Report on the Performance of Evrika Foundation in Year 2017
In the past year, our work was organized by the established programs and priorities set by the Council of the Foundation. We were in tune with the outlined policies and programs in the country which were at the heart of the united action of state institutions, public attitudes and expectations for action in the direction of pursuits and anticipatory combined actions and our long experience and practice. We ensured the organization’s stability, kept its good name and standing and managed to choose the most appropriate solutions to fund management approaches, finding suitable partners to join our efforts.
The changing conditions, the new long-term and short-term goals, the new tasks and needs, the accumulated experience and the gained support enabled us to make possible the combination of high criteria and the pursuit of new forms of work and partnership with the effective use of the funds we have or had raised. We sought the opinions of different people – young people and youth leaders, experts and experienced professionals, we studied the experience and good practices of similar organizations in Bulgaria and abroad. As the founding principle we also upheld the principle of openness in decision-making, competitiveness as an opportunity to choose the best projects and ideas. In the implementation of many of the ideas and initiatives we attracted their authors, young people who had participated in previous years in the work of the organization and we strived to be as objective and fair as possible in the support of children, young people and their organizations.
- On getting scientific, technical and economic knowledge, skills and culture by the young generation, on supporting the education, qualification and requalification of young people with outstanding abilities in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and management.
All programs of the Foundation are committed to the preparation of children and young people in the new conditions and criteria of the information society. This is linked primarily to the Talents Program which was created and has been implemented over the years through initiatives and projects on stimulating creativity in knowledge acquisition. The goal of our program in all these years, including the last one, has been to create incentives and support the processes of knowledge acquisition. The scholarship program and some other forms of long-term initiatives among student have had the greatest impact.
We are proud to say that the part of the program connected with the award of scholarships enjoys interest and respect. The reasons for this are several – a lot of worthy candidates and an open and objective mechanism for selecting the ones deserving scholarships. The scholarships in the three main categories gather the best, including the medal winners from international Olympiads in Mathematics, Informatics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, the participants in the scholarships competitions for named scholarships of the Foundation who are not only excellent students but also researchers and participants in national and international projects, laureates of competitions, people who have achieved notable successes in creative activities in science and technology. The Foundation’s new named scholarship recipients and the winners of the Huawei ICT scholarship were selected following an open and public competition based on the principles of equality and transparency and in line with the Basic Rules of Evrika Foundation for Scholarships for Students and Undergraduates. During the campaign, we strive to attract the best and the most distinguished Bulgarian undergraduates to participate in scholarship competitions. We can say that in some universities we managed to create virtual representations with the active and gratuitous support of faculty lecturers and heads of faculty departments. We also appreciate positively the role of our former scholarship receivers who informed and encouraged their fellow undergraduate students to join and apply for scholarships of the Foundation. We should emphasize that the good contacts we maintain with a large part of our previous scholarships receivers and their selfless help in the interest of the Foundation are mainly due to the extremely strict and accurate fulfillment of all the duties that we assumed and performed towards them during the time they were our scholarship receivers and afterwards as well. We appreciate as very useful the administrative, methodical, financial and logistic activity that the foundation engaged in during the campaign. The organization and holding of the named scholarships were governed by the recommendations made by the members of the Council of the Foundation. The candidates are obligatory required to submit an essay on “My Future as a Specialist – Dreams, Plans and Reality” and this helped the juries in conducting the interviews. The viewpoints, conclusions and recommendations stated by the students themselves in their essays are used effectively in formulating opinions and reasonings for making the fairest decisions in the selection, especially in the cases of very strong candidates with similar achievements. The essays reveal undergraduates’ thinking about their own future but also their views on the realities of science and higher education, the views on how to make better use of the capacity of knowledgeable and capable young Bulgarians who decide to find their place in science and high-tech industries.
In accordance with the established program, we continue to award scholarships to medal winners from international Olympiads in Mathematics, Informatics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. In 2017, the tradition of national secondary school teams in Mathematics, Informatics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology to come back from international Olympiads with numerous medals and awards was maintained again. We continue to work together to implement our five-year contract to support undergraduates in the field of communications and information technology. In 2017, besides scholarships for 10 undergraduates, the company “Huawei Technology Bulgaria” EOOD provided again the opportunity for scholarship receivers to travel to China and participate in the “Telecom Seeds for the Future” program. They visited the plants of one of the world’s largest hardware companies based in China, and acquainted themselves on-site with how innovative ideas are put into practice in mass production.
