Development of Research Infrastructure for the International Competitiveness of the Slovenian R&D Area - RI-SI – CERIC
Contract No. C3330-19-952058
on co-financing the implementation of the operation "Development of Research Infrastructure for the International Competitiveness of the Slovenian R&D Area - RI-SI – CERIC"
CERIC ERIC is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) integrating and providing open access to some of the best facilities in Europe, to help science and industry advance in all fields of materials, biomaterials and nanotechnology. CERIC’s scope is integration of resources made available by 8 participating European countries into a unique, multidisciplinary institution. CERIC is open to researchers from all over the world, free of charge for non-proprietary research. In exchange for the free access, the users are required to publish the results of the experiments, with appropriate references to the CERIC facilities and to the local scientific and technical staff involved.
The Slovenian NMR Centre is the representing entity of CERIC in Slovenia. Its participation in CERIC has opened up new possibilities to become a facility with international visibility that offers access to users from Central Europe and elsewhere.
The Slovenian NMR Centre offers expertise and access to users studying the relationships between the structure of materials, the sequence and recognition of biomolecules and their dynamics in order to gain deeper insights into biological functions, chemical structures and interactions in solution or solid phase, as well as into the nature of the fundamental biological processes and properties of chemicals and materials. The Slovenian NMR Centre also offers support to the development and production processes in the pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical, agrochemical and food industry.
The Slovenian NMR Centre is pursuing an active involvement in shaping project proposals with other partner facilities of CERIC and other institutions. Based on the facilities made available by the Partner Facilities, two 'open access' calls are published per year. In addition, a fast track access allows users a shorter term access to a group of participating instruments for feasibility studies, improving the quality of proposals and publications.
THE PURPOSE OF THE OPERATION
The purpose of the investment project is to strengthen the Slovenian European Center of Excellence, the Slovenian NMR Centre, with quality and visibility in a richer and more competitive European scientific research, contribution to reputation and recognition of Slovenian knowledge and science, with strong emphasis on the educational role of the Slovenian NMR Centre - training researchers to perform NMR experiments and solve and interpret NMR spectra for specific structural problems at diploma, masters and doctoral degrees level and improving working conditions, to enable research partners and all other stakeholders high-quality research and thus the possibility of developing new products with high added value. It is a holistic vision that pursues a horizontal goal towards an international competitiveness of research, innovation and technological development in line with S4.
THE DEVELOPMENTAL AND GENERAL GOALS OF THE OPERATION
• Give the Slovenian research community access to the latest international research infrastructure that supports high quality research and innovation in addressing major contemporary societal challenges,
• Strengthen and coordinate national research infrastructure in the fields where Slovenia has excellent active research teams,
• Enable and optimize the use of research infrastructures accessible to external users,
• To provide excellent research infrastructure that will make the Slovenian partners attractive for international research and innovation projects, assurances recruiting top researchers and motivating students to continue researcher's career and
• Provide support for Slovenian cooperation in the upcoming international calls and networking with research infrastructures.
THE SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE OPERATION ARE
• An upgrade of the existing 600 MHz NMR spectrometer (Lara) that will contribute to increased resolution and sensitivity in studies of structure and dynamic equilibria of small organic molecules as well as large biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids in solution,
• An upgrade of the existing 800 MHz NMR spectrometer (David) that will contribute to determining the structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids and oligosaccharides and their chemically modified oligomeric fragments in solution,
• The purchase of a new 600 MHz NMR Spectrometer (Oro) that will allow implementation of NMR experiments with high resolution and sensitivity,
• The purchase of a new 400 MHz NMR spectrometer (Nika) represents an entry point into the world of NMR spectroscopy, is considered a routine instrument and is still especially important for monitoring organic synthesis and analytics in pharmaceutical, chemical, food and other related industries biotechnology, environment, food and feed, plants and plant protection, and renewable agro materials and soil.
The long-term vision of the Slovenian NMR Centre is to become a leading Central European NMR center with the necessary equipment and expertise for studies in life sciences, materials science, pharmaceuticals, etc. This long term goal comprises commitments to increase our ambition and competitiveness in the long-term plans for expanding and updating the capacities of the Slovenian NMR Centre and the entire CERIC ERIC in the field of NMR spectroscopy. In order to increase research excellence, develop an innovative environment and thus follow Slovenia's research goals and keep up with the best similar centers, it is necessary to regularly upgrade the NMR Centre's equipment, which is available to all partners and other users through public calls and expert evaluation provided by the open access model. Investments into new NMR spectrometers with better sensitivity and performance contributes to reducing experimental time and thus faster problem solving, better education of (junior) researchers and involvement in the international research area.
The proposed investment into upgrading of the equipment of the Slovenian NMR Centre will contribute to an increase in resolution and sensitivity in studies of the structures and dynamic equilibria of small organic molecules as well as large biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids in solution. This will allow execution of new and more challenging projects. It is planned that there will be a number of NMR Centre staff to perform their increasing research work. This will provide the Slovenian NMR Centre with updated equipment and encouraging environment for the return of postgraduate fellows to Slovenia from abroad.
European Structural and Investment Funds
Ministry of Education, Science and Sport