Report of Operation of Evrika Foundation in 2012
This is the twenty-third report for the activity of EVRIKA foundation since its creation until today. The accomplished implementation of the programs and the management of the resources will help us to see the true picture of the actual conditions and to step on a real solid base in order to build our future plans and strategies. What we have achieved reflects what we have done during the previous and as well as the difficulties and problems of the continuing crisis. The main goal was to achieve the best possible effect and not to loose our positions.
In our direct work presented in this report, our programs are the fundamental organizational element. They define the content of the developed and materialized projects. Along with that our principles are strictly enforced and have been approved during all years since our establishment – transparency, openness and under equal competitive conditions and general competitive beginning. When selecting projects, the Executive desk has used expert evaluations of scientists and specialists in the relevant fields. We made decisions with consensus which has been creating stability in the implementation of the tasks and unidirectional of the activities. The good team work of the staff members allowed that even with the small financial resources we are able to achieve our objectives. From the voted annual budget of 310 000 BGN, only 206 555 BGN have been used. This amount has been used for the initiatives and projects of the foundation and for support of other organizations projects, as well as for individual young people’s projects, including scholarships.
Achieving the non-profit goals of the foundation
The formulated mission, goals and objectives have been the base of the foundation’s programs for 23 years. At different times, they have different weight and size depending on the needs of young people and the time. Within each program, priorities have also been delineated, and this makes it possible to better adapt to the demands of the day and the dynamics of the changes in the areas of public policy and respectively funding. Consistently in all the years, the support of activities leading to the discovery and development of talents, promoting educational initiatives and the development of all young people and youth communities for inclusion in the new technology and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and skills have remained the leading priorities.
1. Gaining natural science, technology and economics knowledge, skills and culture in the rising generation, supporting the educational process, qualification and prequalification of talented young people in the field of natural science, management and technology.
Nowadays our beliefs that young people gain knowledge not only in schools and universities but also individually and in communities of people with shared interests become stronger. There are different paths, but the final goal is shared. The school has its irrevocable role, but the interests of the society is to search and to find outside the opportunities for improving the environment so these vital tasks of the development can be resolved. This main idea is used by the foundation in attracting the children’s interest in science and technology, fostering skills for searching the realities of the world development and science as part of this development and further turning the science discoveries into subsequent science research. This is a complex and continuing process which has a place in all organizations that are devoting themselves to valuable public goals. Our organization is among them as well, and the widest of our programs is the program “Talents” which is fully dedicated to this goal. There are stimulus used in the program – scholarships for pupils and students, support for young scientists participating in international science events and specializations, organizing of summer academies and universities etc. During the last year this program has been implemented successfully due to the significantly concentrated financial resource which is the prerequisite for the success.
The biggest volume and the most significant weight has the part of awarding scholarships which support the personal development of pupils and students who have proven their abilities during their education not only in their schools and universities but also in many international contests and competitions, in science forums, and through their science publications. The contests for scholarships are managed according regulations which are established in the documentations of the foundation, and their compliance by the appointed committee guarantees the objectivity and openness during the process of warding the scholarship. The main competitions are for the distinguished scholarships of the foundation. They are meant for students who have studied at least 2 years in a Bulgarian university. They are sorted in ten problem areas, and the scholarships are named after famous Bulgarian scholars as an expression of our appreciation for their achievements.
During the last year we succeed in managing one good campaign for attracting the brightest and distinguished Bulgarian students and pupils for participating in the competitions of Evrika foundation for its scholarships. We secured the information span and attracted a wide circle of scientists and specialists with whom the foundation is working for many years. We used public appearances and projects to present specific proposals in front of the community and to emphasize on the already continuing for 23 years financial help of the Bulgarians representatives in international high school Olympiads in mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry and biology. The second group of scholarship recipients of the foundation is medal winners from international Olympiads in mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry and biology. During the last year we have been observing their performance and have our channels to stay in touch with them. We have established contacts and made it easier for them to apply for scholarships of the Evrika foundation. The medal winners from the Olympiads are part of the scholarship recipients of the foundation who by law, given to them by the Council, are our scholarship recipients until their graduation from high school or university in Bulgaria. This is due to the excellent results which the gifted Bulgarian pupils achieve on respected international events. The medals that they have won reflect the high value of the work of their instructors and as well as the work of not a small group of experts working with them all year long. Among the scholarship recipients of the foundation for the session 2012/2013 are two golden medal winners, seven silver medal winners and seventeen bronze medal winners among the international high school Olympiads. The difference between the number of medal winners and the number of our scholarship recipients is due to the fact that many of them continue their higher education abroad.
