Report on the Activity of Evrika Foundation in the Year of 2018
REPORT ON THE ACTIVITY OF EVRIKA FOUNDATION IN THE YEAR OF 2018
The present Report covers the one-year period of the calendar year of 2018. It provides an idea of the performed activities, the achieved results and certain viewpoints for changes in the next periods. The Report is elaborated on the basis of documents from the implemented projects and developments, pertaining to strategies and ideas of experts on the future development of the processes in education, science and technologies. Its concepts are drawn from participation in events and discussions with other organizations, and based on the opinions expressed by stakeholders in the activities organized by the Foundation – young people and specialists in individual spheres. We have also searched for our place upon the multilateral interactions with the organizations and institutions, to succeed being useful by our action and decisions, drawing our own line and bringing our own contribution in this responsible work. Side by side, we strived to maintain the prestige of the organization, manage the resources and activities in a way as to achieve development, without compromising the good traditions, principles and approaches, affirmed in the past for almost thirty years since our establishment as Foundation. We have done our best to follow our mission, upon taking in consideration the new conditions and the needs of children and youths. We have solved the tasks and problems in a collective and open way, have asked experts and organizations for rendering their support to ideas and policies, at the same time continuing to be objective and open and following the principle of gaining allies, but keeping our own territories and affirmed approaches and methods. We were successful, as not alone, feeling support and recognition. The facts and figures, contained in the present Report, provide evidence thereof. Our activities were financially provided by managing of our own assets and through the obtained donations from firms and organizations for certain individual activities and projects.
For the implementation of the non-profit purposes of the Foundation
During the year of 2018 the foundations were laid of some serious changes in education, aimed at achieving greater conformity between needs and possibilities upon training of staff in certain fields of priority, and introduction of changes in tune with the new age and imposing of ITs in all spheres of the public life, and very often – in the personal existence and development of personality. We have witnessed and partaken in transformation processes, to a great extent being revolutionary, and developing at a very fast pace. During the year we had the chance to see the way some traditional methods of teaching, organizing of activities and events replaced. We do take into consideration the quick change in the requests of time in respect of the key competencies of students from the secondary and academic education, of the specialists and executive staff in economy. We are well aware for the necessity of accelerating the speed when establishing conditions for the acquisition of digital skills of children and pupils from their very early age. This changes the processes of teaching a lot, but also necessitates new search and satisfying the needs for different contents of studies, approaches and techniques permitting full-value use of digital means and technologies. The creative component would be continuously extending in the preparation of experts from a new type, and there we should look for even more large-scale and purpose-oriented presence of ours.
For the acquisition of natural sciences’, technical and economic knowledge, skills and culture by the young generation, supporting of training and qualification of young people with proven capabilities in the sphere of natural sciences, technics and management
A substantial part of our activity in the preparation of children and youths in conformity with the new requirements of the time falls within the scope of the “Talents” Program. Though it we have been implementing initiatives and projects to stimulate creativity upon the acquisition of new knowledge, following new methods and applying contemporary technical means, and mostly by the usage of computer equipment. To that end we have been in a constant search and application of incentives to motivate the secondary school and academic students therefore. The approaches are different and are selected according to the needs and the possibility to exercise influence over a specific group, according to its interests and needs, and in tune with the specific peculiarities of the age. Amongst them most influential is still the presence of the scholarship program. We have been sharing the greatest portion of our budget for it. This is an activity, typical for Foundations, and we already dispose of affirmed traditions and proven mechanisms for selection of scholarship students. Engaged in support of the Foundation are some of the best scholars and specialists, people with big expertise and having proven their principles upon working with young people, their objectiveness of appraisal and transparency upon assessing the best achievements in a real competitive environment. The students, awarded with scholarships by name on the part of the Foundation, were selected after carrying out of an open and public completion procedure. Thereupon we were glad to follow the principles of equal standing and transparency. The high requirements we have posed as a condition for participation in the completion for the scholarships awarded by name, raise their prestige, and there are no accidental awards there. During the past school year all scholarships were of an increased amount.
