Publish Date: 05.12.2016

Category: News from the University

The traditional University Week opened with a presentation of the best research achievements of the University of Ljubljana in 2016. Many of them are the result of cooperation with other Slovenian and international research institutions.  

Upon the occasion, the University Rector Prof. Dr. Ivan Svetlik stressed the importance of these research achievements which put the University of Ljubljana on the global map of universities. “To that end, we have established a Development Fund to provide support for applications to research projects. Furthermore, together with the Universities of Leuven, Prague and Budapest, we have established a special fund for the preparation of applications to European projects. That is only one of the partnerships which will enable integration and cooperation of researchers from our own and from other excellent foreign universities,” he further noted and ended his speech saying that the University of Ljubljana has fulfilled its mission regardless of the amount of funds allocated to it.

In his keynote speech Prof. Dr. Damjan Miklavčič, a Full Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana said that a substantial advantage of university researchers over those working at institutes lies precisely in direct cooperation with students, as they represent an inexhaustible source of the young mind eager for knowledge. “Only young people, under the mentorship of top researchers who are heavily integrated in international networks, are capable of solving the most difficult research and pressing social problems that we are facing. Slovenia has long insisted on a young researcher programme, and this is probably what distinguishes us from other transition countries. We must take pride in it, as this programme has made a major contribution to excellent research work at the University and excellent scientific achievements.” 

The University Vice-Rector for scientific research Prof. Dr. Martin Čopič stressed in particular the success of Prof. Dr. Tomaž Prosen from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana who won a European Research Council (ERC) project for research in theoretical quantum physics in the amount of €2,000,000 for a period of five years, but at the same time noted that the funds earmarked for science and the number of ERC project applications were too low. “This is only the second ERC project at the University of Ljubljana, the first in the category of advance projects and the third in Slovenia. But only three ERC projects in all of Slovenia are not enough. Since 2007, the ERC has supported close to 8,000 projects. Based on a comparison of the number of researchers in the European Union to that in Slovenia, we should have many more, at least 15 to 20. We would have had as many if the Slovenian proposals, over 150 in that period, had been as successful as others.”

When selecting the top 10 research achievements of 2016, those placing the University among the very best in the scientific world, the Commission for Research and Development at the University of Ljubljana primarily took into account international visibility, demonstrated through reviews, quotations and the influence of the journal in which each work was published. Other criteria for selection included the completeness of the achievement, whether it is of interest to the wider expert and general public, and the applicable benefits. 

The keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Damijan Miklavčič is available here: Prof. Dr. Damijan Miklavčič

The ten most resounding research achievements of the University of Ljubljana in 2016:

 

  1. Relational discrimination in bacteria (video)
    Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Polonca Štefanič, Barbara Kraigher, Ines Mandić-Mulec and associates from Harvard University Nick Lyons and Roberto Kolter
     
  2. Investments in energy efficiency (video)
    Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Nevenka Hrovatin, Nives Dolšak, Jelena Zorić
     
  3. Monitoring the development and treatment of brain diseases (video)
    Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHOR: Žiga Špiclin
     
  4. New immunoproteasome inhibitors (video)
    Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Izidor Sosič, Martina Gobec, Boris Brus, Damijan Knez, Matej Živec, Aleš Obreza,
    Irena Mlinarič-Raščan, Stanislav Gobec and associates from the National Institute of Chemistry Janez Konc, Samo Lešnik and Mitja Ogrizek, from the Jožef Stefan Institute Dušan Žigon, and from the University of Primorska Dušanka Janežič 
     
  5. New Co-MoSx catalysts (video)
    Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Boštjan Genorio 
     
  6. The mathematical physics of quantum transport (video)
    Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHOR: Tomaž Prosen 
  • Model for the simulation of vehicle propulsion systems (video)
    Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHOR: Tomaž Katrašnik 
  • Connection between the Zika virus and mikrocephaly (video)
    Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Tatjana Avšič Županc, Miša Korva, Mara Popović, Mateja Poljšak Prijatelj, Jerica Mraz, Marko Kolenc, Katarina Resman Rus, Alenka Vizjak, Jože Pižem, Miroslav Petrovec 
  • Multifunctional durable salt-gel (video)
    Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Jelena Vasiljević, Danaja Štular, Brigita Tomšič, Jožef Medved, Barbara Simončič
    and associates from the National Institute of Chemistry Milena Zorko, Ivan Jerman and Boris Orel
     
  • Spleen development (video)
    Veterinary Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Gregor Majdič, Katja Kozinc 

Photos taken by Željko Stevanić, IFP d. o. o.