Again during year 2012, the national high school mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry and biology teams presented themselves at a high level. Five of our scholars are at the third place in the European Union at the 53rd International Mathematics Olympiad which was hold in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Our scholarship recipients are part of the teams which succeeded in other important international events. The Bulgarian presentation at the 29th Balkans Olympiad in mathematics in Anthelia, Turkey, was awarded – we won three silver and two bronze medals. At the 16th Youth Balkans Olympiad, held in Veriya, Greece, our young mathematicians won two silver and two bronze medals. With a consecutive big success came back the Bulgarian pupils from the 24th International Olympiad in informatics in Italy. The same team won two golden and two silver medals at the Central European Olympiad in informatics in Hungary. The young Bulgarian informatics students won one golden, four silver and four bronze medals at the Balkans Olympiads in informatics in Belgrade and Macedonia. With four medals and a diploma of honor came back the Bulgarian team from the International Olympiad in physics, held in Talin and Tartu, Estonia. The Bulgarian participation at the 17th International Olympiad in astronomy, held in Republic of Korea, was remarkable. At this international competition our young astronomers won tree silver and two bronze medals. At the 23rd International Olympiad in biology in Singapore, the representatives of the Bulgarian team won two bronze medals. The successful participation of the Bulgarians chemists was reinforced by winning two bronze medals at the 46th International Mendeleev’s Olympiad in chemistry, held in Kazakhstan. A significant contribution for the final formation of the successful 2012 gave the six bronze medals won at the 10th Olympiad of the European Union in natural sciences for pupils up to 16 years old, held in Vilnius, Lithuania.
With the implementation of the main rules for granting scholarships for the session 2012/2013, we have 38 scholarship students – 32 are college students and 6 – school age students.
An integral part of the activities in program “Talents” is the School Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (SIMI). This project was created 30 years ago together with the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS), International Foundation “St. St. Kiril and Metodii” and the Union of the Mathematicians in Bulgaria (UMB). Created as a project, the SIMI established itself as a long-term program for cooperation between famous Bulgarian scientists and high school students who have shown abilities in the field of mathematics andi. There are student conferences, interviews for choosing the participants in the Research Science Institute (RSI) at the Massachusetts Technology Institute, Summer Research School, Pupils Workshop and Workshop for mathematics, informatics and Information Technology (IT) teachers held annually. For the 30 years period, more than 2, 000 students and several hundred teachers have gained benefits from it. It turns out that when we unite the efforts of different organizations, including scholars from science institutes and universities, we achieve very serious results. This unity affects the development of the individual student; it makes the work of the teachers better and the improvement of the methodology of the work in finding and developing high schools talents.
The 12th student conference set the beginning of the rich calendar with events for the new session. At the sections of mathematics, informatics and IT, seventy seven pupils and more than 20 teachers took part. More than 53 projects were presented, twenty two of which were on informatics and IT, eleven on mathematics for reporting, and 20 on mathematics for poster-session.
Within the 14th Spring Conference of the Union of the mathematicians in Bulgaria from 9 – 12 April, 2012 in Borovez, it was held the 12th student section. Eighty one projects took part in it, twenty six of which were in mathematics and 55 – in informatics and IT. The authors of these projects were 119 students from 7 to 12 grades from 28 high schools and 18 cities of the country.
The 12th National Youth Summer Research Academy was held in August 2012. More than 40 students from 8 to 11 grades from 17 mathematics professional high schools participated in it. The participants were chosen among the best authors of projects, awarded in the two previous events. The science program of the Academy included lectures, workshops and individual work on specific topics and tasks. It was held a student workshop and a workshop with teachers in mathematics, informatics and IT during the second stage of the Academy.
Three years ago in the framework of project Clubs for Science and Technology for students we created 11 model clubs in different types of schools and extracurricular activities for working with students. They turned out to be stable in time, and although the difficulties, they continue to function with success. We still help them methodologically.
In the last years as a result of our partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, we made possible the participation of the winners in the contest Young Talents who developed projects with applied character and were not included in the national team of the country for international competitions, MILSET activities, where we are a legal member. We provided their participation in the European Expo Science which was held from 2 – 8 July, 2012 at Tula, Russia.
The program Talents plans holding of summer academies and universities. For the first time during the last year, we realized a joint project with the Union of the physics in Bulgaria successfully, and we stood in the base of the holding the 8th International Balkans Academy in nuclear physics on the topic Research of the exotic nucleus. It was mainly orientated toward the young people from South-Eastern Europe, and more than 60 students, young researchers and PhDs participated in it. The main focus of the program of the Academy was the most current aspects of the nuclear physics which are explored in the CERN.
The last direction of program Talents plans financing individual projects of young scientists, specialists and college students in international scientific events. In this section of the program for 2012, we have only two approved projects. Other similar projects did not appear.
