Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

INERA Report Summary

Project ID: 316309
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Bulgaria

Final Report Summary - INERA (Research and Innovation Capacity Strengthening of ISSP-BAS in Multifunctional Nanostructures)

Executive Summary:
The Institute of Solid State Physics, part of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (ISSP-BAS) is the leading Bulgarian Research Institute in the field of condensed matter research and its applications into multifunctional nanostructures.

The very meaning of INERA acronym (IN European Research Area) points out to the ambition for integration of ISSP-BAS in ERA. This project represents an important platform for the Institute to enhance its research and innovation strategy and to position itself as a reference scientific player in emerging advanced materials and nanostructures sciences by: employing available research infrastructure, exchange of knowledge and innovation experience with its outstanding European partners, seeking European as well as world soundness and visibility.

The INERA project contributed to a clear research and innovation prioritisation within the Institute, to adapt to global challenges and trends, deploying a full set of targeted activities leading the following results:

• Enhanced research infrastructures capacity and outreach through the reorganisation of research laboratories and the acquisition of 11 items to support multifunctional nanostructures research which reflected in the development of new partnership with scientific and private sector and new joint collaboration activities.
• Strengthened human capacity through the implementation of 110 two-way mobility visits with 8 excellent European partners with proved experience in transnational cooperation under European Framework Programmes in the field of advanced materials and nanoscience. 12 young and experienced researchers were employed under the project to increase the knowledge base and contribute to the consolidation of scientific excellence and activities of the Institute.
• Bringing innovation to research though the development of a robust innovation strategy and knowledge transfer code of practice to enhance contact with the private sector and develop a systemic entrepreneurial culture within the Institute. An Intellectual property manager has been appointed to guide the innovation actions under the project and ensure the sustainability of the mission oriented, closer to the market, approach of the research activities of the Institute.
• Increased visibility of ISSP within the European Research Area through the organisation of 19 scientific workshops, training seminars etc, out of which 2 international conferences on major nanostructures’ topics. ISSP scientists participated in 36 scientific European events, deploying opportunities for new and sustainable international partnerships.
Collectively, these activities have led to an increase in the number and quality of publications of the Institute and have attracted new Bachelors and Masters. Additionally, new collaborations with scientists from other research institutes across Europe have been built up under the Multifunctional Nanostructures S&T platform, which is expected to sustain the quality of research of ISSP and its participation in European networks.

As a result of the overall implementation of the project, the Institute has developed a long-term Research and Innovation Strategy, considering both national and European key priorities.

Project Context and Objectives:
The Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP-BAS) is a prominent research actor in the field of solid and soft matter physics, leading to quality research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of planar and porous multifunctional nanostructures.

Building on its excellent research record and good cooperation network with both academic stakeholders and the private sector, ISSP-BAS ambitions to become European reference in its focus areas of modern soft matter and nanotechnology studies. This is in particular due to the strength of its traditional background in condensed matter physics, physics of materials and laser technologies, and to its investment in emerging areas such as planar and/or porous multifunctional nanostructures, soft and living mater, micro- and acousto-electronics, sensors, MEMS, NEMS.
However, despite its recognition as a key research player, ISSP-BAS needed a more structural support to address the following challenges:
• Streamline of research and innovation to address global trends: there is a need to identify of a limited number of research and innovation focus areas in which ISSP-BAS has the supported capacity of becoming a reliable world player;
• Reorganisation of the Institute to adopt a truly interdisciplinary approach: through the exploitation of synergies between ISSP-BAS laboratories and the establishment of interdisciplinary research groups within the Institute;
• Up-grade of equipment of pan-European reference and use;
• Enhancement of scientific staff;
• A strategy development for sustainable and innovation cooperation with leading research organisations and business stakeholders.
In addition to the intra-institutional challenges of the Institute, the political context was, and still is featured by a lack of a national strategic policy framework for research and innovation which reflects in the lack of support to implement joint activities and participate in International conferences and high-relevant events, of indisputable value for enhanced scientific knowledge and collaborations.

To address these challenges, INERA put forward an all-encompassing strategy to increase the research potential of ISSP-BAS and to rapidly increase the ISSP-BAS human and technological capacities, to reinforce its local networks and to deepen its partnerships on a European scale.

The project consisted mainly of an upgrade of equipment to achieve a cutting edge level of laboratories and attract excellent researchers; scientific mobility trainings in leading European research centres in the field of nanosciences (and particularly nanostructures) to enhance scientific partnerships and knowledge; life-long trainings at the Institute, partnership deepening and dissemination activities reaching both national and European, world-wide stakeholders and interested parties.

A key element of the INERA strategy was the deployment of a streamlined innovation and market-driven approach for the research activities conducted at ISSP –BAS.

Building on the new knowledge provided and exchange of good practices with key European stakeholders, INERA contributed to the strengthening of the capacity of business exploitation of research results and cooperation with industry and fostering a long-term collaboration with research organizations and enterprises from EU, resulting in joint collaboration projects under national funding and Horizon 2020.

To achieve this the project developed a strengthened R&I cooperation with eight European research performing partners, including outstanding research organisations such as the Imperial college, London, as well as four business support partners.

All the activities implemented under INERA aimed at integrating further the ISSP-BAS in the European Research Area through a dynamic transnational cooperation and participation in European programmes and projects.

The project strengthened the capacity of business exploitation of research results and cooperation with industry and fostered a long-term collaboration with research organizations and enterprises from EC, which also resulted in joint projects development. The project also has important innovation impact (7 patent applications filed).

The project substantially benefited from its European research partners, as well as from its business support partners. INERA achieved the recognition of ISSP-BAS as the most promising centre in Bulgaria on multifunctional nanostructures research and innovation and ensured its integration within the European Research Area.

Project Results:
The activities implemented under INERA have followed the work plan as described in the Description of work. These have been considered having the most powerful impact on strengthening ISSP-BAS scientific, technological and innovation capacity. Activities were done in full respect of the allocated budget.

The work plan of INERA consists of seven interlinked work packages and an external evaluation at the end of the project. The main measurable outcomes of each work package can be summarized as follows:

WP1 Strengthening research infrastructures: ten new cutting edge laboratory items have been purchased and allocated in five ISSP-BAS divisions to allow tuned growth of hierarchically nanostructures and characterization of grown multifunctional nano-hetero-structures. The work has been done in accordance with national public procurement regulations. To ensure wider knowledge 10 technical and methodological trainings have been conducted on the use of the new equipment.

WP2 ISSP-BAS research organization and recruitment: the improvement of the scientific capacity of ISSP-BAS has been grounded in a new structural reorganization by the creation of five interdisciplinary research groups with about 70 members. Activities have also allowed the increase of the scientific expertise and human capital at ISSP-BAS by hiring 9 experienced researchers in the field of nanophysics and attracting back 2 former ISSP-BAS researchers. Recruitment has been done in accordance with EC guidelines for open merit based recruitment, as set in the Charter and Code for researchers.

WP3 Exchange of knowledge and mobility: incoming and outgoing mobility played an important role in increasing the scientific knowledge at ISSP-BAS in the field of multifunctional nanostructures. For this, the WP relied on a strong cooperation strategy with eight outstanding research organizations in Europe which did host ISSP-BAS researchers to train them on the field, but did also travel to ISSP-BAS for targeted lectures and scientific seminars. 14 researchers of ISSP-BAS have been trained abroad and 6 experienced researchers from partner organizations have provided scientific expertise at ISSP-BAS. In total, 8 seminars have been organized.

WP4 Innovation capacity building: An Intellectual property manager has been recruited according to European guidelines which allowed the development of the internal rules for the creation, registration, protection and management of IP at ISSP-BAS. A total of 3 expert meetings with business and stakeholders, as well as the setting up of a working group have been the main drivers for the training and development of an entrepreneurial culture and associated skills amongst the researchers at ISSP-BAS.

WP5 Strengthening visibility. Integration of ISSP-BAS in the ERA as a major player: For strengthening the visibility of ISSP-BAS in ERA, the following activities were fulfilled:

1. Creation of the Nanostructures partner platform: Four Round tables; Five Work meetings. Results: Multifunctonal Nanostructures Science and Technology Platform with INERA partners was developed; New collaborations with other research institutions beyond INERA project were realized; A common research road map for future partnership was worked out; The general frame of cooperation with national scientific institutions and companies was established.
2. International visibility: Networking and collaboration with European actors and platforms in related fields.WP5 provided funds for 73 scientists (37 young and 36 senior) from ISSP-BAS to take part in international symposia, conferences and training courses organized by European scientific organizations. They delivered 101 presentations, including 7 invited lectures, 33 oral and 61 poster presentations.
3. National visibility: Networking and collaboration with Bulgarian actors and authority bodies to federate these entities and to enhance Bulgarian participation in the ERA: 3 workshops and 6 training seminars were organized to establish mutual interest and joint activities in the future.

WP6 Project dissemination: the wide dissemination of INERA and its impact to the business environment and society were of uttermost importance for the success of the project and its sustainability. Significant efforts have been devoted to the elaboration of the project visual identity and the development of a dedicated user-friendly bi-lingual project portal. Concluding the project, Evaluation Report and R&T Strategy were presented to the Advisory Board/Steering Committee in the presence of the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Acad. Prof. J. Revalski, of the Vice President of Bulgarian Economic Chamber as well as of students from Faculty of Physics of Sofia University and high school students. President of BAS visited new laboratories created under the INERA project.
WP7 Project management: A robust management structure has been established to ensure the viability of the project, its day-to-day management, especially solving potential risks to the proper implementation of INERA such as delays in equipment purchase. An important part of the management structure has been its strategic configuration which allowed for the development of a national strategy on how to strengthen ties with national authorities and position ISSP-BAS within national priorities, in full respect of European challenges.
WP8 Evaluation of ISSP-BAS research strategy: WP8 Evaluation of ISSP-BAS research strategy: This important activity includes nomination of independent experts; preparation necessary documents and provide all conditions for independent evaluation.
Research and Technological Strategy of ISSP-BAS was prepared by taking into account traditional fields of scientific research at the Institute and substantial development of the Institute due to INERA project. The draft of the Strategy was discussed and accepted by a joint session of the Management Board of INERA project with Scientific Council of Institute and leaders of the Institute departments.