Our scholarship students are also the winners of medals from international Olympiads in mathematics, informatics, physics, biology and chemistry. In the past year the Bulgarian secondary school students partook with dignity in these events, and won new medals. From the different Olympiads our teams won: in the Olympiad of mathematics – one golden, three silver and one bronze medal. Four medals – one golden and three bronze ones were won by the Bulgarian students at the 30th International Olympiad in informatics. Till this year, the Bulgarian participants in the international Olympiads in informatics have brought for our country totally 104 medals – 26 golden, 41 silver and 37 bronze ones. In 2018 the Bulgarian national team in informatics won 4 golden, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. At the 49th International Olympiad in physics the scholarship students of the Foundation obtained 2 silver and 1 bronze medals. For the first time in the history of the Olympiads all four Bulgarian competitors came back as medal winners – 1 silver and 3 bronze medal. The chemists also represented themselves honorably. At the 50th jubilee edition of the International Olympiad in chemistry the Bulgarian representatives got 1 golden, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
The final countdown for the school year of 2018/2019 is: 46 scholarship students, of whom 33 academic students and 13 secondary school students. Fourteen students are holders of scholarships by name; 3 secondary school students and academic students, winners of golden medals from international secondary school Olympiads; 8 academic students and secondary school students – winners of silver medals from international secondary school Olympiads; 21 academic and secondary school students – winners of bronze medals from international secondary school Olympiads. In the beginning of 2019 at an official ceremony in the National Polytechnic Museum, the Euro commissioner in digital economy and society Mrs. Maria Gabriel for second consecutive year handed over the certificates to the 46 scholarship students of the Foundation. In its greeting speech Maria Gabriel emphasized on the inspiration brought by the sight of so many young talents, for whom science is a way of living. These are ambassadors of Bulgaria, having their strong voice, proving that love for knowledge, discipline and urgency are the qualities providing the best results. The participants in the celebration were greeted also by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova – Deputy Minister of Education and Science. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova emphasized on the constant efforts requested when working with young people and the vast need for young teachers, and the best ones, to trace the way of the next generations. She offered partnership between the Ministry of Education and Science and “Evrika” Foundation in support of the teachers – innovators.
A long-term and large-scale project, implemented on our part during the year through the “Talents” Program, was the Student’s Institute in Mathematics and Informatics. We have established it as a long-term program for Bulgarian scholars to work with prominent secondary school students in mathematics and informatics. Within the framework of its annual program, organized were students’ conference, spring students’ session, selection of participants in the Research Scientific Institute (RSI) at the Massachusetts Technological Institute, summer research school, students’ workshop, and workshop for teachers in mathematics, informatics and information technologies. Over 120 projects are being developed on an annual basis by about 150 students from 30 cities in the country. For a third consecutive year the school was attended by foreign participants as well.
The experience gained from this form of work to discover and recognize talented students is already transferred to other fields of knowledge. Such possibility was provided by the Students’ Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), opened five years ago, where, besides the traditional competitions and public defenses of projects, the small-scale training & research communities have already started work. They had become a gravity center for students and teachers, as a place suitable for direct contacts with scholars and work in a real research environment at the institutes. We were attracted in the work of the Students’ Institute of the BAS as partners.
A great possibility for work, aimed at discovering and development of talents in school, is provided by the clubs of interests. In practice, all of them deal mainly with increasing of knowledge on the studied subjects; they are mentored by the teachers working in the particular school, the performed activities are practically carried out only at the level of their own school. Some years ago we had initiated and established clubs (11 clubs, at schools of different types) within the frames of implementing the project “Science and technology clubs for secondary school students”. Nowadays they are still existing and working successfully. To a great extent this is due to the fact we had carried out training of an appropriate contents for their scientific mentors and chairmen – students. We taught them the way they should organize themselves, elaborate projects, recruit funds for their activity, work in a team, etc., requested to cope by themselves. This had proved a rather productive approach, and makes us think that training of managerial staff is exceptionally importance. That’s why we consider appropriate now to develop a new project, to be proposed for financing on our part, thus going to the realization of our goal.
On the second part, we consider appropriate, together with the Ministry of Education and Science, to put the beginning of building a network of the clubs. Thus we shall enable the transition to a next stage, where the clubs will compete in between, carry out events at different levels, and establish connections with clubs of the same or a similar subject. We do have such an experience with the clubs we have already established. Common collectives were formed from them, which have worked quite well, also thanks to the fact the managers have been appropriately trained and have applied well accepted and proven approaches. Upon such conditions many the clubs have chosen to perform certain project activities outside the frames of the studied subjects. The clubs were successfully performing also on projects in the spheres of ecology and astronomy, where different knowledge and activities were integrated. We have to look for such an approach also in the professional gymnasiums, and especially in the ones carrying dual training and education. This allows them to dispose of their own network. Competitions are held in such clubs, activities are implemented for acknowledging with new technologies and achievements in the relevant professional sphere. Thus, we have to review the contents and forms of the competitions from the competition complexes we realize together with the National Palace of Children, and introduce new elements in conformity with the new time. Such an idea will work well, if supported by the business, for which future staff members are being prepared, possessing new professional skills and knowledge.
