The history of the Institute of Polymers – BAS dates back to 1960 when a section of Macromolecular Chemistry was established at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. Prof. Ivan Panayotov became its head. The intensive and rewarding research of the small team, the international acknowledgment and the co-projects with prominent foreign related academia lead to the instituting of an independent scientific unit called Central Laboratory of Polymers. Its director became Prof. Marin Mihailov. In 1989 Prof. Ivan Schopov was elected as its director. On 1st March 1990 the Central Laboratory of Polymers acquired the status of the Institute of Polymers. Prof. Kolio Troev was director from 2003 until 2011.
The Institute of Polymers at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has been known as a research institution with its own traditions. Ever since IP-BAS founding the staff has been carrying vanguard investigations stimulated by the development of polymer science in the leading countries. The researchers from IP-BAS have been in close collaboration with world known specialists in Polymer Sciences and with their colleagues from the Bulgarian academia as well.
IP is a co-founder of the Central and East European Polymer Network (CEEPN) which is an informal association of polymer institutes and polymer groups affiliated to national academies of sciences in eight Central- and East- European countries. IP chaired the CEEPN in 2008.
For ten years the Scientific Council has been granting the Best Young Polymer Scientist Award of the Bulgarian Chemical Society. This Award funded by Prof. Ivan Schopov is a great stimulus for the younger generation of polymer researchers.