The balance for the academic year 2017/2018 is: 55 scholarship receivers of whom 46 undergraduates and 9 students. Fourteen are the winners of named scholarships; ten winners of the Huawei ICT scholarship; 2 students and undergraduates winners of gold medals from international secondary school Olympiads; 9 students and undergraduates winners of silver medals from international secondary school Olympiads; 20 students and undergraduates winners of bronze medals from international secondary school Olympiads.
At a ceremony, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Maria Gabriel, handed the certificates to the 55 Foundation scholarship receivers. In her greeting, she stressed on that it was inspiring to see so many bright minds and talents in our present generation. They embody what today’s Europe needs: excellent skills, innovative ideas, and a true vision. The participants in the celebration were also greeted by Tanya Mihaylova – Deputy Minister of Education, who emphasized the importance of internal motivation to ensure success.
The Foundation’s scholarship program has a broad public support, especially in the university circles and among young people. It has to be assessed positively and opportunities has to be sought to increase its capacity by attracting donations from successful companies.
Another successful long-term project of the Talent Program is the High School Students Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (HSSI). It was created seventeen years ago by Evrika Foundation together with the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” International Foundation and the Union of Mathematicians in Bulgaria (UMB) as a long-term program of Bulgarian scholars for work with outstanding secondary schools students in mathematics and computer science. It has not only established itself on a national scale but has already been gaining momentum as such in an international environment, and representatives of other countries have already been included in its activities. In the framework of its annual program a student conference is held, a spring student section, an interview for the selection of two participants in the Research Science Institute (RSI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a summer research school, a workshop for students and a seminar for teachers of mathematics, informatics and information technologies. About 100 projects are developed annually in a number of cities in the country and in schools with experience and traditions.
We believe that the gained good experience should also penetrate other areas of knowledge. One such opportunity is to do this through the work of the High School Students Institute at the BAS, founded four years ago, and to which Evrika Foundation is a partner under the agreement between the BAS, the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria and Evrika Foundation. Together with the activities included in the BAS program for working with students, we could continue organizing visits of Bulgarian scientists from all areas of knowledge to schools. Scientists’ talks to students can be organized in order to acquaint them with the ultimate scientific achievements and, in particular, the achievements of Bulgarian scientists, to look for the emerging centers of ultimate achievements and to try and orientate more students to information technologies to which they have already formed interest. There are scientists who have expressed readiness to visit schools where science and technology clubs have been formed. It would be a good idea to make every possible effort for the preparation of our representatives at international secondary school Olympiads, competitions and conferences to be supported by scientists, to carry out practical experiments, and then, perhaps, the young people’s interest in embarking on their own path in science could increase. This activity would also be useful for teachers and their further qualification, the introduction of new creative methods in the educational processes and the introduction of new technologies in the study processes. Such approaches can also be applied to universities. There we should look for solutions supporting undergraduate sessions and Olympiads; conducting competitions for the best graduate project among graduating students in Bachelor and Master Degrees; organizing and conducting training courses on the protection of industrial property for undergraduates and young scientists with priority being given to places with no specialized departments in this field; arranging consultations on the protection of intellectual property; cooperating financially within the scope of our capacity to support individual science events in order to include in them undergraduates and doctoral students under favorable financial terms.
Thus we will also be able to open up possibilities for using the Talents Program to support individual projects of undergraduates and young scientists to participate in international scientific events or short-term specializations in Bulgaria and abroad. In recent years, funding for such projects has been relieved by international programs with much greater financial resources that fully bear the cost of implementing such projects, and this has greatly reduced our incoming projects. In the past year, we funded only two individual projects. It would be fair to include in this aspect of the program undergraduates, because in conducting the scholarship competitions we convinced ourselves that in their circles research is carried out and serious reports of scientific value are prepared. Their participation in scientific forums along with well-established and successful scientists will be a major stimulus in their work.
