Report on the Performance of Evrika Foundation in Year 2015
This annual report contains information on the performance of Evrika Foundation in the year of 2015. The submitted results and achievements form the base of the delivered analyses, summaries and visions for future actions of the Foundation. The Executive Bureau of the Foundation also does this on the basis of its discussions and actions over the year in its capacity of a collective managing body. The report uses evaluations of our activity rendered by representatives of governmental authorities, partners, and most of all – by the young people, in the name of whom we have been doing all this.
Over the year we worked as a team, searching for paths and means to keep the priorities outlined by the Council of the Foundation and the expert councils including Council’s members, scientists and experts. They were very useful also in the management of our sources, to be able to utilize most efficiently the capacity of people and the funds we dispose of. We were demanding and responsible upon the selection of our projects, of the ones to support amongst the vast number, proposed by our long-standing partnering organizations, thus implementing our programs and our mission. Competition and contest of ideas still provided the base of our performance. We relied also on the experience gathered during the years, which helped us to achieve good results. We managed to use the budget rationally and realize our plans, upon maximum spearing and reasonable spending of funds.
І. Attaining the non-profit objectives of the Foundation
The programs provide the organizing base of our activities. With the performed activities we remained truthful to our major goal – identifying and supporting of talents and capabilities in science, technics and technologies among children and young people. It has remained invariable in the past year and its significance will be increased under the conditions of striving to changes in the sphere of education, where the reforms are still to start and are of vital necessity, as they create conditions for adaptation of results to the requirements of the quickly developing technologies. Upon such re-arrangement of priorities and the adaptation of the educational system to it, there is a place not only for changes in the educational contents, studied in the Bulgarian school and universities, but also in many activities, and for adoption of new approaches by organizations like ours. The new conditions require staff of a new training, possessing new knowledge and skills, reassuring the prestige of the creative approaches in that, and adequate usage of the new technologies for updating of training and out-of-class activities.
1. Acquiring knowledge, skills and culture in the area of natural sciences, technics and economy among young generation; supporting training, qualification and re-qualification of young people with manifested skills in the area of natural sciences, technics and management.
Traditionally, the Talents Program remains most representative and of the largest scale. Through it we have been trying to find our own approaches to render support, via activities and incentives, to the training of specialists in spheres of knowledge, directly connected with the demand for specialists of a new type for the production branch, where the deficits are sharply felt. Everybody realize the necessity of changes, responding to the changes in production technologies, of a new culture based on the quickly changing labor conditions and the requirements for quality and modernization, in conformity with the higher criteria in everything. The sphere of education, still dragging behind, has to make up for its loss, in the preparation of professionals of a new type, responding to the demand of economy and the insufficient labor resources, possessing new contemporary capabilities.
The first and most significant contribution is the scholarship part of our programs. Through it we reach all universities and their trainees, and we share the biggest financial resource for it. Confirmed rules and mechanisms are applicable thereto, which are tested and perfected over the years. They exhibit flawless action, at the same time being just and objective. The selection and evaluation of students are carried out by scientists, possessing vast experience, as well as by eminent experts in the various spheres of knowledge. Thereupon, taken in consideration are not only the marks from the course of studies but also the success attained by the students in their research work, the achieved results and the awards granted to them by other organizations and institutions. At the start all students face equal standing; the competition is loyal and stimulating. The evaluation criteria are public, and the applied evaluation system is based on clear and measurable criteria.
The competitions are divided in ten topics that cover not only the major scientific spheres, which are of priority for the Foundation, but also such of inter-disciplinary character.
In 2015 we realized a large-scale and very successful campaign, to determine the awardees of scholarships, including name scholarships, scholarships on target grants, such as that of “M + C Hydraulic” and “Huawey Technologies Bulgaria” EOOD, and the traditional scholarships granted to the winners of medals from the international secondary school Olympiads. In conformity with the Basic Rules of Evrika Foundation on the allotment of scholarships to school and university students, we carried out open and commonly accessible contests. During the campaign we focused our efforts to the establishment of favorable conditions for the attraction of the best and most distinguished Bulgarian students for participation in the competitions.
The final count for the school year of 2015/2016 is as follows: 47 scholarships, of which 40 students and 7 pupils.
