Bulgaria Set to Open State Run Nanotechnology Center

Business » INDUSTRY | April 3, 2009, Friday // 09:21| Views: | Comments: 17
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Bulgaria's cabinet decided to set up a state-owned company dealing in nanotechnology, after discussions late Thursday in Sofia.

The venture will be called the Bulgarian Centre of Nanotechnology JSC and its capitalization will amount to EUR 25 M.

"The creation of this company is a significant step towards building a research and industrial capacity in the fields of nanotechnology, nanomaterials, nanoproduction and micromachinery, which, undoubtedly, is going to have a positive overall effect on the economy of our country," read the Bulgarian government's statement regarding the founding of the company.

It is expected that by 2015, nanotechnology will be generating revenues of USD 2,95 T worldwide. It was also announced that IBM Bulgaria will be a major partner in Bulgaria's nanotechnology projects.

Nanotechnology is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally it deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller, and involves developing materials or devices within that size.

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» To the forumComments (17)
#17
NellieotAmerica - 24 May 2009 // 06:08:36

Oh, that's rich! Opening up a research facility in a country that can't manage its EU subsidies without "misplacing" them?!? Did genosen Plugchieva ever find the 100 million euros she lost a couple of months ago?

A research facility of any kind is a license to steal, but opening one in Bulgaria is like a black hole where money will go in and nothing ever will come out of it. A license to steal on a monumental scale. IBM is SO dumb if it bankrolls a facility in Bulgaria!

#16
ikik - 23 May 2009 // 16:46:03

IBM and Bulgarian Government in Partnership in Nanoscience
(2nd part)

Once the center is created, its Bulgarian government intends to conduct applied research in the following areas:

* Microfluidics and nanofluidics - to gain a better understanding of cells and tissues and other biological specimens to support drug toxicity testing and the development of new medicines.

* Nanosystems for electronics and sensing - using nanoscale sensors and actuators to support the development of point-of-care diagnostics, environmental monitoring (such as atmospheric pollution analysis) and security.

* Nanomaterials - advanced virtual substrates for compound semiconductors which could pave the way for future, nanoscale electronic circuitry.

"Bulgaria's important step into the world of nanoscience creates a global opportunity for the country and the region," said Marcelo Lema, General Manager, IBM Central and Eastern Europe. "IBM has been a leader in nanoscale science for many years and our participation in this project will support the accelerated success of the Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center. We see this type of collaboration as an emerging model for future industry-academic partnerships."

Due to be completed next year, the Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center will occupy nearly 500 square meters of laboratory space and will support researchers and engineers working in close collaboration with Bulgarian universities.

"According to Lux Research, nanotechnology will impact $2.9 trillion worth of products across the value chain by 2014," said Alex Rakov, Country General Manager, IBM Bulgaria. "I am extremely proud that IBM will help Bulgaria to be at the forefront of this trend and further support its efforts to become a knowledge based economy."

Nanotechnology is the field of applied science focused on the reliable and repeatable design and control of the structure of very small objects. The length scales range from the atomic to the macroscopic -- generally, from one to 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter -- roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. Nanotechnology is expected to spark advances in various fields. These include advanced functional materials, nanoelectronics, information and communication technology, sensing, tools, healthcare and life sciences, and energy technology. Nanotech applications in the energy sector for example which ensure more efficient use of solar energy, or new ways of purifying or desalinating water, may even help tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time.

About IBM
For more information visit www.ibm.com.

Contact information:
Maya Milanova
Ministry of Finance, Republic of Bulgaria
tel: +359 2 9859 2022
e-mail: m.milanova@minfin.bg

Randy Zane
IBM Media Relations
917-472-3589
rzane@us.ibm.com

#15
ikik - 23 May 2009 // 16:02:10

http://sev.prnewswire.com/nanotechnology/20090522/NY2173022052009-1.html

IBM and Bulgarian Government in Partnership in Nanoscience
IBM Helps Create First Nanotechnology Center in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA, Bulgaria, May 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Bulgarian government today officially announced their cooperation in the area of nanoscience and a deal for IBM to support the creation of what will be the first Bulgarian nanotechnology center.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

The General Framework Agreement signed today defines the scope of cooperation between IBM and the Bulgarian government and ways to encourage industry, universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Science to work together in the emerging field of nanoscience. The government's three-year program is aimed at creating different nanoproducts, micromachines and microsystems.

