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In the right environment, it is possible to develop a successful career in Slovenia

Valuable experiences, new environments, independent living, cultural diversity, and higher income are just some of the factors that influence the decision of many to study and work abroad.

The number of Slovenians studying and living abroad is increasing every year, and this trend can also be seen in the research and academic sphere. Many people, however, decide to return home after a certain time. Among them is Andreja Kutnar, PhD, associate professor and director of the InnoRenew CoE Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence.

Ever since she was little, she has been surrounded by wood and natural materials as she practically grew up in a carpentry shop. Therefore, it is not surprising that she chose to study wood science at the University of Ljubljana. After successfully finishing her doctorate, she decided to go to Oregon State University in the USA for her post doc.

There, she encountered a working environment that supports innovation and values practical experience. She later found a similar environment at the University of Primorska, on the Slovenian coast, where today she is the deputy coordinator of the master’s study programme sustainable built environments in the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies.

Dr Kutnar is convinced that, in the right environment, it is possible to build a successful business story in Slovenia. The great proof this conviction is the successfully gained Horizon 2020 project, InnoRenew CoE, attained under her guidance, and, consequently, establishment of the independent research institute, the InnoRenew CoE, which she leads.

How and why Dr Kutnar decided to return to Slovenia and the Slovenian coast, as well as what the InnoRenew CoE contributes to Slovenia and the coastal region, can be read in the article DOKTORICA ZNANOSTI ZDA ZAMENJALA ZA SLOVENSKO OBALO: Center odličnosti bo odlična priložnost za razvoj, published at the portal Regional Obala.