2. Stimulating the youth scientific and technical research, innovative and entrepreneurship activity.
In continuation of what was said in the previous section of the report, in this part we focus on our activity which we used through the implementation of the program Scientific Researches. This program is temporary closed due to problems with the partner structure – the National Fund Scientific Researches. Obviously we need to search for a new way to support the young scientists. We would like to make some changes in the program that will allow financial support for publishing scientific articles in prestigious magazines for which additional payment by the authors is needed. The opportunities are not big, but it is real that such kind can be included for partial financing especially when it is about publications of young scientists who are no older than 35 years or about groups with youth participations with more than 50%.
The inclusion of pupils into future research and innovative activity takes place at the school desk and in the classrooms as well in the extracurricular activities and clubs for science and technology. They have a strong stimulus for this through organizing and holding contests. In conformation for this are our long-term practices. They are massive and with good results when interesting for the participants themes and fields are found. They are accessible for all students.
Our most massive contest during the last year was Space – present and future of the humanity. We held its 14th edition traditionally under the patronage of the first Bulgarian spaceman, General Greorgi Ivanov, vice chairman of the Council of the foundation. We created it some years ago by idea of the then vice chairman of the foundation, Academic Dimitar Mishev, and for this year the participants in it were more than 15, 000. Among them were children and students with serious projects for space experiments and ideas for space villages. Together with the development of the technologies, the ranges of the contests are growing. It will not be a surprise for anyone if mentioning that the majority of the participants are those who use the computer as a tool for illustrating their ideas and projects. Our contest met the support from the media, and this year our official media partner has been the National Publishers for Education and Science Az Buki. We receive the support from the science institutes working in this field. Traditionally the president of our specialized jury is selected within them. We received consultations when needed them so we could guarantee the objectivity of the evaluations. This year the jury works under the leadership of the founder of the world’s first space conservatory, Dr. Tanya Ivanova. She and her colleagues found it difficult to nominate leaders in different areas in this great race in which there are winners, but no losers. Inspired by the Space, 1,321 students participated in five racing lines. The projects differed from each other by ideas, expressions and imagination. The tendency for increasing the interest towards the contest remains quantified by the number of participants as well as by the number of schools and extracurricular activities of working with children. Among the authors of the projects were participants from all regions and areas who attracted their pears to participate for the first time in such a big contest. We received help from many places – teachers, parents and even the community centers in many villages. The creativity of the students is multifaceted. There were such situations again in which one child took part in more than one area or took part in the same type of competition but during different editions. For second year the municipal levels of the contest were organized in Sevlievo and in Stara Zagora, and for the next competition such intention has Varna and Haskovo. This shows that we should use all available means to inspire in the children interest in science. This contest is a proof that the talented children develop not only in the big cities where there are research centers, space observatories, lots of scientists and prepared teachers, but also in the small cities and villages where there are still many teachers feeling responsible for the development of their students.
The practice for including in the contest of the created four years ago by the foundation’s project clubs for science and technique was very successful. The children from the Club for Science and Technology Helios to Vasil Levski School, Sevlievo and the Club Znanie to General Vladimir Stoichev Sport School, Sofia presented excellent ideas for space science experiments. We strongly believe that we have to search for opportunities for presenting these projects at international events in this field.
Eighteen projects of authors from 14 to 18 years old competed in the most innovative area of science and technology ideas and experiments. Sixty eight students from 10 to 18 years participated in the area for models and layouts of space objects. Second on massive participation in the competition was the area of graphic works created by a computer. Three hundred and twenty five projects were sent for it. In the area of literature projects were involved 86 young artists from 8 to 18 years with 92 pieces on space themes. The biggest number of presenters was the young artists. Eight hundred and twenty four artists from 69 schools and extracurricular groups working with gifted children sent their paintings on the theme “Man and Space”. A variety of techniques and genres were demonstrated.
According to the traditions, the prizes were handed in the National Polytechnic Museum. The spacious and renovated exhibition hall was again tight for the winners of the competition and many of their friends, classmates and parents who followed with an interest the presentation of the winners in the various areas, all the good words and wishes of famous Bulgarian scientists who are involved in international space programs, and mostly the hearty meeting with the first Bulgarian cosmonaut, general Georgi Ivanov, who once again handed the prizes. The theme “40 Years Bulgaria as a Space country,” presented by the president of the jury, Dr. Tanya Ivanova, created a great interest. Part of the celebration was the organized exhibition of paintings and models from the competition.
Last year we did everything necessary to fulfill the role of a national coordinator in organizing the participation of Bulgarian students in competitions announced by the international organizations in which we are members. Bulgarian representatives actively participated in the Eighth International Competition for science photography and received well deserved awards. We assist young people to participate in the organized for the fifth time MILSET Conference for young people to express their views and participate in the discussions on the topic „The Water”. In 2012, with honorary diplomas were awarded our three participants in Expo-Sciences Europe in Tula, Russia, and our representatives in the International Congress of young researchers in Zaragoza.
