INSAIT welcomes the visit of Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura

Sofia, 5 May 2023 – INSAIT – Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology was honored to receive the visit of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, Yasutoshi Nishimura, and a delegation of Japanese business leaders. The visit to Bulgaria was initiated by INSAIT and coincides with the first anniversary of the Institute’s launch.

The delegation, which included representatives of leading Japanese companies, joined Minister Nishimura on this historic visit, the first of a Japanese Minister of Economy in Bulgaria in the last 50 years. The purpose of the visit was to discuss ways for strengthening the ties in the area of technology. Later, Minister Nishimura met with the Minister of Economy and Industry of Bulgaria, Nikola Stoyanov, to sign a joint statement between the two countries for deepening the cooperation in the IT and innovations sectors.

At the beginning of the visit, Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov and Minister Nishimura exchanged remarks. Following that, INSAIT’s scientific director, Prof. Martin Vechev, provided an overview of the Institute and the progress made since its launch in April 2022. Further, Prof. Luc Van Gool, a world-renowned AI scientist, who joined INSAIT in August 2022, presented his ongoing research at the Institute.

Prof. Vechev remarked that the visit of the Japanese Minister and the delegation is a significant milestone for INSAIT and Bulgaria’s technology ecosystem.

The meeting was also attended by the Japanese Аmbassador to Bulgaria, H. E. Mr. Narahira Hiroshi, the Vice-Rector of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev, and the Executive Director of INSAIT, Borislav Petrov. Mr. Vasil Terziev, a prominent Bulgarian entrepreneur, delivered a presentation on the general trends of start-ups in Bulgaria. Other notable participants included Tenko Nikolov and Ivo Tzenov, founders of SiteGround, and strategic supporters of INSAIT. SiteGround was the first Bulgarian company to invest a significant amount in attracting world-class professors, like Prof. Luc Van Gool, to do research in Bulgaria.

INSAIT hosted a business matching event, providing an opportunity for the Japanese delegation to meet and create synergies with promising Bulgarian startups such as LatticeFlow, Alcatraz AI, AMPECO, LimeChain, and others. The Japanese delegation included executive management representatives from leading companies like Hitachi, NEC, Mitsui, Sumitomo, Murata and others.

The visit of Minister Nishimura and the Japanese business delegation was a significant milestone for INSAIT and Bulgaria’s technology ecosystem, further strengthening the ties between Japan and Bulgaria in the areas of IT and innovation.