- On stimulation of youth scientific and technical research, inventive and innovative activity.
We are often asked, “How do you find these talented children and youngsters who are so successful and have bold creative decisions?” Our answer is short and open. We organize contests and competitions.
In the past year, we were working on two interesting and useful projects that shape children and students’ interests in new technologies in education and new productions. We managed to do this thanks to a donation we received. In 2017 a project to create and test ready-to-use educational resources in the Virtual Room of Mathematics was implemented with the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Fifty-three topics were developed intended for 61 classes with students from 8 to 12 grade. Some of the topics are intended for exercise, checking and self-testing. They use the games method of teaching and learning. Teachers from all over the country were selected and trained in pursuance of the clauses of the donation contract. We are glad that the developed topics were well received by both teachers and students. The motivation of teachers and students in math classes is tangibly enhanced by using resources from the Virtual Classroom. A higher level of understanding and acquisition of the learning content is achieved during self-study. Simultaneously this also improves the digital competence and the ability to use a variety of resources in the process of education. We were able to form groups of students who regularly use the Classroom and participate successfully in the “Mathematics with Computer” and “Topic of the Month” competitions with result-oriented work with the teachers, participating in the project.
The second project also started more than a year ago on the territory of the National Polytechnic Museum. The creation of a construction room started and children, with the help of Lego building bricks master the skills of construction building there and when they advance in their skills they make first attempts at their own projects based on the acquired new knowledge of machines and apparatuses of the future, of computer programs that allow the models to move around and perform the functions assigned to them by the children. The continuation of the project allowed not only to enrich the club’s base and to increase the reach of the interested children, but also to start work with the bigger ones who built on what they had learned in the first year. The implementation of this project has gradually grown into a significant educational program – “From Child Designer to Professions for New Technologies”. The participants have already started solving applied problems connected with robotics and automation and design their own creative projects. The program for this project is for primary and senior secondary school students placed in two separate groups depending on their age. We have achieved excellent results and we must try to transfer the results from it elsewhere because it has confirmed our expectations of combining, to a great extent, the interests and curiosity of children with the enormous task of creating an attitude to transform that new knowledge and skills into their future profession. It is very fortunate that all this is done with the participation of young people for whom this is a current profession and for others – a useful hobby. The venue also proved to be very useful because the children met with the past and the present of Bulgarian engineering and technology and often got ideas and gained knowledge from the museum exhibits.
So far, the most effective and useful forms of attracting adolescents to science and technology are competitions. We claim this to be so based on the review of our activities over the past few years. We held many different competitions because we wanted to find a way of expression for many interests and needs. Among them, the competition “Space – The Present and the Future of Humanity” is still the most numerous. The last year marked its ХIX edition. It was again under the patronage of the first Bulgarian cosmonaut, General Georgi Ivanov, Vice Chairman of the Foundation. It continues to attract and provide means of expression to many students – researchers, programmers, experimenters, modelists, poets and artists. Their age is also quite varied – from children in kindergartens to students graduating successfully from secondary school, from schools from small villages to those in the elite schools of the big city. We are convinced that this competition continues to exist successful, mainly because of the great interest of the children. Each project is evaluated on its merits and the best ones receive awards. Scientists from the Institute of Space Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are our consultants and project evaluators. In 2017 1276 students from 8 to 18 years of age participated in the competition with 1244 projects in five thematic areas – 12 students with a very serious preparation and in-depth knowledge in “Ideas for Scientific and Technical Experiments”; 45 models and scale models were presented by 95 participants in “Models and scale models of space objects”; there were 264 participants in graphic artwork created with the help of computer games, drawings and collages; 92 young authors with 117 works in the literary works section and 813 students from 98 schools and other out-of-school units in the drawings section.
Last year Evrika Foundation together with the Mechanical and Technological Faculty of the Technical University of Sofia co-organized and conducted the third edition of “My 3D World” student competition. Its primary goal is to promote the digital technologies in which the young generation has the say and which is at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution where one of the main components is the 3D technology in all its dimensions – from virtual animation design to 3D printing. The prizes of the laureates from this competition were presented at a special ceremony by Tsveta Karayancheva – Speaker of the National Assembly.
