BUSINESS WILL PROFIT FROM SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
The Scientific Researches Fund with the Ministry of Education will financially assist the development of scientific potential in the country with almost BGN32MN, or nearly half of its 2008 budget. The first six competitions for gathering research projects were invited two weeks ago and interest towards them has been already shown by universities, institutes and private firms. Proposals for establishment of scientific infrastructure and of centres for supreme achievements, for encouragement of analytical methods in higher schools of education and for bilateral cooperation with Slovakia and Slovenia, can count on additional financing.
BGN13MN-plus is expected to be released for projects in the priority spheres, chosen by a governmental decision in the beginning of 2008. These are energy-saving technologies and new energy sources, biotechnologies, new materials and nanotechnologies, information and communication technologies, ecology and biological resources, and historical heritage. Each proposal can get between BGN60,000 - 600,000 for a maximum period of three years. The requirement is that the research is directed to a real problem and that private firms participate in its solution in addition to the research teams. The idea is to stimulate connections between science and businesses in that way.
Private companies will get additional chance for financing if they participate in competitions for development of specialized scientific infrastructure. Activities under the programme scheme with a budget of almost BGN8MN are connected with supply of apparata and materials for the research work. However, they should be used by at least three scientific organizations and have a social and economic effect. The condition for participation is that the firms co-finance their projects by at least 20% of the final amount.
Another scheme of the fund projects allocation of money for improvement of the conditions of the existing scientific centres in the country. The development of human and technical potential will be financed. In order to get money from the BGN7MN-plus under the scheme the private and public scientific organizations have to provide new working positions, give other institutions an opportunity to use the equipment, and guarantee that they will carry out inter-disciplinary research directed to the country's economy. The fund has earmarked another BGN500,000 for projects for technical cooperation between scientific organizations.
An almost mandatory condition for participation in the competitions is to include young scientists in the projects' implementation. June 9, 2009 is the deadline for application for most of the competition schemes but documents for some of them will be accepted till July 15.