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Electroindustry to Set Up Joint Development Centre

Zelezniki, 24 November (STA) - Ten leading Slovenian companies from the electroindustry have formed a consortium to set up a EUR 41m worth joint development centre in order to compete for a share of the global market. The companies aim at securing EUR 20m of EU funds, contributing the rest alone.

NELA as the centre would ne named aims to become the industry's main development centre in the country, consortium coordinator Matjaz Cemazar of electronics components maker Domel told the press on Wednesday.

The Zelezniki-based centre is to be set up within six months and would file 21 patent applications in the first four years. It would employ 46 top experts and indirectly create another 500 jobs in a branch that employs over 30,000 people in Slovenia.

Half of the funds for the project would be contributed by the consortium members: Domel (with a majority 22% stake), LTH Ulitki, Hidria Rotomatika, Eti, Iskra Tela, Iskra Mehanizmi, Iskra ISD, Iskra Varjenje, Meroslovni laboratorij Lotric and Zavod za livarske tehnologije.

The nod for the EU funds must now come from the Ministry of Economy, which has a budget of EUR 185m for different industry-development projects. Its decision will be known in January.

Since most of the companies in this branch are export-oriented, they do not see themselves as rivals, but think they can only benefit from jointly entering the world market, Cemazar said.

Iskra Mehanizmi director Marjan Pogacnik believes the centre will become a strong catalyst of development, while LEH Ulitki director Andrej Kranjec thinks it may bring about a quicker improvement of technological processes and end products.

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