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BAIT Awards 2015 Winners Were Announced

The campaign and the ceremony for BAIT Awards were held under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev

The winners in the different categories of competition “BAIT Awards 2015” were awarded yesterday at a ceremony in Sofia Tech Park.

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, under whose patronage the event was held, awarded the Special Award to Biserka Yovcheva, a professor at the Shoumen University “Bishop Konstantin of Preslav” and head of the School of Mathematics and Informatics A&B-Shoumen. Yovcheva has trained some of the best contestants in programming in Bulgaria, and she is the creator of a unique methodology for teaching programming for beginners, known as “Spiral approach in teaching programming.” Two books based on this methodology have been published and are currently used by all Bulgarian academies which train contestants.

In his speech President Rosen Plevneliev called for effective implementation of electronic solutions for procurement: “Don’t Bulgarian citizens have expected complete transparency in the management of public resources for a very long time. Well, put all procurement procedures online, so there will be no need to start them, then cease them and restart them as they could be transparent for everybody at any time. The head of state also stressed that the Bulgarian ICT sector is leading in the Balkan region. So the state should open its doors to its representatives and to define information and communication technologies as a strategic sector for the country. The President recalled that the ICT sector in the country has revealed 17,500 workplaces and there are expectations that they will be doubled in the next few years. “This is the perspective and motivation of young people to stay in Bulgaria,” said Rosen Plevneliev and reiterated that Bulgarian ICT specialists are among the best in the world.

The 5th edition of the BAIT Awards is held within the campaign eSkills for Jobs 2015-2016, which aims to raise citizens’ awareness of the need to improve their digital skills  and its target audience are mainly young people aged 15-25. The eSkills campaign is part of the European Commission’s efforts to adapt Europe’s economy to the new digital reality. The initiative is implemented simultaneously in 24 EU countries, as BAIT is the contractor for Bulgaria.

At the national level, the initiative brings together nine eSkills ambassadors, including Eva Paunova, Deputy Prime Minister Ivailo Kalfin, Anna-Marie Vilamovska, counselor in the presidency, as well as business representatives.

Ivailo Kalfin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, and also ambassador of e-skills, handed in the award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category, which this year, within the context of eSkills for Jobs, was in the form of encouragement award for Programista. The young company from Plovdiv have succeeded to increase its staff from 3 to 140 for less than 3 years of its establishment, and at the same time the company have provided resources for a socially responsible actions – increasing the qualifications of its employees, participating with teachers in IT trainings, supporting specialized national academies and universities for science and technology.

MEP and ambassador of eSkills for Jobs Eva Paunova awarded the Educational Award, which this year was for the young people of Vratsa Software Society. The regional educational initiative which, in conditions of high unemployment among youngsters, a high rate of economic migrants of working age and lack of qualified personnel within 2015, have managed to provide free 9-month training course with 60 students (10 they are already actively employed in IT area) and a number of courses for students in secondary schools. Young people have also attracted and 2 ICT companies that provide workplaces for their students.

The other special guests – Prof. N. Denkov, deputy minister of education and science and eSkills ambassador, Prof. K. Kostadinov, also deputy minister of education and science and Valery Borissov, deputy minister of transport, information technology and communications, have presented the awards in the categories, as follows: E-business – To DSK Bank for DSK Virtual check project, State Administration – for the project “Personalized information System, implemented in the National Health Insurance Fund, Municipal Administration– Bourgas Municipality for an embedded electronic control system including 30 e-services and the possibility of online payment.

The winners in other categories are:

Student Award – ICT Club for the project Valkyrie – “smart” glove

Journalist Award – Tatyana Velichkova-Marinova, anchor in Hoziront program, Bulgarian National Radio

Business Innovation Award– MammothDB – for iRate project

Mobile Solutions Award – Mobile Systems – for the Oxford Dictionary of English

STARTUP Company Award – Allterco Robotics – for a child mart with GSM and GPS

Software Entertainment Award – Haemimont Games – for Victor Vran

This year Eva Paunova, MEP and eSkills Ambassador will award one representative of the winners in the 12 categories of the BAIT Awards 2015 a working visit to Brussels. At the invitation of Paunova the awarded winners of all 12 categories will visit the European institutions in Brussels. During their visit they will be able to hold meetings with high-level representatives of the European Commission, MEPs and NGOs active in shaping the regulatory framework for Digital Europe.

There will be cash prizes together with the statuettes and diplomas for all categories. They are in the form of vouchers with which the winners will have the opportunity to purchase goods or services from BAIT member-companies.

The competition and the ceremony of “BAIT Awards” for 2015 were held

with the special participation of Plovdiv Municipality

Official bank of the awards Unicredit Bulbank

Silver sponsors: Microsoft Bulgaria and VMWare

Bronze sponsor: Solytron Bulgaria, Kontrax and Lenovo Bulgaria

In partnership with: BNT, BTA, BNR, IDG.bg, Computerworld, Computer, Teacher.bg, TechNews, Digital Europe, National Centre for Safer Internet, Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia Tech Park, IT JOBS, Junior Achievement, b2b Media, Student Organization BEST Sofia, bgpredpriemach.com, LauncHub, Eleven, StartUP, Start it Smart, The Founder Institute, Innovation Starter and SocialEvo.

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