The possibility for partaking in international initiatives could be stimulating for the students. Such is the European Science Day for Youth. Its 14th edition was held during the reported year under the heading of “Energy”. As coordinator of MILSET for Bulgaria, we did our best to celebrate this date by performing diverse school initiatives.
Also in support of the initiatives, related with the new contents in the professional training and the large-scale introduction of ITs, it would be appropriate to search assistance for the professional training and qualification of teachers. The realization of the new goals and tasks amongst students will depend on such to a great extent. This directs us to undertaking of more energetic steps in the universities. At the University of Plovdiv, we should search for possibility for special training of future teachers, in relation with the performance of out-of-class activities, to lay the foundations of a larger number of innovative programs. Again in the universities, we shall try to organize, with the Federation of the scientific engineering unions, competitions for diploma projects, and provide special prizes for the one revealing the most significant innovative potential. Again there, by the appropriate means and organization, we could look for possibilities to organize courses and consultations on the protection of industrial property rights. And this will be made with priority where there are no specialized staff in this sphere; to engage our office on the protection of intellectual property rights and to provide financial assistance, as far as possible, to support some individual events in this field, in which students and young scholars may partake as well, as such knowledge would be useful also for their future work.
For stimulation of youths’ scientific and technical research, invention and other innovation activities
The necessity to discover possibilities to stimulate creativity in technics and technologies becomes even more observable. This does not mean giving up of competitions that have been traditionally organized on our part; the idea is we should search for new approaches and territories. We know this should be realized jointly with other organizations and institutions.
Almost three years ago a project of interest was commenced by us at the National Polytechnic Museum. Its objects are target groups, including children from the elementary school. They were provoked to build structures by playing with appropriate construction games. Some elementary school pupils get acquainted with basic professions related with automation of processes. This turns to a well-understood necessity to gain knowledge and skills, through the development of club activities and team work. By playing, children make their first steps in programming; their achievements turn into a celebration, when their first works start moving. Quite beneficial is their tutoring by young people who manage to provoke interest, and are willing to continue in the chosen direction. For the children from the elderly group, we search possibilities for upgrading knowledge and transition to creative tasks in conformity with the peculiarities of their age. It worth kindling the idea in some of the scholarship students of the Foundation from the engineering specialties. Together with Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”, we have already put the beginning of joint activities, aimed at the implementation of a common project; it envisages the organization and holding of a National Competition in “Physics – Engineering – Technologies”. The idea of the project is a natural continuation of the already successful and nowadays international scientific conference for academic and doctorate students in physics and engineering technologies, which we have already been holding for 7 years. The national completion has the ambition to turn into an annual event for secondary school students from the entire country in the daily, non-formal or individual form of studies. We do expect positive results thereof, and this will stimulate talents in some inter-disciplinary fields (science, technologies, engineering and mathematics) and support the acceptance of innovative approaches, forming the basis of the technologies of the future.
As pertains to the activities fostering creativity amongst the secondary school and academic students, we manage to maintain the good traditions, by holding many and various competitions, and always adding something new. The competition of the largest scale is still “The Space – Presence and Future of Mankind”. Its XX edition was realized during the past year. Many schools already go ahead of the event and prepare new projects. Of special symbolic importance for them is the patronage of the first Bulgarian spaceman colonel Georgi Ivanov – Deputy-Chairman of the Foundation. We have established this completion years ago after an idea of Acad. Dimitar Mishev. We have diversified our spheres and means of expression, revealing different capabilities and creative inclinations of children and students – researchers, programmers, experimenters, modelists, poets and painters. We are also supported by the scholars working in this sphere, our honored partner – the National Palace of Children. Children get oriented to the competition by their teachers, but also by the histories told by the awarded participants, who are praised by the first Bulgarian spaceman, and by his personal story about his flight amongst the stars. Of importance is also the objective evaluation of the projects, which we perform with the assistance of scientists from the Institute of Cosmic Studies and Technologies with the BAS, they are also our consultants. In the year of 2018 the competition was attended by 1295 students at the age between 8 and 18, with 1286 projects in 5 subject areas. A good and motivating decision was that of praising the heads of the projects. Publicity of achieved results is also a matter of special importance. At the website of the Foundation we publish not only the names of the praised participants, but also a selection of their creative works, in recognition and honor of the authors. The “Science” magazine presents the best projects, offering ideas for space experiments. An exhibition proposes an arrangement of models and drawings.