Following the tradition, we handled over the certificates to the scholarship awardees at a special ceremony held at the National Polytechnic Museum. Again the event was attended by high guests – Mrs. Tzetska Tsatcheva – Chairman of the 43rd National Assembly, Mr. Tomislav Donchev – Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European funds and economic policy, chairmen of municipal councils, deputy majors, university rectors, scholars and public figures.
On June 4th, 2014 at the large hall of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences we celebrated officially the 15th anniversary of the Student’s Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. Sixteen years ago, in fulfillment of the Talents Program, we became founders of the Student’s Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. Since then it has been working very successfully. This project proved to be a fruitful form of work of the Bulgarian scholars with students from the secondary schools. Traditionally, the project supports the implementation of a pupil’s conference, an interview for selection of participants at the Research Scientific Institute (RSI) of the Massachusetts Technological Institute, a summer research school, a student’s working seminar, and a seminar for teachers in mathematics, informatics and information technologies. For the sixteen-year period of its existence it has been attended by several hundred teachers in mathematics, informatics and information technologies. More than 100 projects are developed annually by around 140 school students from more than 25 towns in the country Trainees of this school are met more and more often amongst the advisers of the student’s projects, thus partaking in the life of the school again. The Fifteenth student’s conference in January 2015 was attended by 63 pupils in the sections of mathematics, informatics and information technologies. Represented were 47 projects in total, of which 19 in mathematics and 28 in informatics and information technologies. In April, 2015 the Fifteenth student’s session was held as well. Represented were 59 projects, of which 17 in mathematics and 42 in informatics and information technologies. More than 40 students, having attained good results at these events, adopted the right to participate in the summer research school of the Institute. In 2015 the mathematician Kristian Georgiev and the IT specialist Hristo Staykov represented our country at the six-week summer school for young research workers at the Massachusetts Technological University in the USA. The trainees of the Student’s Institute of Mathematics and Informatics return back with awards from the most prestigious European forums for young scholars and scientific festivals, organized in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Over the past year under the “Scientific Research” program we rendered support to an individual project of a young Bulgarian scientist for publication in an international magazine with an impact factor.
2. Stimulating the activities of young people in the fields of science, technics, research, inventions and innovation.
In fulfillment of this major goal of the Foundation’s performance, we have established traditions, striving to extend the scales of the achieved results. Our program “The Way of Children and Young People to Science”, implemented with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria is yet in progress. A very good response had the visits, organized on our part, of Bulgarian scientists at various schools all over the country. Some BAS institutes have expressed readiness to accept pupils participating in our “Cosmos” contest. We are ready to work on the training of advisers at the science and technic’s clubs at school. We have already organized similar activities in the past years and the effect thereof is quite noticeable.
Over the years we have attained very good results in the performance of national contests for school students. In the last reported year “The Cosmos – Present and Future of Humankind” competition still remained of the largest scale. Its XVII edition was held under the patronage of the first Bulgarian spaceman Gen. Georgi Ivanov. To our satisfaction, it is still met with great interest as its subject is quite interesting for the children and provides vast possibilities for self-expression of many children – from researchers and experimenters, to painters and poets. The number of participants was still increased after the inclusion of the new expression forms, displayed by PC. In 2015 the Competition was attended by a very big number of participants – 1419 pupils at the age between 8 and 18 with 1377 projects in five subject areas. Twenty school students represented and defended their ideas in the area of “Ideas for Scientific and Technical Experiments”. Winners of the Competition became the young astronomers Irena Dimitrova, Borislava Borisova, Tzveta Kodzhabasheva and Kristiana Momchilova from the National Astronomic Observatory and Plenary “Nikolai Kopernik” – Varna with scientific adviser D-r Veselka Radeva, who study out-of-Sun planets through a network of small cosmic telescopes. 114 school students with 54 projects competed at the area dedicated to models and mock-ups of cosmic objects. 245 were the participants in the area of graphic developments created with computer support, 104 were the authors of fiction pieces with 131 works, 936 young painters from 97 schools and other out-of-school units.
