a catalyst for this process.

The study also examined four action options applicable to the smart ecosystem of Sofia in relation to its further development. It was stated that the working option for Sofia could be a further development of the cluster-initiated strategic framework one year ago. This option also includes the need for a specialized strategy, accompanied by an Action Plan to turn Sofia into a smart city between 2020 and 2025.

The study was realized within the project BG16RFOP002-2.009-0018-C01 "Creating an Organizational Capacity and Strategy for Development of Cluster Sofia Knowledge City" implemented with the financial support of the Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness (OPIC) 2014 - 2020.

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