September 13, 2019
On Friday, 10 May 2019, The Municipality of Izola organized a press conference about the construction of the InnoRenew CoE research institute’s buildings in Livade, Izola.
All participants at the press conference agreed that the InnoRenew CoE is an added value for the region and for Slovenia; therefore, construction of the InnoRenew CoE’s buildings is indispensable for its research work to continue.
The mayor of the Municipality of Izola, Danilo Markočič, emphasized that they want development in Izola, and the InnoRenew CoE will certainly and significantly contribute to that aim. This was explicitly proved by the fact that, in 2017, the municipal council unanimously confirmed the transfer of the building right of the University of Primorska for the land in Livade to the InnoRenew CoE.
In fact, in 2006 the Municipality of Izola awarded the building right to the Republic of Slovenia or the University of Primorska, free of charge, for the realization of the Livade campus and set a five-year deadline for realization of this project, which has not occurred after ten years. Hence, the Municipality of Izola, in line with the contract of establishment of the building right with University of Primorska, had the right to cancel the building right of the University of Primorska at any time or change the purpose of this land. This happened in 2017 when the government formally resigned from the realization of the Livade campus, and, with a decision, they renounced from a significant part of the land at this area.
Head of the institute for spatial planning and real estate at the Municipality of Izola, Marko Starman, explained that the Municipality of Izola received a request from the University of Primorska and the InnoRenew CoE for the building right on that area, and they assessed that they can grant the building right to the InnoRenew CoE since this is in the public interest for the realization of the research center in the area that was previously dedicated to the Livade campus. The Municipality of Izola granted the right under the condition that the private not-for-profit research institute the InnoRenew CoE is realized in the planed timeframe.
The support for the realization and for starting the construction of the InnoRenew CoE’s building was expressed also by the rector of the University of Primorska, Dr Dragan Marušič, who explained and responded to certain accusations that appeared in the media in recent weeks. He emphasized that Slovenian legislation enables the establishment of a public or private institution. The InnoRenew CoE was established as a private not-for-profit institution since, from independence in Slovenia, there has not been established any public research institute, with the exception of the Scientific and Research Center.
Moreover, Branko Simonovič, the vice-president of the National Assembly and the president of the Club of Coast Deputies, strongly supports the InnoRenew CoE. “We, the Coast Deputies, want to support and include in everything that is in the public interest and we believe that this arising story will be a pride for all of us.”
The InnoRenew CoE director, Dr Andreja Kutnar, is firmly convinced that wood is the material of the 21st century. “The project of construction of our buildings is based on interdisciplinary research, using sustainable material from renewable sources, and this is why we were successful at gaining European funds,” she said. She added that the InnoRenew CoE is leading all procedures for preparing the project documentation for the building completely legally, which is proved by the fact that the InnoRenew CoE obtained a fully legal building permit.
Since the InnoRenew CoE is not a public research institute, it does not receive annual funding from the state budget, so it has to make sure on its own how to survive on the market in the long term. Precisely for this reason, according to Dr Kutnar, the InnoRenew CoE has been very active from its very beginning in project proposal submissions: 44% of European project proposals were successful, which is above the Slovenian average, and 33% of national project proposal were granted for funding. Up to today, 24 additional projects were acquired with a total value of over 5 million euros for the InnoRenew CoE. A large part of these acquired funds go to the state budget in the form of taxes and contributions from salaries; moreover, a big part of it goes to the project partners. For example, a partner in the newest acquired project at the InnoRenew CoE, which is a pilot project for active and healthy aging, is the Retirement home of Izola, which will receive 270,000 euros. This is a striking example of what the InnoRenew CoE can bring to the local environment.
You can read more detailed facts and videos from the press conference in the news published on the University of Primorska website.