In order for our representatives to reach the international level in many competitions, we gave a chance in advance to hold a race at national level. We worked on the organization with the National Children’s Palace. Contests were in various areas and traditionally were organized into two age groups – science and technology appearances with students from 5th to 8th grades and 9th to 12th grades, national aeromodelling, automodelling, shipmodelling and rocketmodelling competitions, national competition for student projects in ecology and environmental protection; National Competition “Nature – our home” for students from 5th to 8th grades. In the national competitions in science, ecology and technology were involved over 90 students from 5th to 8th grades. The practical stages of the competition were conducted under modules using the introduced by the Palace modern educational software and equipment necessary to perform practical tasks. According to the organizers and members of the judging committee, all students had very good knowledge, skills and competence in the relevant scientific and technical fields. Within the national competitions were organized a variety of initiatives representing activities and ideas of children and students’ leisure. Following further analysis and a proposal from the students, it was decided in the next edition of the event to include poster sessions with public defense.
In the national science-technology events for bigger students, from 9 to 12 grades, seventy five students were allowed publically to defend their projects. They succeeded convincingly and defended their projects in the fields of electronic and telecommunication technology, chemistry, biology, ecology, farming, physics and astronomy, and energy efficiency. We continue successfully to collaborate with the National Children’s Palace, Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, Bulgarian Federation of sports auto modeling, Bulgarian Federation of ship modeling and sport ship modeling, and the Bulgarian Federation of airplane modeling when organizing and conducting national student’s contests in airplane modeling, auto modeling, ship modeling and rocket modeling. More than 210 children and students took part at national level in 2012. We support these competitions as they stimulate the creativity and the design activity and ability of the young people which teach them responsibility, organization skills, discipline, accuracy and precision. We do not stay away from the environmental problems. For the 21st time was held the International Forum for ecology Sreburna. Its main goal is to activate the young people in researching and protecting the environment and promoting the unique natural wealth of the reservation Sreburna. Indicative for our work is the fact that nine from the top ranked in this contest have been scholarship recipients of Evrika foundation during the last year. At the International Ecology Forum Sreburna 2012, more than 920 participants from 16 regions of the country participated. In the national contest for students’ projects on ecology and environmental protection, seventy two students participated with 25 projects, and they presented their home cities nobly.
The participants presented original ideas, own researches aiming for a solution of the environmental problems, original thinking and up to date civil position on society questions at regional and national level directed to environmental and human living area protection, examination and preserving of the biodiversity and the use of new energy resources. There was a big interest about the events in the International Ecology Forum – the work exhibition from the international drawing contest The Earth – our home, literature reading from the international essay contest, a poem and a story titled “The Earth – Our Home”, the planetarium in the reservation “Sreburna”, the round table discussion on “Sreburna – our care, pride and responsibility,” the discussion “Young people and climate change”, the exhibition ” Children draw Sreburna. ” In the accompanying the Eco forum national contest, The Earth – Out home, were presented 382 paintings, applications, posters and 438 poems, essays and stories. We try to attract new children in the national student’s competition The Nature – our home. One hundred and fifty participants participated during the last year.
During the current year, we are planning to start new competitions. We have arranged together with the National Polytechnic Museum to start an annual thematic competition on researching the Bulgarian participation in the creation of technology through the ages. The first theme will be about the sound.
Thanks to the good practices in the previous years and our partnership with lots of organizations, we were one of the basic organizers of the Fourth Edition of the National Festival “Science on Stage”. This event is part of the big European program “Science on Stage”, created to provoke the interest of young people in science, to stimulate their inclusion into the achievements of human knowledge and to help them when choosing a career. City of Selvievo was a youth territory in science for three days. Two hundred and twenty pupils and 80 teachers from 41 schools, clubs and centers for work with children from the whole country participated in the five areas of the festival. Sixteen theatric school productions were presented showing in an attractive way the nature laws and the academic achievements of famous scientists. The jury selected the best from the 27 demonstration stands with models. The 64 presentations allow the future researchers to shine in all science fields. The authors of the best projects will take part in the European format of the “Science on Stage”, which will be held in April 2013 in Poland and Germany.
During the last year we have helped one of the most active and successful participants in the previous years of the editions of the national contest “Space – present and future of the humanity”, the pupils form the computer academy “Vale” from Haskovo. We took part as co-organizers in the preparation and the implementation of the International contest for computer paintings and collages “Creativity without borders.” One hundred and eighty four children from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, USA, England, New Zealand, India and China took part in it with 402 projects showing the magic of digital graphic and painting, and they were able to successfully paint the world as they have seen it and presented the feeling, moods and their inner experience. For a consecutive year we support the School Science Session on topic “Structure of the material” in the framework of the 40th National Anniversary Conference on topics of physics education. Forty six pupils from 17 high schools and one national observatory took part in it, and they presented 32 science research projects.
