Publish Date: 21.01.2016

Category: News from the University

Today the University of Ljubljana and the Tromba online agency for the promotion of science, innovativeness and creativity prepared the second round table from a series called Znanost ob 13h (Science at 1 p.m.). The participants discussed the role of science as it relates to industry and suitable development policies.

The title of this round table, held in the Zbornična dvorana of the University of Ljubljana, was "What kind of knowledge do we need?". The dilemmas that arise in connections and common projects with industry were discussed by the Rector of the University of Ljubljana prof. Dr. Ivan Svetlik, the Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana prof. Dr. Igor Papič, Peter Wostner from the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy and Dr. Darja Ferčelj Temeljotov from the company Lek.

In the past months the extensive Smart Specialisation Project, led by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, has brought together representatives of universities, research institutes and businesses. "We need the basic and applicative sciences and must know how to link them with industry. The correct valuation of scientific work utilized by industry can substantially contribute to the development and growth of GDP, the creation of new jobs, and to spreading and strengthening global connections through scientific achievements, thus placing our universities among the most renowned in the world," said the Rector of the University of Ljubljana prof. Dr. Ivan Svetlik in his introduction to the discussion.

Peter Wostner from the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy was certain that the logic of networking should be transplanted to all forms of education if we want to reach a desired level of development. "We must create an environment where people from different fields can connect. The Smart Specialisation Project enables just that. At the Project's conclusion such method of work will not end, but will continue into the future, because being good is not good enough anymore. We have to be excellent."

Dr. Darja Ferčelj Temeljotov from Lek also believes in such cooperation between the science and industry. "Such work practices have been implemented in our company for decades, and those dynamics helped us retain an important role within the Novartis Corporation," she said and added, "Such practices should always find ways to benefit the individual and the company."

The Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana prof. Dr. Igor Papič also stressed the importance of close cooperation with industry, since it is industry which sets the priorities in research and development. "We can also offer our ideas, but it is industry that determines their market value," offered the Dean. With respect to future development he warned of the uneven enrolment in some study programmes and stressed the fact that technical programmes have fewer and fewer students, while the best teachers and students from technical fields have been leaving the country.

The participants concluded that the future is difficult to predict and that it is more important to take measures. They also noticed that the value system in Slovenia is changing and leaning towards the need to tackle the most challenging problems. However, such challenges can be met only by the most widely educated and open individuals.