The competitions which we undertook by ourselves or in partnership with other organizations are of a great number. Over the last year we participated in the preparation and holding of the “Young Talents” contest. Three of the prize winners for application projects have partaken in the exhibition of MILSET in Brussels. Most events of competitive character we carried out on our part together with the National Palace of Children. We cover almost all subject areas of the natural sciences, up to ecology and model sports. We do our best to ensure such activities for students of all age groups. In the year of 2015 the national competitions in natural sciences, ecology and technologies were held with school students in 5th to 8th grades. They were attended by 90 pupils. Within the frames of these competitions a series of diverse accompanying initiatives and events were organized, such as a poster exhibition, multimedia presentations and information demonstrations of students’ creativity. In the National competitions on science, technics and technologies with students in 9th to 12th grades, after a preliminary selection admitted to public defense were 62 participants. They demonstrated a very good knowledge, skills and competence in the sphere of developing software products, electronic instruments, devices and communication means, ecology, energy efficiency, physics and astronomy. Just only the national circle in scale aircraft and rocket modeling, held in May, 2015 in the town of Kjustendyl, was attended by more than 180 children and pupils. With the support of the hosting Pazardzik municipality, the national competitions in automobile and ship modeling were conducted. More than 90 pupils from 13 specialized clubs in the country competed thereat.
The children and pupils show great interest in activities and competitions dedicated to ecology. Thus, the constant interest in the National Student Competition “Nature – Our Home” seems quite natural. Its last edition in 2015 was attended by 190 school students from various towns from all over the country. The International student forum in ecology “Srebarna” is still held with invariable success. At the time of its performance the World Day of Environmental Protection is celebrated. Our assertion regarding the constantly increasing interest of children and youths therein is based on the facts: only the competitions held in the period 1990 – 2015 were attended by more than 4 500 students, young ecologists and scientific advisers. A great part of them have continued to be faithful to their interests and continued their studies in biology, ecology and protection of the surrounding environment. There are young scientists and experts among them, having dedicated themselves to these problems. More than twenty are the projects, distinguished at a national level, which were sent for participation at the International competition “World Youth in Environmental Protection”, which took place in Germany. The Environmental Forum “Srebarna 2015” was attended by 520 participants from 16 districts in the country, whereas the national competition for Best Student Project in the field of ecology and environment protection attracted 50 contestants with 17 projects. In a great number of projects the students demonstrated original author’s ideas, their own investigations, aimed at solving of particular ecological problems, original thinking and topical civil position on public matters of regional and national importance, for the protection of nature and the vital surrounding of man.
Four years ago we put the beginning of a useful and promising cooperation with the “Vale” computer club based in “Zarya-1858” Exemplary Community Cultural Center, the town of Haskovo. In the last year we were again co-organizers in the preparation and conducting of the International Competition for computer drawing and collage “Creativity without Limits”. The competition presented 1503 drawings, 820 collages and 310 pieces of art from abroad. The winners from the older age categories won as an additional price a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels.
In 2015 one more useful cooperation was commenced whose major purpose is to provoke the creative thinking and skills of school students. We became co-organizers together with the Joint Children’s Complex – Kjustendil and the Bulgarian Federation of Aviomodelism, of student contest for non-standard aircraft “Creative Challenges Icarus – 2015”. The contest was attended by children from Kjustendil, Sevlievo and Sofia, who demonstrated attractive aircrafts of any type, created by themselves. The represented airplanes, rockets, helicopters, balloons, fly dishes, etc. were assessed against the innovation of ideas and structural solutions, design and outer appearance, flying properties, etc. by the competent jury. The best designs were distinguished and prized.
In the past year we offered our hand to “Quant” club at the Municipal Children’s Complex – Plovdiv, for the implementation of a project on the subject of “From the Small Play to the Big Science”. It was targeted at the popularization of physics, application and engineering sciences and the professional orientation of students to them. The work was organized in teams, applied thereat were scientific debate methods. The major activity upon the implementation of the project was the organization and performance of the 12th National Competition of the Knowing Young Physicists. The competition was attended by 88 students in 6th to 12th grades. The competition last circle rules opposed team Nr. 1 of students up to 8th degree against the team of students up to 11th degree and against the team of the school leavers.
