The Implementation of Two New Projects Under the ‘Sandbox for Innovative Solutions’ is About to Start

26 March, 2021


The contracts for the implementation of yet another two projects of our programпе ‘Sandbox for Innovative Solutions’ have been signed by Gencho Kerezov, Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development. They focus on energy efficiency and air quality in public buildings.

The scope of the first one is to provide prototypes of sensor devices for monitoring indoor air quality. The system provides information to the residents of the premises, alerts them when the levels of carbon dioxide and fine dust particles rise and sends real-time data to be used for analytical purposes. The first sensor devices will be tested in a kindergarten due to the regularity of visits and the high public importance of the topic of improving air quality there. The devices will help children develop habits for maintaining clean air through audio and visual reminders, showing, for example, when it is necessary to ventilate the room.

The second project aims to improve energy efficiency in public buildings. Solar panels will be installed, and a system providing “smart” utilities will measure the consumption of electricity from both the panels and the electricity grid. The building administration will have real-time access to the data and will be able to take measures to optimize the overall electricity costs. Thus, within a one-year cycle, sufficient data will be generated, facilitating both the development of data-based policies for the installation of renewable energy sources, and for costs-reducing consumer behaviour. Real-time monitoring of water consumption will also be carried out. This pilot project will be implemented in a children’s educational establishment, due to the opportunity for rapid replication in other similar establishments in case of proven results.

The pilot projects are part of the efforts of Innovative Sofia, the department for digitalization, innovation, and economic development of Sofia Municipality, to establish policies based on data, analysis of key indicators for efficient resource planning, and better management practices. Another implemented project is the new portal of the Sofia Hall for Joyful Rites, which transformed the work of a small administrative unit into a unified system, replacing the existing accounting, registration, and current electronic reservation service. As a result, as of February this month, newlyweds in Sofia can now organize their wedding day entirely online.

By the end of the year, several other pilot projects will be launched to test innovations that have the potential to improve city life and generate even more data.

Innovative Sofia’s ‘Sandbox for Innovative Solutions’ programme is part of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Sofia (DTSS). It’s being implemented in partnership with the startup ecosystem in Sofia and its representation in the face of the Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO). 

The Sandbox’s goal is to test innovative technological solutions and generate empirical data that will serve for future solutions and policies that improve the quality of life in Sofia. The projects are pilots, and after an analysis of the results, funding will be sought for the development of those of them with the greatest social impact. Even at the pilot project level only, the programme enables startups in Sofia to directly get involved with innovative urban policies; to test innovative solutions in a real environment and expand their potential for attracting investments through the acquired experience and results; as well as to present the solutions for implementation in other cities in the country and worldwide.