An inter-institutional group of representatives of the Bulgarian President’s office, the government and scientific circles will work for the establishment of a science, educational and medical centre in Sofia with CERN technology, where international scientists will perform experiments and there will be treatment for cancer patients from South Eastern Europe, the President’s office said in a statement.
This was agreed on October 27 at a meeting at the President’s office, called by head of state Roumen Radev.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Education and Science Krassimir Valchev, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council 2018 Lilyana Pavlova, Deputy Minister of Health Svetlana Yordanova, Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova and leading Bulgarian scientists.
According to Radev, the establishment of such a centre in Bulgaria, with the support of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), is a long-term investment in the development of human and scientific capital and creates prospects for the development of young scientists in physics, biophysics and nuclear research of knowledge and technology from reputable European institutes and laboratories.
Bulgaria is one of the leading countries in science and education in the Balkans, and this potential, supported by its neighbours in the region, would encourage co-operation between science, technology and industry, participants in the meeting said.
Bulgarian scientist and physicist at CERN, Professor Leander Litov presented a project for the construction of a centre in Sofia to offer treatment of oncological diseases through the so-called apron therapy with the use of proton and ionic radiation, which is much more patient-friendly and with much higher incidence of treating oncological disease than conventional X-ray therapy.
He said that such a centre could provide treatment for 1500 people a year and a diagnosis for 2000 people, and it will take about six years to build it.
Fandukova said that as a location and with the development of the transport infrastructure, the city of Sofia is a natural centre in South Eastern Europe and Sofia Municipality would work actively for the project to be implemented.
The project is expected to cost 200 million to 220 million euro. The meeting discussed the possibility of European funding. Participants in the meeting emphasised the need to promote the initiative as one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
(Photo of the CERN Wooden Dome: Brücke-Osteuropa)