Project at a glance

Coordinator: Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria
Partners: Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Chalmers Industriteknik, Sweden
Funding programme: Horizon 2020 WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019 Teaming Phase 2
Start date: 1st September 2019, Duration: 7 years

Aims and Vision

The project aims to institutionalize GATE Centre of Excellence (CoE) as a globally competitive ecosystem for conducting basic and applied research and innovation in the Big Data areas with high social impact, by translating the scientific knowledge into new governmental, scientific, industrial and societal applications. The vision is that GATE is the heart of the fastest growing Big Data ecosystem in Europe. GATE CoE is complementary to and equal among the top Big Data centres in Europe.


There is also a strong AI and Big Data push in Sweden with huge public and private investments. Chalmers and CIT are leading strategic initiatives, such as "AI Sweden", AI Research Centre (CHAIR) established in 2018 and "AI Innovation of Sweden", launched in autumn 2018, aiming to provide access to unique Big Data to attract academic and industrial researchers. GATE will utilize this huge potential for Big Data research and leverage on it.
On 24th January 2019 a decision has been taken by the Councils of Ministers for the establishment of the GATE CoE as Research Institutenew main structural unit of Sofia University that will have the autonomy to define its own research agenda and scientific priorities. The institute will be institutionalized as CoE by GATE project.

Research Excellence

GATE CoE will provide innovation excellence into four strategic application themes:

  • Future Cities
  • Intelligent Government
  • Smart Industry
  • Digital Health

Value will be created in these themes through developing research excellence mainly in topics relevant to the three technology areas – Data Insight, Data Analytics and Data Management – and on a cross cutting area – Engineering and development. It will conduct excellent research and go beyond state-of-the-art in particular focus research areas:

  • Semantic Technologies and Interoperability
  • Real-Time Data Analytics
  • Explainable AI
  • Digital Twin
  • Big Data engineering methodologies and Quality Assurance

The services provided by the CoE, as well as most of the activities performed in the centre, will be supported by an advanced research infrastructure, comprising GATE platform and Open Innovation Labs.

Innovation Excellence

Apart from new scientific methods and algorithms and domain specific data models, GATE will provide to its community of stakeholders a unique collaborative environment for experimentation, test-bedding, research and innovation. New value-added services will be offered through >Data and Knowledge Hub and Data Space. The Data factory will create opportunities for innovative SMEs to build new applications and to demonstrate the advancements of their technology, benefits for low-tech SMEs facilitating their seamless digitalisation, increasing competitiveness and visibility in the market. This will make it possible to create a sustainable ecosystem and prompt Data culture within the society. The better understanding of the data value will lead to the development of innovative business models and will speed-up its monetization.

Innovation Labs

Three Open Innovation Labs are to play a focal role in GATE CoE:

  • City Living Lab
  • Visualisation Lab
  • Digital Twin Lab.

Vivid ecosystem around the three labs will be nurtured, where innovative ideas and projects can be identified, promoted and developed. The Open Innovation Labs will provide advanced technology for testing and experimentation, open public access to technological capabilities and tools, education and training and mentoring for prototyping of innovative ideas and products. The labs will be also dedicated to more applied initiatives for working with external partners.

GATE Platform

GATE advanced infrastructure, apart from the above-mentioned labs, also includes a platform. GATE platform will provide for data modelling, data sets management and will facilitate the access to these through open APIs. The platform will enable start-ups, SMEs and large enterprises, as well as other organizations in a wide range of sectors, for building advanced Data driven services and applications.

GATE ambition

GATE ambition is to become a driver of a data marketplace and to grow into a regional AI DIH.