Detailed description of each work package is given below:

WP1. STRENGTHENING RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE:

INERA Work Package 1 (WP1) “Strengthening Research Infrastructure” consisted in improving ISSP-BAS material growth and characterization capacities by upgrading laboratories to reach the top modern level for research in Multifunctional Nanostructures Science and Technology through the acquisition of equipment and Institution reorganization. 6 main equipment units were initially planned to purchase, namely PE ALD system, PE CVD system, Automated Ellipsometer, Femtosecond laser, Nano-filtration system. The project itself set as a part of the overall process some refocusing of the science activity as well as restructuring of the laboratories and other units of the Institute. The new purchased equipment was for growth of promising new materials and multifunctional nanostructures (PE ALD system, PE CVD system, Femtosecond laser set) and for grown nanostructure characterization (the Ellipsometer, the Microfluidic set and the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy sets). The new purchased and put into action equipment is very modern (of 21 century level), powerful and multipurpose by nature, gives possibility to obtain complicated hierarchical multifunctional nanostructures and to work at scientific and innovation world forefront. The scientific and technological infrastructure is also of interest for joint maintenance / exploitation by ISSP BAS Partners, abroad and in the country, for conducting contemporary fundamental and innovation study of multifunctional nanostructures of condensed and soft matter.

T1. Equipment deliverables
According to the items list of scientific equipment approved by the EU Commission a number of top scientific instruments was acquired. From scientific viewpoint equipment is powerful and a multipurpose one, giving possibility to obtain complicated hierarchical multifunctional nanostructures and to work at worldwide scientific and innovation forefront of condensed and soft matter.
All the acquisitions were completed successfully with all related payments done. All items of the equipment were installed in upgraded and newly designed laboratories. They have been put into operation and currently are operating properly in full capacitance. The necessary additional accessories have been purchased and technical trainings were held according to the contractor providers importing the equipment.
EU standards for safety and quality were set as standards for the up-grade of the superior laboratories to ensure reproducible growth of multifunctional nanostructures based on graphene, CNT and thin oxide films. This innovative basis provides excellent opportunities for education and training of ISSP staff and young researches.

The new equipment consists of the following items:
1. PE Atomic Layer Deposition Set/ Model TFS200 (PE ALD)/. This is a multipurpose research equipment TFS 200 company Beneq. The apparatus allows for thermal and plasma-stimulated deposition of atomic layers of a few angstroms. The TFS 200 is capable of coating wafers, planar objects, porous bulk materials, planar objects, particles and complex 3D shapes with very high aspect ratio features. Automatic Spectroscopic ellipsometer Woollam /Model M2000D/. This equipment is from J.A. Woollam Co., a unique laboratory equipment (the first of its kind in Bulgaria) and can be used for optical characterization of thin dielectric, semiconductor, metal and organic layers and multilayer structures, as well as liquid samples. The spectral range of 195-1000 nm is especially suitable for determining the optical constants and thickness of semiconductor and oxide films. Short wavelengths can increase sensitivity to ultra-thin films, while simultaneous collection at longer wavelengths ensures accurate thickness of transparent films. Using ellipsometric measurements it is possible to determine properties, such as optical constants, composition, crystallinity, anisotropy, surface and interface roughness, etc. Furthermore lateral inhomogeneity can be registered by automatic sample mapping.
2. Microfluidics set for Raman Spectroscopy /CellASIC® ONIX, Millipore Merck and Scepter 2.0/. The CellASIC™ ONIX Microfluidic System uses microfluidic technology to enable continuous live-cell imaging with media flow. The microfluidic plate can be used with typical inverted microscopes and fits a standard multiwall plate stage. The CellASIC™ ONIX Microfluidic System connects to the microfluidic plate via a pneumatic manifold that uses pressurized air to pump cells and liquids from the plate wells into the microfluidic cell culture chambers. A vacuum seal created between the manifold and the microfluidic plate ensures that each well is independent and that flow rates and fluid switching are accurate. Flow control is managed through a computer software program.
3. Reactor /Nanofab/ comprising CVD and RTA techniques CVD, PE /Plasmalab System 100/. This is a modern multi-purpose tool for various CVD and PECVD processes. The system has a vacuum load lock and is designed for 2” – 8” wafer or other substrates. The maximal temperature of the substrate holder is 1200 °C which is suitable for deposition of graphene. Both radio-frequency (MHz) and low-frequency (kHz) plasma can be generated in the reaction chamber. The system is equipped with 6 gas lines which allows a variety of chemical processes. Femtoseconds laser system / SpectraPhysics/ consists of several units: • Ti:Sapphire regenerative amplifier „Spitfire Ace”, • oscillator „Mai Tai SP“, • pumping laser „Empower 45“, • „TOPAS Prime“ unit. The Spectra-Physics Spitfire Ace is the most technically advanced Ti:Sapphire regenerative amplifier available. Equipped with proprietary noise reduction technology, the Empower 45 is the quietest amplifier pump laser on the market. The Spectra-Physics Mai Tai SP Ti:Sapphire oscillator provides industry leading stability and cutting edge capability to the scientific research community. It is specifically designed as an amplifier seed for Spectra-Physics ultrafast amplifiers. The Mai Tai SP laser incorporates fully automated controls for bandwidth and center wavelength adjustment without the need for manual user intervention. The TOPAS Prime automated OPA is a state-of-the-art instrument for wavelength extension of the Spitfire Ace Ti:Sapphire amplifier system. Wavelengths can be generated from the deep UV range through the infrared (189–2000 nm). Multi-cell cross-flow nanofiltration set/ Portable Ponteciostat /Galvanostat SP-200/ is novel apparatus with its compact and flexible construction gives possibilities for performing all pressure driven membrane processes as reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and microfiltration.
4. Impedance spectroscopy equipment is compact and powerful electrochemical workstation (SP-200, Bio-Logic) has designed instruments for a variety of domains and applications: • Electrochemistry • Rapid-Kinetics, Spectroscopy & Photosynthesis • Battery & energy devices testing • Materials testing • Electrochemical Scanning systems • Electrophysiology.
It is no doubt that if we have success in the aforementioned efforts our value as an important institution among the others governmental and local organizations as well as the business establishments will definitely be highly recognized.
In the Institute, were established two clear rooms of class 10 000. There were located two reactors for thin layers grown and structures of metal compounds and carbon allotropes.

T2. Equipment related training and practical sessions

After the equipment delivery technical trainings were held with the participation by the producer’s representatives. These activities were part of the project and aimed at the familiarization with the new equipment and increasing proficiency in research techniques of the ISSP personnel. The commissioning of each particular device was followed by up to three day’s personal training made by producer qualified experts. The users have been trained in basic operations, methods of measure, protocols of work and the necessary care and maintenance of equipment. All the trainings passed successful with minutes or certificates composed for the trainee achievements. The total number of Participants is 16.
The WP1 planned activities included organization of scientific, practical and methodological trainings. After initial training, conducted by manufacturer representatives an extra training of interested working group members were guided by the post-doc experts recruited into INERA work package 2 led by prof. Tonchev and aiming at the successful project fulfillment. The persons accounted for femtosecond laser, automated ellipsometer, ALD, CVD reactors, microfluidics, electrochemical impedance systems and nanofiltration set respectively Vladimir Mehandzhiev, Peter Svestarov, Penka Terziyska, Mario Iliev, Ekaterina Iordanova, Georgi Yankov and Dimiter Mitev were charged to master equipment in a way to get a topmost level of its usage.
Apart from the local trainings two INERA members received training in USA: Splitfire Ace Service Level Training, 14-18 March 2016, at Spectra Physics, Santa Clara. Dr. Iordanova and Dr. G. Yankov were trained to use and work with the femtosecond laser and perform adjustment and alighment of the laser system. After completing the training, they received a certificate for successful completion of service training. In addition, Dr. Dimitre Dimitrov and Dr. Peter Svestarov visited Nederland where for two days there did a training on the PE CVD, PE ALD. Dr. Penka Terziyska passed a two day training on the Ellipsometer in Germany.
As it was scheduled after installation of the scientific equipment four practical training seminars on the equipment operation have been held. Their intention was to present additional specialized information about the equipment’s potential and to familiarize a broader audience from various scientific organizations and local business structures with the increased scientific and innovational capacity of the Institute of Solid State Physics - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. These seminars attracted much attention of ISSP researcher community and INERA recruited specialists. The number of the trainees here is 163.
The project led to employing eleven experts recruited into INERA work package 2 led by prof. Tonchev and aiming at the successful project fulfillment. The WP1 planned activities include organization of scientific, practical and methodological trainings. After initial training, conducted by manufacturer representatives an extra training of interested working group members were guided by the post-doc experts. The persons accounted for femtosecond laser, automated ellipsometer, ALD, CVD reactors, microfluidics, electrochemical impedance systems and nanofiltration set were charged to master equipment in a way to get a topmost level of its usage. As a result of the project the scientific personnel acquired opportunities and new skills to force the core developing of the research groups.

