The project "Mito Orozov - the Bulgarian Henry Ford" by the Regional Historical Museum of Vratsa is the national winner of the 20th edition of Moto-Pfohe Conservation and Environmental Grants in Bulgaria

The main purpose of the Grants program has always been the aspiration, besides financially, to support also with publicity the efforts of institutions, teams and individual participants to preserve our national uniqueness and identity.

Moto-Pfohe received in 2018 a total of 41 applications from across the country, 32 of them fully complied with the competition regulation of the Grants, published on the website and have been nominated for evaluation. At the discretion of the jury, besides the national winner, two more incentives were awarded, with the prize fund of BGN 20,000 distributed to 10 000 leva for the big prize and 5 000 leva for the runners-up.

The 2018 National winner is a special project developed by the Regional History Museum in Vratsa - "Mito Orozov - the Bulgarian Henry Ford". Its goal is to promote the activity and legacy of Mito Orozov, as well as his bright presence in the cultural and social life of Vratsa and the country. This is the originator of the modern carriage in Bulgaria, the owner of the first factory for convertibles and carriages. Founded some years after the Liberation, in 1885, it has provided representative vehicles for all state institutions in Bulgaria and rich entrepreneurs. Famous Bulgarian publicist Aleko Konstantinov wrote about his vehicles and the great banker Burov has praised Orozov’s carriages. Mito Orozov is also the only Bulgarian to receive a partnership offer from Ford's factories. However, it did not take place. With the Grants funding will be completed the restoration of two carriages, designed by Orozov, which are now ownership of the Vratsa Historical museum. They will also be used for retro walks as part of the policy of socializing museum exhibitions. The collection "Modern Vehicles" will be repaired and enriched, as well as the production of small scale models by pupils in the city. The completion of the awarded project will contribute to the preservation and promotion of the cultural and historical heritage of the Vratsa region, which is also a sustainable support to the development of cultural tourism.

The project received a prize of 10 000 leva, a certificate and an honorary plaque, presented to the director of the Vratsa Regional Historical Museum, Mr. Ganetsovski, by Dr. Aksinia Buteva, Head of the Cultural Heritage, Museums and Fine Arts Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Mr. Atanas Furnadjiev, Managing Director of Moto-Pfohe.

The first encouragement award at this year's 20th jubilee edition of the donation program Moto-Pfohe Conservation and Environmental Grants goes to the "Chuhalat (Otus scops) – little-known friend" by the National Museum of Natural History to the Bulgarian Academy of Science. The aim of the project is to study in detail the important habitats of the birds, to identify their migration routes and resting places by using classical and new technologies for collecting ecologycal data. It will also monitor and analyse  the behavior of this bird, which makes one of the longest migrations, in order to identify and implement conservation measures. For this purpose, bird houses will be placed, which will be monitored through 3 consecutive breeding seasons, starting 2018, with the insertion of rings and GPS markers. National Museum of Natural History is a party to the Global Owl Project, for which each country provides its own funding. The prize of BGN 5,000, a plaque and a diploma were received personally by Prof. Nikolay Spassov, Director of the National Museum of Natural History, handed over to him by the jury president, Dr. Peter Yankov, and Svetla Vassileva – Marketing Communications Manager at Moto-Pfohe and Grants Program Coordinator.

The second incentive award from the donation program Moto-Pfohe for conservation of natural and cultural heritage was presented to the project "Renovation of the summer tourist marking in Rila mountain" by University rescue squad. The project makes the renovation of the summer tourist marking in Rila, which will contribute to protecting the environment and limiting the negative influence of the man in the mountain, by excluding the tourist presence outside the established routes. URS has an extremely rich experience in building quality tourist marking. Their project in Rila shows a possible way to improve the situation in the mountains by attracting and training volunteers to help the usual park staff. The implementation of this project will create better conditions for tourists using the European tourist routes E-3, E-4 and E-8 and will help to promote Bulgarian cultural and natural landmarks. A quality tourist marker restricts the negative influence of man in the mountain and helps to improve the conditions of existence of species recorded on European and world lists of endangered species. BGN 5,000, an honorary plaque and a diploma of the MOTO-PFOHE Grants Program for 2018 were handed over to the Chairman of URS, Vasil Gurev, from Mrs. Galya Georgieva – expert in "Contents of pre-school and school education" in the Ministry of Education and Science and Mr. Masuhiro Oyama – Managing Director of Moto-Pfohe.

All 32 nominated projects that applied for the Moto-Pfohe Conservation and Environmental Grants 2018 receive an honorary diploma.

Chairman of the expert jury is Dr. Peter Yankov, a prominent ecologist and environmentalist, winner of the first edition of the initiative in 1996 and chairman of the jury since 2010. Members of the jury are: Dr. Aksinia Buteva – Head "Museums, galleries and visual arts" in the Directory "Cultural Heritage, Museums and Fine Arts" at the Ministry of Culture, Mrs. Hristina Markova – Chief Expert, Directorate "Educational programs and educational content", Ministry of education and science, Mrs. Gergana Toneva – Chief expert in the department "Strategies and programs for the environment" in the Directory "Environmental Policy" at the Ministry of environment and water.

For the two decades of its existence, the Grants Program has a total of 1190 participating projects, of which 87 have been awarded with total of BGN 348,000, including this year's participants.