New research centre and laboratory in Kardzhali to serve as a pollutant early warning system

The new “Environment and Health” research centre in the Kardzhali-Ecros cross-border region will help strengthen research and innovation, as well as provide access to new research tools to students from Bulgaria and Greece.

Additional tools

Environment and Health - Research Centre and laboratory in Kardzhali Environment and Health - Research Centre and laboratory in Kardzhali

The Cross-border research centre “Environment and Health” (RCHE), opened its doors in 2011 in the town of Kardzhali, Bulgaria, as a result of a long-standing culture of cooperation between the Regional Health Inspectorate (RHI) Kardzhali, “Association Public Coalition for Health Kardzhali”, and the Regional Laboratory for Public Health of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Alexandroupolis (Greece) on behalf of the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP). Activities will be implemented in seven Bulgarian and one Greek municipalities.

The project aims to improve the quality of life and health status of the population in the cross-border region through the control of environment components, including monitoring of atmospheric composition and analysis of soil, water, food and other biological material and their impact on public health.

In order to strengthen the regional capacity to deal with health problems and environment protection, a cross-border research centre “Environment and Health” is constructed and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for research and training purposes in the city of Kardzhali as well as field-ready instrumentation for rapid reaction. This will aid partnering educational and research establishments from both countries to perform pilot studies and train students and staff in practical field experience, such as on-sight and laboratory analysis and research.

Information exchange system

As part of the cross-border research centre “Environment and Health” a network of cooperation is being build between the Bulgarian and Greek authorities in the field of health and social services. This network aims to strengthen the regional research capacity in the area on environmental health issues.

Making use of the network and field equipment, made available to the research centre, the local authorities now have the ability to react in crisis situations and the established early warning system in the case of mass health and safety threats. This cross-border system of monitoring enables and analysing enables the exchange of real time information on the impact of the environment on human health. 

The project also makes available additional laboratory equipment to the Regional Public Health Laboratory (Greece), which will be used for interventions in sites of Public Health interest.

“Its sustainability is ensured as Kardzhali area is environmentally risky, and problems associated with pollution of the environment and their impacts on human health are globally significant. The project implementation will contribute to taking adequate measures of the institutions with regard to the problem of improving the quality of living environment, and to draw Profile conditioning programmes to improve population health status.”

Assoc. prof. Staykova, PhD, MD - Project manager

Total investment and EU Funding?

Total investment for the project “Cross-border research centre “Environment and Health” is EUR 1 977 362.20, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 618 157.98 from the Operational Programme “Greece – Bulgaria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. 

Draft date