Maribor – The University of Maribor has signed a EUR 29 million contract to purchase additional equipment to upgrade the national research infrastructure, which is expected to raise research at the university to internationally comparable and competitive levels.
While 80% of the amount will be provided by the European Regional Development Fund, the rest will be chipped in by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, which signed the contract with the university on Thursday.
The university has secured the funds in the ministry’s call for applications. The project will be implemented by the end of June 2022.
The university said in a press release the purchase would involve state-of-the-art scientific and research equipment to upgrade the existing research infrastructure or establish new research infrastructure.
It will be used in the priority fields of advanced materials and technology, healthcare and food safety, as well as smart energy and circular systems. The new equipment will be installed in the existing facilities of the university members.
Researchers from other institutions will also be able to use the infrastructure, and additional expert and technical staff will be hired.
Specific staff will be trained as well, the university said, adding that, coupled with the existing capacities, this would improve research competitiveness on the global scale.
Chancellor Zdravko Kačič said that the launch of the project was a milestone in terms of development, as the top-flight research equipment would produce many multiplier effects and raise scientific and research excellence.
“By establishing synergies between faculties and raising the quality of cooperation with industry, the project is expected to help further develop the eastern cohesion region and the broader area,” he added.
Zoran Ren, the vice-chancellor for science and research, said that the new equipment would enable advanced research at an internationally comparable level. “We may expect major scientific progress relatively soon,” he added.