In the past year Evrika Foundation was co-organizer of the competition “My 3D world” for secondary school students, organized by the Machine Technology Faculty with the Technical University. The secondary school and academic students presented their own developments of model structures, facilities or products, elaborated by software packages of their preference. The implementation of the project provided one more possibility to increase knowledge and skills of students in creating three-dimensional models of technical objects. Thus, they could be influenced when choosing of specialties at the University that train personnel for the sphere of production.
The above competitions are an example of our strive to engage the attention of students for the development of projects in contemporary spheres of technological knowledge, and their orientation to professions related with them. Even more impressive are the competitions giving them the floor to compete with their coevals in other countries. We take advantage of the possibilities for organized participation of the leaders from the national competitions in events and competitions of the International movement for science and techniques in the free time (MILSET). It provides chances for participation of Bulgarian students at multi-stage competitions. Such events are well accepted by the students.
For one more consecutive year Evrika Foundation organized the participation of the praised application projects from the “Young talents” competition in the European youths’ scientific exhibition ESE’2018, which was held in July in the city of Gdynia, Poland. Three projects were represented on the subjects of: „Hovercraft RC“ – a combination of hardware and application software, delivering a small-scale model of a real hovercraft able to roam hardly accessible terrains, “Combinatory game with dominos on rectangular boards” and “Blumberg” – a PC and smart application.
Children and pupils have always craved in their hearts the strive for flying. Some of our undertakings, besides those included in the competition dedicated to space, establish conditions therefore. The national circle of the competition on aviation modelism and rocket modelism, held in May, 2018 in the town of Lovech was attended by more than 110 children and pupils from the joint children’s complexes. The national pupils’ competitions on automobile modelism and ship modelism were carried out in the town of Pazardzhik. They were attended by more than 90 children and pupils from specialized clubs. Successful was also the pupils’ competition for non-standard flying apparatus “Creative challenge IKAR – 2018”. More than 30 participants competed thereat. They demonstrated attractive flying machines of all types, created by them. The models were assessed according to the originality of ideas, original and precise structural solutions, design and flying features.
The undertakings in the sphere of ecology still provoke strong interest. A proof thereof are the multiple initiatives and competitions, as is the national pupils’ competition “The Nature – our home” and the Eco forum “Srebarna”. In the year of 2018, 120 pupils attended the secondary school students’ competition. The International pupils’ ecology forum “Srebarna” is the second one in scale, held at the World Day on the protection of environment. The 27 competitions, carried out up to now in the period 1990 – 2018, were attended by more than 5 800 pupils, young protectors of nature, and scientific heads of projects. In the reported period, again more than 400 participants from 14 districts of the country attended the Eco forum “Srebarna”, and the National competition for pupils’ projects in ecology and protection of environment attracted 47 pupils with 15 projects.
Speaking about forwarding of new technologies in the diverse forms of school teaching, we should not miss mentioning the way they affect the new forms to combine technologies, creativity and art. Such good example is the large-scale international competition “Creativity of no limits”, organized on our part together with “Vale” PC school from the town of Haskovo. During the last 5 years the competition was held under the patronage of the Euro commissioner on the matters of digital economy Mrs. Maria Gabriel. The last session of the competition exhibited 788 drawings, 523 collages and 345 works of art from abroad. Amongst them were the works of young artists from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Russia, Montenegro, Shri Lanka and Spain.
The series of successful undertakings keeps a special place for the events, organized together with the Bulgaria Union of Physicists. For many years we have been jointly presenting a youths’ scientific session. During the past year it was dedicated to the subject: “ME AND PHYSICS”. It was a step, intended to stimulate the interest in natural sciences, and particularly in physics. The event was attended by 55 pupils with 27 projects from 22 schools. The academic students were represented in an individual section. Successful illustrations of physical laws and phenomena were exhibited, elaborated by computer animation. A pupils’ team from Kjustendil demonstrated scientific experiments for children on the subject of “Appropriate and qualitative foods” as part of their project. The project had partaken in the International festival “Science at the stage” in the city of Debrecen, Hungary. Presented and praised were essays of pupils and students from the competition “The great physicist of Europe”, dedicated to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of Europe.
