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New research laboratory opens at the University of Maribor

InnoRenew project partners are upgrading their infrastructure and laboratory equipment with European funds from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and the European Regional Development Fund as well as co-financing from the Republic of Slovenia’s Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. This is enabling them to further develop their research and become more competitive.

On 2 March 2020, the University of Maribor’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (FERI), an InnoRenew project partner, officially opened the doors of its new laboratory housing state-of-the-art equipment, which was purchased with InnoRenew project funds.

The ceremony was attended by Dr Zdravko Kačič, University of Maribor rector, Dr Klavdija Kutnar, University of Primorska rector and leading InnoRenew project partner representative, Dr Jernej Štromajer, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport state secretary, Dr Gorazd Štumberger, FERI dean, Dr Andreja Kutnar, InnoRenew project leader, Dr Karin Stana Kleinschek, director of the new laboratory, along with numerous other guests.

Dr Kačič welcomed everyone and highlighted that the University of Maribor has reached a milestone with the opening of this laboratory, as they are committed to achieving high-tech infrastructure to become more competitive in international research.

Dr Zdravko Kačič. Image: Lea Primožič

State Secretary Štromajer focused on the importance of investing in Slovenian personnel, scientific advancements, research infrastructure and the country’s future.

Dr Jernej Štromajer. Image: Lea Primožič

Dr Kutnar emphasized that interdisciplinary science can significantly contribute to society’s development. With research infrastructure achieved in the framework of the InnoRenew project, it will also be easier for Slovenian project partners to follow goals set by the European Green Deal.

Dr Andreja Kutnar. Image: Lea Primožič

Before closing the event with a tour of the new laboratory, Dr Kleinschek presented its equipment, a collection that is unique for this region. Innovative materials from renewable source will be developed in this laboratory. These materials can then be used in engineering, wood and polymer industries. Emphasis will be on the development and design of functional porous materials and polymer composites based on bio-renewable raw materials that will meet the needs and requirements of consumers as well as national and European legislation to ensure energy efficiency and a minimum carbon footprint.

Dr Karin Stana Kleinschek. Image: Lea Primožič