Our past experience has shown that there are great potential opportunities for creating interests and professional orientation of children and students in study activities and creativity in the areas of natural sciences and new technologies. This has been demonstrated many times, especially through events which also have international stages. That is why our membership in the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology (MILSET) is also very helpful. More and more competitions and events take place in this international organization, and the nature of its work allows it to maintain many bilateral and multilateral contacts with similar organizations from Europe and the world. We continue to organize the participation of Bulgarian clubs and entire schools in the European Science Day for Youth. During the last year we organized again another participation of Bulgarian representatives in a large-scale event of MILLSET, such as the Eleventh Science Photo Contest entitled “When Art Meets Science”. Another such competition, which has successive international stages, is the “Young Talents” competition of the Ministry of Education and Science, where we had a successful partnership in conducting the competition. For yet another year, Evrika Foundation organized the participation of the prize-winners for projects of applied nature at the Expo-Sciences International ESI’2017, held from 7 to 12 August in Fortaleza, Brazil.
For many years we have organized with the National Palace of Children the biggest number of national joint events for students. They are extremely diverse in terms of themes and forms of participation. The areas are broad – from ecology and modelism, to challenges in competitions in science, engineering and technology of applied and technical nature. We held national science, engineering and technology competitions with pupils from grades 5 through 8 at the seaside. More than 100 students participated in them. In the National Competitions in Science, Engineering and Technologies for students from 9 to 12 grade, 58 participants from the whole country were admitted to public defense after preliminary selection. They demonstrated knowledge, skills and competences in the area of software development, electronic devices, appliances and means of communication, original solutions in the fields of ecology, chemistry, biology, agriculture, food industry, energy efficiency, physics and astronomy. A successful addition to the competitions was the Exhibition with Demonstrations of Secondary School Students’ Creativity and the extracurricular forms in all their diversity. We achieved success for another year in a row in the national round of aircraft modelism and rocket modelism and the national student competitions in car modelism and ship modeling. One hundred and four children and students participated in them. These joint activities of the foundation and the National Palace of Children and the modeling sports federations help to enhance children’s interest in activities and classes which encourage technical thinking, develop competencies in the field of construction, and the persistent drive to demonstrate skills and abilities in a noble race.
One of the areas that attracts students’ attention is ecology. A number of initiatives and competitions such as the National Students’ Competition “Nature – Our Home” and the “Srebarna” Ecological Forum confirm this. In 2017, the competition involved 140 students from the Centers for Support of Personal Development and many schools in the country. In the period 1990-2017 more than 5,500 students, young environmentalists and supervisors took part in the Students Ecological Forum. Some of them have been formed and developed as future specialists in the various extracurricular activities and received recognition during the forum for what they achieved. We meet some of them in other scientific events for young scientists in the areas of biodiversity and environmental protection. During the period in consideration, more than 600 participants from 23 districts of the country were presented at the “Srebarna 2017” Environmental Forum, and 70 students with 27 projects competed in the National Competition in Student Ecological Projects.
Another example of productive and fruitful collaboration is that with “Vale” Computer School from Haskovo. In the last year we held the 8th “Creativity without Borders” International Competition in Computer Drawing and Collage. During the past four years, it was held under the auspices of the Bulgarian Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel. Seven hundred eighty-six drawings, 512 collages and 238 works from abroad featured in the 8th edition of the competition. Among them were young artists from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Russia, the Czech Republic and Spain. In 2017, the family of “Creativity without Borders” competition expanded with representatives of three more countries – Romania, Indonesia and Montenegro. During the final stage of the competition and the awards ceremony there was a big exhibition and the best-performing children visited the European Parliament in Brussels at the invitation of the Bulgarian MEPs.
In 2017 we continued to be co-organizers with the United Children’s Complex in Kyustendil and the Bulgarian Federation of Auto model Sports of yet another event for students-modelists – “Creative challenge ICarus – 2017” Student Competition in Non-standard Aircraft. More than 40 participants from Southwestern Bulgaria participated in the competition, demonstrating attractive aircraft of all kinds designed by them. The designed airplanes, rockets and other aircraft were interesting to grown-ups and children alike. There was a drones’ race for second year in a row.
