In 1996, Bulgaria had 25 agricultural, medical, scientific, and technological learned societies and 117 research institutes. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (founded in 1869) is the main research organization. The Academy of Medicine (founded in 1972) has five higher medical institutes. Total expenditures on research and development in 1987–97 amounted to 0.6% of GNP; 1,747 scientists and engineers and 967 technicians per million population were engaged in research and development. A large-scale program of scientific and technological cooperation of CMEA countries was adopted at the end of 1985.
Bulgaria has 18 universities and colleges offering degrees in basic and applied sciences. In Sofia are the National Natural History Museum (founded in 1889) and the National Polytechnical Museum (founded in 1968). In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 27% of university enrollment.