Sofia Municipality will work with East Asia on its innovation policies

10 August, 2021

The capital has been approved under the International Urban & Regional Cooperation (IURC) Program, funded by the EC. Sofia has been identified as one of the best applications under the 2021 program. Currently, the capital is the only city that has received the opportunity to partner with two cities – one in every way will be Seoul, Korea. The second, which will be from China, will be clear in September.

The IURC program focuses on areas that are of key interest for the development of Sofia and are enshrined in the city’s strategic documents for the ecological transition and the Green Deal, especially:

  • the circular economy and waste management
  • urban and regional modernization
  • sustainable mobility and transport
  • innovative, sustainable carbon-neutral ecosystems in strategic sectors with a particular focus on education, jobs and skills and environment enhancement for clusters and innovation centers.

The great benefits for the capital will be access to innovative ideas through an international network, opening doors for dialogue and partnership with new global partners and relevant stakeholders from all investment sectors, new and developed ways to address local and global challenges. Sofia will benefit from a wider range of good practices and support in identifying innovative business models for financing local activities, as well as numerous international visits to develop the capital as an investment point.

The EU’s international cooperation program (first phase) has become the world’s largest city-to-city cooperation program, involving 165 EU and non-EU cities in the North and South America, the Caribbean (LAC), Asia and Asia. South Asia. The IURC is an example of how local and regional authorities can more effectively achieve their goals in partnership with key stakeholders, including research, business and civil society (quadruple spiral).
The IURC will have two components or thematic areas of cooperation, in particular:

  • city-city cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development
  • regional cooperation in the field of innovation.

The program, funded by the EU Partnership Instrument and benefiting from the strategic support of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policies, will contribute to the objectives of the New Urban Agenda 2030 and the political objectives of European Cohesion Policy.

“Our capital is already part of a number of international networks and enjoys the good experience of cities in Europe and the United States. Now we are stepping into Asia as well. This part of the world is well known for its high-tech sector and innovation potential for decades and it is a real privilege for us that we fought for a partnership not with one but with two cities”, said Deputy Mayor for Digitalization and Innovation Gencho Kerezov.