There are events which have been conducted for many years and with which we have been engaged by virtue of joint activity contracts. Such is the situation in the sphere of physics where the tradition is already established and we have been supporting the Student Scientific Sssion within the framework of the National Conference, dedicated to the matters of training in physics. During the past year the students’ session was dedicated to the subject of “The Magic of Light”. It was attended by 39 pupils and students with 26 presentations. They represented 15 schools from 13 towns in the country.
Evrika Foundation has its place in the community of organizations and especially amongst those dealing with education, science and technics. We are often invited at consultation and working meetings by the Ministry of Education and Science, for participation in significant national events, such as the official closure of the International Year of Light and Light Technologies’ 2015. There with her presentation participated Martina Georgieva from Gabrovo – winner in one of the areas of “The Cosmos – Present and Future of Humankind” National Competition of Evrika Foundation. We have partaken in the students conference on the subject of “The World Success of the Bulgarian Scientists”, organized by “Hristo Botev” Sofia Gymnasium on Construction, Architecture and Geodesy.
In the reported period we managed to extend the scope of participation in the Second Inter-School Scientific Conference for students from the language schools in Sofia. At it 51 students in 8th to 12th grades from 91 German Language School, “Veda” Private School, “Thomas Jefferson” Second English Language School, the National School Complex of Culture in Gorna Banya, the First English Language School and 164 “Miguel de Cervantes” Spanish Language School presented 28 projects. The jury, chaired by prof. Nikolay Vitanov, distinguished 10 students who adopted the right to submit their developments at the International Congress of Young Researchers in Zaragosa, Spain.
Over the year we also performed activities amongst the university students. In some of the universities we established sustainable contacts based on joint activities and activities performed by our present and former scholarship awardees. We enjoy very serious support at “Konstantin Preslavski” University of Shumen. A new base is established there for practical training of students, but also attracting pupils for out-of-class activities. We are proud to say that one of the young lecturers has a big contribution to that – Mr. Sunay Ibryamov, who is a former scholarship awardee of ours and is ready to implement our joint projects.
For several years now we have been well cooperating with the management of the Faculty of Physics at “Paisii Hilendarski” University of Plovdiv, which will enable us to join the implementation of mutual projects. In March, 2015 together with the Student’s Council and the Faculty of Physics at “Paisii Hilendarski” University of Plovdiv we conducted the edition of the National Student Scientific Session in physics and engineering technologies. We managed to established an informal environment and possibility for the future specialists to gather experience in the presentation and defense of their scientific theses. Within the framework of the session a scientific exhibition was organized for products and materials of some of the lead companies in Bulgaria in the sphere of physics and engineering technologies. Of great importance for us was the inclusion also of school students, who contested in “Evrika” competition for scientific projects. There the young lovers of science presented in an amusing and indulging manner their own innovative ideas and scientific research projects.
Once again in the reported year together with the University of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy – Sofia, and the Union of Mathematicians in Bulgaria we prepared and conducted the National Students’ Olympiad in Mathematics. This is a well recognized event, which we have been supporting for long, as providing incentives to the best students for more profound work and establishing conditions for exchange of experience amongst the lecturers’ teams. The contest was attended by 150 students from 30 faculties of the higher schools and nearly 40 lecturers.
In June, 2015 together with the National Association “Ecological Engineering and Environmental Protection” we held a youth’s scientific session within the framework of the Fourth National Conference “Ecological Engineering and Environmental Protection – EEEP’2015”. The event was hosted and organized by “Prof. Assen Zlatarov” University of Burgas. At the conference presented in total were 71 scientific reports and posters, of which 38 with youth’s participation as a first author. 43 young scientists from various universities in the country and BAS institutes took part in the event, which was also visited by representatives from Algeria, France, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus and Italy. Printed was a collection of the conference papers, and the full text of the reports and the posters was published in individual booklets of the scientific magazine “Ecological Engineering and Environmental Protection” in English and Bulgarian languages.
Many initiatives and projects addressing the young people were organized on our part with other organizations as well. In the last year we continued our fruitful cooperation with the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria. We became co-organizers of the Sixth Exhibition of Inventions, Technology and Innovations – ITI’2015, which is a contest of inventors, selectioneers and innovators, as well as an attempt to provide market for their intellectual products. The Exhibition turned to a very useful meeting of more than 90 scientists, entrepreneurs, innovation agents, inventors, students and patent experts having interests and achievements in the development of this activity, which is a supreme form of creation. Established were sustainable business contacts which make us hope for putting in operation of the represented inventions, useful models, industrial designs, new plant species and other innovative solutions.
