The International conference FUTURIS 2019 “Research infrastructures of the future – synergy, sustainability, smart growth and social impact” was held on 10 -11 December 2019 in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia Bulgaria during Futuris 2019 The conference was organised by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and the Executive Agency for the Operational Program Science and Education for Smart Growth in follow up to the thematic 2018 Bulgarian Presidency Flagship event and the International Conference for Research Infrastructures 2018 in Vienna.
In her welcome address Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria drew attention to the efforts of the government to give a top priority to science and innovation. More than BGN 300 million have been invested the last year under the Science and Education for Smart Growth Operational Program in key scientific areas and national support for the accession of Bulgarian scientists to a number of international projects has been provided.
In addition BGN 22 million has been approved from the National Budget for the construction phase of national research infrastructure and participation in international networks and partnerships.
A number of speakers from the European Commission, leading research consortia, universities and scientific organisations attended the conference. The international evaluation of the Roadmap for the Scientific Infrastructure of Bulgaria was presented.
An exhibition, presentations and videos reflected achievements in the first year since the start of the implementation of projects for the creation of Centers of Excellence and Centers of Competence. The event focused on the synchronisation of national and EU efforts towards the next programming period in the context of the long-term sustainability of European research and innovation infrastructures.
EATRIS-Bulgaria National node was represented during the exhibition sessions by the National Director prof. Rossitza Konakchieva from Sofia University, which is also a coordinating institution of the National RI on Cell Technologies in Biomedicine (INFRAACT) of NRRI 2017-2023. In 2019, with the governmental support, a new super-resolution DeltaVision Ultra® (GE Healthcare) automated inverted bright field microscope for advanced imaging applications was purchased through an open tender procedure in the Core facility for Fluorescent microscopy at the Faculty of Biology.
The partnerships and perspectives of RI involve in EATRIS-Bulgaria node were presented and new collaboration models and concerted action were discussed with other RI represented in the Roadmap like SHARE-Bulgaria, BBMRI and others.
An important message was delivered by prof. Maria Nikolоva, Deputy Manager of the Center of Competence “Fundamental Translational and Clinical Investigations on Infections and Immunity” from the National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. In her presentation as a panellist she pointed out at the new opportunities for international collaboration provided within the EATRIS-ERIC network as an important factor for the sustainability of national RI in biomedicine.