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The research institute InnoRenew CoE among finalists for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2024

The European Commission selected the research institute InnoRenew CoE, out of 530 applications, as one of the finalists for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2024. Today the public voting for the prizes started.

The application prepared by InnoRenew CoE experts stood out from over 530 applications for its quality, alignment with NEB values and principles, and potential to promote beauty, sustainability, and inclusion.

“InnoRenew CoE became a hub for a future-oriented scientific and industrial community focused on sustainable building with renewable materials,” said Eva Prelovšek Niemelä, InnoRenew CoE architect and Head of Creativity & Society research department, and added: “We have successfully brought new hope and knowledge to the city of Izola, a former industrial city in Slovenia, with many events, trainings, conferences, scientific projects, designs, and collaborations.”

The research institute InnoRenew CoE not only designed and constructed the largest wooden building in Slovenia following restorative environmental and ergonomic design (REED) principles, but at the same time created the building to serve as a research object itself. The institute’s researchers can therefore deploy, test, and demonstrate new solutions, technologies, and systems to assess building materials, construction systems, occupant wellbeing, and social engagement. At the same time they are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and innovative approaches with the wider community. Since the official opening of the building in 2022, it has gathered, hosted, attracted and been visited by over 30.000 people. Thus, they are inspiring people to use wood for buildings, furniture, and other objects of daily use. Additionally, the building is the headquarters of the NEB Academy Pioneer Hub for Sustainable Environments with Renewable Materials. The NEBAP Hub activities will provide training, led by the University of Primorska, to accelerate the decarbonisation of homes and buildings across Europe and beyond.

Designing the largest timber building in Slovenia had a complex task beyond the design itself,  as it had to demonstrate how the physical transformation of a post-industrial place could bring new spirit and sociotechnical development by creating an engaging scientific hub.

“With the construction of the InnoRenew CoE building we successfully created a new science hub that brings collaboration between research institutes, universities, private companies, vocational trainers, schools, and the local, national, and international community, and it became a special landmark and place to be in Slovenia,” emphases Eva Prelovšek Niemelä. Further she pointed out the pleasure that the excellence and ambitions of InnoRenew CoE were recognized also by the New European Bauhaus community and the European Commission.

The InnoRenew CoE decided to apply for the prize as they believe that the institute itself is an example of good practice, demonstrating a beautiful, sustainable and inclusive environment. From today, 6 March at 12:00 CET until 27 March 2024, at 18:00 CET, the public voting of finalists for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2024 is possible at the NEB Prizes platform.

Two out of the 20 winners of competition will be determined by the results of public voting, while others will be selected by an expert jury. Winners of the NEB Prizes 2024 will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place during the second edition of the New European Bauhaus Festival, in Brussels. The Festival will bring together people from all across the globe to share their vision about a sustainable future. Among them will be also dr. Andreja Kutnar, InnoRenew CoE director, who will present the story and the process of creating the NEB Academy at the University of Primorska and the planned activities of the NEBA Alliance, also led by University of Primorska.

The New European Bauhaus prizes are meant for projects that demonstrate its core principles and values in practice, and encourage the younger generation to develop new concepts and ideas.

You are kindly invited to take part in public voting and support the InnoRenew CoE project!