05.12.2017What operations are planned under the "Science and Education for Smart Growth" Operational Program in 2018?

At its meeting on 24 November, the Monitoring Committee of the Operational Program "Science and Education for Smart Growth" adopted the Indicative Annual Work Program (IAWP) for 2018. The total value of the grant procedures included in the IAWP is BGN 180, 5 million. They will be allocated through 4 competitive selection procedures and 5 direct grant procedures.

Under the Priority Axis 1 "Research and Technological Development", two selection procedures for project proposals will be launched:

- "Construction of regional research centers": totaling BGN 100 mln. Research organizations, BAS, Agricultural Academy, NGOs, local authorities will be eligible to apply for projects between BGN 1 mln and 7 mln. It is expected that the competition will be open in May to run until August 2018.

 - "Unique Scientific Infrastructures": totaling BGN 100 million. Projects, universities, BAS, Agricultural Academies will be eligible to apply for projects. It is expected that the competition will be open in August until December 2018.

Under Priority Axis 2 "Education and Lifelong Learning", five procedures will be opened for the direct award of grants to a specific MES beneficiary: "Working in Bulgaria", "Adaptation of secondary vocational and higher education systems to market requirements of Labor in Bulgaria "," Quality Assurance System in Vocational Education and Training "," Introduction of a Dual Training System "and" Improvement of National Validation System ".

Two procedures for the selection of project proposals will be launched under the Priority Axis "Educational Environment for Active Social Inclusion":

- "Support for vulnerable groups for access to higher education": this operation will apply - for the first time - so-called "simplified costs." The operation aims to increase the number and percentage of young people from vulnerable groups: young people with disabilities, representatives of ethnic minorities and other unrepresented or under-represented groups.

The operation will be implemented as a competitive selection procedure in two components. Component 1 will support minor repairs to make the environment accessible to students with disabilities, with universities applying. Component 2 will support the enrollment and training of students from ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups in secondary and tertiary schools. This is intended to be done through information and motivation campaigns, courses, application fees and semester fees, parental engagement and negative stereotyping, volunteer activities in vulnerable groups through which the supported youth will retain their relationship with the communities they originate from. Schools and NGOs will be eligible for projects. Approved projects will be two-year. Component 2 projects will cost between BGN 50,000 and BGN 100,000. This will support 1,000 students with disabilities and 1,200 students and ethnic minority students.

The updated IAWP provides for the call for proposals under the operation to be announced in February 2018 and the application to be made by May;

- "Increasing capacity of pedagogical specialists to work in a multicultural environment": the operation will support the practical training of 2000 pedagogical specialists for work in a multicultural environment. Unlike the other qualification operation(Qualification and re-qualification of pedagogical specialists) this will be implemented as a competitive selection procedure for projects that will be open to schools, universities and NGOs registered under Article 222 of the School Education Act.

The updated IAWP provides for the call for projects to be launched in February 2018, and the submitting of projects to be made by May.


The Indicative Work Program is a document that sets out intentions but does not guarantee their implementation, especially within the deadlines set. E.g. Axis 3 operations were set in three previous IWAPlans

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