The "Jozef Stefan Institute", named after the distinguished 19th century physicist Jozef Stefan, is the leading Slovene research organisation. It is responsible for a broad spectrum of basic and applied research in the fields of natural sciences and technology. The stuff of around 700 specializes in research in physics, chemistry and biochemistry, electronics and information science, nuclear technology, energy utilization and environmental science.
Applied research and development serve for transfer of advanced knowledge, contributing to the development of national economy and society in general. Fields of technology, in which the institute is active include: communications, energy technology, medical- and biotechnology, robotics and production automation, environment, new materials, lasers, transport, information technology, super conductive materials, technology transfer, physical and engineering sciences, ceramics, biochemistry and molecular biology, biocibernetics, computer automation, digital communications, nuclear reactor physics and engineering.
The basic goals of the Institute are to provide expert scientific and applied output in the form of processes, products and consultancy, and to produce well-trained young scientists. The underlying philosophy is that these objectives can be achieved only if based on international class scientific research. With this in mind, the in-house research has been reinforced by building strong links to universities, other research institutions and industry.
Activities in the field of Regional Innovation
The IRC Slovenia project team, with host the organisation J Stefan Institute, has been since January 1997 till June 2000 primarily involved within FEMIRC Slovenia project in promotion of the 5FP program of the EU.
From July 2000 onwards the main task has been the transnational transfer of technology to Slovenia from EU and vice versa. Also the IRC team has the specific obligation to implement in Slovenia other actions within the 2nd Horizontal program of the 5FP, which is Promotion of Innovation and Encouragement of Participation of SMEs.
In relation to the regional innovation actions, the IRC guided the Slovenian team of institutions that prepared the project proposal "Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer Strategies for Slovenia" that was favourably evaluated by EC and is in the process of contract preparation. It will start in second half of the year 2001.The coordinator of the project is the City of Ljubljana-Small business development center, EU partners are Umbria from Italy and Shannon from Ireland. The IRC Slovenia will be one of the five Slovenian partners. Also the letter of intent was signed by 14 sub-regions and institutions involved in the regional development. Among them the most important one is the Regional Innovation Agency of Slovenia, that was founded in 2000 by the government and is presently in the phase of establishment, but is expected to be in full operation by the end of 32 month of the SLORITTS project. It will result also in the list of projects to be implemented via structural funds when Slovenia will become the full member of the EU (not before 2003).