The JRC and the Bulgarian Ministry for Education and Research have jointly organised a Round Table conference in Sofia on 18/11/2008. The Round Table is part of a cycle of similar events being organised in the new EU Member States. Discussions focussed on three themes of priority for Bulgarian research:
Speaking at the conference were key representatives from Bulgarian academia, research and industry. Keynote addresses were also given by Vania Dobreva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Albena Vutsova, Bulgarian Representative on the JRC's Board of Governors; and Roland Schenkel, Director-General, European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The level of collaboration between the JRC's research Institutes and Bulgaria’s scientific and technical community has progressed significantly in recent years. In 2006 - 2007, over 150 Bulgarian experts participated in specialised JRC-run workshops on the scientific and technical aspects of EU legislation. This level of participation is expected to grow to over 100 in 2008 alone.
Some 38 partnerships across a wide variety of scientific areas have been initiated with 21 currently in operation. Particularly over the past two years, 17 new joint activities have started that further integrate Bulgaria into the mainstream of European research. From detailed studies on investments in information and communication technologies, farm investment behaviour and food safety, to border security, use of chemicals and monitoring Black Sea ecosystems, Bulgarian researchers are becoming increasingly active.