Upon representing our annual performance we should also pay attention to the traditional competitions of the Foundation for the Evrika Awards for achievements in science, most successful young manager, inventor, and farmer. They already have their own long history, as they are granted for twenty-sixth time – for manager, for twenty-fifth time – for inventor and farmer, and for achievements in science – for twentieth successive year. The Awards are recognized by the public and are distinguished by many governmental and public leaders, the mass-media, and the last but not least – by the young people and their organizations. The Awards are an inseparable part from the visit card of the Foundation.
Over the last years together with the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria we have been conducting the contest for the Evrika Awards for achievements in science. For the year of 2015, Evrika Award for achievements in science was granted to Viktoria Ivanova Milanova. The winner developed its doctor’s thesis at the Immunology Department of the Microbiology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She won the joint prize of Evrika Foundation and the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria for the excellent defense of her dissertation work on the subject of “Inflammatory and Destructive Potential of Neutrofiles in Case of Arthritis”, for which the defendant has adopted Doctor’s degree. The results and conclusions from the dissertation work of Viktoria Milanova are of an indisputable scientific and practical contribution for clarification of the pathogenic mechanisms of the rheumatologic arthritis, developed in the trend of the recent contemporary studies in this area.
Winner of Evrika Award for young inventor for the year of 2015 is Hristo Nikolaev Kolev. He won Evrika Award as co-author of the invention “Method for Setting of Highly Oriented Films, Made from Polyanilin”, protected by an European patent. The potential application of this invention is in the manufacturing of photovoltaic elements, incomparably cheaper than the currently used silicon-based technologies. He has developed the technology – subject of the invention, during his work at the experimental laboratory of a French scientific institute in Miluz, when was only 21 of age, and obtained patent’s registration in 2015. He has partaken in seven national conferences in chemistry for students and post-graduates. One more proof for the talent and urgency of Hristo Kolev are the awarded prizes and scholarships, amongst which is the “Rostislav Kaishev” scholarship of Evrika Foundation, awarded to him as a student at “Snt. Kliment Ohridski” University of Sofia.
Evrika Award’ 2015 for young manager was granted to Filip Hristov Filipov. He has Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in INSEAD. In July, 2013 he commenced work at Skyscanner, Edinburg, Great Britain, gradually occupying the positions of senior manager on “Strategy”, head of department “Business to business”, director of department “Business to business”, and manager of the Sofia office of “Skyscanner Bulgaria”. He organized the opening of a technological center of Skyscanner Limited in Sofia, where more than 50 highly qualified IT specialist work nowadays. For the year of 2014 Skyscanner Bulgaria has had gains at the amount of over £ 93 mill. Filip Filipov possesses an unique vision for business development and approach to his employees. His expert knowledge and abilities to establish long-lasting relations with new and traditional partners of the company are the motor of success and multiple increase of the revenues gained by the department, managed on his part, for a short period of time.
Evrika Award’2015 for young farmer was awarded to Borislav Bozhidarov Mitov from Targovishte. He has adopted Bachelor’s degree from the Agrarian University – Plovdiv after the specialty of “Agrarian Engineering”, and this has been in huge support of his professional career. Nowadays he processes about 45 000 ha agricultural land. The major investment Borislav Mitov makes is in the construction of modern silos for storage of grain and the purchase of new and qualitative equipment, to provide making of good and modern agriculture. Borislav Mitov’s farm disposes of a rich technological park including harvesters, tractors, drills and other various agricultural equipment of prestigious trademarks, characterized by its high automation. 43 people work in his company on permanent labor contracts all over the year. Planted cultures are wheat, corn, barley, sunflower, etc. The great ambition of Borislav Mitov is market and product development, and his interests are focused in the sphere of new technologies and innovative achievements. The already achieved high results, in combination with the possibilities provided by the European programs, are a reliable guarantee for the further development of the agrarian productions, managed by him, and their turning into a model of contemporary agriculture.
