The implementation of the first stage of the project “Distributed system of scientific collections – Bulgaria (DiSSCo-BG)” started with an online meeting of the team.

Тhe project will be implemented by the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (IBER-BAS) and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNHs-BAS), united in the consortium “Upgrading distributed scientific infrastructure: Distributed system of scientific collections-Bulgaria (DiSSCo-BG)”. The consortium is the Bulgarian unit in the pan-European distributed research infrastructure DiSSCo, recognized as a research infrastructure of European importance and included in the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2018. The project is also realized as part of the National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures for the period 2020-2027.

The main goal of the scientists from BAS is to upgrade the technological, digital and human capacity and the digitalization of the largest collections for biological and geological diversity in Bulgaria, stored in IBER-BAS and in NMNHs-BAS. As a result of the project implementation, a significant part of the scientific collections of IBER-BAS (herbarium; mycological, palaeobotanical and palynological collections; live plants and zoological collections) and NMNHs-BAS (collections of invertebrates and vertebrates and paleontological collections) is expected in 2027 to be digitized and available online. The aim is to cover about 2 million collection items and about 500 000 digital images of samples related to the database.

During the first year of the project, the emphasis is on the infrastructural and technical provision of the collections, development of policies for unification and standardization of the regulations related to the access to the collections and their databases, selection of a database management system and digitalization standards in accordance with best practices of leading institutions. The financial support provided by the Ministry of Education and Science for the first year of the project amounts to BGN 800 000.