In a separate commercial agreement also being signed today, IBM technology and business consultants will assist the Bulgarian government in establishing a new nanotechnology research facility which will use state-of-the-art equipment to explore and develop new innovations in nanoscience. To enable the computing-intensive projects, the new laboratory will draw on IBM's Blue Gene -- the most powerful Bulgarian supercomputer, owned by Bulgarian State Agency for Information Technology and Communications

"Realising high-tech projects like this is key in the current environment when it is important to not only focus on short-term measures, but to also create the basis for future recovery," said Plamen Oresharski, Minister of Finance, Republic of Bulgaria. "We have a window of opportunity right now to transform industry to become more technology intense. This will not happen automatically, but requires dedicated effort, part of which is the current agreement with IBM."

"Today's agreement is a true step forward for Bulgaria and for its partnership with the United States," said Nancy McEldowney, US Ambassador to Bulgaria. "It positions Bulgaria as a leader in innovation, opening up many new possibilities and extending the horizon for both of our countries."
(to be continued)

#14
CJB - 2 May 2009 // 13:06:06

This quote from the article posted above tells you almost everything you need to know. Nice job for Markov, nice sale for IBM:

"The government did not provide clear explanation why it chose to work with IBM in particular. The two possible reasons are: the strong status of this American Corporation in the sphere of nanotechnologies, as well as the memorandum for cooperation signed two years ago by IBM and the Ministry of Finance,
which came as a result of extended collaboration between IBM and Bulgarian scientists, Universities and Institutes. After the signing of the document, Stoyan Markov, who maintains close contacts with IBM, leading to the recent purchase of the state supercomputers, as well as his relations with IBM's Technical
director for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa – Dr. Stefan G. Hild, a survey was prepared for the Financial minister regarding the benefits from the development of nanotechnologies.
This survey became the grounds for the founding of BNtC.
In case IBM rejects the proposal for cooperation, no alternative "stand-by" plan for action has been discussed. According to Stoyan Markov such a development will not completely destroy the initiative, because in Bulgaria there are companies and groups of scientists that will be able to make use of the production equipment of the new association. Thus we come to another question of high importance:
who will work in the new state company? Specialists in the field and the scientific circles commentated that at this point there are no well-trained specialists for BNtC."

This quote tells you the rest:

Petar Statev, the President of the Business Corporation "ICT Cluster", member of the Board of Directors of "Smartcom", a company, working in the sphere of nanotechnologies, also had a contradictory reaction: “I distrust the ability of the state to manage well a trade company”, he says. He is categorical:
"I fully support the idea of positioning Bulgaria in the line, but letting such an initiative be run only by the government and the scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is a "lost cause". According to him the model itself is good, "but the knack of it is in details that we still don't know".

Well, it is Bulgaria, after all!

#13
NellieotAmerica - 1 May 2009 // 17:20:17

I can see where the next bubble in the economy will be forming--NANOTECHNOLOGY.

#12
DP - 1 May 2009 // 17:05:05

Your question to CreepyS: "Are you a qualified scientist?"

And are you a qualified scientist yourself or a cheerleader for some of your Bulgarian relatives, Robin?

This entire post of yours shows that you have not paid attention to Creepy's posts at all. Creepy is the best qualified person on this forum as far as this topic is concerned. And he is doing something more than just yapping about those issues on a forum.

Of course you are entitled to your opinion, however, it would be better if you make it from an informed position.

