By: Tanja Brkić / Nova24tv
“The development of publicly funded scientific research, which has strong support in local communities and the economy in South-Eastern Slovenia, is a very important piece in the mosaic of development breakthroughs. An attempt to prevent the financing of this activity and to stop investing in equipment for this new institute is also an attempt to prevent the development of this part of Slovenia,” said Borut Rončević, acting director of the Rudolfovo Public Research Institute. He added that they would be happy to respond to an invitation of the new Minister, Dr Igor Papič, if he asked them to talk about how to develop a top institute in eastern Slovenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, under the leadership of the new government, already wants to find a way to stop the newly established scientific institutes set up by the Janša government for future development. These are the Rudolfovo Public Research Institute, the Pomurje Academic and Science Union, and the Pomurje Science and Innovation Centre. Their demolition will apparently not only be done in the staffing department, but the new government will also tear down everything advanced that was built up with the intention of being useful to Slovenia and its development. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport will review the manner in which the former government of Janez Janša established these new scientific institutes and figure out how they could stop their funding, the Slovenian Press Agency reports.
According to the Press Agency, the newspaper Dnevnik announced that the government of Robert Golob will review the activities of the government of Janez Janša and that the revision of the funding of the newly established scientific institutes will also be an important part of this. The focus is on the Rudolfovo Public Research Institute, which was established by the former government in the city of Novo mesto at the end of March this year. The government allegedly allocated 5.2 million euros to the institute, led by Borut Rončević, for the years 2022 and 2023, and before the end of its term, it also instructed the Ministry of Education to “invest in a project for the purchase and renovation of the facility and equipment,” in order for the Rudolfovo Institute to further develop, the Press Agency reports.
The essence of the establishment of institutes in Pomurje is, in addition to supporting scientific development and innovation, much broader. Given the concentration of experts in the major cities, the Janša government wanted to minimise the negative effects that the region suffers from due to the migration of top experts, most of whom work outside Pomurje. One of the advantages is a greater and more effective interconnection of all Pomurje doctors of science and, consequently, greater attachment of the population to the home region, both professionally and personally.
Rončević added that “the development of publicly funded scientific research, which has strong support in local communities and the economy in South-Eastern Slovenia, is a very important piece in the mosaic of development breakthroughs. An attempt to prevent the financing of this activity and to stop investing in equipment for this new institute is also an attempt to prevent the development of this part of Slovenia.”
The media and the government were informed about the establishment of the institute
It should also be noted that the idea of establishing the Rudolfovo Public Research Institute was not new. It was already mentioned in the Regional Development Programme for the Financial Perspective 2014-2020. The first actions in this project happened in 2016 already, when the Municipalities of Novo mesto, Trebnje, Črnomelj and Metlika, at the initiative of the Development Centre Novo mesto, provided the first start-up funds for the operating of the Centre for Development, Research and Innovation (CRRI). “In the past, we have repeatedly informed the media, as well as the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, and the competent ministry, about this. It is obvious that this is a project with significant potential and strong support,” said Rončević.
“Rudolfovo will play a very important role in increasing the intensity of knowledge and the added value in Slovenian industry. However, resources are needed to achieve this. Municipalities and the economy have already made their contributions and plan to do so in the future, and with the contribution of the state, the planned activities will be given additional impetus and conditions for new development will be provided. We would be happy if Minister Papič invited us to talk about how we intend to develop a top institute in eastern Slovenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports. We would immediately respond to his invitation,” the head of the institute assured.
The Pomurje Academic and Science Union and the Pomurje Science and Innovation Centre, which operates in the Rakičan mansion in Murska Sobota, are expected to be the next under scrutiny. According to Dnevnik, these are two projects of the former State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Mitja Slavinc. However, since the current government is unreasonably trying to destroy everything good that has been established during the Janša government, they are, of course, going to come after this too. Instead of allowing people to develop in their own regions and looking beyond their “ideological” beliefs, they prefer to prevent development, even to the detriment of the people. According to unofficial information from Dnevnik, the new minister is trying to completely or partially halt the implementation of some projects and stop some completely. Intervention in the projects will depend on the legal analysis that has not yet been carried out, they added.