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Conference program

Research Infrastructures of the Future Synergies, sustainability, smart specialization and social impact .

International conference – 10-11 December 2019

Hall 6, National Palace of Culture, Sofia

10 December 2019, Tuesday


08:30 – 09:30

Registration and coffee

09:30 - 10:00

Opening Session / Welcome addresses

  • Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria
  • Tsvetan Kyulanov, European Commission representation in Bulgaria, on behalf of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
  • Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria

10:00 - 10:30

Keynote speech – Prof. Michel Spiro, President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)


First panel

Panel topic: Towards a new ambition for European science to find sustainable solutions to growing global challenges

Moderator: Prof. Ana Proykova, ESFRI SWG Digit Chair and Bulgarian national delegate, Head HPC laboratory of Sofia Tech park


  • Mr. Adam Tyson – Head of Unit at DG Research and Innovation (EC)
  • Mr. Francesco Florindi – Strategy and partnership Manager (BBMRI)
  • Ms Sanna Sorvari Sundset – ACTRIS PPP Coordinator (Finnish Meteorological Institute)
  • Mr. Adrian Curaj – Politehnica University of Bucharest

Discussion topics:

  • Approaches for identifying strategic research infrastructure
  • Unlocking the potential research infrastructure facilities
  • Rethinking research infrastructures roadmaps as a tool for R&I excellence and capacity
  • Strengthen collaboration in Europe towards inclusiveness across all regions



12:30 – 13:30



Second panel

Panel topic: Shared experience and next steps towards long-term sustainability of RIs (management, sustainability policies, funding, impact and collaboration).

Moderator: Mr. Arnault Morisson, Thematic Expert in Research and Innovation Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform (EPLP)


  • Dr. Andreas Volz, former Vice-Chair of the ESFRI SWG Environment, Large International Research Facilities Unit, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany)
  • Dr Aneliya Karadzhinova-Ferrer, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Croatia
  • Dr. Jana Kolar – Executive Director of CERIC-ERIC, Slovenia
  • Prof. Margarita Apostolova – Head of Medical&Biological Research Lab, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Discussion topics:

  • financing of the different stages – emerging projects, stage of implementation, etc.
  • monitoring of the research results of the supported RIs
  • financing of national roadmaps through the Structural Funds and other sources

15:00 - 15:30

Coffee break

15:30 - 17:00

Third panel

Panel topic: Closing Innovation gap in Europe – Centers of Excellence and Centers of Competence as the answer towards increased capability and visibility (organization, sustainability policies, funding)

ModeratorProf. Toni Spasov – National Center of Mechatronics and Clean Technologies


  • Mr. Ger van den Kerkhof, Senior Account Manager EU Affairs – European Liaison Officer Flanders Make, Flanders, Belgium;
  • Prof. Maria Nikolоva, Deputy Manager of the Center of Competence “Fundamental Translational and Clinical Investigations on Infections and Immunity”
  • Mr. Jorge Molina Villanueva, Director EU Affairs in ADItech Foundation, Navarra Region, Spain

Discussion topics:

  • Sustainable planning, smart growth, socio-economic impact
  • commercialization of research results from supported RIs
  • Mobility of scientists, capacity building, knowledge and skills for RI managers


REMARK: DAY 1 – Exhibition of Bulgarian RIs, CoC and CoE (Entrance 6 Lounge)

11 December 2019, Wednesday


09:00 – 09:30


09:30 – 10:00

Keynote presentation  – “Towards sustainable vision for the Bulgarian Research Infrastructure Roadmap” – Ms Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria

10:00 - 11:00

Fourth panel

Panel topic: New programme period. Building synergies between ESIF and Horizon Europe.

ModeratorMr. Ivan Popov, representing the Executuve Agency Operational programme Science and Education for Smart Growth


  • Mr. Jan Hrusak, ESFRI Chair and EOSC Board member
  • Representative of Sofia Tech Park
  • Dr. Tsanko Gechev, PlantaSyst Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology
  • Mr. Raimondas Paškevičius, Director of Department ES structural support, Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports, Lithuania

Discussion topics:

  • presentation on experience and lessons learned from the programming period 2014-2020.
  • the new conditions for the programming period 2021-2027
  • synchronization of the procedures of the EC and the national funding bodies on the basis of the experience and lessons learned from the programming period 2014-2020
  • approaches to strengthen the link between science and business through the use of financial instruments
  • inclusion of financial instruments in research programs during the programming period 2021-2027.

11:00 - 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 - 12:30

Fifth panel (Stakeholders’ panel)

Panel topic: transnational access to RIs and common challenging in the ERA of Big data, open data and open innovation

Moderator: Mr. Jan Hrusak, ESFRI Chair and EOSC Board member


  • Mr. Bob Jones, Helix Nebula Initiative
  • Ms Desislava Petrova-Antonova, Project GATE-Big Data for Smart Society
  • Dr. Tiberius Ignat, Scientific Knowledge Services on Open Science
  • Prof. Panos Argyrakis, University of Thessaloniki, Member of e-IRG and ESFRI SWG DIGIT
  • Dr. Dimiter Prodanov, Senior Scientist at IMEC, Belgium

12:30 – 13:30 Summary. Closing speeches. Closing of the conference.

13:30 Lunch

You'll Fall In Love With Sofia .