WP2. ISSP-BAS RESEARCH ORGANIZATION AND RECRUITMENT:
Strengthening Research Infrastructure - Level of success

Prior to INERA project’s completion ISSP had only a microelectronics technological center. One of the main objectives of the INERA project was the increase of scientific excellence of ISSP-BAS in multifunctional nanostructures. Based on a variety of activities we have achieved:
- New experience, knowledge and research topics gained by ISSP
- An efficient organisation of ISSP fundamental research
- An increased S&T competence of ISSP
- More skilled research personnel in interdisciplinary research areas
- Better trained staff on protection and exploitation of knowledge, linking to exploring better links with business environment
- Streamlined collaboration with business

ORGANIZATION OF RESEARCH AND RECRUITMENT OF PROFESSIONALS
In the framework of the INERA project, the interdisciplinary research refocusing of the scientific capacity of ISSP-BAS on the basis of development of scientific potential in the field of multifunctional nanostructures has been ensured.
The new interdisciplinary approach in the organization of researches is formed by the creation of five interdisciplinary Working Groups (WGs) as follows:
WG1 – Graphene and carbon nanotubes growth and implementation
WG2 – Magnetoelectric single crystals and magnetron-sputtered thin films structures
and their implementation
WG3 – Smart window-electrochromic devices and electrochemical splitting of water
WG4 – Nanomembrane and liquid crystal nanostructures: research and applications
WG5 – Lasers and laser assisted annealing of nanostructures
The backbone of the WGs is the employed 12 professionals (on Postdoc positions with one exception) and qualified specialists trained by them as a future staff of the renewed labs of the Institute. Part of the scientists who participate in WGs are not on the payroll of the ISSP. The specialists, joined project INERA, but not employed as ISSP members are very prominent experts in their own field of expertise, so they enhance the ISSP innovation potential and could become very important for future joint exploitation of ISSP/INERA modern infrastructure, for elaboration of project-proposals aiming identification of new technological niches and joint funding by local, regional or EC authorities/ programs. Totally 61 persons are ISSP members (some of them take part in two INERA WGs). This is approximately 60% from the whole scientific staff of the ISSP. All interdisciplinary research groups are secured by the new INERA purchased scientific and technical equipment but also by already available scientific and characterization infrastructure located in different ISSP laboratories/ departments.
When the INERA project started the 17 research laboratories and groups of the Institute of Solid State Physics were arranged in 8 divisions:
1 - THEORY
2 - MATERIAL PHYSICS
3 - NANOPHYSICS
4 - MICRO- AND ACOUSTOELECTRONICS
5 - LOW TEMPERATURE PHYSICS
6 - PHYSICAL OPTICS AND OPTICAL METHODS
7 - SOFT MATTER PHYSICS
8 - LASER, ATOMIC, MOLECULAR AND PLASMA PHYSICS

The structure of the Institute and the reorganization of the research work in accordance with the new conditions at the end of the INERA project have been discussed at two meeting of the Scientific Council of the ISSP-BAS (No. 12/27.10.2016 and No. 13/10.11.2016). As a result a new division “Functional Materials and Nanostructures” has been created on the basis of the divisions Material Physics, Micro- and Acoustoelectronics and Low Temperature Physics and the research laboratories and groups were reduced to 12.
NEW STRUCTURE OF THE ISSP-BAS DIVISIONS AND LABS (since 01.12.2016)

1. THEORY
1.1. Theoretical Group

2. FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS AND NANOSTRUCTURES
2.1. Physics of Materials and Low Temperatures – Laboratory
2.2. Physical Problems of Microelectronics – Laboratory
2.3. Acoustoelectronics – Laboratory
2.4. Biocompatible Materials – Research Group

3. NANOPHYSICS
3.1. Photoelectrical and Optical Phenomena in Wide Band Gap Semiconductors – Laboratory

4. SOFT MATTER PHYSICS
4.1. Liquid Crystals – Laboratory
4.2. Biomolecular Layers – Laboratory

5. PHYSICAL OPTICS AND OPTICAL METHODS
5.1. Optics and Spectroscopy – Laboratory

6. LASER, ATOMIC, MOLECULAR AND PLASMA PHYSICS
6.1. Atomic Spectroscopy – Laboratory
6.2. Metal Vapor Lasers – Laboratory

Applied Research Unit “Electromagnetic Sensors”

INERA members are involved in planning Design of Experiments on new emerging research directions, experiments implementation by employing modern ISSP as well as INERA partners infrastructure, delivering scientific and educational seminars, gaining knowledge on Intellectual Property (IP) maintenance and innovation utilization. To facilitate such efforts, ensure systematization and optimize exploitation of the new infrastructure an Advisory Committee for employment and the equipment has been established.
An important activity in the development of the scientific potential in the field of multifunctional nanostructures is the recruitment of highly experienced researchers. A total of 12 experienced and young researchers were appointed during the whole period of the project. This allows all scientists that have left Bulgaria to return to ISSP from abroad, and to employed qualified specialists citizens of other countries. Some of the recruited specialists were charged with the acquisition of the new equipment. They have been asked to prepare comprehensive survey of emerging scientific area and identify perspective innovation niches.
The recruited highly experienced researchers contributed to the enhancing of the new experience, knowledge and research topics gained by ISSP and the innovation objectives of the Institute. They produced 26 published papers (24 articles in journals with IF or SJR), 2 submitted for publication papers, and 1 patent application. They have given 9 scientific seminars in ISSP and 26 lectures on 8 international scientific meetings. 7 researchers have took part in 17 scientific international events. This demonstrates the increasing activities of the recruited researchers during the project period.
The further positions of the recruited researchers at the institute were ensured by roundtables between the heads of departments and the ISSP-BAS management teams:
- Meeting of heads of the departments and the members of the Scientific Council of the ISSP considered the structure of the Institute
- Meeting initiated by the Director of ISSP and the recruited scientists in order to provide their further career development
8 of the 12 recruited experts have obtained permanent positions at the Institute, 5 of them as Associate Professor (Dr. Ekaterina Iordanova from 20.03.2017 in the Division Laser, Atomic, Molecular and Plasma Physics, Dr. Dimitre Dimitrov from 06.12.2016, Dr. Peter Svestarov from 10.10.2016 and Dr. Blagoy Blagoev from 01.03.2017 in the Division Functional Materials and Nanostructures, Dr. Penka Tersiyska from 10.10.2016 in the Division Nanophysics), 2 as Assistant Professor (Dr. Georgi Yankov from 10.10.2016 in the Division Laser, Atomic, Molecular and Plasma Physics and Dr. Stefan Boyadjiev from 01.11.2016 in the Division Functional Materials and Nanostructures) and 1 as a Leading Specialist (Vladimir Mehandzhiev from 19.10.2016 in the Division Functional Materials and Nanostructures).

The significant impact of the project INERA follows also from the valuable scientific results obtained on the new equipments in the Institute.

Activities performed on the ALD – Beneq TFS-200
During the project INERA the following films and coverings were done:
- ZnO films on standard substrates (Si, quarts, glass)
- Al2O3 films on standard substrates (Si, quarts, glass)
- ZnO:Al and ZnO/Al2O3 doped films and nanolaminates on standard substrates (Si, quarts, glass)
- ZnO:Al on nonstandard substrates - Porous Anodic Alumina (PAA)
- ZnO on nonstandard substrates – flexible substrates (Polycarbonate)
- Fe-O, Co-O, Ni-O covering on standard substrates (Si, quarts, glass)
- AlN films on standard substrates (Si, quarts, glass) – should be checked
- ZnO:Al on Graphene/SiC substrate – should be checked
For more of the films the process was optimized, some of them are in the process of optimizing. All films are grown in standard thermal ALD process with water oxidant; some of them are tested with ozone oxidant. Up to now there is not enough experience with plasma enhanced ALD regime.

Activities performed on the PECVD equipment
During the project INERA the following samples and specimens were synthesized:
- Multiwalled carbon nanotubes of about 1- 1.5 µm length with average diameter of 100 nm; straight and parallel; vertically aligned with respect to the substrate and with narrow diameter variation tolerance.
- Multiwalled carbon nanotubes of about 3 µm length with average diameter of 50 - 70 nm; densely populated nearly but not perfectly straight; vertically aligned with respect to the substrate and with narrow diameter variation tolerance.

Graphene on polycrystalline copper catalyst substrate:
- Single (monoatomic) layer graphene on copper catalyst with size of single-crystalline grains of up to 10 µm.
- Single- to few-layer graphene with varying number of layers.
The process parameters in terms of working temperature, chamber pressure and gaseous flows were optimized in various growth regimes.

Polymer film on filtration membrane substrate:
Depositing dielectric thin–film coating on a filtration membrane by polymerizing CH4 in RF (13.56 MHz) Ar+CH4 plasma. This was the first step in producing a selective nanoporous filtration membrane. Further research will be done in cooperation with our INERA partners from the Imperial College of Chemistry, London.

Thanks to a series of test experiments run with measurement and analytical feedback on a regular basis in the course of producing the above layers we have optimized the growth conditions.
Activities performed by the fs - laser system
The research with the femtosecond laser system was in three main directions:
- Laser materials processing, processing of thin films, micro- and nano-machining of materials, modification and nano-structuring of surfaces:
Optimization of the crater size and investigation of the thermal effects zone, the surface structural changes, and changes of the chemical and physical properties at interaction of femtosecond laser pulses with two types of materials: metals (stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, copper, titanium, zinc, nickel) and polymers, at different laser parameters and at different processing;
Study of the potential for formation by UV femtosecond pulses of precise and repetitive microstructures on the surface of various materials applicable in biotechnology for implants, implantable devices, biosensors; modification of surface topography of scaffolds for cell growth to promote cell infiltration and colonization;
Laser induced formation of three-dimensional structures of nanoparticles and study of their optical properties;

- Quantum and nonlinear optics:
Experimental study of the nonlinear polarization properties of high-energy femtosecond radiation propagation in the atmosphere and in quartz - dynamics and polarization effects of ultra-short laser pulses.