We present a series of successful activities – competitions and contest. The secret to this success lies in the policy of partnership with institutions and organizations which have the potential, experience and expertise in the areas in which we work.
In the area of physics, a student scientific session on physics was held together with the Union of Physicists in Bulgaria. In the past year, it was on “Physics – the Basis of Knowledge” and was designed to draw the interest of young people to natural sciences. It was attended by 42 students and undergraduates with 34 projects.
Another initiative for students of language schools in Sofia, which we set up, has already had an established name and reputation. This is the inter-school scientific and technical conference for students from the language schools in Sofia. In 2017 we held the Fourth Inter-school Scientific and Technical Conference with reports and projects by 25 pupils from 8 to 12 grade. A special jury selected 4 students who were granted the right to defend their work at the congress in Zaragoza, Spain. The feedback from the implementation of this project is excellent, especially among school circles and the administration of the language schools in Sofia.
At the end of the last year, we launched another project with the National Palace of Children (NPC) aimed at improving education in biology, ecology and environmental protection, and the preparation of extracurricular supervisors in the NPC, and the creation of “green classrooms”. Our goal is to improve the quality of education and to make better the study process, the learning situations in “The Natural World”, the open lessons and the practical activities. Observations, a survey and research on the state of the environment, biodiversity and natural sights will be carried out during the project. The project aims to increase the participation of children and students in activities directed at enriching their theoretical knowledge and developing their practical skills in the field of ecology, biology, environmental protection and their application in the solving of specific practical tasks by illustrating the study process and improving the material and technical facilities. In the implementation of this project we have set ourselves an ambitious goal of reaching approximately 2,000 children and students from: the “Ecology, Biology and Nature Conservation” clubs; “Little friends of nature”; the children from the “I Know and Can” learning and play center; children from “Lyuboznaiko” school; children and students from the organizational pedagogical forms in NPC; students from the schools in Sofia and in holiday programs.
With the work done in 2017, we can declare with full responsibility that there is already a lasting positive change. We expand our collaboration with different faculties and universities. We held a Youth Scientific Conference “Machines, Innovations, Technologies” with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the TU – Sofia. The scientific event was attended by 43 authors, 24 young scientists, doctoral students and undergraduates who presented 29 reports.
We implemented similar joint initiatives with other universities. We continue our very successful cooperation with Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen and Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. We continued to work well with the Faculty of Physics and Engineering Technologies of Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. For another year in a row, we held the sixth edition of the National Student Scientific Conference on Physics and Engineering Technologies together with the Student Council and the faculty administration. Future specialists and current researchers presented their projects and results. “Evrika” student competition for a scientific project and a scale model and “Science in the world around us” contest for paintings and collages were held during the conference at Plovdiv University. Once again, presentations and exhibitions of products of companies working in the country in the field of physics and engineering technologies from Bulgaria and abroad were organized. They also presented the possible future professional realizations of young engineers and physicists.
For yet another year, we were among the co-organizers of the National Undergraduates Olympiad in Mathematics. In 2017, over 150 undergraduates from all higher schools in Bulgaria participated in the event divided into three groups, depending on the specialized nature of their universities and faculties: mathematical; technical and technological; economic.
We have not neglected other areas of science and technology either. In June 2017, in Plovdiv, we partnered with the National Society of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Protection in conducting a youth scientific session during the 5th International Conference on Ecological Engineering and Environmental Protection – EEEP’2017. A total of 78 scientific papers and posters, 29 of which by young researchers, doctoral students, graduates and assistant professors from 11 scientific institutions were presented. Particularly interesting interpretations were presented by young scientists in the field of ecological biotechnology, space technologies for monitoring and protection of the environment, the man and the biosphere.
Together with the Institute of Organic Chemistry with a Center for Phytochemistry at BAS, we got another very useful cooperation in the interest of young scientists and we held the First International Conference on Bio-antioxidants “Natural Bio-antioxidants – as a base for new synthetic drugs and food supplements”. A total of 30 young scientists from different countries participated in the Youth School of Bio-antioxidants.