Without hesitation and with pleasure, we accepted the invitation of journalists from TV+ for joint work on preparation and emission of the documentary series “The Bulgarian’s hopes” for talented and successful children of Bulgaria. The work on it is continuing in 2013. We took part in a round table “Environmental Education” on invitation from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and the Ministry of Environment and Water. On this national forum through constructive and open dialogue, the gained experience in the field of the environmental education in the Bulgarian school was summarized, and new ideas about the education of sustainable development and environmental protection were discussed. We joined the organizers of the contest for programming CodeIT where the leading role is taken by Musala Soft in order to be able to contribute to this leading firm as a partner in creating new challenges for the young talents in the field of IT. The contest has 6 external rounds and ends with a final round in which all participants must be present. We continue to hold the traditional school conference in 164 Spanish High school “Miguel de Cervantes” which is not only a selective round for the Congress of Science in Zaragoza but also one of the most powerful stimulus for students’ work in the field of natural science.
The year 2012 was the year when the organization became stronger, more recognizable and sustainable, more responsible towards the children and the mission of the organization – to help and to stand for their rights. We actively took part in many public discussions organized by the National Network for Children about the project for new operative program “Science and Education for intelligent growth”. In the framework of the activity of the thematic working group “Education”, we took part in the consulting process of building the concept of the Law for Preschool and School Education and in the discussion of other regulations concerning the work with children and their families.
We realize that in the years ahead, our attention is directed to the learners on account of the students and young scientists. The reasons are different, but our belief is that the second group is in a position to resolve the problems easier because of age and capacity characteristics. Student’s councils are functioning in the universities which have their place in the government of the activities in the condition of autonomy. This does not mean that we have pulled back but that it is more difficult for us to influence the expansion of the activities in science and technology and raising the number of students who are doing science researches.
In different universities, according to the conditions, we gave only organizational and logistics support, and in others we gave financial support. Together with the University of Economics in Varna and with the Union of the mathematicians in Bulgaria, we prepared and conducted National Students Olympiad in Mathematics. More than 150 students from 30 facultates and 30 teachers participated in it. The scholarships of Evrika foundation and numerous young scientists covered by the project of the foundation were among the most active participants in IT week held in the Technical University in Sofia, including special Expo, multimedia presentations, student’s workshops and youth engineering competition. Many young people, most of them scientists, took part in the rich and diverse program of the consecutive European night of the scientists which main goal is to promote the science as an opportunity for career development of the young people. Together with the many science demonstrations, the visitors of the initiative were able to see the scientists in purely human perspective and light as painters, musicians, poets and artists. For now the participation of students is incidental, and we think that the main organizers may open widely the doors for them, and we from our site are ready to help with it.
We try to stimulate through different types of means and approaches the active young people in the universities. During the last year for the first time we supported the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Student Association in organizing and conducting the 9th Autumn Assembly of the European Pharmaceutical Student Association. This prestigious event turned into a place for exchange of practice and knowledge for 350 students in pharmacy from different countries. We are happy that with our help and in partnership with the Scientific Construction Union in Bulgaria, for the first time in the frame of the International Conference “Projecting and Constructing of buildings and facilities” was held a special students session during which the future civil engineers gave reports together with their teachers. Lively discussions gave the opportunity to show the level of our and foreign universities in the preparation of future civil engineers and showed the maturity and the motivation of the young people to implement their knowledge in an untraditional way.
One of the goals formulated by the constitution of the foundation is the direct link of creation of better conditions for innovative activity among all age groups of youth. Nowadays this is turning into a major factor for development of the economy. This is a hard task as the development by this new way of thinking and creativity is connected to a variety of knowledge and abilities to turn them into products which are competitive in the market and in the science. We work with all governmental and public structures which have common goals and are connected with the innovations. In a continuous manner during year 2012, we supported the organized by the Union of the Inventors in Bulgaria 4th National Expo of inventions, technologies and innovations ITI 2012. It was devoted to the 10th anniversary of the Bulgarian affiliation with the European Patent Convention, and it gave the opportunity for making fruitful business contacts for utilizing the implementation of the presented new decisions and innovative proposals. For the first time the expo was with foreign participation, and representatives of the invention field from Russia, Serbia and Croatia took part in it. As one of the organizers, we tried to turn the event into a businesslike meeting between inventors, scientists, enterprisers, innovation agents, producers and patent specialists. We took part as well in the commemoration of the World’s day of Intellectual Property, going under the motto “The Dreamer Innovators”. In the implementation of the directives of the International Inventors Organization IFIA in which we are an associate member, and as we recognize that we have our place in the activity of mastering the knowledge for protection and defense of the intellectual property, we took part in a workshop for “Industrial property as an instrument for successful innovation” which main goal was the promotion of patent system in the European Union and presentation of the innovation as an object with high economical potential. Together with the initiative “Innovative platform” we discussed the tendencies and the instruments of the European Commission for effective management of the innovations in a round table on topic “Management of the innovations in the small and medium enterprises”. The active presence at all these events helped us in searching of young people with registered patents and useful models and including them as potential candidates in the contest for awards “Evrika” for young inventors of the year.