Another initiative of ours for the students from the foreign language schools in Sofia already has its history and prestige. In the year of 2018 we carried out the Fifth inter-school scientific & technical conference for the language schools in Sofia. Pupils between 8th and 12th class delivered 17 projects. A special jury selected the projects and their authors, who presented them at the congress in Saragossa.
During the year, most representatives from the professional gymnasiums partook in the organized youths’ scientific & technical exhibition – competition in the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa, where schools from all over the country exhibited their works. The exhibition was attended by 52 teams, including more than 300 youths from professional gymnasiums in the country, technical universities, institutes with BAS, and innovative companies from all over Bulgaria, that demonstrated their latest achievements. We were amongst the organizers, whose aim was to render support to young people thinking innovatively. In practice, the exhibition turned into a specific model of interaction between the business, the institutions, NGOs, and the schools.
The inclination to innovations is a human gift, favoring the society. In some people it flourishes, providing rich fruits, in others it perishes, without ever being recognized. Such gift is not possessed by everyone, but if discovered and stimulated at a proper time, it will be developed and will become a way of thinking. We expect also the emerging of new possibilities from our interaction with the Ministry of Education and Science. For one more time in 2018, together with the Ministry of Education and Science and “Vasil Levski” school from Sevlievo, we became a part from the organizers of the National Festival “Science on the stage”. The event exhibited 43 projects, represented on stands, 13 workshops, 4 plays, 23 presentations, lectures and experiments. Sofia University “Snt. Kliment Ohridski”, the American College in Sofia, 29 schools, 2 kindergartens and 2 centers for work with children from 29 settlements in the country partook in the racing in the different spheres of performance. The festival is of competitive character, and the winners got the right to present their projects at the International festival “Science on the stage”.
Our performance in the year of 2018 provides us grounds to state we have achieved extension of our activities per subjects, scope and contents. Extended were the scope, interaction and cooperation with faculties and universities. On 8th and 9th of November, 2018 together with the Machine Building Faculty of the Technical University, Sofia, we held the Second youth’s scientific conference “Machines, innovations, technologies – MIT’2018”. The undertaking was honored by 45 authors, of whom 36 young scholars, doctorate and academic students, who delivered 35 reports in the following scientific and technical fields: innovative products and technologies in machine building, test materials and test methods, agronomy and industrial design, technical legislation and standardization, automation in design engineering and production, information management and processing systems, metrology and quality assurance. Invited were also companies which represented their developments and new introduced technologies. For a second consecutive year the event turned into forum for expression of young scholars and talents, a meeting place for exchanging ideas and technical solutions, as well as of sustainable cooperation between young people from the universities and the business. We held such initiatives at other universities as well. We have been continuing our very fruitful cooperation with Shumen University “Konstantin Preslavski” and Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. Gratefully, we managed to find the appropriate forms and joined our efforts working with pupils and training pedagogic specialists. Being united by our strive to provide platforms for recognition of students. In Plovdiv we initiated the National competition “Physics – Engineering – Technologies” as an individual event, and we are continuing our mutual work on the organization and holding together with the Students’ Council and the management of the Faculty of the next edition of the National students’ scientific conference in physics and engineering technologies, which has extended its scope, having turned already into a Balkan youths’ scientific conference.
For a next consecutive year we were amongst the co-organizers of the National students’ Olympiad in mathematics. The three groups of competitors included totally 16 teams from 13 universities in Bulgaria with 81 competitors, of which 5 from abroad.
We confirm our approach to support youths, mostly from the circles of our scholarship holders, to partake in events and initiatives of our partners. During the past year they managed to represent themselves with honor, and were praised respectively. Such were the international competition in programming CodeIT, the XII edition of the National Prize “Student of the year”, the competition for the Prize “Emil Benatov” for inventors, the international exhibition “Smart Cities 2018”, the exhibition “Inventions, transfer, innovations” and others. We partook and supported other undertakings and activities in science and technologies as well, but the emphasis was put on the ones related with the engineering specialties. In September, 2018, together with the Bulgaria Scientific-Technical Union in Construction, we held a Students’ session within the frames of the International conference “Designing and construction of buildings and facilities”. It demonstrated the high level of preparedness of the young engineers, and provided possibilities for comparing their achievements at an international level. .
Together with the Institute of Organic Chemistry with the Phytochemistry Center of the BAS, for a second consecutive year we partook in the organization of youths’ school for young scholars, doctorate students, students and pupils within the frames of the Second international conference on bio-antioxidants on the subject of “Natural bio-antioxidants and synthetic analogues – useful effect on human health”. It was attended by more than 110 participants and 32 young scholars from Austria, Algeria, Bulgaria, Egypt, Israel, India, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and the USA. Delivered were 38 reports by young scientists.
