The Catalysis Institute (CI) of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was established in 1983 and subsequently developed into a leading center for catalytic research in the country and the Southeast European region. At its inception, the institute focused its activities on fundamental and applied research on catalytic reactions and processes, their kinetic regularities, the development of catalyst production technologies, mathematical models of catalytic reactors and processes, efficient coordination of research activities in the field of catalysis among various institutions working in this area in Bulgaria, expert activities, development, and implementation of catalyst production, and application of industrial catalytic processes on a national scale. In its early years, the research and development program of the institute primarily focused on the development and application of catalytic processes and catalysts in the chemical and petrochemical industries. In the 1990s and during the pre-accession period (1999-2006), the main research activity was adapted to respond to the needs and problems facing humanity as a whole (technological, ecological, and social problems) in accordance with the pre-accession strategy of the European Union adopted in Luxembourg in December 1997, and the goals and priorities of the Fifth and Sixth European Framework Programs. During this period, CI specifically focused on the development of nanostructured catalytic materials related to environmental preservation and clean production, especially environmentally friendly energy production.

CI organizes training for graduates and doctoral students. CI actively participates in the implementation of projects under the Framework Programs of the European Union, as well as in numerous research projects funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund, NATO, UNIDO, UNESCO, and others. These projects aim to increase the level of research activity and improve the quality of training for doctoral students and graduates, successfully paving the way for joining the European Research Area (ERA). CI has gained a good reputation as a research institution in Europe and has managed to establish business contacts with related institutions in the European Union and other international research organizations outside the EU. CI is the headquarters of the Bulgarian Catalysis Club (BCC), founded in 1992. Immediately after its establishment, BCC became a collective member of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS) and the International Association of Catalysis Societies (IACS). CI was the main organizer of the Seventh European Congress on Catalysis held in Sofia in 2005. CI organizes traditional International Symposiums on Heterogeneous Catalysis, conferences of the Bulgarian Catalysis Club, National Methodological Work Meetings on Catalysis, and International Meetings on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of Disordered Systems. CI also organizes workshops and meetings under the auspices of NATO and UNIDO. CI is an active member of the Balkan Environmental Association (B.EN.A).

The Catalysis Institute is the headquarters of the Bulgarian EPR Society, which is one of the founding members of the European Federation of EPR Societies. The Bulgarian EPR Society is the organizer of 12 international conferences on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of Disordered Systems (EMARDIS).