The hackathon challenges participants to look for bold technological and social innovation solutions that guide the vision for a next generation transport services, access and cultural heritage preservation.

Sofia Development Association and Sofia Municipality, with the support of Europeana, launch a hackathon “The Challenge of Sustainability and Social Justice”, the grand finale of which will be held live on June 8, 2023, in SofiaLab - 1 "Serdica" Street, 3rd floor. The hackathon challenges participants to look for bold technological and social innovation solutions that guide the vision for a next generation transport services, access and cultural heritage preservation. These areas are powerful catalysts for cities and regions in times of rapid urbanization, digitalization and individualization.

If you are interested in sustainability technology and innovation, and if you have ideas that can improve our urban environment, take part in the hackathon with a team of 2 to 5 people in order to propose solutions for cleaner mobility and environment, or for sustainable use of cultural heritage. A team of international mentors will guide you and mentor you throughout the process – from the registration to the submission of the final project and the presentation in front of the jury. The ideas with the highest scores will be awarded total financing of 15,000 BNG (7,500 Euro) provided by Sofia Municipality, for further development and implementation of the solutions. The winner will receive the European Young Innovations Award. Other non-financial awards will also be provided.

The registered teams will have access to databases provided and curated by Europeana and INNOAIR - the first Bulgarian project financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

The hackathon finale will be held live on June 8, 2023 at 2 p. m. till 4 p.m. at SofiaLab 1 "Serdika" Street, 3rd floor. For registered teams outside of Sofia that have reached the final, there will be an opportunity to present their ideas to the jury online.

Why get involved?

          1. The time for preservation, clean mobility and connectivity is now. Europe aims to be the first climate-neutral continent. This also applies to cultural heritage, to mobility, and opens up a huge horizon for innovation in the field.

          2. Network for future growth. A significant part of the hackathon aims to bring together the community working in the sphere of mobility and technology, so join and find relevant partners, mentors and companies.

          3. Further development of your idea. The hackathon is just the beginning. Validate your idea here, and later EIT Climate - KIC Hub Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality, Sofia Urban Mobility Center can help you to further develop your idea and even apply into practice in a controlled urban testing environment. 

What are the challenges?


Sofia Municipality and the partners of the INNOAIR project will provide anonymized data sets from the SofiaCoin application and the first 2 cameras for automatic counting of cyclists in the city, pollution data, as well as other relevant data. Teams can also use any other external data. They will be able to test their skills in analyzing and visualizing data and programming the cycling city of the future and behavior change.


Cities are changing and urban mobility is changing with them. Sofia Municipality and Sofia Urban Mobility Centre will provide data sets from the timetable and movement of urban transport vehicles as well as a report on citizen satisfaction. We need to develop solutions that can create trust and cooperation across public and private boundaries.


Using the historical photographs of Bulgaria from the NALISfoundation, showcase and analyse historical urban planning and urban mobility to propose solutions for the future. This challenge allows teams to focus on more qualitative low-tech products that connect historical knowledge embedded in cultural heritage objects with the current trends towards degrowth and a solarpunk future. You can use this dataset and any other connected data you'd like in your end product. All 15K images from the NALIS foundation are in the public domain.


Europeana's largest aggregator of data is OpenUp!, which collects, enriches and standardises Natural History heritage from all over Europe. More than 10 million objects showcasing the biodiversity and natural history heritage of Europe are available on Europeana through OpenUp. These collections are very well described and metadated and are largely free for re-use. Create a product that uses this rich trove of biodiversity heritage to (re)imagine a more green, sustainable future that preserves biodiversity knowledge and/or operationalises that historical wealth for future ecological decision-making. You can use this dataset in conjunction with other current databases and APIs on biodiversity like Genesys for your end product.

What are the awards for the winners?

8 000 BGN
first prize

5 000 BGN
second prize

2 000 BGN
third prize

The winning teams will be included in the Sandbox for Innovative Solutions of Sofia, which will provide them with the opportunity to test their products in real urban environment, to attract investments and present the solutions for implementation in other cities in the country and worldwide.

The European cultural institutes – EUNIC members, join to support the design of innovative ideas and prototypes with exciting prizes!

The best innovators will also be able to improve their language skills in a variety of languages – choosing between Portuguese, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Hungarian! Each Institute will be able to provide one course, for one semester, starting in the Autumn of 2023:
           • Camões Institute (Portugal)
           • Cervantes Institute (Spain)
           • Goethe Institute (Germany)
           • Institut Français (France)
           • Italian Institute (Italy)
           • Liszt Institute (Hungary)


5 May, 2023      Hackathon launch

31 May, 2023    Deadline for teams registration

2 June and 5 June, 2023   Individual mentorship

6 June, 2023      Online submission of final projects

7 June, 2023      Jury selects team-finalists

8 June, 2023      Live Finale: presentation of team-finalists before the jury and audience; award ceremony 


Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality, INNOAIR Project Manager

Gencho Kerezov,
Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development, Sofia Municipality

Dimitar Dilchev, Director, Urban Mobility Center

Assoc. Prof. Todor Yalamov, Ph.D., Deputy Dean "Research, Innovations and Projects", Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Sofia University

Svetlana Lomeva, executive director, Sofia Development Association

Yana Docheva, Head of International Cooperation at the National Association of the Municipalities in Republic of Bulgaria

Jolan Wuyts, Collections Editor, Europeana


Ivan Nikolov, Director of the Transport Directorate, Sofia Municipality - Transport Policies and Data.
eng. Dimitar Petrov, Director of Traffic Management and Analysis Directorate, Sofia Municipality - Transport Networks, Traffic Analysis
Metodi Avramov, Director of the Directorate "Strategies, Innovations and New Technologies and International Projects", Sofia Urban Mobility Centre - Tariffing, Marketing, Intermodality, Transport Data Analysis
Jolan Wuyts, Collections Editor, Europeana
Isabel Crespo, Business Development Coordinator, Education, Europeana
Vladia Mihailova, Chief Curator, Center for Contemporary Arts “Toplocentrala”
Veselin Todorov, IT Manager, questions about Information Systems in Urban Mobility Center.


          • Applicability of the project: To whom and in what way does this project help? Does it solve a significant problem from practice? Is the topic relevant and applicable? Does anyone really need this project? 30%

          • Content: Is it useful, interesting, and interactive, or does it duplicate existing sources? Are the texts, illustrations, and other multimedia elements of high quality and authentic? Is the content your own or copied from somewhere (unique quality content is valued more)? 20%

          • Technical implementation: Have the appropriate technologies been used in the right way? Is there a good usability, intuitive user interface and user experience? Is there a good structure, layout and navigation? 30%

          • Presentation and defense: Is the project presented attractively and convincingly during the defense? 20%  

Technical requirements:

Laptops, software, hardware and other assets required for the project are provided by the participants. The technologies, programming languages and development tools are up to the participants. It is allowed to use open license platforms, all kinds of tools for graphic design, animation, video processing and hardware development, as well as all kinds of hardware devices: phones, tablets, microcontrollers, etc.

By registering, you agree and accept the General Rules for conducting the hackathon, which are published HERE.

Changes in the composition of the teams are allowed up to 12 hours after the start of the hackathon, but only after you have registered in advance. We are looking forward to welcoming you at the European Innovation Campus hackathon!