Educate to Create 2019
Impact of AI on Higher Education Conference

The “Educate to Create 2019 – the Impact of AI on Higher Education” Conference is envisioned as a part of an annual conference series focused on the impact of technology on education and vice-versa. The 2018 conference focused on digital skills in education. This year’s event has a more specific focus – artificial intelligence and higher education.

As one of the most rapidly developing technologies, the Artificial Intelligence raises new challenges before our economies and our societies. The need for adapting our policies to facilitate the safe, widespread, everyday use of AI, puts the policy makers under immense pressure. Both public and private actors are investing vast amount of resources to step up their R&I and implementation activities. The great potential use of AI in business and industry, among other emerging technologies, would continue to provoke fright among the wider public.

The Conference aims to seek answers to some of these issues. You have the opportunity to witness some of the best experts from across Europe discuss AI and its close relationship with the Higher Education Institutions in both conceptual and practical terms, as well as this relationship’s impact on the business and industry (and vice-versa).

These complex challenges and processes need holistic and joint approach of both public and private actors.

Thus the conference also aims to popularize AI and its use in education, research, business and industry and to inspire young researchers and entrepreneurs to embrace its vast potential.

The Conference is organized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

Watch the live streaming!

Video 2019

Welcome Session

Keynote Competing in the AI Economy Scientific Innovation, Ecosystems and Beyond

AI Fundamentals and its Impact on Society

Future of Skills and of Society

A reality check - Opportunities, risks and limitations of artificial intelligence for businesses

Challenges of Digital Transformation - EU programs post 2020

Wrap up - Main outcomes from the rapporteurs

Award Ceremony

Here’s what we did in 2018

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Be part of the discussion!

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29 March 2019, Sofia Tech Park

  • 8:30 – 9:30


  • 9:30 – 10:10

    Welcome Session

  • 10:10 – 10:30


    Prof. Martin VECHEV, Secure, Reliable, and Intelligent Systems Lab, ETH Zurich

  • 10:30 - 11:20

    Panel Discussion on AI Fundamentals and its impact on society

    Moderator: Prof. Laurence BROOKS, De Montfort University (tbc)

    • Fabrizio CARDINALI, Knowhedge CEO and LEA Project AI consultant
    • George SHARKOV, European DIGITAL SME Alliance
    • Mariya ILIEVA, Emerging Markets Digital Transformation Strategic Deals Lead, Microsoft Austria
    • Prof George GHINEA, Brunel University/ NEWTON Project

    Rapporteur: Violeta IVANOVAROHLING


The best students, who have participated in the “Microsoft Azure AI TestFest – Make artificial intelligence (AI) real for your education today” Initiative, will be awarded during the Conference!

 “John Atanasov” Hall,
Sofia Tech Park JSC 111,
Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd.

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The Venue

The conference ‘Educate to create: from digital consumers to digital creators’ will take place in John Atanasoff Innovation Forum, Sofia Tech Park.

Serving as a bridge between the scientific and business communities, the John Atanasoff Innovation Forum is an event centre that hosts a variety of events related to the main focus areas of the Science and Technology Park – science, information and communication technologies, innovation, education and green energy.

  • The Science and Technology Park is located on 111 Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd, Sofia.

    The main car entrance is located near the “Aviation Square”. There is a paid multi-story parking in the park. Pedestrian access to the park is also near the “Aviation Square”, as well as through the pedestrian bridge over the “Tsarigradsko Shosse” Blvd.

    Near the park there are many stops of public transport lines, including:

    • Bus stop “Sofia Tech Park”: Bus routes 306 and 84 and Trolley routes 5 and 8.
    • Bus stop “Square of aviation”: Bus routes 1, 3, 5, 6, 280, 294, 305 and 306 and Trolley routes 4, 5, 8 and 11.
    • Bus stop “Hospital St. Anna”: Bus routes 1, 3, 5, 213, 305, 6, 76, 204, 604, 505, 304

    Guests are kindly asked to organize their travel in Sofia themselves. You can find information about the location and transport to the venue at address: http://sofiatech.bg/en/contacts/.

  • All guests are kindly asked to organize their transfer to and from Sofia International Airport. For your convenience when planning your transport around the city, please visit the Sofia public transport guide (https://freesofiatour.com/blog/sofia-public-transport-guide/).

    Buses are available from Terminal 1 and 2 and Sofia Metro is available from Terminal 2.

    Single trip card for metro and public transport is 1,60 BGN.

    Single trip card for metro is issued by Transport Documents Machine at the entrances of the Sofia Metro or by a cashier at the cash desks and is validated at the validator located on the barriers to the metro entrance. The card can be used for entrance to the metro up to 30 minutes after its issuance.

    Single trip cards for bus lines 84, 184 and 384 can be purchased from the ticket offices of Sofia Urban Mobility Center, located in the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 2 or from the ticket machines at Terminal 1 of Sofia International Airport. Please perforate your single trip card after boarding the vehicle.

    Further information can be found on the website:




    Taxis are available directly outside the Arrivals Hall at Sofia International Airport 24 hours a day. A taxi service booth is situated in the Arrivals Hall.  Make sure that you check the prices of a particular taxi before you enter the car to avoid taxi scams.

    Approximate taxi fee in Sofia:

    • Initial Charge: 0,60 – 0,90 lv. (0,30 – 0,45 EUR)
    • Daytime rate per km (6 am – 10 pm): 0,79 – 0,90 lv. (0,40 – 0,45 EUR)
    • Night-time rate per km (10 pm – 6 am): 0,89 – 0,99 lv. (0,45 – 0,50 EUR)
    • Waiting rate: 0,24 lv. per minute (0,12 EUR)
    • Call-out charge: 0,90 lv. per minute (0,45 EUR)

    Further information can be found on the website:


  • The guests are invited to organise their stay in Sofia themselves. Each participant is free to select and book their accommodation in Sofia using any of the relevant booking platforms. The organization team for the conference recommends the following hotels in Sofia:

    1. Best Western Premier Hotel, Sofia Airport – http://www.hotelpremiersofia.com/
    2. Best Western Hotel Expo – https://www.hotelexposofia.com/bg/
    3. Novotel Sofia – https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-8468-novotel-sofia/