#11
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:37:21

CROSS Publications - Interviews
http://www.cross-bg.net/
Yavor Kyumdjiev: Nanotechnologies can cause an Industrial Revolution
(lat part, after Part I & II)

A somewhat different question: we all know that nanotechnologies have a wide spectrum of applications in the cutting-edge world military developments. Is there interest in that direction?

In due course, as the world experts predict, nanotechnologies will cause a revolution. Next industrial revolution by means of nanotechnologies will include not only military production, but literally all branches of the economy. That is why I am inclined to draw a comparison with the world industrial revolution at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, or with the information revolution in the middle of last century. The next revolution, why not be the “nanorevolution”? Many people talk about it. The good thing is, Bulgaria is getting on this train, while the train is still at the station, and not chasing it after departure.
(end)

#10
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:34:50

Yavor Kyumdjiev: Nanotechnologies can cause an Industrial Revolution
(continuation from Part I)
Q:When will the Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center start functioning? Are there any deadlines?
A:There are several hindrances. We are doing our best for it to start functioning ASAP, but we are waiting the Council of Ministers’ decision regarding the establishment of Nanotechnology company to be published in "The State Gazette". The first meeting of the Supervision board, which is scheduled for today, we must choose the Board of Directors and undertake all the necessary steps for the registration and structuring of the company. For now there are only three people on the Supervision board – me, the deputy-minister of finance Lyubomir Datsov and the Secretary-general of the Ministry of Education and Science Dimitar Tanev, so the responsibility lies entirely on us. We actually started our work prior to the publication in "The State Gazette" regarding the launch of the new company.
Q:In which branches of our economy will the effects of the functioning of the "Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center" be felt most manifestly?
A:It is too early to say, for in the selection of the list of items to be manufactured by the company there are a variety of finished products. I am not in a position at this stage to judge what impact they will have on Bulgarian economy. But the most important thing is that a brand new branch will be established in our economy, namely: the nanotechnologies, which have applications in absolutely every sphere of life. The very deed of establishment and development of the nanotechnologies in Bulgaria corresponds to the strategies and ideas for Bulgaria’s future development. To me, this is an important chance of attracting young and talented people in this type of production, in the development of science, which in itself is of highest value. This is the chance Bulgaria has to get involved in the production of commodities that require keen intellect, knowledge, inventiveness and high-tech.
Q:In this respect, is it possible for the nanotechnologies to make their way into, let’s say, the pharmaceutical and food-processing industries?
A:Not only there. The nanotechnologies will penetrate almost anywhere, including space technologies. I will repeat myself: they will be applied in all branches of the economy. Moreover, we can stop the “brain drain” phenomenon in Bulgaria, by attracting young people to work in this sphere. This is only the beginning, and if we manage to do well, we can create an entire industry.
(to be continued)

#9
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:28:13

CROSS Publications - Interviews
http://www.cross-bg.net/

Yavor Kyumdjiev: Nanotechnologies can cause an Industrial Revolution

April 14 2009 14:54
/ Last Edition: April 14 2009 21:41 /

According to the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economy and Energetics Yavor Kyumdjiev, the introduction of nanotechnologies in Bulgaria will lead to the creation of a new branch, which will be of great importance in all spheres of our industry.
An interview conducted by Ventsislav Todorov, "CROSS" Agency

Mr. Kyumdjiev, by decision of Bulgaria's Council of Ministers of April 2 this year a state-owned company "Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center" was founded. More elaborately, what will be the main area of activity of the Center?

The company has two major tends and two major activities. The first is to utilize finished high-tech products with markets and production technologies, by having them manufactured in Bulgaria too. The plan is to sell them on the world markets under world-known brand names. The second is to set up a scientific center that promotes the realization of various inventions and ideas of Bulgarian scientists, so that they can reach the market, as well as the development of the relevant production technologies. In this sense, the additional task is to give a chance and momentum to Bulgarian science to grow in this direction.