In this direction of sustainable development of the youth and for change of the culture of the consumption and production, were our participations in the 3rd Green Forum of magazine “Manager” and GLOBUL on the topic “Green Culture of the Nation” and in a discussion organized by the Center for economic development for the challenges and the problems of the civil society for international development.
One good initiative which is an expression of recognition of the achievement of the young people in the field of IT, is the annual awarding of the special prizes “John Atanasov”. We continue to be active supporters of this patriotic act. During this year again were distinguished worthy, talented and proven scientists and specialists, as well as students who have shown their abilities in different national and international events.
The most significant and socially accepted are our contests for the award Evrika for achievements in science, for a young manager, an inventor and a farmer. Some of them were held for 23rd time – for manager, and the youngest of them – for the achievements in science is with 17 year history. For us the preliminary round is very important during which we had to find the right people with significant achievements during the year. For second year on the row, we held the contest for achievements in science of young scientists in collaboration with the Union of the scientists in Bulgaria. We succeeded in sending out very distinguished winner of the prize for science. The award EVRIKA for 2012 for achievements in science was awarded to Delyana Marinova Manasieva from the Institute for General and Inorganic Chemistry to BAS. She received a joint award from Evrika foundation and the Union of the scientists in Bulgaria for the excellent defense of a dissertation on topic “Vibration behavior of the matrix-isolated tetra core ions and HDO molecules in nonorganic salts – sulphate, selenium, chromates and formiates”. The results from the dissertation of Mrs. Manasieva are shown in 10 science news and in 18 more reports on science forums. The publications connected with dissertation already have 31 quotations which prove the actuality of the topic and the significance of the results.
There were some very strong participants in the contest for 2012 young inventor. The prize Evrika for 2012 young inventor was awarded to Lazar Iordanov Ilchev. It was awarded to him for the invention “Distributor Box for Connecting a Solar Cell, Electrical Diode, and Guiding Element and Fixing Means”, registered as an international patent in USA and in the European Patent Department. The invention of Lazar Ilchev is used in photovoltaic systems which main advantages are easy montage, low energy costs, high effectiveness, and reliability, freedom for technical support and sustainable contribution to the environmental protection.
The award Evrika for 2012 young manager was awarded to Cvetelina Borisova Nikolova. She is the manager of firms in the holding Belvedere Group Bulgaria and the executive director of wine house Katarjina Estate. The managed by Cvetelina Nikolova company is one of the most awarded Bulgarian’s wine houses. She has presented our country with its exclusive wines at many prestigious wine contests during 2012. Her high professionalism, leadership qualities, her excellent ability for strategic planning and her flexibility are among the basic developed strategy for management of the firm in the area of wine producing.
In a row, we organize the contest for young farmer. The award Evrika for it was rewarded to Ivan Hristov Georgiev in 2012. He owns and cultivates around 22 000 acres of grain. He grew and realized production of 2, 650, 000 BGN last year.
This activity is one element from all that we are making for promoting the good practice and governing the professional knowledge and abilities. When holding the contests, we meet with lots of representatives of science and production, and based on that, we decide what the needs of knowledge are and what we can make. We have found our place and the opportunity to impact and help with consultations on problems that young people encounter in their practice. The consulting cabinets for protection of the intellectual property, on some law issues of the organization and functions of economic and nonprofit organizations are welcomed and function well.
The consultations help the young people but also help us when we need to make expert evaluation of projects. Our consultations are used as a professional service as well. More than 200 free consultations for protection of the intellectual property are included only in the annual report of the cabinet for intellectual property. As a result, five requests for useful models, seven requests for Bulgarians marks, and five European marks have been formed and submitted.
We use the good partnership with some media groups in order to make the information about the activity of the foundation accessible. Although not so recently as we would like, such information is spreading through emissions and interviews in the national media and in large amount in the specialized editions.