- Plasma Physics:
Experimental and theoretical studies of the ablation process – breakdown ablation threshold and parameters of the plasma plume formed by the reaction of femtosecond pulses with different materials in a vacuum and in different ambient atmospheres; pulsed laser deposition of thin films and nanostructures.

Activities performed on the automatic spectroscopic ellipsometer model M2000D from J.A. Woollam Co.
The manual Rudolph - 436 spectroscopic ellipsometer, available in ISSP-BAS before starting the INERA project and working only in the 250-850 nm wavelength range, could not provide sufficient wide spectral range for studying wide-bandgap semiconductor and transition metal oxide thin films and new multifunctional nanostructures. This problem was solved by purchasing the automatic spectroscopic ellipsometer model M2000D from J.A. Woollam Co. in the frame of INERA project. This new ellipsometer provides fast measurements at multiple-angles of incident light and in the spectral range of 193-1000 nm.
During the project INERA all thin films and nanostructures, deposited using both the ALD and PECVD new INERA equipments were measured with the new M2000D ellipsometer for determining films thickness and optical properties. Beside these, samples prepared by other techniques in the INERA partners laboratories, such as thin films of AlN, AlO, ZnO and α-C; thin Au and Ni layers on Si, sapphire or glass substrates; multilayer structures ZnO/GaN on sapphire and WO3/ITO and W0.92Mo0.08O3/ITO on glass and Al2O3/ HfO2 superlattices were also studied.

Activities performed by the Microfluidic set and the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy sets
ISSP research activities and perspectives include among others: Physics of soft and living matter, Biosensors and nanomembrane, Impact of Nanoparticles (NPs) on properties of complex biofluid systems. Those activities received significant support under INERA. As it was planned the acquisition of microfluidic (CellASIC™ ONIX, Merck Millipore) and electrochemical workstation equipment (SP-200, Bio-Logic) was carried out and thereby ISSP got capacities for studying in the field of the following domains: electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and micro fluidics. The new equipment allowed for undertaken several researches with the partnership of Italy and Sweden. Impedance spectroscopy set was applied to study of liquid crystals, nano-materials, membranes, polymer materials and other types of soft matter. Electrical properties of electrochromic materials, WO3 and mixed W–Mo oxide films, were investigated by impedance spectroscopy as well. The electrochemical workstation has been purchased equipped with an ultra low current probe, which extends the current range down to 1 pA thus allowing study of biomembranes as well as nano- and bio-technology research, photovoltaics, fuel cells, batteries, etc. EIS investigations on doping effects of nanoparticles embedded in soft matter nanostructures that have impact on the dielectrical, electrical and electrooptical properties of nanostructures with potential for future applications have been performed. By impedance spectroscopy, we have experimentally characterized the change of dielectric properties of azo-doped nanofilled nematic gel upon continuous UV light. The obtained results thereof were presented at the INERA conferences. The microfluidic system was used to conduct dynamic studies of model biological objects (as vesicles) for what purpose the system was integrated with an inverted microscope. Our achievements with CellASIC™ ONIX Microfluidic System include morphological study of lipid vesicles in presence of amphotericin B via modification of the microuidic CellASIC platform and LED illumination microscopy.

WP3. EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE AND MOBILITY
The strengthening of research and innovation capacity of the ISSP in the sphere of multifunctional nanostructures requires increasing the knowledge level and the research qualification of the ISSP employees. This goal, by a two-way mobility program for scientific exchange with the INERA partner institutions, has been achieved. The number of planned on-going visits was 109 and the total number of 110 two-way visits of young and senior researchers was carried out: 68 incoming and 42 outgoing visits. All the on-going visits were organized according to the rules accepted from the INERA board. During the visits the education on the new scientific subjects, objects and exchange of knowledge was carried out. This reflected on the scientific production: more articles, new projects, reports at the internationals conferences, etc. All the activities during the secondment, have been reported by written scientific reports and seminars.
The dissemination of the gained experience and knowledge within ISSP was accomplished by reporting seminars during on-going mobility and is expected to proceed through sustainable scientific cooperation.
1. The seminar activities:
• We conducted two seminars for announcement of the upcoming activity and the opportunities within the INERA project.
• Training seminars were organized on the INERA topic “Spectroscopic Ellipsometry”: a three-day seminar sequence by Prof. Mariuca Gartner from (NILPRP, Bucharest, Romania) and an additional seminar by Dr. Hermine Stroescu (NILPRP, Bucharest, Romania).
• Many seminars were held for lectures by visiting experienced researchers from INERA collaborative partners. Such examples are the lectures of: Dr. Jan van Dijk (TU/e, The Netherlands) on Simulating of Plasma Sources; Prof. Enzo Cazzanelli (IPCF - CNR, Italy) on Spectroscopic characterization of thin films; Prof. Gunnar Niklasson (DES UU, Sweden) on Impedance spectroscopy of electrochromic thin films; Dipl. Phys. Johannes Weicht (FT BUAS, Bielefeld, Germany) on Modeling the meta-stability of thin film Si-based tandem solar cells; Dr. Krishna Koduru (IPCF - CNR, Italy) on Novel solid-polymer blend electrolytes for electrochemical cell applications; Dr. Tiziana Ritacco (IPCF - CNR, Italy) on Laser writing of SERS substrate by photo-reduction of metallic precursors.
• Regularly conducted reporting seminars assured dissemination and sharing of the knowledge and experience acquired by the seconded ISSP employees among their colleagues from the ISSP research staff.
• To facilitate the reporting of the increased amount of completed secondments in 2015 and the communication with a visiting group of polish researchers (Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences – Warsaw) was organized a two-day seminar in November 2015. This event was massively attended and contributed to the involvement of a broader audience from ISSP and other BAS institutes in the knowledge transfer promoted by INERA.
• According to the INERA project schedule at the end of the project a concluding post-mobility seminar had to be conducted. The Seminar was organized as a three-days-workshop named: POSTMOBILITY EXPERIENCE SHARING. At this event scientists from ISSP-BAS who had been seconded for longer period or had accomplished frequent visits, gave lectures. Together with them 5 guests from the INERA partners who were visiting ISSP-BAS during the period of the Workshop, also presented very important scientific knowledge on different subjects.
• As a result of the mobility programme the contacts with European countries have been intensified. The exchange of scientific visits with the INERA partner countries has increased several times. The outgoing research visits to Italy, Poland, Germany and Great Britain have approximately doubled while the visits to the Netherlands and Sweden have increased five times in the INERA period in comparison to the preceding three-year period. Similarly, the incoming visits to ISSP have increased between two times (from Romania) to ten times (from Germany). Additionally, the entire scientific exchange of ISSP with research institutions abroad was enhanced: the total number of outgoing secondments has increased by 20% while the total number of incoming visits has tripled.
2. New research topics:

