The project SISTER (Strengthening the IST research capacity of Sofia University) has helped to establish the FMI as a leading centre in research, innovation and training in south-east Europe (SEE). Focusing on intelligent content and semantics (ICS), and software and services (S&S), project partners also worked to foster FMI integration in the ICT European Research Area (ERA). Important progress was achieved in a number of areas. The team elaborated a strategic framework for FMI future development, and strengthened FMI's research capacity and environment by improving its human resources capabilities and research integration with EU partners. SISTER has also helped FMI to exploit academic results, enhance cooperation with industry, and build collaboration with leading research organisations and enterprises both within and beyond national borders. To build human resources capacity, SISTER organised mobility exchange events with European partners and supported joint publications and joint projects. Career development activities for researchers included training sessions, internships and international summer school visits. Project partners determined a joint research agenda in S&S, and identified important related research topics. Experimental and research laboratories were set up and new equipment was purchased that benefits the work of researchers as well as PhD students. FMI researchers were involved in networking and industry-related activities and studies, and a detailed report was prepared on the Bulgarian environment for intersectorial mobility of researchers. Related to this was the establishment of a Technology Transfer Office at SU as well as a database of innovative Bulgarian companies and the Knowledge for Innovation (K4I) independent platform. SISTER developed prototypes of intelligent tools supporting e-books and e-learning. It also created a digital library that was extended to a digital repository for all SU researcher publications. The digital library has been registered in the European project DRIVER as the first such scientific digital library in Bulgaria. During the project lifetime, FMI organised the Conference Software, Services and Semantics Technologies (S3T) – an important event in the areas of ICS and S&S. Various channels and activities were used to disseminate project work and results as well as knowledge obtained during the project. Project efforts have enhanced the capacities of the FMI and contribute to ICT-related competitiveness and growth for the country and SEE region in general.
Research capacity, human resources, information and communication technologies, mathematics, informatics