3. Supporting the diffusion of natural science, technology and economic knowledge and information.
Science-technology promotion is a step towards creating interest to science and technology. Today this is becoming more often closer as a goal and meanings for realization of the scientific information. Largely in the past years, it is implemented by television emissions, partly by periodical print editions and mainly by books. The specialized science-technology editions are very few in these days, and thus we have stated our eagerness to help with these editions. The opportunities are not many, as this is one very expensive pleasure. New technologies are at the place they deserve to be, and now everyone who is interested in can find the needed information on Internet. This does not mean that we gave up from the opportunity to have an effect on the interest mainly of the children with the help of the science-technology promotion. Our statement is based on our long-term joint work with the National Polytechnic Museum. Together we found opportunities for discovering such forms which can make the children curiosity to work. We were watching these at many of our activities which we conducted there, and how the children, parents and teachers continuously standing in front of different exponents were happy of the opportunity to touch something a little bit forgotten, but interesting. There is a lot to be learnt from the history of the Bulgarian science and technology, from the contribution of the Bulgarians to the development of the technology in the world. The National Polytechnic Museum is the natural habitat for conducting of educational programs, and this is the foundation of our joint work based on the joint agreement. We are thinking on new common initiatives. We are preparing long-term projects for discovery and collection work with students in order to detect the tracks of the relics showing the scars of the Bulgarian history of science and technology at our land. We are actively supported by the experts from the museum. The newspaper “Technitarche” has been published together by the museum and the foundation for 12 years. It is the only children museum edition with technical orientation, promoting the history and the development of the Bulgarian and the world’s cultural heritage, educating them in love to science. We continue to publish all the creativity of the awarded participants in the competitions on its pages. The newspaper is distributed for free in the schools and among young visitors of the museum.
Our partnership with magazine “Science” turned out to be long-term and effective one. For more than 10 years we have a joint specialized rubric “Youth Tribune”. There are articles of young scientists, laureates of science achievement prizes, interesting essays of young scholarship students, ideas for science experiments from the contest devoted to the Space. We believe that the new attitude towards the youth and their support will become a reality as part of the realization of the strategy “Europe 2020”, the framework program for science researches and innovations “Horizons 2020”, as well as with the recommendations of the World Bank for actions directed to support the young scientists with innovative thinking as one of the conditions for achieving intellectual growth, will affect the science publications in the rubric.
We may refer to newspaper “Az Buki” as a faithful friend of the youth and children who study science and technology. With their help we made popular among their peers all of our winners in different competitions. They found a place with great merit in lots of articles from our scholarship students. Together we are building the models for those who are following them and are ready to devote themselves to science and technology. We continue our partnership with the only student’s newspaper “New technical vanguard” (issue of the Technical University in Sofia). Not only our initiatives and contests are published but also a lot of information for developments of students and young scientists with engineering character in the newspaper. We have saved the tradition of the approved editors’ decision of publishing the newspaper to be transferred in the school clubs that we are working with. This is a good example and an opportunity for direct contacts between schools and universities.
4. Participation in international educational; scientific and technical programs and projects and international youth natural science and technical collaboration.
As a member of the European Union we are searching presence in international youth scientific and technical collaboration. During the reported period we have had big expectations and hope to succeed in compensating the inner restrictions with the development and implementation of international projects. We were searching for these opportunities and joint activates with our traditional partners, but also with new ones. It turned out that the old tested synergies are more reliable. The most accomplished are the ones realized in the frame of the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology (MILSET) and its European structure MILSET – Europe. We have been a member for 23 years, and there you can always find a reliable partner. In the international organization, there are members from 100 countries, and the European structure is represented by almost all European countries. During the past years the organization continued to expand its influence and to diversify its activities. In this movement Evrika foundation has its recognition, and according to its rules we are the national coordinator for Bulgaria. Before this and during the reported year, we were not only a coordinator but also an organizer of many activities and events in the country.
The 8th European day of science for youth was held on March 15, 2012 on topic “Astronomy and time: the heritage of the Maya tribe”. In one day in all parts of Europe were held lectures, competitions, experiments and other events for pupils devoted to the topic. For one more time we can be proud of the created by us school clubs which were the most active participants from the Bulgarian side in this European holiday of science. As a national coordinator, we organized the Bulgarian participation in the 6th Science Photo Contest of MILSET – Europe which is a synthesis of science and art. During this year our country won only one bronze medal but this inspired us to try to reach our old leadership position in this competition. We were active participants in the series of discussions on the topic “Water” in the organized for 5th time by MILSET young citizens’ conference (YCC). This event which gives the opportunity to youth to express their points of view on hot topics which are connected with the present time and building of better future for the people and protection and economical use of the natural recourses. We provided informational and logistic support for participation of Bulgarian representatives in the international science summer camp “MILSET Europe 2012” in Aveiro, Portugal.
In partnership with Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, we succeed in sending three laureates from the national competition “Young talents” to the European Expo of science, held in Tula, Russia. We believe that this is one example for good joint activity with the governmental institutions in favor of our talented students.
As a specific result from our membership in the National Network of Children and with the financial and logistics support of the European Commission in Bulgaria, we sent two representative of Bulgaria in Brussels as a part of the representative youth group of the nongovernmental sector to familiarize them with the European institutions, procedures and ways of their functioning, and certain policies and discussions on them. As a result, there was a new invitation from the vice chairman of the Commission of budgets in the European Parliament, and a representative of ours took part in a conference devoted to policies of long-term financial framework of the European Union in the area of knowledge, growth and business.