Our belief is, the good results come when joining the efforts of people and organizations of common interests. Amongst these organizations is the Bulgaria Union of Inventors. During the reported year we partook again in the organization of the Ninth exhibition of inventions, technologies and innovations – ITI’2018. It became a meeting place of scholars, entrepreneurs, innovation intermediaries, inventors, selection agents, manufacturers, students, pupils and patent specialists having interests in the development of activities and productions, based on innovations and efficient use of intellectual property. The exhibition turns also into a competition of inventors, selection agents and innovators, as well as a market of their intellectual property products. It provides possibility for establishing business contacts, putting in practice of exhibited inventions, useful models, industrial designs, new sorts of solutions and other new decisions.
Again in Plovdiv, at the end of 2018 we joined the project, initiated by the Territorial organization of the Scientific & Technical Union with the Home of Science and Technics – Plovdiv, on holding of Youths’ forum “Science, technologies, innovations, business”. The event addresses young scientists, doctorate and academic students, and is realized as a scientific – technical conference in several modules. Besides the higher institutions from Plovdiv, the forum is attended by representatives of the Technical University – Sofia, the Higher Technical School “Todor Kableshkov”, Russe University “Angel Kanchev”, etc. The reported materials are published in a collection.
In October, 2018 we partook for the first time together with the Association of EASA – Bulgaria in the organization of the 29th International meeting of the national coordinators of the European Architectural Students’ Assembly (EASA). This organization is the largest international network for students and young professionals in the sphere of architecture and its close disciplines. The organization, in partnership with institutions, architects practitioners and others, studies contemporary architecture and the city of the future though the prism of the topical problems of the society and its social relations as a building element. EASA is a youths’ organization with good initiatives, directed to the establishment of relations between young professionals. To initiate the process of establishing new connections and inclusion of other active students, we accepted hosting the 29th International meeting of the national coordinators of EASA. The undertaking was attended by 200 students from 50 countries. During the meeting some accompanying events took place – exhibitions, presentations and discussions with international participation, enabling the participation of all interested students.
When describing the competitions as a chance to stimulate the scientific-research, inventions and other creative activities amongst children and youths, we shouldn’t miss the competitions for the “Evrika” prize, awarded for achievements in science, young manager, and most successful farmer. The awards are have been granted for many years – for the twenty-ninth time for manager, twenty-eight time for inventor and farmer, and for the twenty-third consecutive year for achievements in science. They are publicly renowned and evaluated carefully by governmental and public organizations and institutions. The competitions are easily distinguishable in the society; they have gained popularity thanks to the full-value young people, having won these prestigious prizes during the years. The good results in the organization are achieved thanks to the appropriate partners whom we have discovered and attracted for this activity. The support of the prize winners from the competitions in the previous years has also proved fruitful.
Our participation in the International exhibition “Bee-keeping” proved useful; within its frames a join competition for prosperous young bee-keepers is held. These young people are also potential strong participants in our competition “Young farmer”. The system performs best upon carrying out of the race for scientific achievements. We are glad that ears ago, when this competition became jointly organized by us and the Bulgaria Union of Scientists, thanks to their support we found the correct approach. Nowadays we rely on good coordination and operating mechanisms that guarantee the selection of full-value winners for achievements in science, valued per proven science metering indices.
During the past year we had the pleasure to distinguish quite worthy and very successful young Bulgarians. For the year of 2018 the “Evrika” prize for scientific achievements was awarded to Elena Krachmarova from the Institute of Molecular Biology “Acad. Rumen Tsanev” with BAS, for her excellent defense of her dissertation on the subject of: “Expression and properties of the human interferon-gamma and its mutant analogues”. The major contributions of the dissertation are related with the development of a high-efficient technology for obtaining of recombining human interferon-gamma and its mutant analogues.
Winner of “Evrika” prize for young inventor for the year of 2018 is the Master in Pharmacy Mr. Stefan Dochev, who defended his doctor’s dissertation during the year of 2018. The “Evrika” prize was awarded to him as co-author of the invention “Process for the selective oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural”, registered as European patent. The invention develops safe, competitive, economically feasible, environmentally sound and applicable at an industrial scale continuous-flow technology for catalytic transformation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) into 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) through oxidation under the impact of atmospheric oxygen. The implementation of the developed technology in the industrial production of new polymer materials will contribute to the sustainable management of the crisis with the conventional natural resources, as well as foster the salvation of the ecological problems.
