Innovation is fundamental for our economic development, where digital technologies and the internet play a transformational role. Creating a stimulating environment that enables the digital economy to thrive and expand the opportunities for the internet companies and startups, as well as for the business and society is a joint effort, both at national and European levels.
Edit4tomorrow will provide a forum for a high-level discussion on the role of Bulgaria in Europe’s digital transformation and the relevant national and EU policies with their practical implications for the Bulgarian digital ecosystem. The conference will bring together the pioneer startup leaders from Bulgaria and the Balkans, high-level government and EU decision-makers with the special participation of the Bulgarian Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel.
Organised in the context of the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in January 2018, the conference will serve as a platform for an important dialogue about the future direction of EU’s digital development and the role of all the relevant stakeholders in this process. In line with the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency, Edit4tomorrow aims to encourage a conversation on the regional impact of digital economy and explore the opportunities for partnership and cooperation on the Balkans, highlighting the potential of regional startup ecosystems and networks for collaboration.
The conference is organised as part of the EDIT on the ROAD initiative, a three-month project, organised in partnership with Google spanning over seven key Bulgarian cities, with the purpose of stimulating the Bulgarian economy through innovation and digitalization.
Accelerating the Leocorn ecosystem
The conference will open the discussion by recognizing the Bulgarian digital pioneers that have laid the foundations for a transformational change, their commitment to keep improving the local environment and their efforts to accelerate the process of strengthening the national startup ecosystem. As a conclusion to the EDIT on the ROAD project, in this first part the conference will also serve as a venue to present the results of an extensive research project, mapping and examining the Bulgarian start-up ecosystem. The results will emphasize the achievements and challenges in building the ecosystem as well as the benefits resulting from the relevant European funds and programmes so far. The findings and conclusions will be at the heart of a panel discussion that will aim to formulate specific recommendations on how to further unlock the potential for innovation of the Bulgarian economy through digital technologies and its alignment with European digital priorities.
Elevating the European Digital Market
The Estonian, Bulgarian and Austrian Presidencies of the Council of the EU have identified as a common priority to accelerate the process of completing a competitive and fair Digital Single Market as a source of growth and competitiveness that will secure better access to digital tools and a rapid penetration of information and communication technologies across all sectors of the economy. This panel will encourage a dialogue between EU decision-makers about the progress on the DSM main pillars, namely the access to digital goods and services, the creation of an enabling environment with the appropriate legal framework and maximizing the growth and potential of EU’s digital economy. A special focus will be put on how innovation and entrepreneurship can contribute to the successful implementation of the DSM initiatives.
Balkan Startup Horizons
In line with the priorities of the Presidency to accelerate the completion of the Digital Single Market, but also to deliver a tangible perspective for the Western Balkans, the third session of the conference will be a venue to discuss the potential for regional collaboration and digital connectivity. Building upon the previous panels, this part will offer highlights from the experience of the Western Balkans digital pioneers in driving technological change. It will ultimately seek to map out possibilities for collaboration and experience-sharing across the regional startup communities, and examine the ways in which Bulgaria can become a key partner for digital innovation and economic growth in the region.
Security challenges and solutions in the digital era
The final panel discussion will focus on some of the main challenges facing the development of the digital economy. By engaging different stakeholders and experts in the area of security and privacy, this discussion will seek to identify methods and solutions for the management and regulation of data, as well as how to better address the privacy concerns and security needs of businesses, citizens and governments alike. Finally, the panel will aim to draw conclusions and offer recommendations for collaboration in tackling these challenges via innovation and technology.
Mariya Gabriel – European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
Matt Brittin – President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google
Moderator: Sasha Bezuhanova – Founder and Board chair of MOVE.BG
The conference will be held in the Panoramic Hall at the top floor of Kvadrat 500, and the exposition hall on the floor below will be exclusively open to guests of the conference during the entire day.
Entrance for the conference: from Vasil Levski Blvd.