First Workshop on Sofia’s Participation in the EC PolicyCLOUD Project for Data-Driven Policies through Cloud Technologies

16 January, 2021


The team of Innovative Sofia organised the first workshop on Sofia’s participation in PolicyCLOUD – a Horizon 2020 project of the European Commission for policy management through technologies across the complete data lifecycle on cloud environments. The online discussion was attended by colleagues from the Sofia Municipality directorates, experts from Green Sofia, the GATE Institute, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia Plan, as well as the Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation, and Economic Development Gencho Kerezov. 

During the meeting, Iskra Yovkova from Innovative Sofia, the R&D Coordinator of the project on behalf of Sofia Municipality, presented the initiative’s objectives, scope, and progress so far. The meeting was the first of a series of seminars that will focus on the use of innovative technologies in policymaking. The topics cover the way policies, initiatives, and projects are planned, what the principles are, how KPIs are set, in what timeframes, what benefits to look for when creating a tool for data-based testing policies, and what needs to be considered in its creation.

The participants agreed that public institutions do not use data’s full potential, information is often fragmented, and no correlation is sought between data sets. There should be a consideration of the need and understanding of their usefulness as well as technical means and infrastructure to organize, filter, and compare different data. There is a need to continue the activities for the systematization of the information. Data needs to be collected and analyzed to develop long-term urban solutions that work in an integrated way.

An essential aspect of the PolicyCloud project is that it will also respond to the need to create a regulatory and ethical framework for data usage and application. One of Sofia’s strengths is that, at the city level, there is already a conscious understanding of the importance of data in developing sustainable solutions for the city. Through the PolicyCLOUD project, Sofia will have the opportunity to perform simulations, tests, and analyses of potential policies using different categories and types of data. This will allow the city to prototype and implement smart, informed, and evidence-based urban initiatives.


More about the PolicyCLOUD project

The PolicyCloud project is in a new field – Analytics as a Service, and aims to create a policy development toolkit in a cloud environment to prototype, test, and manage policies through data analysis and visualization. The tool will be uploaded to the European Open Data Science Cloud and can be used by policymakers worldwide.

In addition to the Policymaking Tool, the project will create and provide a Data Marketplace, data models and analytics tools, and an ethical framework for data use.

The project has four pilots (use -cases): from Sofia, London, Aragon region in Spain, and Italy.


Sofia will use data from the Call Sofia call centre for citizens’ signals and from the Airthings air monitoring system. The areas on which the pilot of Sofia focuses are:

  • Waste collection and waste disposal
  • Cleanliness, ecology, green systems
  • Road infrastructure, street lighting, road signals, parking
  • Disturbance of public order, and other important city topics.

Look out for our next articles about upcoming events and initiatives within Sofia’s participation in the PolicyCloud project in 2021.