Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association are partners in the international project “Unlocking the potentials for business and social innovation in the Danube Region by equipping young people with new generation skills” (NewGenerationSkills) which will be conducted in the span of 30 months. It is part of the Danube Transnational Programme 2014-2020, which is financed by the EU.
The aim of the project is to improve innovation management measures and strengthen cooperation between the key stakeholders in the Danube Region. The main challenge is the development of entrepreneurial skills in young people. Local authorities, universities, innovation development centers, small and medium enterprises and civil society organizations all take part in the project. All of them will study, create and test innovative strategies that stimulate youth entrepreneurship.
The lead partner of the project is the Municipality of Újbuda, Budapest (Hungary), and the other project partners are Sofia, Belgrade (Serbia), Maribor (Slovenia) and Graz (Austria), Intercommunity Development Association Cluj Metropolitan Area (Romania), University of Belgrade, Corvinus University of Budapest - Small Business Development Centre, as well as three non-governmental organizations from Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Sofia Municipality is the first city in Bulgaria with its own Innovative Strategy for Smart Specialization. As a result of the implementation of the new international project each participating city will have a Youth Development Strategy and a Local Action Plan. The Plan will incorporate the knowledge and experience gained from the transnational exchange of experience as well as the concrete actions for successful implementation of the innovative ideas. A key outcome of the project is the establishment of "Innovation Lab" which will provide young people with access to the skills and competencies necessary for their successful future realization. A Local Innovation Advisory Group, which is considered to have a key role in the development of every society, will also be established.