By these competitions we managed one more time to distinguish young and successful Bulgarians, and to add more to the conviction that in spite of the difficulties, science and production may ensure a big progress in our country. We would be very satisfied if the way of the young winners is followed by the youths from the new growing generation, to prepare themselves in these socially important professions, believing that the chosen road is a difficult, but the right one.
At previous stages from the development of the Foundation we implemented many initiatives and projects on information provision of the young people’s activities. Because of the logical changes resulting from the technological development, this activity of ours has changed a lot. Nowadays everyone looks for and finds the requested information in the Internet, and what remains us is to try more frequently and with better publications to find a place there. We shall rely on Internet also in the future for the greater part of information. As searched, currently in Google has about 36 thousand publications mentioning the Evrika Foundation. Yet, we haven’t given up some traditional means for the dissemination of information. We have our place with pages at the websites of all organizations we partake at. Already for a fourth consecutive year we publish on CD the information brochure of the Foundation. On the occasion of the 25 anniversary of Evrika Foundation we elaborated a very good presentation and a film, which we used during the whole year to popularize our activity and the implemented projects.
3. Supporting the dissemination of knowledge and information in the field of natural sciences, technics, and economics
One of the subscribed goals of the Foundation upon its establishment was the dissemination of knowledge in the spheres of the natural, technical and economic sciences. That’s why a part of the “Information, Knowledge, Contributions” Program provides such possibilities for projects and initiatives.
Yet acting under the form of a joint activity is a program with the National Polytechnic Museum. Such cooperation is fruitful as it supports the work of both institutions. The Museum expositions were renewed, new technical equipment was added thereat, thus the expositions became more attractive for the children. Some educational programs were commenced as well, a part of which are family programs, provoking great interest. We strive to support them, as far as possible. We continue to organize most of our events on the territory of the Museum, especially the ones oriented to school students. Even the university students discovered the Museum, always seeing it with interest. The Museum keeps the prize-winning projects from our competitions “The Cosmos – Present and Future of Humankind” in its collection. With the support of the Museum’s specialists, every year we organize an exhibition with them, and for this whole-hearted support of theirs we are very grateful.
We have been releasing jointly with the Museum the Technitarche newspaper for more than twenty years now. It is written by the Museum specialists and is disseminated among the children visiting the Museum on an organized basis. Its subjects are connected with the educational programs studied at school. In practice this is the only museum edition for children, and that makes it unique. The children meet the newspaper with interest, as it contains direct references to the expositions, at the same time it poses questions urging them to search additional information, i.e. it motivates children to search and read, to look for historical facts and events connected with the past and the present of science, technics and technologies in our country. With the support of ours the newspaper is published in full color, with improved overall design. In its new colored form, Technitarche started to a much larger extent to satisfy the taste of the auditorium it is targeted at, namely the school students. Due to the improved technical parameters of the edition and the illustrated materials accompanying the articles, it is now much more readable and clear, which contributes to the understanding and clarity of the submitted information.
In the last year we continued to support knowledge dissemination through the joint program “The Way of Children and Young People to Science” with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria. The lectures of Bulgarian scientists to school students were met with interest. The attraction was provoked by the fact that everything went live and the students were enabled to put questions, raise disputes, express their opinions and attitude.
We also elaborated a special site in Facebook, which in certain periods was more often visited than our traditional site. The explanation is simple – young people spend a lot of time in the social webs and there the information finds them, even unsearched.
We continue successfully our presentation on the pages of Nauka Magazine, edition of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, through the “Tribune for Young People” section. There represented are not only young scientists and students, but also their publications resulting from their research work. For many of them these are their first steps in these activities and a good school for their future creative work.
Very useful is also the engagement of “Az buki” newspaper, published by the Ministry of Education and Science, with our traditional initiatives and contests of proven interest for pupils and teachers. They are our media partner upon the organization and conducting of the national competition “The Cosmos – Present and Future of Humankind”. They pay great attention to the contests for the Evrika Awards, providing a number of professional publications on all of them and mostly those connected with science. Not missing to retell for some individual representatives amongst the scholarship awardees.
Also fruitful is our cooperation with the publications of the two largest universities – the newspaper “New Technical Vanguard”, an edition of the Technical University in Sofia and the electronic newspaper of the University of Sofia. They both serve as peculiar bridges to thousands of students, post-graduate students and young lecturers who study and work in these institutions.
