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‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ at the 2016 MOS – International Trade and Business

This year, between 13th and 18th September 2016, the 49th International Trade and Business Fair had taken place in Celje, Slovenia. Within the fair the ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ project was presented. The project was organised by Janez Škrlec, Member of the Science and Technology Council, and supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (MIZŠ).

The ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ is a successful MIZŠ project which responded to the needs of the present and served as a significant platform for realising the smart specialisation strategy. Sixteen different development, research and educational institutions and fourteen technologically-focused companies participated in the project. The ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ gained significance and credibility due to the directors of certain institutions, Dr Jadran Lenarčič (Jožef Stefan Institute), Dr Gregor Anderluh (National Institute of Chemistry), Dr Tamara Lah Turnšek (National Institute of Biology), the rectors of the universities in Ljubljana, Maribor and Nova Gorica and numerous deans of various faculties.

The ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ emphasised the following fields: electronics, mechatronics, automatics, robotics, energy, ICT, bionics, new materials, nano- and biotechnologies, smart textiles, space technologies and others. A ‘bionic man’ used for training future bionic engineers was introduced for the first time, the first such development project in Europe. I am the conceptual designer of this project, in which Ptuj College of Bionics and the INTRI company were involved in its development, and which will later also include other institutions, faculties and high-tech companies.

In particular, the ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ featured high-tech innovations which evolved in the development and research spheres and also in the business sector, or were the result of cooperation between the academic and scientific spheres and the advanced and development-focused business sector. It is no coincidence that the Jožef Stefan Institute cooperated with various other scientific branches, and the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana cooperated with different laboratories. Some of the most outstanding innovations came from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Maribor and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana. The most noteworthy contribution came from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, which featured smart and intelligent textiles that were the result of Slovenian knowledge and cooperation with partners at various institutions and also the business sector.

What made the ‘Conjunction of Science and Business’ so different from other presentations at the international fair? The answer is rather simple; the conjunction brought the development and research spheres together with the business sector, and introduced high-tech innovations and new technologies. It attracted an exceptionally high number of educated young visitors, numerous representatives of eminent and successful companies, and a television crew from TV Slovenia, which produces a very interesting programme, Ugriznimo v znanost (Let's Bite into Science).