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Investment priority 4 “Research universities”

Pillar 2: Establishing a network of research universities of the Accelerating Economic Recovery and Transformation through Science and Innovation Programme

Component 2 Innovative Bulgaria

Investment 1 Accelerating economic recovery and transformation through science and innovation

Procedure Establishment of a network of research universities in Bulgaria

Purpose of the procedure

The objective of the procedure is to pilot a new model for the development of research universities by funding the establishment and implementation of Strategic Research and Innovation Development Programmes (hereinafter referred to as "Programmes"). It is planned by year 2030 research universities to receive a state subsidy for research and innovation activities of approximately 40% of the tuition subsidy, which is also set out in the Higher Education Development Strategy 2021-2030.

Supporting research universities and the network between them will provide the necessary conditions for increasing their participation in international, European and national programmes, including the Horizon Europe.

Strengthening the research universities and the network between them will help to realise the scientific and economic potential of the regions and the country as a whole; it will stimulate partnerships between the academic community and industry, allowing businesses for the first time to have systematic access to research capacity throughout the process of innovation and technology transfer.

To this end, each of these universities must submit a four-year strategic research and innovation development programme. The Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) will organise the review and evaluation of these programmes by independent evaluators, conclude the contracts with the universities on behalf of the state and supervise the implementation of the adopted strategic programmes.

Final recipients

Eligible final beneficiaries under the procedure are:

1. Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski";

2. Medical University - Sofia;

3. Medical University "Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov" - Varna;

4. Medical University - Plovdiv;

5. Technical University - Sofia;

6. University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy - Sofia;

7. Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarski";

8. Thracian University – Stara Zagora;

9. Medical University - Pleven

The estimated total budget for the procedure is broken down by HEI group as follows:

  • Group I: BGN 44 000 000  per university;
  • Group II: BGN 28 000 000 per university;
  • Group III: BGN 20 000 000 per university;
  • Group IV: BGN 12 000 000 per university.

Deadline for implementation of approved projects

The implementation period for approved projects is up to 42 months, but no later than 30.06.2026.



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