Over 50 students from UFT Plovdiv and VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" participated in the competition "For Sustainable and Green Future", organized by the Sofia Development Association within the INNOAIR project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

The students from the University of Food Technology - Plovdiv worked on creating a calculator that calculates the economic benefits of active mobility, and those from Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" developed calculators that calculate health benefits.

The purpose of developing calculators for the economic and health benefits of active transport is to increase people's motivation to use an active mode of transport, thus improving air quality, to support decision-making in this direction in urban areas and to allow for secondary use of data.

All teams presented ideas for calculators based on research and analysis that can be implemented and used by any citizen.

Jury of experts in the field consisting of Eng. Dimitar Petrov, Director of the Traffic Management and Analysis Directorate, Sofia Municipality, Rumyana Galabova and Simona Yoncheva, Chief Experts, Air Department, Sofia Municipality, Prof. Dr. Valentina Nikolova -Alexieva, Dean of the Faculty of Economics of UFT, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Borislav Milenkov, Department of Computer Systems and Technologies, UFT, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veselina Spasova, Head of the Master's Program "Software Engineering and Management", VFU "Chernorizets" Hrabar and Sevdalina Voynova, INNOAIR project coordinator, faced the difficult task of choosing the two best prototypes to receive funding for implementation.

Get acquainted with some of the ideas of the students from UFT Plovdiv:
The UFT Students team won first place with its idea for a calculator that calculates the economic benefits of active transport, both individually and collectively. The calculator has an interesting visualization and good visibility of the economic benefits. The way the calculator works allows you to work in real time with data and a high level of prototyping. In addition, it can calculate the payback time of an investment for active transport. The students Dimitrina Atanasova, Gloria Bikovska, Antoaneta Tsanova, Pamela Zlatanova, Ivan Pavlov and Iliya Yordanov worked on the creation of the calculator.

"We are very happy that we had the opportunity to participate in such large international project. The topic of green economy and sustainable development is extremely relevant, so we put a lot of desire and enthusiasm in the teamwork to develop a calculator for the economic benefits of active transport. "Said Ivan Pavlov, 4th year student, specialization -Plovdiv.

The EcoFriends team came in second and presented a concept for a calculator that calculates the benefits of using an electric scooter over the use of a diesel car, as their study shows that the most commonly used cars are diesel. Their prototype can easily be expanded with more features besides scooters, such as public transport. Participants in the team are Valentina Karanacheva, Stanislava Yocheva, Yanitsa Dimitrova, Yordan Ananiev, Tsvetan Hashev and Teodor Todorinov.

The Mission-Emission team came in third and presented a calculator that calculates the harm from using different types of motor vehicles, the alternatives that can be used for the user-defined route, as well as the possible positive impact on the environment if the alternative mode of movement is used. Participants in the team are Maria Alexandrova, Maria Bruncheva, Mimi Maneva, Vladislav Borisov, Sevda Husseinova, Konstantin Yotov, Rosen Gospodinov, Iva Rancheva and Vasil Totev.

The project manager of UFT Plovdiv is Assoc. Prof. Markovska from the Department of Economics, Entrepreneurship and Management.

"I am convinced that today's forum will contribute to promoting the mission of the INNOAIR project and will improve the skills of all participants in the field of green innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition generates really working ideas that can become part of good practices and European measures to ensure a sustainable future," said Prof. Dr. Valentina Nikolova-Aleksieva, Dean of the Faculty of Economics at UFT-Plovdiv.

The students from VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" presented no less interesting ideas:
The Steppy team, consisting of international students from England and India, won the jury and 1st place with an idea for an application that focuses on pedestrians. The functionalities of the application include receiving points for walking distance, on a bicycle or public transport, and through them various prizes and discounts. Steppy works similarly to SofiaCoin application (available for iOS and Android). However, in addition to the incentives for active movement, Steppy offers a weather forecast, public transport schedule, and a game element with sightseeing. The team consists of participants from England, Bulgaria and India - Christopher Braskov, Dimitar Popov and Adil Rehman.

The team ended its presentation with a quote from Plato - "Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it."

CycleBuddy is the team that developed an application that calculates a large set of cycling statistics. They were ranked 2nd by the jury. The developers have already selected programming languages for different operating systems and have clarified how to collect many different data such as map route, speed, distance, altitude and other performance statistics. The participants in the team are Erhan Kalinov, Irena Ilieva and Kalin Todorov.

The Sustainable and Green Future team, which also placed 2nd, presented a project based on a survey of 71 potential users. The application again aims to challenge citizens to get out of their personal cars by allowing them to connect to other smart devices, view the nearest sports fields, statistics, routes, achievements and challenges, as well as voice notifications. The participants in the team are Milena Kozhuharova and Kristian Ivanov.

"The health benefits of alternative modes of transport" was the team that ranked 3rd. They presented an application that visualizes the benefits of active mobility at the individual, group and national levels. In addition to speed, location, acceleration, calories burned and emissions saved, the application also shows a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Participants in the team are Tsvetomir Salutski and Georgi Georgiev.

The project manager of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" is Assoc. Prof. Spasova, head of the master's program "Software Engineering and Management".

You can watch a recording of the presentation of the projects HERE, as well as the announcement of the awarded teams HERE.