We know that in order to carry out this project Bulgarian state will have IBM as a partner, a company which is a world leader in the field of industrial nanotechnological research. What will this partnership be like?

It will follow the two major trends that I mentioned. Firstly, finished products based on IBM technologies will be manufactured and sold for the time-being under IBM’s brand name. As a matter of fact, with the establishment of a production center of this world company, some of the IBM’s activities will relocate outside North America for the first time. Secondly, opening with IBM’s help of Nanolaboratories in our country aims to develop Bulgarian ideas and inventions, to introduce and impose them on the market – for the time-being under IBM’s brand name. In other words, IBM is our strategic partner, but this project is not limited to one partner only, because our company is entirely state-owned, and we are open for cooperation with other world leaders in the sphere of nanotechnologies.

(to be continued, see part II)

#8
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:21:56

Ambitions in nanosize
(last part, after Part I & Part II)

Lack of transparency
In Bulgaria there are about 4 to 10 small or medium size companies that deal with nanotechnologies, among them "Nano Tool Shop" in Botevgrad and "Smartcom" in Sofia. The first has the production equipment, whereas the second develops technologies and design that are to be used abroad. The Executive Director of "Nano Tool Shop" Vladimir Stavrev supports the idea of launching the BNtC:
"My opinion is very positive. It is done so in the entire world. This is a risky applied research, which very few private companies can afford to undertake in time of crisis". "Stavrev believes that “money should be spent for infrastructure, and by essence this (the creations of labs and production capacity) is an infrastructure project".

The Former executive Director of Botevgrad technological company "EPIQ Electronic Assembly (EA)" that produces trace elements for major car makers – Nikolay Berov, also approves the nanotechnology initiative: “nanotechnology has future in wide applied science spectrum”, he states. It should be financed and stimulated by the state, Berov adds. According to him, however, it is not clear what the aim of the
BNtC is: "Where will be the production capacities built? Will there be an interaction with the small amount of Bulgarian companies in the business?"
Petar Statev, the President of the Business Corporation "ICT Cluster", member of the Board of Directors of "Smartcom", a company, working in the sphere of nanotechnologies, also had a contradictory reaction: “I distrust the ability of the state to manage well a trade company”, he says. He is categorical:
"I fully support the idea of positioning Bulgaria in the line, but letting such an initiative be run only by the government and the scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is a "lost cause". According to him the model itself is good, "but the knack of it is in details that we still don't know".
(end)
В©1993-2009 Economedia AD.

#7
Robin - 1 May 2009 // 09:16:51

CreepyS,

"The vast majority of young graduates in science are simply not good enough to develop such things."

Have you personally assessed the "vast majority of young science graduates" in Bulgaria? Are you a qualified scientist?

This is an extremely negative and false statement. There are many excellent Bulgarian scientists - even young ones. Let's hope this center enables at least some of them continue their research here rather than having to emmigrate, as is currently the case.

#6
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:14:41

Ambitions in nanosize (Part II)
It is not clear as of now why IBM will work together with the Bulgarian government, sharing with it its intellectual property. There is no signed agreement yet, so the IBM refuses to comment upon topics that are currently in process of negotiation. Among the potential benefits for IBM is the good positioning in the region.
The government did not provide clear explanation why it chose to work with IBM in particular. The two possible reasons are: the strong status of this American Corporation in the sphere of nanotechnologies, as well as the memorandum for cooperation signed two years ago by IBM and the Ministry of Finance,
which came as a result of extended collaboration between IBM and Bulgarian scientists, Universities and Institutes. After the signing of the document, Stoyan Markov, who maintains close contacts with IBM, leading to the recent purchase of the state supercomputers, as well as his relations with IBM's Technical
director for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa – Dr. Stefan G. Hild, a survey was prepared for the Financial minister regarding the benefits from the development of nanotechnologies.
This survey became the grounds for the founding of BNtC.
In case IBM rejects the proposal for cooperation, no alternative "stand-by" plan for action has been discussed. According to Stoyan Markov such a development will not completely destroy the initiative, because in Bulgaria there are companies and groups of scientists that will be able to make use of the production equipment of the new association. Thus we come to another question of high importance:
who will work in the new state company? Specialists in the field and the scientific circles commentated that at this point there are no well-trained specialists for BNtC. But, on the other hand, the process of building up the necessary labs and the required production capacity will take long enough (2 years at the least), so that training the personnel in time is possible, Stoyan Markov states. Also in case of international partnership, experts will be sent from abroad to train the local personnel.
В©1993-2009 Economedia AD.

