Bulgarian Association for Promotion of Education and Science (BAPES) is a non-profit non-governmental organization registered under the Bulgarian law on legal persons with non-profit purposes in 2003.
The main objectives of the association are:
• to stimulate research;
• to encourage development of technologies and their practical application;
• to support all areas of education and science in medicine.
In 2004 BAPES launched the Information Centre for Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs (ICRDOD) – the first and only Eastern European educational and information service dedicated to patients, medical professionals and associations, interested in rare diseases and orphan drugs.
The main functions of ICRDOD are providing free information on rare diseases, specialized clinics, laboratories in Europe and the world, bringing together leading experts, physicians and patients, creating and maintaining multilingual website for informational and educational purposes (www.raredis.org); organizing workshops and conferences; establishing contacts with scientific and patient organizations from Bulgaria and Europe.
ICRDOD is identified as a major and reliable source of information about rare diseases in Bulgaria on the website of the European Commission (DG SANCO) – http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_threats/non_com/rare_9_en.htm.
BAPES together with other European partners has successfully prepared, won and implemented 5 major European projects, funded by the European Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) – ORPHANET (2007-2010), EUROPLAN (2009-2011), RD PORTAL 2 (2010-2011), BURQOL-RD (2010-2013) and EPIRARE (2011-2014) with a total funding of over € 6,000,000. Additionally, BAPES has won and implemented one own project (4 EEC RDOD, 2009), which was co-funded by the EAHC.
In 2009, guided by the idea of enlarging and integrating its activities, BAPES started the Medical Center “RareDis” – a specialized medical centre for rehabilitation and training of patients with rare diseases and their families. Multidisciplinary team of specialists is currently preparing intensely modern protocols for medical and social rehabilitation as well as projects for medical research.