Exploitation Workshop


General Assembly, Asenovgrad: Project updates, networking opportunities and wedding dresses

26 Mar 2018

On March 13-15, the SmartEnCity project members gathered in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria for their General Assembly and the SmartEnCity Network Meeting. Project partners from all over Europe met to update each other on e.g. the progress of implementations in the three lighthouse cities Sonderborg, Tartu and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

SmartEnCity met during three days in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria from March 13-15 for our General Assembly and the SmartEnCity Network Meeting. Our 35 project partners from Spain, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Italy and Bulgaria itself gathered to update each other on the current status of the respective workpackages and especially the progress of implementations in our three lighthouse cities Sonderborg, Tartu and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Our two follower cities Lecce and Asenovgrad gave an insight into the actions that could already be replicated within their cities.

Day 1 was full of updates and news – for example, we happily learned that all tasks on the “City Information Open Platform” (a common ICT platform containing data from each lighthouse city) have been successfully completed and overall 41 deliverables have been submitted. For the near future, exciting activities are planned, such as an e-bus system with 13 charging points and 48 bus stops in Vitoria-Gasteiz, EV rentals and public charging stations in Tartu and another round of retrofitting in Sonderborg.

Day 2 was filled with a productive exploitation workshop where all lighthouse and follower cities and all other partners engaged in identifying promising project results to be exploited. Moreover, an intensive discussion round about the newly established network section led to new ideas and promising approaches in order to address more potential follower cities.

Day 3 concluded this fruitful meeting with the respective network meeting where members of the SmartEnCity network met with Bulgarian Cities to exchange experiences and to discuss different strategies. Our host, the municipality of Asenovgrad discussed with the municipalities of Sofia, Bourgas and Smolyan their current foci, challenges and barriers. In the afternoon, the project partners put on their walking shoes to go outside and experience the different smart implementations in Asenovgrad first hand! The Asenica hydro-power plant and the municipal waste-water treatment plant were part of the tour, as well as the Bachkovo monastery - what a great conclusion to a successful meeting!

Of course, we were able to use one or the other gap in the program to explore the city centre (where we learned that Asenovgrad is the Bulgarian hub for wedding dress shops), walk around the river Tschaja and eat some typical Bulgarian food (we fell in love with Bulgarian Parlenka, a kind of flatbread with cheese on top). Finally, our official project dinner was accompanied by an enthusiastic typical Bulgarian folk dance group.

Thank you Asenovgrad for hosting the entire SmartEnCity project and for giving us the opportunity to learn more, not only about our great project and its achievements, but also about Bulgarian culture and traditions!

For more information about the networking event on March 15, as well as an overview of the different presentations that were held during the event, visit our network section.