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SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 16 (SeeNews) - A project to set up an automotive R&D centre in Sofia Tech Park, whose implementation is expected to be launched shortly, will create some 4,000 jobs, the CEO of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, Lyubomir Stanislavov, told SeeNews.
"The project is at a very advanced stage and we have only some administrative steps to take before its actual implementation begins," Stanislavov told SeeNews on the sidelines of the IoT Adventure Forum 2018, organised by International Cyber Investigation Training Academy in partnership with IDC Bulgaria and Right Image on Tuesday.
The centre, which will bring together engineers working mainly on automotive electronics and autonomous cars, has attracted the interest of a number of key international sector players, Stanislavov said.
The R&D facility in the Bulgarian capital will cover an area of over 50,000 sq m and, apart from a lab, it will also accommodate a training and education centre.
"Bulgaria has some high tech companies operating in the automotive industry, including companies developing solutions for autonomous cars for example, but they are still few. The real development in this sector, I think, will take place in the next three years and we expect several big R&D centres with several thousand engineers to be set up," Stanislavov said, adding that this would make Bulgaria a regional leader in the area.
According to data of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, the automotive sector contributes some 5% of Bulgaria's gross domestic product. It generates an annual turnover of 3.5 billion euro ($4.15 billion), with electronic components accounting for half of it.
Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, a non-profit organisation which represents the interests of automotive manufacturers, suppliers and organisations providing services for the automotive industry, was established in July 2012 by eight sector players active in the country. The cluster currently has more than 130 members and the industry has about 40,000 employees in Bulgaria.
($ = 0.8425 euro)