VMware announces $1.5M founding grant for INSAIT to bolster world-class research and innovation in Bulgaria and Europe

The partnership aims to attract high-caliber talent and world-class faculty and train the next generation of technology researchers and engineers

Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept. 8, 2022 – VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today announced a relationship with the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer science institute in Eastern Europe, the Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology (INSAIT), boosting world-class deep tech research in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the rest of Europe.

The VMware University Research Fund has committed to awarding a U.S. $1.5 million grant to attract top researchers and scientists to the faculty, in support of the 10-year plan signed by ETH Zurich, EPFL, and the Bulgarian government. This founding grant aims to support the growth of INSAIT’s faculty and doctoral program, with a strong focus on areas such as systems engineering, including AI, security, storage and networking.

Diana Stefanova, VMware VP of Regional Site Strategy says: “For VMware, this is an investment in new technologies research, consistent with our innovation strategy. It is also a unique opportunity to increase the pool of key talent in Central and Eastern Europe.

In addition to the financial support, VMware’s engineers in Bulgaria are uniquely positioned to help support the institute with hands-on experience in cloud, networking, computing, and security. The collaboration of renowned scientists with PhD and Masters students, supported by big tech capabilities, has the potential to lead to groundbreaking findings in critical areas, such as private trustworthy AI, programmable networks and the data economy.

Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware, commented: “There is an intrinsic link between innovation and talent. As an organization that has a culture of innovation, we have seen first-hand how important it is to invest and nurture great minds and ideas. This relationship with INSAIT is another example of our global commitment to developing tech talent. It is especially relevant to VMware in Bulgaria given our world-class R&D operations there, which we are keen to keep well supplied with the best minds in technology.”

The focus of the relationship is to invest in developing world-class talent. Establishing unique technological facilities helps contribute to new collaborative research, for the benefit of the entire technology ecosystem.

Prof. Martin Vechev, INSAIT’s architect and Chair of its Supervisory Board said: “As a global technological leader VMware understands the importance of investing in talent and promoting inclusive economic growth and recovery. Attracting and nurturing the top minds in turn helps with the democratization of science and solving some of the world’s hardest challenges.”

For more than 15 years the VMware Academic Program has been supporting the advancement of academic research and teaching in universities and institutions in the United States and around the world. In this latest endeavor, VMware and INSAIT will continue to drive the program’s goals of attracting high-quality and diverse talent and creating state-of-the-art educational programs. In this way, providing attractive career perspectives and globally competitive salaries in a flourishing industry encourages top young talent and improves local economic and social opportunities.

You can reach INSAIT at: [email protected]


INSAIT – Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology, located in Sofia, Bulgaria, is the first of its kind in Eastern Europe to offer world-class research facilities and conditions. INSAIT is created in partnership with Switzerland’s ETH Zurich and EPFL, two of the world’s best technical universities, and is closely advised and supervised by top academics from some of the most elite U.S., European, and Israeli universities and research labs. INSAIT’s sole focus is on scientific excellence: conducting world-class research, attracting outstanding international scientists, and training the next-generation of graduate students and technology leaders.