The INERA activities have conributed to significant gain in the level of knowledge in the ISSP. The resulting increase of knowledge and innovation capacity of the ISSP employees is manifested by the appearance of new research topics in the publications sponsored by INERA. These topics correspond to the new research directions promoted by the INERA project: Graphene, Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, Atomic layer deposition, femtosecond lasers, Nanomembranes, Smart windows, Dielectric and impedance spectroscopy etc. The results can be assessed by summarizing the different types of publication and presentation activities directly or indirectly facilitated by the activity of INERA during the project implementation. The following publishing and presentation activity sponsored by the mobility program has been established up to now:
• Articles: A total of 10 articles in journals (7 of them with impact-factor) and 25 full-text proceeding papers from international conferences.
• Participation in conferences: 35 oral presentations and 55 poster presentations at international conferences.
• Presentations at seminars – 57 presentations with relevance to the research fields of INERA given at training, reporting and experience sharing seminars as follows:
a. 38 presentations delivered by outgoing researchers of ISSP: 13 at the corresponding host institution and 25 at reporting seminars;
b. 31 presentations delivered by incoming researchers from the INERA partners;
• A significant part of the material of two PhD theses (Stefan Karatodorov and Danka Yordanova) was prepared as a result of several visits to the INERA partner TU/Eindhoven.
• Scientific agreements with 5 INERA partners were signed: NILPRP, Romania; FH Bielefeld, Germany; EPG - TUe, NL; DES-UU, Sweden; IPCF-CNR, Italy.
WP 4. INNOVATION CAPACITY BUILDING
One of the main impacts of the INERA activity is the enhancement of ISSP innovation potential and exploration of possible areas for commercialization through Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy development and training of researchers on IP and knowledge transfer utilization and management and commercialization of research results.
The impact of the accomplished tasks:
1. Recruitment of an IP manager
The appointment of Mrs. Christina Koycheva, a legal specialist with experience in intellectual property protection has contributed significantly to the overall innovation activity and especially in the establishment of a legal framework for intellectual property protection in the Institute.
2. Elaboration of IP and KT code of practice
A document introducing the basic principles of ISSP intellectual ownership policy was written and Rules of Creation, Registration, Protection and Management of Intellectual Property in the ISSP, based on the recommendations of the Commission of 10 April 2008 on the management of intellectual property in public research organizations were further elaborated. The Rules were reviewed and approved by the Scientific Council and the Assembly of Research Scientists of ISSP in January, 2015.
As a result of the regular discussions with representatives of the Joint Innovation Centre (JIC-BAS), based on the agreement, signed by ISSP and JIC-BAS for mutual cooperation and joint activities, the Institute is regularly informed for national and international scientific and business structures as mutual partners or clients for scientific and applied results of ISSP.
3. Embedding valorization and dissemination of research results
• An expert working group was structured with the task to investigate and identify the main problems in the spread and effective use of research results in the ISSP. The group comprised representatives of industry stakeholders and potential end users. as V. Stanchev - Deputy Director of JIC–BAS; Prof. K. Kostadinov – GIS Transfer Center; Mr. M. Ganev – Industrialist Club member; Dr. K. Yanev - "Asarel-Medet"; Dr. P. Dochev - "INCOTEX", Botevgrad; Mr. I. Cholakov - "OPTIX" JSC, Panagyurishte. An impact of the expert group activities are the initiated discussions for the implementation of the ISSP applied research results in the Bulgarian industry.
• For efficient dissemination of information about research results and aimed at engagement of investors, government structures, agencies, companies, research organizations into the Institute research process, 3 stakeholders meetings and 1 Technology Transfer Workshop were organised:
- Stakeholders Meeting NANOPHOTONICS: New Optical Equipment in ISSP-BAS, November 27th, 2014, 15 participants, Presented Equipment: Femtosecond laser system; Woollam M2000 UV/Vis spectroscopic ellipsometer; Perkin Elmer-Lambda 1050 UV/VIS/NIR spectrophotometer; Bruker Optics Vertex 70 FTIR spectrometer
- Stakeholders Meeting NANOTECHNOLOGY AND NANOMATERIALS: New Equipment in ISSP-BAS, December 10th, 2015, 30 participants, Presented Equipment: Electrochemical workstation for electrical characterization of materials and thin films; Automated microfluidic platform; Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD); Chemical vapour deposition (CVD)
- Stakeholders Meeting NANOBIOTECHNOLOGIES: New Equipment in ISSP-BAS, June 28th, 2016, 22 participants, Presented Equipment: Membrane Filtration System; Automated Microfluidic Platform; Compact Handheld Cytometer
- Technology Transfer Workshop ANALYTICAL TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN CULTURAL HERITAGE, Satellite event to 4th BSA, September 29, 2014, 32 participants (10 countries), Presented Equipment: Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy; Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy; Laser Doppler Vibrometry; Colorimetry; 3D Scanning; X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
The aim of the stakeholders meetings was to meet the scientists with representatives of leading companies in the industry in Bulgaria and other potential end users as: Opteco&Ppartners Ltd.; OPTIX JSC, AMG Technology Ltd; HOLDING CIMCOOP; LABEXPERT; Bulgarian MINT; Progene Ltd.; Microna Ltd.; the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Sofia Tech Park; Technical University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy; University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy; Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics; Institute of Neurobiology; Sofia University; JIC-BAS. All stakeholders meetings concluded with discussions of the possibilities of using the new equipment for joint research activities and the realization of joint projects by the interested parties. Visits to the laboratories with the new equipment at ISSP were organized after the meetings. Workshop on Technology Transfer "Analytical tools and technologies in cultural heritage" was organized as a side event within the Fourth Balkan Symposium on Archaeometry with the aim to demonstrate various innovative methods developed in ISSP and the possibilities for their application in protection of cultural heritage. Practical demonstrations with portable equipment in real conditions and on the site (in the museum "Ancient Nessebar" and "St. Stephan" church) were performed.
• Contacts with business and employers’ organizations in Bulgaria were established, namely the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Dr. M. Grozeva was invited to join the Innovation Council of BCCI as a representative of ISSP.
• ISSP has successfully established a connection with the executive director of TechPark in Sofia, who has participated at one of our workshops as a lecturer, discussing potential cooperation and synergies with the Institute's scientific teams. Currently, ISSP working on ‘intellectual property dissemination’ kept its contact with the TechPark's management, planning next steps of cooperation subject to final establishment of the TechPark's concept for delivering services.
The impact of the meetings with business was that the scientific teams refocused their research efforts and interest from mainly publications oriented to product oriented work.
4. Training on entrepreneurial culture
In order to improve the innovation potential of ISSP by providing practical knowledge about the protection of intellectual property rights, funding and transforming scientific ideas into business project three training Workshops were organized:
- Training Workshop INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION, October 23rd- 24th, 2014, Starossel, 22 participants, 5 lecturers: Marco Dzhiordzhini, DG 'Joint Research Centre' at the European Commission; Tsanka Petkova, an expert at the Patent Office of Bulgaria; Christina Koycheva manager "Intellectual Property" in ISSP; Sasho Donchev, Chairman of the Board of Bulgarian Industrial Association and CEO of "Overgas" JSC; Ventsislav Slavkov, board member of the BIA and manager of 'SPECIMA' LTD
- Training Workshop KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, August 31st - September 2nd, 2015, Borovets, 47 participants, 9 lecturers: Prof. Nikolay Denkov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Zlatina Karova, Director of "Science" at Ministry of Education and Science; Sigrid Gillis, intellectual property expert at IMEC, Leuven, Belgium; Elena Andonova, ISIS Enterprise consultant, Oxford University, England; Diana Mihaylova, CEO of "PlasimoWorks", spin-off company at Technological University of Eindhoven (TU/E), The Netherlands; Radka Yaneva, a patent specialist the Patent Office in Bulgaria; Acad. Nikola Sabotinov, BAS; Marin Pandev, senior experts, Joint Innovation Centre, BAS; Daniela Levy, senior experts, Joint Innovation Centre, BAS
- Training Workshop INNOVATION AS USUAL, March 22nd – 24th, 2016, Varshets, 53 participants, 7 lecturers: Bart de Jong, Technology Transfer Manager, Innovation Lab of TU/e, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Dimitar Platnikov, senior expert, "European Funds for Competitiveness" at the Ministry of Economy; Elitsa Karadjova, CEO, Sofia Tech Park; Dobrin Mirevski, business manager and consultant; Ivan Davidov, financial consultant and manager;
Christina Koycheva, INERA IP manager; Filip Genov, First Vice President at UNICREDIT BULBANK
As a result of the training, the innovation activity of the researchers was encouraged and assisted applications of new patents. The number of filed patents to the Bulgarian Patent Office reached 6 for the last two years (2015-2016), compared to 8 for the period 2000-2014.

• The IP manager and a second representative of the Institute took part in EU R&I – Master of Finance and Administration, a two-day educational course in Brussels, Belgium on November 12th to 14th 2014. Their participation in the two day course - a combination between lectures and practical trainings, contributed for strengthening their financial management skills and to give them a feeling about the practical issues that could arise in relation to the implementation of the financial guidelines during the performance of an R&I project funded by the European Union.
• As a result of the intensified international contacts the IP Manager was invited to the Annual Meeting of Technology Transfer Circles, organized by the European Joint Research Centre (JRC), on 26 and 27 May 2016 in San Sebastian, as well as at Macro-Regional Innovation Week, Trieste, Italy from the 26th to the 30th of September 2016.
5. Elaboration of a strategic Intellectual Property development plan and innovation capacity building
• In order to implement the best European practices in intellectual property policy, work contacts with the innovation teams of IMEC, Leuven, Belgium and TUE, Eindhoven, The Netherlands have been initiated. At the meetings the ISSP team presented the latest developments in the Institute, the new equipment acquired, the teams of scientists and development topics. Attention was drawn to the potential contacts with other research institutes and industry that would be interested in the services and products of ISSP. As a result of the discussions methodological assistance and cooperation in exchange of sample documentation to support the development of a technology transfer office at ISSP was also agreed.
• The aim to outline the actual situation in the Institute through the eyes of outside observers with experience in business development and to provide ideas and recommendations for possible strategic actions of the Institute, an inquiry was initiated. The analysis outlined the research priority areas of the Institute. The strategic actions offered as a result of the inquiry analysis were:
− Restructuring (incl. Administrative) of the Institute,
− Creating organizational and administrative capacity, procedures and practices to identify and exploit opportunities for valorization of assets/performance of the Institute,
− Partnership with similar research organizations (in Bulgaria and abroad) and national or international initiatives and programs,
The main observations and conclusions in the analysis were widely reviewed by the Scientific Council of the Institute and were used in the above mentioned restructuring of the Institute.

WP5. STRENGTHENING VISIBILITY – INTEGRATION OF ISSP-BAS IN THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA AS A MAJOR PLAYER
Several types of events were implemented by INERA Work Package 5 through organization of 2 International Conferences with crucial topics of Nanostructures Science, 3 International Workshops, 6 Training Seminars for local partners with participants from the INERA Partner countries, 4 Round Tables and 5 Work Meetings following each Advisory Board Meeting. In addition, 73 scientists (37 young and 36 senior scientists) from the ISSP-BAS were supported to participate in international symposiums, conferences and short training courses, organized by European scientific organizations. INERA Work Package 6 organized three “Open-day” actions for presentation of the ISSP-BAS experimental techniques and research results, and the INERA equipment. Students from secondary schools and high education institutions and representatives from industrial bodies and local administration attended these events.

The visibility of Bulgarian Physical Sciences on local and European levels was increased:
- By dissemination of the ISSP-BAS research achievements in Bulgaria, as well as in European scientific organizations;
- By exchange of knowledge and experiences realized on local and European levels;
- By new knowledge gained by the ISSP-BAS scientists in Nanostructures Science and Technology;
- New collaborations by signing 6 agreements with the INERA partners and other research institutions beyond INERA Project;
- By establishing of general frame of cooperation with national scientific institutions and companies;
For strengthening the visibility of ISSP-BAS into ERA, the following activities were fulfilled:

1. Creation of the Nano- structures partner platform:
• 4 Round tables were organized for implementing the cooperation strategy in order to establish the general frame of cooperation with national scientific institutions and companies.
• Following each Advisory Board Meeting, 5 Work Meetings were organized with participation of INERA Partners representatives to work out the ISSP-BAS platform for future joint collaborations.

