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About the Institute

"Proof of Concept" NICKI

In 2019, we made an important step towards raising the technology level of our inventions. We have successfully established the first Slovenian internal »Proof of Concept« initiative, named NICKI. Numerous inventions that stem from the National Institute of Chemistry’s research are not the result of collaboration with an industry partner. The task of research commercialization proves to be more difficult in these research projects due to the lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and less harmonization with the needs of the industry. As a prerequisite for the successful commercialization of innovations, it is imperative to create links and offer innovation at a higher TRL, thereby reducing the risk to potential customers. The NICKI financial support offers selected projects additional institute funding, with the help of which they bring their research closer to industry needs and, in that way, improve their market potential. The support grant enables researchers to pay for external services, such as additional material testing, obtaining information about the market and industry needs, setting up a pilot-scale production, etc. These are areas that indicate to the industry the economic potential of an innovation.


Innovations in 2020:

-          dr. Matija Gatalo (Green and scalable process for platinum-copper (PtCu) catalyst production that can already be used in hydrogen fuel cells (PEMFC))

-          doc. dr. Ivan Jerman (Production process of inherently flame retardant (FR) polyamide 6 (PA6) bulk plastic and textile filaments with self-extinguishing properties))

-          dr. Duško Lainšček (Engineered NFAT - Nuclear factor of activated T cells)


Innovations in 2021:

-          dr. Nikola Minovski (New antibacterial agents)

-          dr. Sebastijan Kovačič (Highly porous π-conjugated polyelectrolyte photocatalytic materials)

-          Luka Pavko (Catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells)

-          Erik Rihtar (Biosensors for detection of steroid hormones)

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