HP unveils €5.1m Technology Lab in Bulgaria

The facility, the only one of its kind in EMEA, will help HP professionals acquire hands-on experience.

HP has opened a 300-square metre Technology Lab in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, part of the company's Technology Services Lab infrastructure.

HP has invested BGN 10m (€5.1m) in the Technology Lab located in Business Park Sofia. It is the largest investment of this kind the company made in Europe, Iravan Hira, general manager of Hewlett-Packard Bulgaria, said at the recent opening of the facility, according to the Bulgarian News Agency. The Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov, the transport, IT and communications minister Ivaylo Moskovski and US ambassador Marcie Ries were invited to the opening.

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"The purpose of the lab is predominantly to allow HP technical staff to have hands-on experience with our latest technology on an ongoing basis, as well as in some instances also replicate customer issues," an HP EMEA spokesperson told ZDNet.

The Technology Lab will provide support for local academic institutions such as the Technical University in Sofia, the St. Kliment Ohridski University, the New Bulgarian University, and the Sofia-based John Atanasov High School of Electronics. Students will be able to use HP's resources for learning purposes.

"This will provide a foundation for our staff in Sofia to build a delivery capability at a higher level of quality and complexity to meet the ever increasing requirements of our customers," HP EMEA's spokesperson said.

HP has hired over 6,000 professionals in Sofia in the past nine years, according to the company. At the moment, HP has 60 job openings in the Bulgarian capital.

The country offers the sixth lowest tax levels for a medium-sized company in the EU and the European Free Trade Association, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The IT sector in Bulgaria employs over 20,000 software engineers in R&D roles alone, according to Bulgarian Association of Software Companies. Another 20,000 IT professionals work in outsourcing, making IT the fastest-growing sector of the Bulgarian economy.

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