4. Participating in international educational, natural science, and technical programs and projects and in international youth science and technics collaborations
One of the goals in our activity is to encourage and support youth science and technics collaboration. In this sphere we have gathered experience and recognized partners in many countries, mainly in the European Union, but also outside it. The largest youth’s organization for science and technics is MILSET – the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology. 152 organizations from 78 countries are its members. Most of them are from Europe – 55 organizations from 28 countries. Evrika Foundation is the only Bulgarian organization in it. As such, we are entrusted to act as regional coordinator for the country, to be able where requested to support individual participation in the different events or the organizations willing to join the events. The big number of organizations in MILSET Europe predetermines also the many and various activities on a multiple or bilateral basis. A part of them are supported by EU structures and funds. The organization is associated in the structures of UNESCO, ECOSOC and the specialized committees and bodies of the EU. Thanks to this, in the last years the events have grown in scale. Regretfully we can’t afford to send participants to all events, as our financial capabilities do not allow it. For the time being we are focused on the participation in the international youth exhibitions, the international photo contest and the European Day of Science for Young People. Within the framework of the organization, we have connections with some members from the European countries.
For a next consecutive year we organized the participation of the winners for application projects in the scientific exhibition of MILSET in Brussels. The three winners from the “Talents’2015” Competition, which partook in the World Youth Scientific Exhibition ESI’2015, were Hristo Stoyanov from “P. Hilendarski” Sofia Mathematical School with his project “Encrypted secure cross-section of mirror worlds”, the students from “Acad. K. Popov” Exemplary Mathematical School, Plovdiv Petar Gaydarov and Viktor Dakov, respectively with their projects “Vector parking functions and inversions in wood” and “QRInfoSystem – a system for communication between teachers and pupils”.
In 2015 our three participants in ESI’2015 World Scientific Exhibition were distinguished by honorary diplomas in Brussels, Belgium, and the ten school students participants in the International Congress of Young Researchers in Zaragoza, Spain.
The most attended contribution of MILSET, organized during the last year, was the Eleventh European Day of Science for Young People, which took place on March 3rd, 2015. It was dedicated to the light as part of the International Year of Light, announced by UNESCO. According to the adopted rules, at one and the same day in many clubs and schools in the various European countries subject-related activities are performed, without any strict rules and limitations of contents, but unified by a common subject. After the celebration of the Day, an information massif is established on the European Day in the various countries, represented by photos and video clips. Moreover, in 2015 the celebration of the European Day of Science was attended not only by schools, but also by universities in the country, mostly with scientific sessions and conferences in the sphere of physics.
The other mass manifestation of MILSET in which we participate is the Ninth Contest for Scientific Photo “When Art Meets Science”, which by its nature is a synthesis of science and art. In 2015 again we had ranked and awarded participants and their photo creations. Marina Goranova won the bronze medal, competing with 1219 representatives from 41 countries.
We maintain our long-standing cooperation with the Institute of Youth Science and Research of Aragon, Zaragoza, Spain. In 2015 we managed to send a representative Bulgarian delegation there with the participation of the prize winners from the students’ conference of the secondary English language schools.
We would like to succeed in keeping the achievements and extend our activities in the sphere of international youth scientific & technical cooperation.
5. Some activities related to our non-profit objectives and the place and role of our organization in the development of cooperation with other organizations and institutions in our country
Over the last years Evrika Foundation has been carrying out policy of interaction with other organizations, to achieve more significant results in the realization of its non-profit objectives and goals. We rely on everybody – governmental institutions and their structures, representatives of companies and economic associations, business representatives, but most of all we have been striving to and perform unified actions with the non-governmental organizations. We have proven that when the good partners are met and the work goes well, the expected results are achievable for sure. So was during the reported year, and the report above reveals namely this approach. In progress is the fulfillment of many long-term bilateral contracts, on the basis of which projects on various activities are implemented – competitions, conferences, joint initiatives and events. In 2015 we were in active partnership with the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, the Union of Mathematicians in Bulgaria, the Union of Physicists in Bulgaria, the National Network for Children, etc.
