European Digital Innovation Hub Trakia was officially inaugurated in Plovdiv on Thursday. The Hub, a joint project between the Union for Private Economic Enterprise (UPEE), the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Paisii Hilendarski Plovdiv University, Bulgarian Cybersecurity Association and Plovdiv Municipality, is of key importance for the development of businesses in the South Central Region.
UPEE Chair Vaska Baklarova said that the Hub will play an essential role in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and municipal structures with training on financial tools to increase their cybersecurity.
Caretaker Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Yanko Topalov said: “The global circumstances highlight the importance of security in cyberspace and the need for a reliable information pathway. Data shows that small and medium-sized enterprises in Bulgaria are lagging behind in the digitization of their operations compared to their European counterparts”. Topalov said the creation of a digital information hub in Plovdiv is indicative of the region’s emergence as a high-tech industrial centre in Bulgaria.
Caretaker Minister of e-Government Georgi Todorov pointed out that one of the main priorities of the caretaker cabinet is to improve digital connectivity, and a leading condition for this is the development and implementation of modern technologies. He quoted studies, according to which companies that follow the path of digital transformation are more profitable and their market valuation is higher than the average for their respective industry.
Trakia Hub’s role is to provide businesses and local administrations with innovative digital solutions, to be integrated into the parties’ daily operations. The Hub provides a range of cybersecurity services, access to funding, education and networking at no cost.
The project is funded under the Digital Europe Programme of the European Commission and under the Research, Innovation and Digitalisation for Smart Transformation National Operational Programme. The Programme is funded directly by the European Regional Development Fund. The project is worth EUR 3 million and its duration is 3 years until 2025.