Scientific Research Funding Up Fivefold Since 2005

Scientific Research Funding Up Fivefold Since 2005

The National Research Fund's budget has increased fivefold since 2005, reaching 60 million leva in 2008, Albena Voutsova, head of the Scientific Research Directorate, said on Monday presenting a report for 2005-2007, BTA reports.

The Fund provides support for research projects, infrastructure projects, scientific equipment and periodicals, and long-term grants for doctoral and post-doctoral students. In 2005-2007, the Fund backed over 900 scientific projects; 15 research centers and eight information complexes were established. An independent international expert commission was introduced.

Outlining the priorities for 2008, the Fund's new director, Atanas Gerdjikov, said the aim was to have quality research results, transparency and constant quality control during project preparation.

The priorities in 2008 are: first, new energy sources and energy-saving technologies; second, biotechnology, food and health; third, telecommunications; fourth, ecology and biodiversity; and projects relating to national identity. Gerdjikov added that 3 million leva were allocated for support for young scientists and doctoral students.

Education and Science Minister Daniel Vulchev said a discussion on a research development strategy would be held in March.

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