The “Evrika” prize for 2018 for young manager was awarded to Mr. Momchil Kjurkchiev. He has followed his studies in prestigious American universities and Google, later together with his colleague Andrew First has started the company Lednplum. It is a marketing company establishing efficient relations between marketing experts and users of mobile devices. To that end, the company of Momchil Kjurkchiev applies an artificial intellect. Momchil Kjurkchiev is Chief Executive Director and co-founder of a company ranked amongst the very fast developing marketing companies with a major technological hub in Sofia, a seat in San Francisco, and offices in New York, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo and Singapore. With $98 million investments, it transforms the mobile engagement of users all over the world and speeds up product innovations in the spheres of machine training, cross-channel automation and personification, aimed at transformation of the engagement of mobile users. The “Evrika” prize for best young manager of Momchil Kjurkchiev is awarded for: impressive economic results under the conditions of global competition; vivid entrepreneurship activity and successful development of digital marketing by innovative solutions, contribution to the development of human capital in Bulgaria through choosing Bulgaria for the establishment and development of innovative products of high added value.
The “Evrika” prize for young farmer of 2018 was awarded to Nenko Trifonov from the town of Karlovo. He has established a company breeding 850 cows and 250 buffalo-cows. The company of Nenko Trifonov is a major supplier of dairy products for the large commercial chains in Bulgaria. It carries out exports for Spain, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Israel and Moldova. Since the beginning of 2018 Nenko Trifonov deals also with processing of meat and production of meat products.
The “Evrika” prizes and their winners are a model to be followed by the young people coming after them. Although, with their discovery, our work is still not completed. We try to be of favor to them, and by following their development we search possibilities to render them our further support. In their favor, as well as in favor of the other young people work the highly qualified experts from our consultation cabinets on intellectual property rights’ protection, some legal matters on the organization and functioning of the companies and the NGOs, the possibilities for even more full-value usage of the new equipment and computer technologies.
Yet, a part of the information is disseminated through the mass media, that’s why our contacts with them are of importance, and mostly with the specialized and electronic media. We are grateful to them for providing us a possibility, though them children and youths get acquainted with our forthcoming events, and our work for them. A good example of fruitful cooperation is our initiative with a team from the Bulgarian National Radio on broadcasting of a specialized column called “Evrika! Successful Bulgarians” in “Znanie” program. We tell via the program about the realization of successful young Bulgarian scientists and experts from different spheres, thus motivating secondary school and academic students to gather knowledge and develop their creative thinking and inventing capabilities. Through the websites of the Foundation in the social nets we managed to disseminate additionally each broadcast and, as a result thereof, we received thousands of comments and likes, which contribute once again for raising the prestige of Evrika Foundation amongst the general public.
For supporting the dissemination of natural sciences, technical and economic knowledge and information
“Information, knowledge, events” program implements possibilities for popularization of knowledge in the spheres of natural sciences, technical and economic sciences. Through the program, we have been supporting related projects and initiatives. In this sphere the major activity was also brought to the Internet, and that’s easily explainable. Probably this will be the case in the future too.
In view of the fact that during the last years the electronic media increase their growth and influence, we dispose of the possibilities they provide for the popularization of news, for carrying out of information campaigns and other forms of exercising influence over the young people. This also pertains to the electronic variant of “Science” magazine and its affirmed column “Tribune for the young”. Our common project makes its contribution through the publications of young people and their creative works. It is an unique school for them when acquiring skills on the elaboration of scientific papers, using of scientific terminology, exposing of concepts and their defending. The column also provides tribune for the opinions of young scholars on matters related with the problems of the Bulgarian science and higher education. This is an element from the implementation of the policies of the individual EU member states, and of the EU Community for the development of human capital in science, and more particularly, of the young people; it matches the measures determined by the non-formal Competitiveness Council, held in Sofia on 1 and 2 February, 2018. In 2018 the “Science” magazine has published: 5 scientific publications of young scholars, academic and doctorate students, recognized in activities of the Foundation, 9 information columns on youths’ scientific conferences, competitions and projects with the participation of the Foundation, 4 essays from the competition for scholarships by name, and 2 essays from the competition of Evrika Foundation, dedicated to Space, 11 other articles of secondary school and academic students, teachers, lecturers and scientific heads having partaken in the competitions organized on our part.
