On June 26, 2017, a delegation led by Mr Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission visited Sofia by invitation from the Ministry of Education and Science (MES). The purpose of the meetings with Mr. Robert-Jan Smits was to present new trends of research and the role of scientific organizations and universities in generating growth and knowledge in Bulgaria’s economy as well as to present Bulgaria’s priorities for the Bulgarian EU presidency in 2018. Other members of the delegation included Maria Oliva, Head of Unit ‘Inter-institutional relations and internal Coordination’, Krastyo Preslavski, Head of the teams ‘Relations with the European Parliament’ and ‘Relations with the Council’ and Elisaveta Dimitrova, Senior Policy Co-ordinator to the Deputy Director-General for HR, Budget and the CSC.
Comac Medical was represented by Dr. Richard Smits during the working lunch and during a round table discussion at Sofia TechPark. He briefly presented Comac Medical’s activities as a Contract Research Organisation in the field of clinical testing of new medicines in 21 different European countries as well as its participation in the Horizon 2020 R&D support programme of the European Commission, including its successful application for the first phase of the SME Instrument and its Seal of Excellence rewarded for the second phase application for the development of a device for measurement of exhaled breath temperature. Many other Bulgarian research organisations also presented their successful participations in Horizon 2020 activities. A discussion followed on how to improve the participation of Bulgarian research organisations in the European Commission’s R&D programmes.