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Ministries Dispensing EUR 230m for R&D

Ljubljana, 11 August (STA) - Two ministries have published public calls for development and competence centres as part of which they will dispense a total of EUR 230m for research and development projects.

Economy Minister Darja Radic told the press on Wednesday that the creation of development and competence centres is a key instrument for promoting technological development in Slovenia.

The Economy Ministry will provide EUR 185m for development centres, whereas the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology will provide another EUR 45m for competence centres as part of the calls.

The money available represents a direct investment into development, said Radic. "We hope that the funds will contribute to Slovenian business switching into a higher technological gear in a few years."

Higher Education Minister Gregor Golobic stressed that the calls are complementary and promote integration among businesses and research institutions in promoting research and development.

A total of 85% of the funds made available as part of the calls will come from the EU, with which the Economy Ministry will have used up the funds it obtained from the EU for this purpose.

Golobic said that efforts are underway to find sources to continue funding such calls aimed at promoting development. In 2009 the Higher Education Ministry contributed a large chunk of the nearly EUR 330m in calls for research and development projects.

The period for filing bids for development centres runs until 15 November. The Economy Ministry intends to hold an open day to present details of the call on 7 September,

Of the EUR 185 intended for development centres, EUR 30m is reserved for such centres in the Pomurje region in NE Slovenia.

Radic said that her ministry would like to see projects in the automotive, electronics, energy, pharma, biotech, IT, wood processing, logistics and modern material sectors.

Meanwhile, bidding for funds for competence centres is open until 20 September.

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