I read with interest the view of Delyan Dobrev with regards to the development of a 2nd Technology Park.
Should a second one ever be developed, since the 1st one is to be built in Sofia next to the Bulgarian capital city’s Tsarigradsko Chaussee Boulevard, Sofia Tech Park, a 100 million leva (50 million euro) project. Comprising of new real estate in Bulgaria, the first stage of Sofia Tech Park would accelerate innovation in information and communication technology, confirmed President Rossen Plevneliev in June this year. When completed, the park will include state of the art Bulgarian real estate comprising; offices, a technology centre and a museum. The aim of this project will be to make Bulgaria a regional leader in IT.
However, we must agree that Bulgaria as a nation proudly hosts some of the most fertile soils and is able to become a European regional leader in Agribusiness development, or (for the uninitiated) the amalgamation of agriculture and business, with specific reference to the range of activities and knowledge encompassed by modern food and beverage production. So yes, it makes absolute sense to develop a 2nd Technology Park focused on agribusiness technology as per Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Delyan Dobrev said just over a week ago.
The only opinion I have which is different to the Ministers’ is the location! Speaking during an international forum on industry and innovations, he was adamant that if such a project was given the go ahead, it would be developed near the city of Plovdiv to host agribusiness companies. Now I am aware that there is the International Fair Plovdiv which hosts the AGRA exhibition, International Agricultural Exhibition and BioAgra – Trade Exhibition of Organic Farming, however the International Fair also hosts the ITALIAN FESTIVAL OF BEAUTY AND HAIR-STYLE (International Exhibition of Hairdressing, Beauty, Make-up, Perfumery and Fashion), C.A.C. & C.A.C.I.B (International Dog and Cat Shows), MEDICUS DENTO GALENIA (International Exhibition of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutics), FOODTECH (International Exhibition of Food & Drinks, Packaging, Machines and Technologies) and INTERMIN EXPO (International Exhibition of Mining Industry) to name but a few. Plovdiv appears to get its fair share of exhibitions and companies based there would specifically be related to machinery, mining, power engineering and ecology and of course wine making in the Thracian Plain.
So what about looking to the North Central area of Bulgaria, commonly known as the Danubian Plain, spanning from Dobrich to Pleven and in the centre is the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo which is positioned adjacent to Gorna Oryahovitsa. This town used to be the centre of rail transportation across Bulgaria and its borderline neighbours and food processing and export used to be one of its main activities after harvesting crops from the plain and surrounding lands. Not only has it retained its centre of rail infrastructure (all be it in need of modernisation) it also has a fully operational International airport, which those of you who read my blogs frequently will recall that a letter of intent has allegedly been lodged regarding the purchase of the concession. Therefore the region of Veliko Turnovo has a recent historical pedigree in agribusiness and sits adjacent to some of the most fertile open tracts of land and estate in Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo is home to the 2nd largest university in Bulgaria after Sofia, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius University. Veliko Tarnovo is in the centre of Bulgaria on major cross roads and there is also an abundance of wine production in the region and acres of forestry.
Last but by no means least is the fact that there is a huge plot of land, prime Veliko Tarnovo Real Estate, many commercial and educational properties lying empty and yet built soundly which would immediately lend themselves for use as an Agribusiness based Technology Park, being ecologically and environmentally friendly, through not having to demolish and start again.
Its actually already a campus and this use would fit into the towns spatial development plan. The site is the Vasil Levski national military university and academy site to the west of the town, adjacent to the site are hectares of land which would be suitable for crop research and development. The site can be seen on the satellite image outlined in red.