Participation in international educational, natural science and technical programs and projects and in the international youths’ scientific & technical cooperation
During the last years, as a result from our accession to the European Union and its structures, the paths in front of the Bulgarian young people for participation in the international scientific & technical cooperation were significantly diversified. For the secondary school students, these are mainly realized through the international organization MILSET, whose member we have been for already 27 years. It is the largest international organization for science and technics amongst young people, and it has been acting through its individual European structure for almost 10 years. The European structure is a large-scale, actively performing unit, implementing its own initiatives. Our membership in the organization ensures us direct contacts with similar organizations in many countries. Thus, we provide possibilities for Bulgarian clubs and organizations to partake in different initiatives – competitions, summer schools and scientific & technical campuses organized during the vacations.
In the year of 2019 we are to organize the Bulgarian participation in the World expo of sciences ESI’2019, which will be held in autumn in Abu Dhabi, the UAE. Our intentions are to send to the exposition well-prepared young Bulgarians. The preparation has already commenced, and in April the national circle of the competition will take place, to select projects and participants.
MILSET and MILSET-Europe have had many other undertakings, and we did our best to ensure the Bulgarian participation thereat. From the realized international events of MILSET the Bulgarian students have brought prizes again. In 2018 our three participants in the World Scientific Exposition ESE-2018 in Gdynia, Poland were recognized by honor diplomas. So were honored all the three students having partaken at the International congress of young research workers in Saragossa, Spain.
Obviously, this is an activity having its own future. Yet, we are to impose priorities there as well, and share funds when this will result in the implementation of our policies.
For certain activities, related with our non-profit goals, and about the place and role of our organization in the development of the cooperation with other organizations and institutions in Bulgaria
This is the section of the present report, where we shall enrich the information pertaining to mutual activities and projects in the sphere of technics, science and technologies within the frames of “Development” program. We think this is a way by which we may achieve good results and join our capabilities – knowledge and finance, with these of organizations, members or institutions with structures in the country. This is a part of our power, and we must develop it.
In 2018 we’ve had active cooperation with different organizations and institutions. Together we searched for solutions of problems, related with discovering talents and individual capabilities in children and youths. We were natural allies with the ones we’d shared common or similar goals with. To emphasize once again, only together, and by joining our efforts, we may work successfully to that end. This line we shall naturally follow at schools, ensuring further development of the out-of-class forms of studies in science and technics and by establishing of a network of clubs. Good for us, if managing to unite the forces and capacities of the state, the local government and the public organizations, and attract the business in support of the undertaking. Improving of coordination could help a lot.
During the years, the Foundation has met good understanding and support on the part of the governmental institutions. And we are grateful to them. On the first place we should say, the best attitude towards us was demonstrated on the part of the Ministry of Science and Education and its specialized units working with secondary school students. The National Palace of Children became a partner of ours. This made the path to schools and out-of-class activities more direct.
The connection with organizations and companies, related with the new technologies and training of personnel, are very important for us. That’s what we do in the Cluster “Sofia city of knowledge”, which is a voluntary association of leading scientific, development and training organizations and companies from Sofia, interested in mutual activity and long-term cooperation in economy based on knowledge, mainly in informatics, creative and recreative industries. Through the Cluster we partook in the exhibition of intelligent cities, which was a part of the project implementation under “Innovations and Competitiveness” Program.
We are often partaking in the mass media whose auditorium are thousands of people, thus shaping the public opinion. Amongst these mass media are the Bulgarian National Radio, the Bulgarian National Television and other regional mass media.
We are grateful to them, as they provide us possibility to popularize projects and their results, some individual events joined by the winners of competitions and awards. We are expressing hereby our readiness to continue our cooperation in the name of children and youths, and to popularize the new heroes of our time with their achievements.
The Annual Report on the performance during the past year is the consecutive page from the history of our organization. It is a sign we are confidently following the way, outlined by the major documents of the Foundation and the resolutions of its management bodies. We have been successfully implementing our mission to discover and support children and youths with outstanding talents and capabilities, but also possessing certain achievements in the spheres of science and technics, and priorities in the fields of science, technologies, engineering and mathematics. On that basis we shall build the forthcoming plans and programs, and shall quickly adapt ourselves to the new requirements of time and the requests on the preparation of new personnel, possessing new knowledge and capabilities for professional realization. Though our activities we shall act as constructive unit in the implementation of changes at all stages of education, proposing the requested solutions. This is the only way we shall be useful and necessary for the young generation in our country Bulgaria.