We maintain good contacts and joint initiatives with other non-governmental organizations as well. Partaking in the activities of the Bulgarian Donation forum, being its members. We keep our useful partnership with the Bulgarian Network for Corporative Social Responsibility. Information was published on our part in the edited bulletins on some of the activities we organized. We try to attract for participation their members and partners, most of all in the Evrika Awards’ contests. Hoping their support will enable us to reach more representatives of the business circles.
We strive to maintain already established partnerships with associations and professional organizations and to look for new ones, when this is in favor of the young people. Our participation in the National Network for Children as their member in the recent years proved useful. Assessing as useful the implementation of good practices’ exchange with many of its members and the successful functioning of the Network.
We continue to maintain good relations with the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria. We rely on them as partners in the detection of outstanding young managers. We are grateful for the information we receive through them on an intermediary base.
The second group, with which our Foundation implements useful interaction, includes state institutions and organizations. There are traditional spheres in which we search and find support. The best example thereof is the interaction with the National Palace of Children, which is also the major methodological adviser of the extracurricular activities at school, and particularly the activities in science and technics. In our opinion, this is an excellent example for joint work of state structures and NGOs.
Expressing our respect and gratitude, we should also mention the Science Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science, which manifests good attitude to the joint efforts for participation of talented students in international events for science and technics, and for their support to inclusion in exhibitions, such as these of MILSET.
We also manage to perform jointly with the National Patent Office in support of innovations amongst youths. They support us, and not for the first time, in the organization of the national contest for young inventors. If the National Patent Office would wish to partake, we consider possible to develop a project on training of teachers from the professional gymnasiums on problems of the protection of intellectual property rights, so that the teachers would be able to introduce such knowledge in their training sessions in the applicable technical disciplines, as this is a place where the pupils have proven they can and create original solutions, which have to be protected after the order provided by law.
We are reporting hereby positive results from our interaction with the representatives of the business in support of our cases. We have been successfully implementing the five-year contract with “Huawey Technologies Bulgaria” EOOD on the annual provision of ten scholarships for students trained in Bulgarian higher schools after the specialties of telecommunication technics and technologies, computer technologies and informatics. We have realized the donor’s wish of “Programista” OOD from Plovdiv for supporting of specialized national schools and universities of science and technics.
The biggest donation for the year we received from “M+C Hydraulic”AD, Kazanlak, which we accept as recognition for our work. This binds us to pay even greater efforts in the identification and development of young talents amongst the pupils, students, young scientists and specialists, for whom their financial support was granted.
We would like also to inform hereby about our cooperation with the media and the other public information channels and their support for attaining the goals and tasks of the Foundation. For a long time we have managed to find in their face a true supporter of our work in the name of children and youths. To the greatest extent this is valid for the specialized editions dealing with science and technics and the sections of a similar content of the electronic media. To those, which we traditionally search for partners and were already mentioned in the present report, we should add others more, that appreciated our work and proposed us their professional support, to reveal in front of the public the manner in which we utilize granted funds. We express our gratitude to the Bulgarian National Radio, which did not miss almost every activity or contribution of ours. In the past year the Bulgarian National Television also did exceptionally professional and impressive reports on our events and the best youths and children partaking in the competitions. It worth noticing that the local and regional media are more often publishing materials for us. For this support and recognition we cordially express our gratitude to them.
As was already mentioned, closest to us remain the specialized editions such as “Az buki” newspaper, “Nauka” Magazine, etc.
The report of the Foundation for the year of 2015 is submitted hereby to the attention of everybody. It represents an overall document of facts, conclusions and assessments, which eventually may be enriched and supplemented. Nevertheless, the most important point is to succeed in drawing the right conclusions, and on their base to outline future strategies and plans. The achievements during the year provide us grounds to say “Evrika” every time when we identify successful young people, every time we grasp their talent and capabilities, and hold them a hand so that they may say their “Evrika! I have found I can, I have found I know, I know how to go further!” Then we shall have the grounds to be satisfied together with them and to say “It worth pay efforts and funds”. It worth follow that way, and even better. Every success of the Foundation has always been supported by many people, as it is a team and collective deal. Now it’s again time to evaluate the achievements, to adopt new real plans and tasks, which should be in conformity with the new time. Let us show that the society thinks and cares about the young people.