Results :
• Multifunctonal Nano-structures Science and Technology Platform with INERA partners is developed;
• New collaborations with other research institutions beyond INERA Project were realized;
• A common research road map for future partnership was worked out;
• The general frame of cooperation with national scientific institutions and companies was established;

Monitoring documents:
• Report on activities related to Partner Platform
• 5 Agreements with Institutions of INERA Partner countries
• 1 Agreement with non INERA Partner country institution
• 1 Agreement - innovation driven project with a Bulgarian company

All contacts with the representatives from INERA Partner countries during the numerous INERA events organized by INERA Work package 5 and the “Open days” activities organized by INERA Work package 6, assisted in the establishment of future joint research programs with scientific institutions. The INERA activities of INERA Work package 3, dealing with Mobility visits of Bulgarian scientists to scientific institutions of Partner countries, and of INERA Work package 2, hiring of young scientists to INERA Project to work with the newly supplied INERA equipment have also contributed to this process. As a result, for future collaboration in research for the period 2016-2020 five Agreements with scientific institutions from the Partner countries and one agreement with non-partner country were signed up:

1. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and the Technical University, Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven, The Netherlands: The subjects of the joint research are laser and discharge produced plasmas for nanostructure synthesis and surface modification and laser ablation.
2. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld/ Bielefeld Institute for Applied Materials Research, Germany. Theoretical and experimental research in Nanophysics and Nanostructure’s Science and Technology is planned.
3. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and the National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiations Physics, Romania. The subject of the joint research is application of ultrafast laser technique in material processing and characterization.
4. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and the Division of Solid State Physics, Department of Engineering, Uppsala University, Sweden. The purpose of this joint research is twofold: (i) Theoretical and experimental investigation of chromogenic smart materials, their application in low-energy highly efficient solar architectural buildings and (ii) Collaboration with business community regarding both research and application of the research results.
5. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and the Department of Physics at the University of Calabria Rende (CS), Italy. Nanostructured Soft Matter Systems are planed to be investigated aiming creation of Advanced Research Projects on Energy Storage and Bio Applications.
6. Agreement between ISSP-BAS and Centre for Energy Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary. The subjects of this collaboration are theoretical and experimental investigations in Nanophysics and Nanostructures.

In addition, an innovation project with a Bulgarian company, namely “EFFECT09” Lls Gorna Oryahovitza, was signed up for the period of 2016-2020. The aims of this collaboration are development of technology of conductive polymer material and their investigation for application in energy efficient devices.
Based on the research and human capacity the further development of ISSP in the following prospective fields is foreseen:

Functional materials and nanostructures:
Physics and technology of new functional materials;
Functional materials and nanostructures for different applications:
Gas- and optoelecronic sensors;
Emerging non-volatile memories (NVM);
Energy harvesting;

Laser physics, atomic physics and applications:

Development and testing of laser systems with ultra-short pulses and laser micro- and nanoprocessing of materials;
Interdisciplinary studies using laser methods;
Quantum optics;

Soft Matter Systems for different (sensors, energy storage and bio-) applications:
Thermotropic liquid crystalline structures and polymers;
Lipid membranes;

2. International visibility - Networking and collaboration with European actors and platforms in related fields:

• 2 International conferences with crucial topics of Nanostructures Science were organized.
On the first INERA conference “LIGHT in NANOSCIENCE and NANOTECHNOLOGY (LNN)”, http://lnn2015.issp.bas.bg/ fruitful discussions between INERA Partners took place considering the possibilities of future joint research and innovation directions.
The second INERA conference „Vapor Phase Technologies for Metal Oxide and Carbon Nanostructures“, http://inera2016.issp.bas.bg/ became a forum for discussion how to proceed with INERA research and innovation development after the end of the project, how to utilize the significant experience of INERA Partners in the area of energy saving, new materials design and implementation, nano-membrane science and technology, water maintenance, solar energy utilization.

• Participation of ISSP-BAS researchers in international events related to the research areas of INERA Project; 73 scientists (37 young and 36 senior) from the ISSP-BAS were financed to take part in international symposiums, conferences and training courses organized by European scientific organizations. The 101 presentations included 7 invited lectures, 33 oral and 61 poster presentations.
There is an obvious increase in the number of participations, and respectively number of presented contributions with the INERA project.

Results:
• Increased international visibility was achieved.
• New knowledge was gained.
• Exchange of knowledge and experiences were realized.
• The ISSP-BAS research potential was strengthened.
• The ISSP-BAS research achievements were disseminated on local and European levels.
• Enhancement of the skill of the ISSP-BAS scientists in Nanostructures Science and
Technology was achieved.

Monitoring documents:
• Reports on events;
• List of participants; Programs;
• Abstract books;
• 60 scientific papers published in J. Phys. Conf. Series vol. 682 and vol. 764, 2016 (IOP Publishing); Media publication in 4 national newspapers and 2 web news
• Personal Reports of participants;
• Scientific papers published in relevant scientific journals;

3. National visibility -Networking and collaboration with Bulgarian actors and authority bodies to federate these entities and to enhance Bulgarian participation in the ERA:

• 3 Workshops for local partners were organized with participants from the INERA Partners countries.
- The INERA Workshop entitled “Transition Metal Oxides as Functional Layers in “Smart windows” and “Water Splitting” Devices”, related to the research of INERA Working Group 3 “Smart window-electrochromic devices and electrochemical splitting of water”, was organized in September 4- 6th , 2014 in Varna, St. St. Konstantin and Elena, Bulgaria. The participants were 42, 16 from Sweden, Germany, Romania, Hungary; the invited lecturers were 11, young participants were 28. From the 37 abstracts sent, 21 manuscripts were written, later refereed and published: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 559, 2014, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/559/1/012002, http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/559/1/012002/pdf.
- The INERA workshop entitled „Laser and Plasma Matter Interaction“(LPMI 2015), was held in November 18-20th, 2015 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The 43 participants were mainly from the Bulgarian research institutions and INERA partners from Romania, Poland, and Netherlands and also from Serbia. The workshop was devoted to the research related to INERA Working Group 5 “Lasers and Laser Assisted Annealing of Nanostructures”. The topics of the LPMI programme were related to the fundamentals of laser and plasma interaction with materials and their application in nanoelectronics, spintronics, bio-photonics, medicine, ecology and preservation of cultural heritage. Contacts were established with representatives of Bulgarian companies working in the field of laser technology, scientists and students from the Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. Later agreements for common work were signed.
The results reported at the workshop are published in the Bulgarian Journal of Physics, vol. 43 (2) , 2016; http://www.bjp-bg.com/
- The INERA Workshop „Membrane and Liquid Crystal Nanostructures (MELINA), September 4-5th, 2016, Varna, Bulgaria, related to the research of INERA Working Group 4 “Nanomembrane and Liquid crystal nanostructures: research and applications”, was organized with topics of Nanostructured liquid crystal systems and nanocomposites, Soft and living matter physics, Membrane biophysics, Nanostructures in polymer and lipid membranes, Characterization of soft nanomaterials.
15 manuscripts were submitted to the Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series, IOP Publishing. Bulgarian contributions are 11. Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), vol. 780, 2017; http://iopscience.iop.org/issue/1742-6596/780/1

• 6 Training Seminars for participants from regional RTD partner institutions were organized, each followed by practical ‘teach-ings’ on use of the new INERA experimental techniques and equipment. The number of participants per Training Seminar was around 28.

Results:
• Enhancement of the skill of the ISSP-BAS scientists in Nanostructures Science and Technology was achieved.
• The purchased by the INERA project technological equipment and experimental techniques, as well as the research results achieved using these facilities were popularized among local science and industrial community.
• The connection between the local scientific and industrial institutions was improved.
Monitoring documents:
• Reports on the workshops;
• List of participants; Programs;
• Abstract books; 36 scientific papers published in J. Phys. Conf. Series vol. 559, 2014 and vol. 780, 2017; 2 scientific papers published in Bulg. J. Phys. vol. 43 no. 2 (2016) (Heron Press Ltd., Sofia);
• Media publication in 3 national newspapers and 2 web news;

WP 6. PROJECT DISSEMINATION

Work Package 6 took care of the dissemination of information on all activities related to the project INERA to ensure a wide visibility during the project execution plan. Accomplished tasks:

Development of a graphic design of the project's visual identity

The visual presentation strategy was towards enhancing the visibility of the project and efforts were concentrated on the design of a unique logo and a representative folder and letterheads. It is worth noticing that printed and online dissemination materials (newsletters, leaflets, brochures and the website) are informative and follow the current graphic design trends.

Design and development of a bilingual (Bulgarian and English) INERA Portal

INERA Portal was designed for the project to meet all the requirements of a modern website from one hand and to inform the interested visitors about all the aspects of the project in the best possible manner from the other. The website, whose URL is http://www.inera.org, was made public on 15 January 2014. The website continuously informed the community about the activities of the Project all along the execution period.

INERA Website

INERA Portal: http://www.inera.org/

Contact persons: Prof. Hassan Chamati, Assoc. Prof. Radostina Kamburova

The website architecture consists of a set of public web pages open to any visitor and a member area with controlled access restricted to participants in the project, as well as the collaborative partners. Upgrading the website was a primary task of WP6 personnel. The portal was reorganized to meet the needs of visitors and to allow INERA members to access a user friendly platform.

The website has attracted many users around the world. Thus, increasing the Institute’s visibility and informing the visitors about achievements thanks to the finance provided by EU. We believe that the portal serves its purpose very successfully.

Press Release

Preparation and editing of printed communication materials, such as press release, brochures etc. During the whole project’s period WP6 has released eleven Information Bulletins (three months each) containing details of all events and curriculum vitae of newly hired members. Furthermore, a number of leaflets, brochures and articles have been published in printed and electronic media. Electronic copies of all these communication materials could be found on the portal of the project.

