Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.
Swiss-Bulgarian Research Programme
The joint research program aims at strengthening the research cooperation between Bulgaria and Switzerland in order to further enable the integration of Bulgarian researchers within international networks as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and know-how among researchers. Activities are primarily the organisation of one call for Joint Research Projects applications and the implementation of 15 to 20 selected Joint Research Projects amounting to max 400,000 Swiss francs each.
Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
Research and Development
- 13 Research Projects carried out by researchers from Bulgaria jointly with researchers from Switzerland in the areas of ecology, social disparities and
regional differences, medecine and engineering.
- Several project findings have potential for concrete applications that might result in patents at a later stage.
- on the 97 Bulgarian researchers’ part of the programme, a total of 71% indicated their intention to continue an academic career in Bulgaria.
- 13 Bulgarian research institutions were strengthened through some new equipment.
- A total of 131 scientific articles were published, of which 111 were peer reviewed by Swiss or Bulgarian researchers ensuring knowledge exchange.
- The researchers participated actively in 234 international conferences, 6 of them organized by themselves, and extended their international scientific networks.
- The researchers of 12 projects are willing to continue their bilateral cooperation, ensuring long-term partnerships
- Swiss National Science Foundation
Bulgaria has shown a keen interest to make research one of the priorities of the future Swiss Contribution to the EU-enlargement. The scientific institutions in this country have both need and interest to integrate more into the Western European research context. The Swiss Contribution will allow this through research partnerships between Bulgarian and Swiss scientific institutions (Joint Research Projects).
The programm aims at strengthening the research cooperation between Bulgaria and Switzerland. Specific objectives are to further enable the integration of Bulgarian researchers within international networks as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and know-how among researchers. Outcomes to bedelivered consist of benefits for end-users at policy level and at societal level captured by the number of submitted patent applications as well as number of innovations/ inventions in terms of product, process, methodology etc. implemented and used following the implementation of Joint Research Projects.
Research groups / partnerships between Swiss and Bulgarian institutions; Bulgarian and Swiss academic community
Activities are primarily the organisation of one call for Joint Research Projects applications in early summer 2011 and the implementation of 15 to 20 selected Joint Research Projects amounting to max 400,000 Swiss francs each.
Stabilisation of the scientific community, maintaining and building knowledge in Bulgaria:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
Intermediary Body: The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Bulgarian Scientific Research Department (SRD); Executing Agency: Bulgarian and Swiss research institutions
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 4'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 3'910'540|
Phase 1 01.03.2011 - 31.12.2017 (Completed)
Research funds and scholarship programme in Bulgaria and Romania
With the aim of strengthening research in Bulgaria and Romania, Switzerland funds a research and scholarship programme in the two countries. Currently 39 research projects are under way. The programme of scholarships enables over 100 graduates from Bulgaria and Romania to complete a fixed-term research residency in Switzerland.
Bulgaria and Romania are undertaking major efforts to strengthen their potential in the area of research and development. They are encountering, however, a number of obstacles on the way to a knowledge based economy. Often infrastructure and equipment are lacking. Institutional structures and international networks show room for improvement. The latter have had negative consequences for young academics in particular: many academics in Bulgaria and Romania are unable to undertake or complete research abroad because the costs are prohibitively high. The Sciex scholarship programme enables young Bulgarian and Romanian graduates to undertake research at a Swiss research institution for a limited period.
Switzerland also promotes Bulgaria and Romania as research locations through funding 39 research projects as part of its EU enlargement contribution. In these projects, Swiss research institutes work together with Bulgarian and Romanian partners. The results from these research projects strengthen the position of the research centres concerned and boost cooperation with Switzerland.
Scholarship programme: transfer of knowledge rather than brain drain
Camelia Stefanache is one of over 80 Romanian graduates who were able to work with a research team in Switzerland thanks to a Sciex scholarship. From 2012 to 2013 she carried out research on cell cultures at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Wädenswil (ZH). Something she particularly appreciated with the Sciex programme was the central focus placed on knowledge transfer between the home and host universities, and that the programme does not lead to the brain drain phenomenon, whereby scientists abandon their home countries.
Thanks to the scholarship programme, long-term partnerships have developed between the universities and research institutes involved, institutionalisingthe exchange of knowledge and cooperation in research. So for example there now exists a close partnership between the ZHAW and Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Romania, thanks to the research posting undertaken by Camelia Stefanache. The professor who supervised Camelia’s research at the ZHAW is regularly invited by the university to come to Romania to give lectures to doctoral students there.
Joint research projects in Bulgaria and Romania
The project themes are divided into different, predefined areas which were agreed with each country based on criteria for the best possible way of promoting the research centre. In Bulgaria a total of 13 research projects are being implemented in the three areas of ecological forestry, farming and waste management; social inequalities and regional differences; and development of new medicines. The 26 projects in Romania concern diseases of modern society, the effects of waste and pollutants on the environment and the climate, sustainable energy, economic growth and social inequalities. The SDC has entrusted the implementation of the joint research projects to the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Most of the projects have a duration of three years.
Bulgaria: Around 20 projects relating to ecological forestry, farming and waste management, social inequalities and regional disparities, innovative buildings and materials, and drug development.
Hungary: 6 projects relating to the environment, health, the disposal of special waste, energy conversion, and academic training. The six projects are already underway.
Lithuania: Around 25 projects relating to climate science and technology, healthcare and life sciences, as well as natural science.
Poland: Around 40 projects relating to information and communication technology, renewable energy, nanotechnology, healthcare, and the environment.
Romania: Around 30 projects relating to sustainable energy, economic growth, social inequality, plus the impact of litter and waste on the environment and climate.
Cooperation in Research
Thanks to the research funds in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Hungary, Swiss research institutes and institutions in the partner countries can carry out joint research projects. The total funds for research partnerships amount to just under CHF 60 million.
The new EU member states are making great efforts to strengthen their potential in research and development. However, these countries face several obstacles in trying to establish a knowledge-based economy. There is often a lack of infrastructure and equipment, or the institutional structures and international networking may be in need of improvement.
Swiss research programmes in Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania will help promote these countries as locations for research. They will also intensify relationships with Switzerland in the scientific arena and make research careers more attractive for young academics.
Support from Switzerland as a centre of research
As a research location with significant technology exports and knowledge transfer, Switzerland has a lot to offer. Under the auspices of these programmes, Swiss research institutions are cooperating with foreign partners on research projects, the results of which help strengthen the research centres in the respective countries and their cooperation with Switzerland.
In addition to developing projects together, the research programmes offer scientists from the respective countries a unique opportunity to share research findings, to identify possible avenues for closer international cooperation and to explore investment and business opportunities.
Targeted promotion of various research disciplines in the individual countries
In total Switzerland has committed some CHF 60 million to supporting research in the five countries. The number of planned projects varies from country to country. A total of around 120 projects will be supported, and their results will be published. The projects are assigned to various predefined categories agreed with the countries on the basis of criteria that will ensure optimum promotion as a research location. Joint research projects will be carried out in the following areas: