CESAER is a European association of leading specialised and comprehensive universities of science & technology that: champion excellence in higher education, training, research and innovation; influence debate; contribute to the realisation of open knowledge societies; and, deliver significant scientific, economic, social and societal impact. CESAER was founded in 1990 and unites 52 leading universities of science & technology in 26 countries. CESAER is an acknowledged main research stakeholder organisation for the European Research Area and the Open Science Policy Platform. 


CESAER's mission is structured around five aims:

  • learn from each other: share information and best practice in areas of higher education, research, innovation & governance
  • influence key bodies: aid policy-makers and funders to shape European strategies, policies & funding programmes
  • boost participation in European funding programmes
  • promote our strengths globally: support Members in displaying their excellence & distinctiveness at European level & beyond
  • advance debate on key issues: promote reflection & understanding of role of science & technology in open knowledge societies

Ministry of Education and Science

The Bulgarian education system has been traditionally supportive of STEM, providing students with numerous opportunities to broaden their experience in the STEM fields outside the curriculum. Currently several non-government and academic organisations are responsible for the bulk of the STE(A)M initiatives in Bulgaria and most of them work closely with policymakers, trying to ensure the sustainability of their initiatives, some of which have been standing for decades and have turned into an institution of their own.


The longest standing form of extracurricular STEM activities have been the various olympiads – mathematics, informatics, information technologies, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematical linguistics etc. Bulgaria has been a founding member of most of the international olympiads in these fields and last year founded EJOI (European Junior Olympiad in Informatics). Bulgaria is also one of the few countries, where students receive direct support and mentorship from active researchers. Every olympiad has three rounds- school, district and national, with the more popular fields, such as mathematics and informatics also having additional national competitions. Schools are encouraged to provide extracurricular courses, preparing the students for the olympiads through various funding programmes such as the Operative programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth”.


High school research is another well-established traditional STEM activity, due to the tradition of research organizations in mentorship and access to resources to talented high school students. The High School Students Institute of Mathematics and Informatics has been functioning since 2000, initially modelling its structure and activities after the US Center for Excellence in Education and then – gradually expanding and diversifying its methods. Currently it organizes two annual high school conferences, an interview-based grant initiative supporting high achieving students to participate in international research programs, and an international summer school, which gathered 45 students from ten countries in 2017. The summer school is three week long and each participant is provided with a personal mentor and research topic in the field of mathematics, computer science, ICT or astronomy.


The Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science's current priorities include:

  • Involvement of the three interests’ parties in STEM skills intensification – kids/students, parents, school/education authorities.
  • Funding for STEM education innovations and interdisciplinary projects development aimed at foster collaborations for sharing and co-creation of new knowledge among High Schools or/and Education Institutions.
  • Better STEM through better STEM teachers: fostering change management in education and development of education change management strategies for each High School/education institution.
  • Improvement and digitalisation of STEM infrastructure (STEM Labs), facilities, and libraries (digital STEM libraries at High Schools/education institutions).
  • Overcoming the inequality and better integration through learning communities and development of STEM knowledge map and paths (STEM BUS Bulgaria).
  • Pragmatism, transparency, and visibility of STEM efforts: ideas and contributions of all interest parties can be achieved through the development and sustainability of Open Data STEM portal Bulgaria. 
  • Integration with the foreseen EIT community hub in Bulgaria




Innobasque, the Basque Innovation Agency, is a private non-profit association established in 2007 to co-ordinate and drive innovation in the Basque Country in all its spheres as well as to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. Innobasque is made up of agents from the Basque science, technology and innovation network (RVCTI), private businesses, Basque public institutions, association representatives of Basque workers and business people, and other organisations related to innovation.


Its vision is to turn the Basque Country into a European innovation benchmark region. For this purpose, an ambitious short, medium and long-term transformation programme has been established. The mission is to drive the process of transforming the Basque Country towards an innovating society. The agency works to understand the complexities, define priorities, forge a strong bond between public and private agents, and foster the demand and necessary stimulus in companies and society as a whole.

America's intelligence agencies find creative ways to compete for talent

Source / author: 
The Economist
United States

AMERICA’S intelligence agencies are struggling to attract and retain talent. Leon Panetta, a former Pentagon and CIA boss, says this is “a developing crisis”. Barbs from President Donald Trump have chipped away at the prestige of work that some consider already tarnished by leaks and the belief that “enhanced interrogations” is another way of saying torture. The backlog of people waiting for a security clearance approval or renewal has swollen to 700,000 or so, with an average waiting time of well over a year. Many applicants simply give up.





UNICOOS is an online digital platform for teaching several STEM subjects. The platform is an initiative David Calle - YouTube teacher of 2016 by Bitácoras and amongst Top 10 top finalist in the 2016 Global Teacher Prize.


UNICOOS currently has 300k registered users and more than 1M followers and subscribers on various social networks. It is a fully functional platform which responds to an average of 500 concurrent users daily, reaching an average volume of 4,500 visits per day. Through dynamic functionalities and gamification, users of the platform "self-monitor" and enhance the contributions of other users. 


From its beginning to the present day, UNICOOS has been focused on answering to the most frequent asked questions and needs of its users. The queries are mostly related to secondary & high school courses, to which most of the content is aimed.



Education level: 

UNICOOS has registered users in 172 countries, incl all Spanish speaking countries. The platform has reached 25 million Students and Teachers, with over than 62,000 queries resolved, 5,000 exam questions explained and another 2,000 currently being processed.



UNICOOS aims to reach millions of students to complement the teachings received in class in STEM subjects, particularly Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. Currently UNICOOS has 300.000 Registered Users (of which 10 % are teachers) and one million youtube subscribers with a 10% growth rate. More than 700 videos have been released.


Budget and funding model: 

The platform is funded through primarily foundations. Vodaphone sponsored the subtitling of Spanish videos for people with hearing disabilities. Cáritas sponsored the translation & subtitling in Arabic for refugee children in Spain.


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