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Benchmarking Report - Institute of Electronics

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Robert Hickey

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Benchmarking Report - Institute of Electronics

EVAL-INNO Benchmarking Report
Taking Social/Business Needs on Board
Some collaboration has taken place to address social needs, such as with the National Oncology Hospital in Sofia on laser technology to be used in cancer treatment;
Performance of the Research Organisation
For the three year period between 2010 and 2012, the number of domestic patent applications was 5 in 2010, 1 in 2011, and 3 in 2012;
Areas for Introduction of Good Practices
A number of interview respondents said that there are no IPR policies in place. When individual researchers would like to protect a piece of intellectual property, they seek their own patent funding and register the patent under their own name;
Structure of the Institute
Sources for the Report
6 interviews (5 with IE staff, one with a collaborator of IE);

“to acquire, accumulate and disseminate scientific knowledge and technologies in its research field, thus contributing to Bulgarian people's intellectual and material enrichment and to widening humankind's scientific horizons.”
The IE's mission is:
To Achieve This, IE in 2012 had:
124 Staff Members;
Human Resources and Financing Available to Achieve Mission
The higher academic ranks (Prof., Docent, and Head Assistant) are 63% held by men;
External funding for the IE in 2010 was 57.23% of its 2009 level and 2011 external funding was 30.1% of its 2010 level - making 2011 external funding 17.2% of its 2009 high;
In 2012, 40% of the BAS subsidy was officially allocated based on the number of staff and the average salary, 33% was based on an international evaluation from 2009, 16.5% - nationwide activities, 5% - project activities, 5% - scientific publications, and .5% - patents.

"Innovation and best practices can be sown throughout an organization - but only when they fall on fertile ground" - Marcus Buckingham
Between 2010-2012, the number of staff has been stable (122-129);
Number of researchers has been stable (99-106);
Academician Emil Djakov Institute of Electronics
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Sofia, Bulgaria

Given that much funding now comes from European projects, the focus of work is often in line with European priorities/themes rather than driven directly by national or regional societal needs;
IE lacks the proper testing and applied science facilities that are necessary for prototypes, which creates large distances to market;
During centralised planning, separate applied science institutions were tasked with utilising fundamental scientific discoveries. Such institutions have not been resurrected during the transition period;
No recent signs have been observed to suggest that the public is interested in the work of the institute, and reduced funding and elimination of VAT exemptions for technical and research equipment is not a positive sign that the institutes work is valued.
Annual reports show that there are no revenues from license fees;
Interviewed researchers said in interviews, that BAS and IE official positions rarely resonate with policy makers and there are no examples of successfully influencing government decisions;
No companies spun off from the institute during the examined period 2010-2012;
Offering consultancy services to businesses is not among the strategic goals of the RTDI organisation;
The total number of articles in peer-reviewed journals for 2010, 2011 and 2012 amounts respectively to 62, 76, 77;
Despite the lack of formal policies related to media appearances and outreach activities as well as a lack of earmarked resources for such tasks, researchers at the institute take the initiative on media and use personal contacts with journalists.
Two respondents said that the institute does not have a system for knowledge management. The lack of KMS is not as huge a problem as is the lack of access to international journals like Phys. Review and European Journal of Physics. This has resulted from the 2010 cut in the institutional subsidy;
While many pieces of equipment are quite dated, the staff report that in general it is maintained well and that they are able to undertake relevant research regardless.

4 completed questionnaires;
IE Annual Reports;
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Annual Reports;
2009 European Science Foundation Evaluation of BAS;
Non-public statistical information sent from IE;
99 Researchers-Developers (22 under the age of 35);
8 Researchers-Developers regularly teaching in higher education;
66 Researchers-Developers with Ph.D. degree or higher;
A budget of €807,182 (€634,998.95 Budget Subsidy and €172,183 from External Funding);
No financial means to implement an institutional IPR policy that protects their scientific work;
73.4% of the financing that they had in 2010.
Institutional Context
Established in 1962;
Developing a home-grown electronics sector was a priority at the time;
By the 1980's the Bulgarian electronics sector held a significant position in the Soviet Bloc;
This position rapidly deteriorated with the disintegration of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON).
Main beneficiaries of the research are other BAS institutes, universities, and to a very small extent SMEs/industry. One example is a patent which is maintained with the help is Siemens Bulgaria related to magnetometers. However, despite some collaboration with industry, there are few examples that could be identified and collaboration with foreign firms is extremely rare, and there are no formal platforms;
The institute is heavily involved in the organization and hosting of international conferences in Bulgaria (3) and the organisation of "open days" for the public and students;
Positive Findings and Good Practices
Relative strengths of the institute include physical electronics, radio-physics, lasers, and equipment for spectral analysis, which have no equal at the national level;
The IE has a more equally distributed age structure than other institutes in BAS, helping ensure the future continuity of its work;
The institute provides metrological services, including the measurement of aerosols and particles in the atmosphere as well as taking measurements of the Earth's magnetic field;
Collaboration with two national firms in 2012 in the area of electronic smelting and the refining of metals;
Informal collaborative communities have been created both between labs and including external experts.
Despite a Decision from the General Assembly of BAS declaring 20% of the state subsidy be distributed according to performance indicators this is both under and unevenly applied across BAS (no specific info was collected for IE);
The female Deputy Director from 2005-2012 became the Director of the institute in 2012.
Of the 12 laboratories of the IE, in 2012, two were headed by women;
In 2012, 46% of staff were women;
In 2012, 41% of research staff were over 56, 27% of these were women
In 2012, 68% of researchers under 35 were women;
Number of researchers under 35 has been stable (18-22);
Of the 66 PhD or Dr.Sc. degrees held by IE staff in 2012, 7 were held by persons under the age of 35.
Number of PhD students under supervision was 7 in 2012, 6 in 2011 and 6 in 2010;
Between 2011 and 2012, this external funding rose by 20%.
'External Funding' includes financing from the National Science Fund, from ministries and national firms and from organizations and firms abroad;
According to a new Decision of the General Assembly of BAS from September, 2013, 80% of the state subsidy will now be allocated based on the number and category of staff, while only 20% will be distributed according to research performance indicators.
For the BAS the increase in funding in 2008 and 2009 comes from international programs and increases in funding from national ministries and agencies;
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