The National Institute of Chemistry (NIC) was established in 1946 and is now an internationally recognized research organization in the field of chemistry and related disciplines. It has 289 employees, of whom 261 are researchers, 126 hold PhD degrees in science. In 2012 it had turnover of 14 M Euro. With its high-level research equipment such as spectrometers, ultra-high resolution microscopes, chromatography systems etc., and 17 organizational units – laboratories the institute is active in all areas of chemistry. NIC was also the first research institution in Slovenia to obtain ISO 9001 standards in December 2003.
The Laboratory for Polymer Chemistry and Technology has 17 members. Its specialty is synthesis and characterization of polymers and plastics. Sustainable, biodegradable and biobased plastics as well as plastic waste management are a long-standing area of activity of the laboratory.
Basic and applied research are oriented towards fields which are of long-term importance to both Slovenia and the world: biotechnology, environmental protection, structural and theoretical chemistry, analytical chemistry, materials research, and chemical engineering, through which the institute is in line with the needs of the domestic chemical, pharmaceutical, tire, and food industries. The work of the Institute is also in line with the priority thematic areas of the 7th Framework Program of the EU, which places an emphasis on genomics and biotechnology for health, nanotechnology, quality and safety of food, as well as nutrition, sustainable development, and global change.
The Institute aims to enable young researchers for work in current fields of research, as well as to groom them for leading positions in the public and private sectors. The Institute works with Slovenian universities as well as international educational institutions in order to realize these goals.
Cooperation with industry
Research is oriented towards the development of new technologies and products, which will help to ensure the long-term development of Slovenia and which are internationally relevant. Industry is an important partner to the Institute in these endeavours. There are a number of Slovenian companies with whom the Institute has entered into close long-term cooperation, as well as a number of well-regarded foreign companies. From a financial point of view, this kind of cooperation represents 20 % of the income of the Institute.
NIC has rich experience in international projects and is currently involved in 10 FP7 projects and 2 Transnational projects. The most important are: ANIMPOL, INNOSHADE, EAST-NMR, BIO NMR, BioChemLig, EuroLiion and EUROLIS of which Institute is the coordinator. A particularly relevant international project is PLASTiCE (Innovative value chain development for sustainable plastics in Central Europe) within the Central Europe Programme where NIC successfully serves as coordinator. Some other projects are Trans2Care (Trans-regional Network for Innovation and Technology Transfer to Improve Health Care, Slovenia-Italy cooperation) and ERA NET projects. In FP6 NIC was involved in 14 projects and 15 projects in FP5. NIC is also partner in a number of bilateral scientific programs. NIC is also founding member of three Centers of Excellence financed through ERDF funds.