Project INERA – dissemination News targeting the Bulgarian reader on the different project events are periodically published on Internet portal of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (http://www.bas.bg), local media and national newspapers.
The interest in achievements of INERA project and new laboratories equipped on EU level has been continued after the formal finishing of the project and information in mass media goes on.

Organisation of Open Days

WP6 has organised a series of Open Days (October 16th – 17th, 2014, October 16th – 17th, 2015 and September 16th, 2016). Invitations to attend this important event were sent to Partners, industrial bodies, local, as well as national administrative authorities and mainly to high-schools and universities. The aim of this was is to promote the activities of the project and to offer scientific insights to the visitors. All materials are available at the web portal of INERA:

In October 16th, 2015 the Institute has hosted a meeting of the “Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Council to the Mayor of Sofia Municipality”. During this meeting the members of the council and the Mayor had the opportunity to get in touch with the scientific atmosphere at the Institute and to get ample information on the project and its goal aiming at transforming the Institute into a leading scientific centre in Bulgaria.

Furthermore, WP6 has organised two information days targeting the scientific community (Institute and Universities) in Bulgaria. The first was organized on October 9th, 2015 at the main Hall of the Central building of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the second one on February 22, 2016 took place at the premises of the Institute where it was possible to demonstrate the capabilities of the equipment and pave the way for new potential partnerships.
Days after the end of the project an exhibition entitled “ISSP & INERA: Equipment and Research” was held at the Hall of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. A seminar took place at the premises of the Institute to demonstrate the positive impact of the Project INERA on the research and innovation capacity of ISSP-BAS. This seminar attracted students from high schools and universities, and scientists from research institutions and Industrial bodies. During the seminars the participants had the opportunity to visit the modern laboratories and to get acquainted with research to be conducted at ISSP-BAS in the future and its readiness to enter into ERA. The seminar was has benefited from a wide dissemination activities thanks to the presence of national TV broadcasters, newspapers and electronic media.
The closing day of AB meeting became an “open day”, as well. Students from high school and Faculty of Physics of Sofia University visited laboratories of ISSP. This activity is important for future development of human potential of Institute.

WP 7. PROJECT MANAGEMENT:

Administrative & Financial management and reporting

The overall INERA activities were governed by a Management Board. The Board included: Management of the project by Academician Alexander G. Petrov, Coordinator, Prof. Kiril Blagoev, in charge of Financial and Administrative Management as well as Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emil Vlachov, Project manager; Leaders and vice-leaders of the WP, namely: WP1- Assoc. Prof. Y. Marinov; WP2- Prof. N. Tonchev, Prof. M. Gospodinov; WP3 – Assoc. Prof. E. Dimova, Assoc. Prof. P. Rafailov; WP4 – Assoc. Prof. M. Grozeva, Assoc. Prof. E. Radeva; WP5 – Prof. K. Gesheva, Assoc. Prof. A. Szekeres; WP6 – Prof. H. Chamati, Assoc. Prof. R. Kamburova; WP7 – Assoc. Prof. E. Vlachov, Assoc. Prof. T. Ivanova; Finansial Manager E. Popova, Administrative Consultant P. Starev.
The strategy management of the INERA project was carried out by Advisory Board, which involves top level scientists from 6 EU leading countries: Italy –Prof. E Cazzanelli, Prof. M. Giocondo; Germany – Prof. F. Hamelmann; UK – Prof. L. Peeva; Netherlands – Prof. J. van Deik; Sweden – Prof. C-Goran Granquist; Poland – Prof. K. Rogacki, Prof. E. Guziewicz and from Bulgaria - Prof. K. Kostadinov. The AB members took part in various events of INERA and in this respect they were in a close contact with all members of INERA team.

The administrative procedures in the framework of the project were established in the beginning of the project and expressed its efficiency for each action in the framework of the project as well as were performed following the usual practices at the Institute in accordance with the legislation of Bulgaria. INERA Management Board and ISSP-BAS Administration were responsible for all the contractual documents (management reports, periodic reports, cost statements, etc.) to be properly prepared and all of them have been sent to the Bulgarian or European Authorities in due time. The financial management was conducted by the PC, Academician Alexander G. Petrov and Prof. Kiril Blagoev, in charge of Financial and Administrative Management in the frame of INERA project. In these activities INERA Management Board were fully supported by ISSP-BAS Administration. The INERA Management Team has assured a good communication between the Institute and its collaborative partners and between ISSP-BAS and the EC.
Every particular action was initiated by a WP leader report addressed to the Coordinator, in which the specific event was described as well as required financial resources were pointed out. The Coordinator’s order fixed the procedure of implementation and the responsible persons. The action finished with a report, which was discussed and approved by INERA Management Board. Lists of participants attending the event were always prepared.
Day-to-day management activities
The day-to-day management was ensured by the PM, Doc. Dr. Emil Vlakhov, reporting to the PC, Acad. A. G. Petrov and to INERA Management Board. During the reporting period (M36-M42) as well as the whole duration of the project INERA, the day-to-day management was the main responsibility of the Project Manager - PM (Doc. Emil Vlakhov) and the Financial and Administrative Manager – FAM (Prof. Kiril Blagoev), supported by Assistant Manager (Mr. Plamen Starev)
Each INERA Work Package Leader was responsible for the follow-up of activities lead at ISSP-BAS or abroad.

Strategic Management
The strategy management of INERA project was planned during AB meetings beginning with kick-off AB/SC meeting hold on 05 and 06 December 2013. The last AB/SC Meeting was held on M42 together with INERA Evaluator Team (Chairperson - Prof. Doriana Dimova-Malinovska). The updated SWOT analysis and Platform of ISSP sustainable development were proposed and thoroughly discussed, so they could become the basis of directions to be approved for implementation by ISSP Management and ISSP Scientific Council. The conclusion of AB/SC was that the project was very successful, fulfilled the initial objectives and brings the Institute to the European standards of research organization.

Reporting to the European Commission
ISSP-BAS Administration / INERA Management Board prepared and provided the European Commission with INERA Deliverables Reports in due time.


WP 8. EVALUATION OF ISSP-BAS RESEARCH STRATEGY

The nomination of independent experts was discussed during the AB meeting (M36) and was based on the suggestions of the AB members shortly after that. The criteria were qualification of the candidates; connection to the topic of the INERA project and experience of evaluation of EC and/or other major international projects as well as relevant expertise in the topics of INERA and their CV were discussed on the Management Board (dated 25 October 2016). The following high level scientists from different countries were considered – Prof. Eva Majkova, Dr. Marek Kocik, Dr. Anton Ficai, Prof. Merlyne De Sosa, Prof. Doriana Malinovska. The list was send to EC. On the Management Board (dated 22 November 2016) it was decided to extend invitation letters to Prof. Eva Majkova - Slovakia; Dr. Marek Kocik – Poland and Prof. Doriana Malinovska – Bulgaria. These colleagues agreed to act as ex- post- evaluators of the INERA project and their names were communicated to EC.

The following documents were prepared and sent to the team of evaluators:
Information concerning the Institute – its size, projects, departments, fields of scientific research, partners from Bulgaria and abroad; compressed information of all INERA project activities. The INERA first and second mid-term reports were also provided to the international team.

Evaluation agenda was elaborated in a way to fulfill the requirements of ex-post evaluators and the stage of preparation of all documents for the procedure. The ex-post evaluator’s team has paid two visits at the Institute. The first visit had duration of 3 days. The agenda is presented in Annex 1. According to the agenda the evaluation team elected Prof. D. Malinovska as Chairperson. The team had the opportunity to discuss with the Management team of INERA and leaders of working groups. The ex-post – evaluator’s team was acquainted with experimental apparatuses, purchased under the project as well as other equipment at the Institute. The ex-post evaluators had opportunities to have discussions with young scientists in particular PhD students appointed at the Institute. Separate discussions were carried out with recruited young scientists. During the final discussion with Project management the post INERA activities have been planned. It was decided that the second visit of the ex-post evaluation team had been carried out just before last AB/SC meeting. The agenda of the second visit of ex-post evaluation team is presented in Annex 1. In the interval between two visits the evaluators’ team was supplied with all required information both for INERA implementation and ISSP-BAS activities.

Scientific and Technological Strategy of ISSP-BAS was performed taking into account traditional fields of scientific research at the Institute and substantial development of the Institute due to INERA project. In this activity a new management of the Institute, namely Deputy Director of the Institute Prof. Albena Paskaleva, Scientific secretary Dr. Julia Genova and Chairperson of the Scientific Council of the Institute Prof. Diana Nesheva prepared considerable part of the work. The draft of the Strategy was discussed and accepted on the Management Board of INERA project with Scientific Council of Institute and leaders of the Institute departments.

Presentation of the report to the Advisory Board and Local Authorities. As it was planned and arranged with evaluator’s team during the first day of the second visit the report was presented on the Management Board. After discussions the report was approved. The report and scientific strategy were presented to the Advisory Board/Steering Committee. The main achievements of the ISSP-BAS and INERA project were presented by Director of the ISSP Prof. Hassan Chamati to the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Acad. Prof. J. Revalski, Vice President of Bulgarian Economic Chamber as well as student from Faculty of Physics of Sofia University and high school students. President of BAS visited new laboratories created under the INERA project.


