The Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (IICT), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was registered on 1st July 2010. It was established as a result of BAS reforms, as recommended in the International Evaluation of BAS performed by the European Science Foundation/ALLEA (2009). After extensive personal attestation and structural optimisation, IICT integrated the computer scientists from the former BAS units Institute for Parallel Processing (IPP), Institute for Information Technologies and Institute for Computer and Communication Systems. The mission of the unified institute was to overcome the fragmentation and consolidate ICT research. In 2016 the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science ranked IICT as an ‘elite’ research unit in the areas of High-Performance Computing (HPC), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Optimisation and control, and cybersecurity.
IICT-BAS is the only Bulgarian academic institution whose predecessors had been granted twice the label Centre of Excellence (CoE) under European Commission’s Framework Programmes FP5 and FP6. In 2012-2016 IICT successfully completed the FP7 Capacity REGPOT project AComIn (Advanced Computing for Innovation) that has been included in the book Achievements of FP7. Currently IICT coordinates the project BG05M2OP001-1.001-0003 Centre of Excellence in Informatics and Information and Communication Technologies, funded by the Operational Programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth” 2014-2020, which builds one of the largest academic supercomputing infrastructures in South East Europe. As a provider of HPC services, the institute is National Representative in the EU Research Infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advance Computing in Europe). IICT coordinates two national Research Infrastructures (RI) from the National RI Roadmap, funded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science: the National Centre for High Performance and Distributed Computing and the National Interdisciplinary Research e-Infrastructure CLADA-BG for resources and technologies for the Bulgarian linguistic and cultural heritage, integrated within the EU RIs CLARIN and DARIAH. These leadership positions place IICT at the core of the present Bulgarian R&I activities in the fields of HPC, AI, Digitisation and Digital Transformation. IICT has permanent academic staff of 100 researchers, 50 PhD students and numerous temporary collaborators in various projects. The institute performs yearly more than 30 projects in HPC and AI.