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World Summit Award



IT for an inclusive society




"I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one."
Joseph Engelberger, a pioneer in industrial robotics

With the financial support of the Operational program “Development of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy”2007-2013 ESI CEE renewed its infrastructure for applied research in ICT, robotics and education. The added value of the action affects the new trends in the development of the ICT industry and innovation ecosystem in Bulgaria – architecture and programming of intelligent self-managed or semi-autonomous IT systems.
The new infrastructure will contribute for filling in the gaps in IT education with new approaches and new qualification and competence elements.
The equipment and software are suitable for R&D activities in the areas of:

  • Industrial robotics, machine learning, tele-presence or remote education, supportive technology, encouraging STEM education and career path among young population.

  • Different social groups can be included – people with disabilities, graduates and students, people who live and study in remote and mountain areas, ICT professionals and engineers etc.

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ICT has been globally recognized as a tool for bridging communities, improving quality of life, and reducing social exclusion. ESI CEE is committed to promote the talent of people for IT. Since 2007 ESI CEE is actively engaged with the cause of social and work inclusion of people with disabilities. The main directions in which ESI CEE is working are raising awareness about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), launching and implementing a successful model for social and work inclusion of people with ASD, building capacity among companies and Universities to cater diversity and finding employment, mentoring people with ASD and consulting parents.

In 2011-2012 ESI CEE implemented a project “Model for IT training and employment of people with ASD” (Autism Spectrum Disorders). 20 young people with ASD attended IT trainings, 8 of them participated in internship in 8 ICT organizations and 3 of them continued working for the companies after the end of the project. The project was promoted by the EC as one of the initiatives that helped people with autism to get a foothold on the employment ladder in Bulgaria.

Currently ESI CEE is working on the improvement of the employment and inclusion model piloted under the project “Model for IT training and employment of people with ASD”. The project “Society and Work Inclusion Technologies for Children and Youths with ASD” (SWITCH YOU) will reduce economic and social disparities to children and young people with autism by improving their digital competencies and competitive advantages in the labor market. The newly gained competences and skills in ICT will support the effective integration of young people with autistic spectrum disorders in the labor market.

A series of workshops and training courses are envisaged for all stakeholders - psychologists and special pedagogues, children and young people with ASD, employers. The partners will design and implement an innovative service – practical training in a simulated work environment where the persons with ASD will solve real life tasks and implement projects given by employers.

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World Summit Awards (WSA) is a global competition launched in 2003 in the framework of the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The competition is dedicated to the selection and promotion of the most outstanding e-content and innovative applications. The goal is to make the benefits of the new Information Society accessible and meaningful for all humanity, and in particular, to raise public awareness and give deserved public recognition to the highest quality e-Content, produced all over the world. The competition has 3 editions – e-content (WSA), mobile (WSA-mobile) and youth (WSYA).
WSA is based on a unique mechanism of a global contest supported by national selections of best practice and a sequence of content-focused national and international events, content conferences and promotional exhibitions.

Global Network
175 UN Member States
2 Regional Cups
23 National Competition
Over 800 applications
8 Categories, 40 winners

The team of ESI Center Eastern Europe is striving to bring together the IT community (startups, companies, universities, associations, accelerators, government representatives, etc) in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe and branding the region as a hub for excellence and innovation in IT. As part of this efforts ESI CEE working for the organization of Europe's first regional cup, aiming to present and promote the best of Eastern Europe’s digital content.

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