Many initiatives and projects addressing young people were also organized with other organizations. We continue to work with the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria. Traditionally, we are among the co-organizers of the Eighth Exposition of Inventions, Technologies and Innovations – ITI’2017, where scientists, entrepreneurs, innovation brokers, inventors, recruiters, manufacturers, undergraduates, students and patent specialists owing their success to activities based on creativity and creative approaches and solutions meet.
In the past 2017, we conducted the second Young Technical Creative Exposition with international participation this time. From October 12th to October 14th, 2017, nearly 300 young creators from Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania joined the second edition of the exposition of youth technical creativity in Gorna Oryahovitsa. Fifty-eight teams from vocational secondary schools, technical universities and the institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences participated in this unique scientific festival. They presented their inventions and products on an exhibition area of 920 sq.m.
One of the highlights of the Foundation’s activities were and still are the traditional competitions for the Evrika awards for achievements in Science, for a young manager, inventor and farmer. They have been held for many years – for the twenty-eighth time for a manager, twenty-seventh for inventor and farmer, and for the twenty-second consecutive year for achievements in science. They are publicly acknowledged and duly appreciated by governmental and public organizations and institutions. The competitions are recognizable in society and have gained popularity owing to the worthy young people who were awarded this prize over the years.
Part of our motivation to continue to look for and discover young capable and established Bulgarians is to present them and make public their achievements. We do it because we would like them to become a model for those following in their steps. We strive to keep track of their development and, if possible, to show it.
Our activity in providing advice on the protection of intellectual property, on certain legal issues of the organization and functioning of companies and non-governmental organizations in order to make even more effective the use of the new technique and computer technologies proved to be very useful to the young specialists, scientists and researchers. These are our consulting rooms which work successfully, especially the one dealing with the protection and defense of intellectual and industrial property. This room provided more than 150 free consultations for the protection of intellectual property during the last year alone.
Under a mutual agreement we continue to preserve our perimeter in the information platforms on the Internet of the organizations in which we are members and of our partner organizations. We have lasting and fruitful relationships with the media through which we make young talents and their achievements popular.
A good example of fruitful cooperation in the name of children and young people who are able to demonstrate their abilities in science and technology is our initiative with a team of the Bulgarian National Radio. Since last year, there has been a new specialized section called “Evrika! Successful Bulgarians” in “Efir Znanie” radio program. Twice a month we present young scientists and specialists, teachers, farmers, undergraduates and students who have been discovered through our activities. We tell about their projects and work, how they are realizing and developing around the world and in Bulgaria and what their successes are due to. We try to have representatives from different age groups and areas of knowledge, making them an example in society, and further motivate pupils and students to accumulate knowledge and develop their creative thinking and ingenuity.
- On supporting the distribution of natural science, technological and economic knowledge and information
The program “Information, publications, events”, created some years ago, aims to promote knowledge in the fields of natural, technical and economic sciences. Through it we support projects and initiatives related to this. Children are the most common subject of such promotion. In this area, too the main activity has transferred to the Internet and this is completely understandable. This is the place and we will predominantly do this in the future through it.
When we talk about the popularization of science and technology among children, we should not neglect the impact of what they hear, see and touch with their own hands. This is done with the help of one long-time partner, such as the National Polytechnic Museum. Educational programs have increased, demonstrations have diversified, and this attracts more children.
Everyone comes there with interest and leave with the conviction that they have to come back again because there is plenty to see and learn. Together with the museum we have been publishing the newspaper “Technitarche” for twenty-three years now. So far, this newspaper has continued to be the only Bulgarian museum publication which promotes among children and their parents the history of achievements in science, engineering and technology. Children and adolescents for whom the world of science, technology and knowledge reveals constantly the secrets of the surrounding world and shows them the latest achievements of the human intellect are its most eager and enthusiastic readers.
Together with the “Science” magazine, through its long-running section “Forum of the Young”, we present young scientists along with researchers. In 2017 the “Science” magazine published: 6 scientific publications of young scientists, undergraduates and doctoral students who were prominent in the activities of the Foundation; 8 press-releases about youth scientific conferences, competitions and projects with the participation of the Foundation; 3 essays from the named scholarship competition and one essay from the competition of “Evrika” Foundation and the Union of Physicists in Bulgaria dedicated to the Year of Newton; 12 other articles of students, undergraduates, teachers, lecturers and scientific advisers who participated in the competitions organized by us.
