130 IT FIRMS GATHERED IN SOFIA
More than 130 firms from Central and Southeastern Europe attended the IT forum, held in Sofia during the week. The event, called Challenges and Outlook for Participation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the IT Sector, was organized by the Bulgarian Association for Information Technologies (BAIT) under the EU's Information Society for Southeastern Europe project. The project is aimed to improve the cooperation between the various IT companies in the region. Additional incentives for cooperation now and over the next two years will be the significant amount of money, released by the EC under different programmes for joint research work in the sphere of information technologies. Under one of them - eEUROPE - modern online connections and dynamic business relations in the global network should be established all over Europe by the end of 2005. This is one of the priority programmes for the EC and in 2002 alone tens of million euro were allocated under it. The Information Society for Southeastern Europe project is intended especially for the Balkans and involves the IT associations of Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Romania. Its implementation began on March 1, 2002, with financial support of EUR2MN from the EU, and the company …rnst Young as a consultant.This year the initiative was dedicated to the 100th anniversary since the computer's farther John Atanassov was born. His son John Atanassov Jr. congratulated the participants in the forum.