New Biotech Hub opens in Ljubljana
The National Institute of Biology inaugurated its new Biotech Hub in Ljubljana on 12 February. The €36 million investment secures significantly better conditions for research and innovation.
Addressing the ceremony, the institute's director Maja Ravnikar lauded the acquisition as the "start of a new era of scientific exploration, innovation and cooperation with business".
The Biotech Hub (BTS-NIB) will "allow us to conduct excellent research, to place new equipment in this infrastructure, to continue international cooperation as well as cooperation with the national administration and companies, and it will significantly increase the possibility for researchers to visit the institute," Ravnikar said.
She is confident that the new hub will enable the institute to better address the important issues related to sustainability, species extinction and health.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Igor Papič said the new premises would make the work of researchers much easier and more efficient, providing adequate research facilities and equipment.
The BTS-NIB project marks the beginning of a wave of innovation planned for science and research, for which the ministry will allocate around €500 million.
For the first time, the ministry has also prepared a strategy for greener research infrastructure, for which some €2 billion has been set aside, the minister said.
After years of efforts, construction of the BTS-NIB started in summer 2021. The first phase was completed in autumn 2022, when the biotechnology and systems biology departments and the genetic toxicology and cancer biology departments moved into the building.
In autumn 2023, when the construction was fully completed, the department for organisms and ecosystem research moved in.
The premises and research equipment of the BTS-NIB are also available to the Marine Biology Station Piran. The EU Cohesion Fund covered 80% of the €36 million investment and 20% came from the national budget.
In addition to research focusing on the environment, pollution, climate change, biotechnology, ensuring healthy and safe food, and plant, animal and human health, the new premises and labs will be used for specialised training courses at international level.
The BTS-NIB has been recognised by the European Commission as a role model project that will enable the National Institute of Biology to accelerate development at home and in the region.