- Participation in international educational, natural science and technical programs and projects and international youth scientific and technical cooperation
ne of our goals is to support and develop youth international science and technology cooperation.
Over the past year, we yet again continued our efforts to maintain our cooperation mainly in the circle of international MILLSET organization whose members we have been for more than 25 years. The membership in the organization allows us to have direct contacts with related organizations in 77 countries.
During the year in consideration, we organized the participation of award-winning student projects from Bulgaria, selected in the “Young Talents” competition. They have an applied character and provide the best environment for presentation at the international exposition. Last year, in accordance with the periodic occurrence of events, Expo-Science International ESI’2017 was held in Fortaleza, Brazil. The authors of the students’ top-ranking projects, which a jury of scholars selected, went there. Six hundred sixty-eight representatives from 33 countries from all continents participated in this prestigious international event. The Bulgarian participants presented themselves admirably and received well-deserved recognition by a lot of delegations.
Our cooperation with the Institute for Science and Youth Research from Aragon continues. In 2017 we sent Bulgarian representatives who participated in the XXVI International Congress of Young Researchers in Zaragoza, Spain. In the opinion of the organizers, the performance of Bulgarian participants over the last fourteen years has always been distinguished by excellent project quality, serious preparation of the projects defense and this has contributed to the reputation and prestige of the scientific event itself.
- On some activities related to our non-profit goals and the cooperation with other organizations and institutions in our country
In 2017, we were partners with many related non-governmental organizations, institutions, and media, with whom we were together in finding, supporting and developing the talents and abilities of children and young people. We could also describe our interaction with governmental institutions and organizations as good. With some of them, we have longstanding relations and good results. There are similar interactions with some representatives of the business. We continue to implement the five-year contract with Huawei Technology Bulgaria EOOD. Traditionally good relations with our biggest donor for the past years – M+S Hydraulics AD, Kazanlak, continue. We continue to implement many educational initiatives and projects with their help. We have to add Velev Invest OOD to the donors with significant contribution which too support the Foundation’s overall activity and two specific projects in the last year. We should continue our contacts with universities and do the necessary to attract students to the machine-building professions, including to work in these companies.
We have successful cooperation with other institutions and non-governmental organizations including the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, the Union of Mathematicians in Bulgaria, the Union of Physicists in Bulgaria, the Federation of Scientific Engineering Unions and some of its member associations in various subject areas, the National Network for Children, etc. We will not end the search for opportunities to work with the governmental institutions and, first of all, with the Ministry of Education and Science and its units, the Bulgarian Academy of Science and other scientific institutes. We believe that they are also the natural allies for implementing the idea of expanding the network of clubs in schools, which in the face of scientists will have good consultants and supervisors. It could be possible to create together a methodological center of sorts in support of club leaders and creative units in the fields of science and technology and thus achieve the possible enhancement of the quality of work in them and their transformation into attractive centers for children and young people’s creativity. Among the successful partnerships we have to add that of the Federation of Scientific Engineering Unions and the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria.
The other group of non-governmental organizations with which we have common causes and activities are the communities of NGOs themselves. We should note here the Bulgarian Donation Forum (BDF), the National Network for Children and the Bulgarian Corporate Social Responsibility Network, the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and others. In the past year, we became part of “Sofia – a city of knowledge” Cluster, which is a voluntary association of leading scientific, research and development, and training organizations and companies from Sofia interested in joint activities and long-term cooperation in the knowledge-based economy predominantly in Informatics, ICT, creative and recreational industries.
The report on the work and results of Evrika Foundation in 2017 is a reflection and vision for further development. On the basis of specific numbers and facts, we can assume that the organization’s development is stable and provides opportunities for accomplishment of our mission. The organization has sustainability and public recognition of what has been achieved. What needs to be done is to respond further to the new needs and realities which the qualitative changes in the development of society, the need to support the useful initiatives and the authors and organizers of such initiatives require and thus to defend our position that a nation’s prosperity and its future are related to education, the quality of preparation and bold innovative solutions.