Sofia Tech Park to Set Up Tie-in with Universities, Academy of Science
State-run company Sofia Tech Park, which is to complete a high-tech park project in Bulgaria's capital, will become a consortium, according to Elitsa Panayotova, CEO of the firm.
The Sofia Tech Park company is building a hi-tech park at the 4th kilometer intersection of the Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd in Sofia. The project is to be completed by October 2015.
Speaking at a forum on the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy, Panayotova, as cited by mediapool.bg, made clear that the consortium would also bring together the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", the Technical University of Sofia and the Medical University of Sofia.
She said that the state-owned company Sofia Tech Park, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy and Energy, had only signed memorandums of cooperation with the three universities and the BAS so far, adding that the principles of association of the consortium were yet to be clarified.
The CEO of Sofia Tech Park pointed out that the future consortium it would not be a trading company.
The hi-tech park project relies on EU funding of EUR 50 M under the Competitiveness operational program in the 2007-2013 programming period. The scheme may face difficulties as regards EU funding because the construction of the buildings has not started yet. In case some of the sites are not ready in 2015, the project will be divided into parts and they will use EU funding under the current programming period 2014-2020.
Panayotova informed that Sofia Tech Park EAD had submitted its development program by 2020 with the Ministry of Economy and Energy, seeking an extra EUR 50 M under the Innovations and Competitiveness operational program in the 2014-2020 programming period.
She went on to say that Sofia Tech Park would also submit a project worth EUR 20 M, seeking funding for "soft measures" such as trainings, mentoring, organizing events, presenting inventions, etc, under the new operational program Science and Education.
Panayotova announced that the site located between the Arena Armeets Sofia sports hall and the Publishing Polygraphic Complex "Rodina" was being cleared up and the preparations for construction works were underway.
According to reports of mediapool.bg, based on public procurement register data, the contractor is a Smolyan-based company, Roster, which won the tender with a price of BGN 2.43 M, VAT excluded.
The contract with Roster was signed in end-January, stipulating a five-month period for the company to clear the site.
Panayotova also noted that six other public procurement procedures were underway for the construction of the business incubator, the laboratory complex, the innovations forum, and the experimentorium with a visitor center, and a parking lot.
The CEO of Sofia Tech Park EAD informed that the selection of contractors in three of the six public procurement procedures was being appealed.
She said that the three main units of the hi-tech park were the laboratory complex, the innovations forum and the experimentorium.