Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. It’s location makes it a gateway to the EU market, as well as the markets of the Middle East and Russia. It is the national leader in ICT and, with one of the highest connection speeds on the continent, has the potential to be a leader in Europe.
It’s no surprise that ICT is the fastest growing industry in Sofia with 21.8% growth for 2016 in comparison to 2012. Seizing on the opportunity to use this digital landscape as a springboard, the Sofia Municipal Council has set out to formulate a well-coordinated concept and common knowledge of what a smart city is and how the joint efforts of all relevant stakeholders could contribute for the better life of all its citizens.
Sofia digital transformation strategy
The mission and vision statements for the digital transformation of Sofia are the main output of the first step of the digital transformation strategy. They are based on the results of self-assessment by stakeholders; the collection of Key Performance Indicators; a literature review of current strategy and policy documents; assessment visits and interviews with 17 stakeholders, in March 28-30, 2018; and a vision and ambition workshop with the participation of 13 stakeholders, on May 9, 2018.
The digital transformation of the city of Sofia focuses on the local ICT ecosystem. This is a clear priority set by the local government and the Sofia Investment Agency that leads the Digital Cities Challenge. The digital transformation of this business ecosystem presupposes the convergence of three conditions: (1) the supply of needed digital services by the ICT companies of Sofia, (2) the demand for such services by other industries located in the city, utility services providers, and government, and (3) an effective system of innovation to support with skills and funding the digital transformation of the local economy.