Potential Impact:
The main purpose of INERA project, fulfilled by numerous tasks and activities, is achieving long term impact on Institute of Solid State Physics development and redirecting research to frontier topics of physics. In this respect the innovation potential of ISSP-BAS has been enhanced. The socio-economic impact of ISSP-BAS at national level has been considerable and at European level has been noticeable. The development of infrastructure and human capacity guaranteed the quality of research performed in the Institute of Solid State Physics. Performance of national as well as international mobility with six leading European Universities contributed to the research capacity of the ISSP-BAS and lead to new directions of research and proposal applications. Joint research activities with partner institutions and participation in scientific events resulted in successful performance at EU level. Recruitment of 11 experienced researchers, 8 of them taking permanent positions in Institute of Solid State Physics, as well as further attraction of young experienced researchers, has been one of main goals of management of ISSP, since it provides continuation of research capacity of the Institute in the field of nanophysics. The experienced researchers took part in installation of new equipment putting in to operation. They also membered teams which organised different INERA events. The exchange of knowledge, experience and know-how with young scientists provided sustainable growth of the potential of ISSP-BAS and its better integration in European Research Area. Upgrading the infrastructure of ISSP-BAS allowed to carry out successful research in a field of nanophysics, namely obtaining graphene (material of the future), nanotubes and other type of thin layers by ALD and PE CVD apparatus, using a facility for their modification by fs-laser and characterisation by ellipsometer and z-impedance spectroscopy. Nano-filtration set-up provided a new possibility for research in nanobiophysics. The new equipment forwarded the research of Institute of Solid State Physics from micro- to nano-physics level. Competence was developed by training in equipment operation. Young scientists have also passed the education course on apparatus exploitation. This is the base for their further qualification.

Innovation capacity building impact
Impact on the innovation capacity of ISSP is complex of main achievements of the INERA project. A new, top level equipment were acquired. These apparatus of various type of nano- and femto- physics and enable obtaining and characterization of the most advanced multifunctional nanomaterials. The equipment and surrounding infrastructure allow to establish Nanocentre for study the matter at nanolevel. Along with instrumental development a scientific staff passed throughout different type of training seminar, courses and workshops. The number of experienced scientists were attracted to the scientific team of ISSP. The strengthening of research and innovation capacity of the ISSP requires further increasing the knowledge level and the research qualification of the ISSP employees. The exchange visits with partner institution lead to further improvement of scientific capacity of ISSP team. As a results, a number of scientific publications in high ranking scientific journals have been published. In this respect, ISSP have made a step from micro and nanosecond physics to nano- and femto-second physics and new topics in these fields have been established. Thus our research activities reach state of art of studying the matter at nanolevel, which increases our image among the world notorious science centers. The significant effort to provoke and attract the business partners and clients through showing our capacity for providing advance ideas related to business and entrepreneurs has been made. Significant effects are achieved in creating favorable conditions for accelerated transfer of knowledge and technologies to high tech business as well as the leading European institutions in European research and technological area. This activity aims at unlocking the innovation potential of IP for developing vanguard and high added value of new materials and technologies. Advanced materials in combination with new technologies can provide solutions for major social, industrial and environmental challenges concerning utilization of natural resources, energy production and energy saving, biotechnologies, medicine etc. The general impact of the ISSP activities is in reducing the gap between the available innovation knowledge in IP and the need for its application in industry in Bulgaria and Europe.
The report of scientific results on international congresses and conferences as well as scientific events organizing in the frame work of INERA project and the communication with top level scientists have been significant adding value to innovation building of ISSP.
Research fields in which the Institute has traditional successes and international recognition, important for economic and social development of the country, also the new interdisciplinary ISSP structure, the high human capacity, evidenced by the presence of leading scientists and young researchers, recruited within the INERA project and employed at different positions by ISSP, are a guarantee for sustainable development of the innovation capabilities of Institute of Solid State Physics.

Integration in ERA

Indeed, implementation of INERA project enhanced the capacity of ISSP for further integration in ERA (just as the acronym INERA pretends to). This is mainly due to obtaining new equipment, building new laboratories, providing training for scientific staff, enhancing mobility to partner laboratories, participating in high level conferences and reporting new results, attracting experienced researchers to permanent positions in the Institute.
The new equipment items upgraded the capabilities of the experimental labs in the field of nano-science, in particular to obtaining, treatment and characterization of different types of nanostructures. The exchange visits in partner institutions provided additional growing of capacity of ISSP team. Most of publications due to implementation of INERA were published in high ranking scientific journals. Some of the publications were prepared with co-authors from partner institutes. The close collaboration with partner institutions lead to preparation and submission proposals to different type programmes of EC. This activities show that Institute became a desirable partner for other scientific projects. The essential point of further integration of ISSP in ERA, which is due to implementation of INERA, is that the Institute became more recognizable in scientific community.
During scientific conferences and workshops organized in the framework of INERA top level scientists, not only from project partner institutions, but also from other leading EU scientific organizations were invited. Thanks to presentations of scientific results and discussions the visibility and reliability of ISSP as a partner for joint proposals on EU level was also increased.
The higher capacity of ISSP, both instrumentally and in human development, provided the marked success in the last Call for projects by the Bulgarian National Science Foundation.

Impact from dissemination and communication of INERA achievements (research results)

Among the main goals of INERA Project were: Increasing visibility of ISSP-BAS on local and European Research Area as a major player in multifunctional nanostructures innovation area and Establishing of the ISSP-BAS future research platform. To achieve these goals it was important to keep an intensive and diversified communication campaign targeting the Bulgarian Society as integral part of the European Community.
The scientific results were disseminated and verified at high level international scientific conferences by INERA team members. A total of 73 scientists (37 young and 36 senior) from ISSP-BAS took part in international symposia, conferences and training courses organized by European scientific organizations. They delivered 101 presentations, including 7 invited lectures, 33 oral and 61 poster presentations. These INERA activities on national and international levels influenced ISSP-BAS capacity for research and innovation and promoted the integration of ISSP-BAS to European Research Area. The dissemination and communication of INERA achievements have been carried out during the conferences and workshops organised by INERA project, where these results were discussed by top level scientists from EU, including partner Universities.
In accordance to the INERA project’s PR program the official municipal representatives, including the Mayor of City of Sofia were informed about the project scales, outcomes and benefits. It was pointed out that the acquired facilities and technologies can be used in the field of life quality improvement, pollution control, preservation of cultural heritage, etc.
We have chosen small country towns for conference venues for the scientific events of INERA project in order to spread the INERA results and crushable contribution of EU throughout local authorities and society.
For dissemination of INRA achievements throughout the society different types of communications were used. Mainly, publications in central newspapers (15); in popular press (55); media briefings (1); interviews (3); flyers (3); brochures (2); press release in Bulletin of BAS, etc.

The socio economic impact

The information about new equipment and new labs capabilities have been announced in Web site of the Institute. This information has been addressed to scientific organizations in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as to SMEs as a platform for further joint research and projects. Other activity in this respect has been to expose project achievements on mass media in order to bring this information to wider audience. In this activity, the main target have been from high schools’ students, Faculty of Physics of Sofia University undergraduates, as well as students from other Technical Universities. During the Open Doors events, organised in the framework of INERA project public lectures from leading Institute scientist were delivered. This, along with visiting the new laboratories attracted the students’ attention. The possible development of student career in the Institute throughout the Master and PhD courses was also expressed. This revealed the possibilities for training young students with top level equipment and thus to train next generation scientists in the Institute.
It was important for the further development of high technology society to demonstrate the INERA project achievements and scientific results, as well as the possibilities of INERA equipment to officials from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Economics, business organizations and local authorities. They were invited and took part in various events, organizing by INERA. Let us mention, among others, the President of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Vice Minister of Education and Sciences, the Mayor of Sofia, the Chairman of Bulgarian Business Chamber. The INERA team of WP4 kept a close contact with Innovation Department of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
The wide dissemination of INERA and its impact to the business environment and society are of uttermost importance for the INERA success and its sustainability. Significant efforts have been devoted to the elaboration of the project visual identity and the development of a dedicated user-friendly bi-lingual project portal. The connections with mass media were performed by Institute’s PR, occasionally with the help of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Public relation office.
The socio employment effect is connected with hiring 11 experienced researchers, on full time positions. Eight of them (2 women and 6 men) decided to continue working in the ISSP after finishing the INERA project. Altogether 55 persons were engaged in implementation of the project (20 women and 35 men). There was no gender problem in attracting specialist for the project. Both, women and men were very welcome to join the project team. The members of INERA project as well as the whole staff of the Institute, both scientists and technicians, had equal opportunities for development of their career according to European Charter for Researchers.
Development and building of scientific and innovation capacity of Institute of Solid State Physics as well as Intellectual Properties Development emerged from the INERA activities and brought about ideas for implementation of project. Accepted documents: Scientific and Technology Strategy of ISSP-BAS, Intellectual Properties Code of ISSP and Ex-post-evaluation report will serve as a basis for further development. The evaluation report is prepared by three independent high level scientists. The report estimates the implementation the INERA project and its influence on the present activities of the Institute of Solid State Physics and on the Institute future as a leading Institute in the field of nanophysics in Bulgaria and in European Research Area.
In the long run, INERA will have an indirect impact at European, national and local level, emphasizing the collaboration of the Institute with other public, academia and industrial partners and its importance for the business and innovation environment. Cooperation with local authorities will lead to better positioning of ISSP within the national research priorities and implementation of the RIS3.
Finally, some further expected impacts of INERA exceed the improvement of the quality of research in the field of multifunctional nanostructures and have important social and economic dimensions, such as job creation and better career opportunities.

List of Websites:
INERA Website

INERA Portal: http://www.inera.org/

Contact persons:
Prof. Hassan Chamati, Director of ISSP-BAS
Assoc. Prof. Radostina Kamburova, PR of ISSP-BAS

Institute of Solid State Physics,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
72 Tzarigradsko chausee
1784 Sofia
BULGARIA

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INSTITUTE OF SOLID STATE PHYSICS BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Bulgaria
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