INFRAMAT is a distributed research infrastructure of the National Roadmap for Scientific Infrastructure, adopted by Decision of Council of Ministers (DCM) of Republic of Bulgaria №692 / 21.09.2010 and updated with DCM №569 / 31.07.2014 and DCM № 354 / 29.06.2017.
INFRAMAT integrates research equipment and experts from 16 educational, research and museum institutions, including institutes of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Faculties of Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski” and the National Academy of Arts, and also Laboratories from National History Museum and University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy and the. INFRAMAT is a network of experts and 46 laboratories, with the latest and complementary equipment in materials science, divided into two modules:
Module 1 has the ability to comprehensively characterize the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of materials developed for the needs of clean technologies, renewable energy sources, biomedical applications and the search for innovative technological solutions in various fields of industry. The instrumental units of Module 1 cover basic methods in modern materials science and include many new, modern and unique for Bulgaria instruments such as electron scanning, transmission and atomic force microscopes, X-ray diffractometers, spectrometers of various types, National laboratory for Nuclear magnetic resonance, and many others. INFRAMAT laboratories provide expert assistance to a large number of Bulgarian industrial companies in support of their innovation and development activities and for quality control of their products.
Module 2 includes the main scientific and educational institutions working in the field of archaeometric research, diagnostics and preservation of movable cultural heritage of archaeological and ethnographic nature. The experts and equipment available in the laboratories of Module 2 carry out extensive research on archaeological and ethnographic artifacts of various materials in order to meet the needs for conservation and restoration, and to solve scientific problems related to the origin of ancient raw materials and technologies used in the past. The educational institutions involved in the infrastructure are leading in Bulgaria for training in all aspects of cultural heritage protection (research, conservation and restoration). The interaction between the two modules of INFRAMAT allows for the useful application of additional instrumental techniques in the study of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts.
- Integration of large and/or unique laboratories and equipment, which are necessary for obtaining and complex characterization of new materials and research and preservation of cultural values.
- Ensuring open access to the distributed infrastructure for scientists from the partner institutions and support for new comprehensive research on the production and properties of new materials and the study and preservation of cultural heritage.
- Ensuring open access to the distributed infrastructure for industrial users, researchers and museum specialists at national and regional level and creating conditions for sustainable development of the economy and protection of the national wealth of Bulgaria and the region.
- Creating a critical mass of young researchers to ensure continuity in the expertise and work with high-tech research equipment.
- Implementation of an interdisciplinary approach in solving scientific and applied problems and achieving a new quality of research in the field of new materials and the study of cultural values.
- Expertise- and knowledge-based support for the Bulgarian industry in the field of electronics, mechanical engineering, energy, pharmacy, medicine, etc.
- Providing capacity for conservation, restoration and research of existing museum collections and newly-discovered cultural values.
- Providing conditions for sustainable development of specialists in the field of instrumental methods used in the field of materials science and preservation of cultural heritage.