Publish Date: 26.11.2020

Category: News from the University

University of Ljubljana Rector Prof. Dr Igor Papič has bestowed the Rector’s Award for the Best Innovation at the University of Ljubljana for 2020 via the internet. The award for the best innovation in the students and alumni category went to the project entitled RF Alert, while the project entitled ArcLub One received the award for the best innovation in the researchers category.  

The traditional Rector’s Award competition for the best innovation at the University of Ljubljana takes place in cooperation with the Ljubljana University Incubator and encourages bringing technological and non-technological innovations and innovative entrepreneurial ideas to the market. Despite the different situation caused by coronavirus epidemic this year, the competition showed that there are no obstacles to discovering new knowledge. “I am glad that there is still enough drive for research and innovation, in spite of the difficult and unpredictable situation. I am proud that the University of Ljubljana does not lack people who in the best possible way contribute to the development of society,” noted Prof. Dr Igor Papič, Rector of the University of Ljubljana.

This year, the Rector’s Award competition was held in two categories – the first category included students and alumni, and the second category researchers. Six final innovations in both categories were presented via the internet, and the committee selected three winners in each category. Rector Prof. Dr Igor Papič awarded the finalists with cash prizes from the Rector’s Fund, to the total amount of EUR 12,000.

Jakob Gajšek, Chief Executive of the Ljubljana University Incubator, believes that the Rector’s Award is the best opportunity for the innovations developed at the university to come to life and affect our daily lives, as demonstrated by the success of previous contestants and winners. “We are very pleased that the award was divided into student and research categories, which makes it even more prestigious and at the same time doubles the number of innovations supported.”

Dr Mark Pleško, founder and director of Cosylab, a leading international company in the area of control systems for nuclear accelerators and proton cancer therapy, was the visiting speaker in support of the Rector’s Award competition for the best innovation at the University in Ljubljana, and added: “Researchers are used to receiving awards for our published articles and citations. This means that other researchers notice and appreciate our work. The Rector’s Award highlights the other role of research – the fact that research is important for the wider society outside the so-called ivory tower. With this award the Rector honours research that has the potential to affect the society to such an extent that someone is prepared to spend their own money on the products it leads to.”

The winners of the Rector’s Award for the Best Innovation at the University of Ljubljana 2020 are:

STUDENTS AND ALUMNI CATEGORY

1. place: RF Alert
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Aljaž Martinčič (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and School of Economics and Business of the University of Ljubljana), Matej Rabzelj, Tjaša Jereb, Jan Gašpar and Tilen Savnik (all from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana) 

2. place: A diary of something mine – a practical guide through breast cancer therapy
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Laura Ovčar (Faculty of Education of the University of Ljubljana), Tanja Spanić and Polona Marinček (both from the Europa Donna Slovenia Association), Tina Rahne Mandelj (Terasvet), Tatjana Romšek Poljšak (graduate psychotherapist)

3. place: LGBTown – an app designed to create a digital LGBT community
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Nuša Muršič (Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana), Tilen Kolar (School of Geography and Leeds Business School), Tomi Petek (University of Aberdeen) 

RESEARCHERS CATEGORY

1. place: ArcLub One – a system for supplying the liquid phase of the cryogenic medium to the cutting zone during cryogenic cutting
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Dr Damir Grguraš and Luka Sterle (both from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana) 

2. place: Antibacterial agents based on monocyclic fragments, attached to a naphthyridine scaffold (Drugs4Badbugs) 
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Prof. Dr Marko Anderluh and Dr Martina Hrast (both from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana), Dr Anja Kolarič and Dr Nikola Minovski (both from the National Institute of Chemistry)  

3. place: Efficient strategy for controlling two plant pests of global importance – the Colorado potato beetle and the Western corn rootworm
Members of the entrepreneurial team: Anastasija Panevska, Maja Grundner, Prof. Dr Kristina Sepčić, Matej Skočaj (all from the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana), Dr Jaka Razinger, Mag. Špela Modic (both from the National Institute of Chemistry)