#5
ikik - 1 May 2009 // 09:00:15

"Capital" Newspaper [Internet Edition]
Bulgarian version: http://www.capital.bg/show.php?storyid=706944
TRANSLATED FROM BULGARIAN
Issiue 15, April 17, 2009, POLITICS & ECONOMICS
By Asen Georgiev

Ambitions in nanosize
The idea of state-stimulated high-tech is good, but there lacks a clear strategy of how exactly to make it happen
Research on micro/nano-level lead to the creation of new technologies Author: "Capital" Newspaper

Think of the investment in high technologies as sowing seeds, from which diamonds will slowly grow. At present Bulgarian soil is rather futile and this process may take a while, explains Stoyan Markov, General manager of the National Supercomputing Center, one of the creators of the project for development of the nanotechnologies in Bulgaria. Despite the “dry soil” and the “dry season” due to the crisis, the Council of Ministers planted the seeds of nanotechnologies in Bulgaria. For that purpose the 100% state-owned association "Bulgarian Nanotechnology Center" (BNtC) was established, starting with a capital of 50 M Bulgarian Leva. The investment in the project till 2011 will not exceed 57 M US dollars, explains Lyubomir Datsov,
Deputy-minister of the Ministry of Finance, member of the Board of Supervisors of the BNtC. The association is expected to realize its first products no later than three year after its establishment, whereas within 4 to 7 years it intends to have at least 5 products ready for commercial implementation, he adds.
At present the focus is on manufacturing small electromechanical systems (MEMS), also called biochips, which are meant for mass production as used in genetic and immune tests. Other members of the BNtC’s supervision board are: Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economy and Energetics: Yavor Kiyumdjiev, and Secretary-general of the Ministry of Education: Dimitar Tanev. The members of the Management
Council of the BNtC are yet to be appointed. Two or three of them will be foreigners, most likely employees of the estimated state partner – IBM.
The ambiguities for the time being are more than the certainties
"The idea is to utilize the state’s potential in cooperation with IBM for development and production of high-tech products", comments for "Capital" Newspaper Yavor Kiyumdjiev.
According to him it is anticipated to sign a contract with IBM and in the future with other companies as well. Partnership with a big corporation is a milestone, says Stoyan Markov. According to him high technologies are something from which the country can profit, but the main challenge before her is building the basic industries – agriculture, infrastructure and power generation.

(to be continued, see next post)

В©1993-2009 Economedia AD.

#4
CreepyS - 3 Apr 2009 // 16:12:57

I feel very happy for the South Koreans that Richie was not their strategic advisor 35 years ago because Samsung, Hyundai and LG would not exist and Korea would be much poorer than it is now. 35 years ago they were years behind in any technology and had literally nothing. It was the state strategy to encourage the development of new technologies and the training the young generation to use them and here we are today.

#3
Richie - 3 Apr 2009 // 12:49:20

By itself it's good that the government spends money on research centres (assuming that salaries and facilities are good enough to attract staff from abroad). However, the choice of subject disappoints me. Just like many Bulgarians start businesses such as beauty parlours and window frame shops because everybody else does, the government chose a subject that most other countries chose as a target subject many years ago. Bulgaria is years behind in nanotechnology and will never be able to catch up with the rest of the world, let alone lead in this subject. It would have been much better to look at subjects at which Bulgaria is already leading or has a chance to become leading, and stimulate research on those subjects.

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