During the last year together with the German foundation “Hope Foundation” we ran for two sectored programs – in the sphere of education and the program “Whole Life Learning” – Grundtving and the Europe Aid Global Learning Program. We set up partnership with a Greek foundation, and now during the second half of 2013 we are working on sending a students’ group in Athens for participation in a joint project in the field of biodiversity and the life of bats. We are ready to take part in the contests of the program for nongovernmental organizations through financial mechanism of the European Economic Area which will start in 2013.
During the years we have had good joint events with the Institute for Science and Researches of Youth in Aragon, Zaragoza, Portugal. For 11th consecutive year Evrika foundation organized the Bulgarian participation in the traditional international school congress. As every year we prepared a noble Bulgarian participation together with 164 Spanish high schools “Miguel de Cervantes”. A program for a year-round work with students on research projects is functioning in this elite school.
We continue our membership in the International Federation of the Associations of the Inventors.
On the base of our outgoing experience and contacts, we are ready to develop these activities as trying to use our ex-scholarship students in order to find out more appropriate partners between the related organizations and thus to find opportunities for conveying experience and good practices from them, as well as to show what we can make well here.
5. Activities, related to our nonprofit goals; place and role of the organization in developing collaboration with other organizations and institutions in Bulgaria.
Our experience in the past years consolidate our belief that the best results in the different programs and projects that we have achieved are when we have been working together with other organizations and thus the capacity was more, and our activities became more scaled and effective.
The most useful partnerships are the ones with other nongovernmental organizations. During the last year the most active and fruitful collaborations were with the Union of scientists in Bulgaria, the Union of mathematicians in Bulgaria, the Union of physicists in Bulgaria, IF “St. St. Kiril and Metodii”, the Association of the agricultural producers in Bulgaria, National Network of Children and others. Together with them, we organize many activities – academies, conferences, contests and others. Our collaboration with them is a long-term one and with visible results shown in the presentation in the previous two sections of the report. We have specific partnership with other nongovernmental organizations. With some of them we have the same common causes of the nongovernmental sector. We try to be a supporter of all good initiatives of the Bulgarian donation forum. We took part in activity and the management of the established as a successful foundation ‘Help for the charity in Bulgaria’, where we became a chairman seventeen years ago. During the last years we took part as a partner in the organization of the international expo “Beekeeping”. We have a good collaboration with the Association of the industrial capital in Bulgaria. We joint, according to our possibilities and competences, in the realization of activities of the project “Restriction and prevention of the informal economy” that was won by them.
We do not give up on our synergy with some governmental institutions and organizations. Naturally, on first place we put the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and its cores of external class and external school activity. We can admire one more time our joint activity with the National Children’ Palace. Always we met great understanding and readiness for joint activities on different initiatives and projects. For many years we have been implementing contests and competitions together in different fields of science, engineering and technology, and this collaboration turns out to be fruitful and allowing to complement the abilities of both organizations which are leading to better results. They stood behind us when implementing many of ours initiatives, for example, holding of the 8th European day of science in schools, holding of the national contest “Space – presence and future”, or supporting the clubs for science and technique for pupils which we created in the frame of a joint project years ago.
We realize that the innovation activation cannot become a reality without the National Patent Department, so we searched for and in some cases we received their cooperation. After consultations with representatives of its management, we came to the joint decision to search for an opportunity to meet the pupils who are actively engaged in creative activity and with basic knowledge on intellectual property. We temporarily held back the beginnings of these activities as of impossibility to finance them with our own resources and as there are restrictions for such kind of activities in some of the European and national programs. Also, the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria stood behind this initiative.
Unlike the implementations by other structures of the civil society, our attempts to reach the representatives of the business are seriously falling behind. For a consecutive
year, we were unable to offer other interesting programs except the scholarship program which should encourage their wish for donation to the foundation. Almost all of the representatives of the firms declare their interest in the social area. We are happy, although cautiously, to set the beginning of the establishment of a club of the young manager prize winners. We hope that together with them we can develop some program for action. We try not to loose our contacts with our ex-scholarship students who established themselves now at key positions in successful firms, but until now even this does not give the expected results, as most of them are busy with science researches or work somewhere far abroad.
As we analyze our collaboration with other sectors of the society, we have to give the deserved appreciation to our joint work with the media. The specialized media is closely observing our initiatives; they reflect our contests and their laureates, they make the necessary efforts to familiarize the public with our scholarship students, well deserving respect boys and girls.
The 2012 report summaries the achievements of our organization in the crisis conditions, and it is a demonstration of the implemented goals and tasks for finding, developing and stimulating young people and gifted children who are talented in the field of science and technology. It shows that some efforts are made in the right direction which enables us to save and develop the traditions and to have stability in the activities, management of resources and achieved results.