• Budakov, Brain City Berlin, CreatInnes

    “Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”

Guest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.

Being a Brain City Ambassador for more than a year now, I feel delighted to share my experiences presenting my lovely city Berlin. The innovative city is a leading research hub, diverse, interdisciplinary, and cosmopolitan. It has not lost its unique charm during the COVID-19 outbreak. Leading two online events as a keynote speaker or a moderator during 2020, I was asked a lot of questions and received a very positive feedback concerning possible opportunities for doing research in Berlin.

Creative Inspiration: Boosting Creative Entrepreneurship & Digital Learning (multiplier event in Sofia delivered online by Budakov Films and supported by the New Bulgarian University)

The Erasmus + co-funded project “CreatINNES” (2018-1-DE02-KA202-005232) aims at developing high-quality blended learning programs and an effective blended learning campus. Its target groups are students, freelancers, entrepreneurs, regional multipliers and stakeholders who are active into the Culture and Creative Industries (CCI), e.g. The project spans a wide range of different fields – from architecture and music to advertising. 

One of the very first goals we set up was to collect relevant information and to analyse the needs of CCI freelancers, start-ups, and innovative companies within the partner countries: Germany, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, and North Macedonia. We found out that Berlin, as being a true center for creative industries, demonstrates remarkable creative, social and entrepreneurial achievements. 

  • Berliners tend to build platforms for cultural and creative exchanges, initiate networks for the digital and creative economy, implement innovative projects for the economy and the society as well as having a progressive entrepreneurial mind. 
  • Berliners stated their willingness for taking blended courses – this format matches with their preference for an independent study and an ability to meet up face-to-face with peers. 

Thanks to the contemporary communication means, I managed to reach participants from Germany, France, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia and Italy. The audience outside of Germany was fascinated to see such data and raised many questions, such as: “Could I find an appropriate research institution in Berlin where I could do my research?”, “Can I study in English language in Berlin?”, “Is it mandatory for international students to have passed TOEFL or IELTS in order to enroll on a study program that is taught entirely in English?”, “What are the ‘Fachhochschulen’ and in what way are they different from a University?”, “What are good places, other than universities, to apply for a scholarship if I want to study in Berlin?”, “Can I quickly establish my start-up creative studio in Berlin by avoiding the usual bureaucracy?”, “How can I set up fruitful collaboration with Creative clusters and networks in Berlin?”, etc.

According to the CreatINNES research, the companies from Berlin’s creative industries make up around 25 percent of Berlin’s gross domestic product. This fact grabbed the attendees’ attention and provoked enormous interest, regarding the starting of doing business or a freelance job in Berlin.

European Conference on Future Education - Teach for Future, organised by the North-East Regional Development Agency through Europe Direct North-East Center and North-East Regional Studies Center, in partnership with the European Digital Learning Network

During this event, I was honoured to present another awesome European initiative: the Erasmus+ co-funded project “EU Digital Framework” (2020-1-IT01KA202-008386), funding scheme 2020 – 2023. The project aims at developing a comprehensive and innovative language framework for sign languages related to the semantic domain of digital and information and communications technology (ITC). Its purpose is to enhance the accessibility of deaf workers and deaf VET (Vocational Education and Training) students to professional settings, favouring their full integration and fair treatment.

During this international conference, I shared my experience in terms of the very attractive and fruitful business climate which Berlin offers, especially when it comes to establishing a social start-up or conducting social or volunteering initiatives. Project partners were excited to see how volunteering organisations and social enterprises in Berlin work in close conjunction with the municipality and the Senate of Berlin. Inspiring, connecting and facilitating social entrepreneurship – Berlin is an exemplary European capital, showing how a network of social entrepreneurial communities can be deeply embedded locally, while providing powerful global connections, acting as a multiplier and amplifier for small and medium enterprises.

Summing up, participants were more than curious to look behind the curtains and to further explore Europe's most exciting research and business ecosystem. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered or destroyed many traditional business models, therefore it’s time to focus on driving cutting-edge innovations which are scientifically-backed and help us to meet the exact needs of individuals. One of the first things to do is to find the right business and research environment. Without a doubt - the German capital city definitely supports innovative thinkers who are highly motivated, socially responsible, tech-savvy and thirsty for developing and soaking up new ideas!



  • "Analysis and definition of qualification needs in CCI area, Intellectual Output 1 CreatINNES Project - a European project funded by the ERASMUS+ programme in the period 2018 – 2021", (April 2019), Summary analysis and editing: Maria-Denitsa Georgieva, BIC INNOBRIDGE Angela Ivanova, INI-Novation GmbH. Contributors to the document: INNOBRIDGE (Bulgaria), INI-Novation GmbH (Germany), MEDF (North Macedonia), Budakov Films (Bulgaria), Alanam (France), Teleberry (Hungary)
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