IMPACT of the


Centre of Excellence




of 9,8 MEUR investment

8,3 MEUR ERDF budget, 1,5 MEUR National budget

50 MEUR*

estimated value of new national and international projects won on the basis of increased competitivnes

*see Annual reports



3,1 MEUR from VAT

0,2 MEUR from employees' contribution

3,3 MEUR



Income tax, employment at suppliers

Boosting growth and creating


jobs both directly and indirectly in different sectors in Slovenia

*50 MEUR value of projects divided by avarage added cost of employee in 2014 (39.463 EUR)

national networks between industry and academia with access to research facility


State of the art equipment at CoE Nanocenter helps Slovene researchers to thrive and be competitive at global scale. More than


research projects are dependant on or obtained exclusively by the equipment of CoE Nanocenter

*50 project per year x 5 years (based on annual reports)


papers in internationaly renowned publications (Science, Nature, Physical Review Letters, Nanoletters etc) 2009-2016.

source: Web of Science

to be estimated
increase in high profile publications

byproducts: national an international patents or patent applications 2010 - 2016


new research infrastructures and technologies (many of them unique in Slovenia or region) 20110 - 2016


estimated numbert of national and international projects dependent on or obtained on th basis of use of the equipment of the CoE Nanocenter 2010 - 2016


PhD and PostDoc students conducted their research on the CoE Nanocenter's equipment during 2010 - 2016



In the context of the scientific-technological policy of the Republic of Slovenia  Centers of Excellence (COE)  are an instrument intended to promote the concentration of knowledge in priority areas of technology and horizontal integration across the supply chain knowledge-development, which is carried out on the basis of the strategic partnership between industry and academia.
Eight CoE were selected for co-financing in the period 2009 – 2013. more
In 2011 Mid-Term evalvation (joint assessment of progress, the ability of CoE for implementation of the program, achivements, evaluation of the program and R&D projects) was conducted for all eight CoE. more
In 2014 evalvation of the instrument Centres of Exellence was performed by Faculty of Social Sciences at Universtiy of Ljubljana. more

Details on all the projects, papers ect. presented as impact are available in Annual Reports of CoE Nanocenter (in Slovene only): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015


Trying to assemble a good research team around mediocre equipment is about as futile as trying to recruit a top racing driver to drive a slow car. To be competitive on a world level in nanoscience and nanotechnology (N&N), it is essential for researchers to have access to state-of-the-art equipment.

From the outset in the year 2000, it has been our aim at the Nanocenter to develop a firm technological platform for the development of N&N in Slovenia in the next decade and beyond, by setting up infrastructural facilities in key areas such as synthesis of new nanomaterials, state of the art characterisation, nanoelectronics processing laboratories and modelling facilities on different levels of theory.

The results are already here: state of the art synthesis technologies such as molecular beam epitaxy, pulse laser deposition for thin film and nanostructured material synthesis, and high pressure hydrothermal synthesis for advanced nanomaterials will advance knowledge and train new generations researchers for the ever increasing demands for new materials in industry.

For more information please visit


Hand in hand with the development of new materials and technologies, cutting edge characterization techniques such as high resolution electron microscopy, dual electron and focused ion beam microscopy and diverse advanced scanning probe systems, including multiprobe low-temprature STM form the core of the characterization facilities at the Nanocenter. Supported by processing facilities such as electron-beam-nanolithography and direct laser lithography new technologies and new generations of young reserachers have access to world-class goals in N&N. 

Equipment for N&N research is expensive and advances very rapidly, so it needs to be shared by interested parties as much as possible. For optimal performance such equipment needs to be regularly updated and upgraded, as well as properly maintained.

Importantly, the equipment within the Nanocenter is made available to diverse interested parties through training activities and project-level integration into supporting research groups though. 

The success of our approach lies in easy access to companies, small and large alike, university research groups and institutes. Experience shows that in this way focused research and development efforts can be achieved within mixed academic-industry teams,  leading to breakthroughs in nanoscience, nanotechnology, new materials and eventually to new product development.



Jamova 39 
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Davčna št.: SI62019651
Matična št.: 3666255000

Director: Dragan D. Mihailović

Project office: Martina Knavs

Tel: +386 1 477 32 20

Fax: +386 1 477 39 98


Po izteku obdobja financiranja operacije Centrov odličnosti 2009 – 2013 (CO), je bila s strani Ministrstva za izobraževanje, znanost in šport RS opravljena le končna evalvacija instrumenta, ne pa tudi vsebinska evalvacija dosežkov in učinkov CO.

Zato smo se odločili, da prikažemo znanstvene in ekonomske dosežke in učinke na primeru CO Nanocentra; prikaz lahko služi kot smernica za širšo in nujno potrebno razpravo o znanstvenih, finančnih in ekonomskih učinkih centrov odličnosti. Objavljen prikaz je preliminaren in se bo tekom razprave nadgrajeval in posodabljal.

Dve in pol leti po zaključku financiranja CO lahko na podlagi prikaza preliminarno ocenimo učinke CO Nanocentra.
Znanstvena uspešnost se kaže v številnih navedenih kazalnikih, podrobneje so rezultati prikazani v Letnih poročilih.

Gospodarski učinki so predvsem odraz večje konkurenčnosti, kar je privedlo do velikega števila novih delovnih mest in projektov. Ti se bodo evidentno v prihodnjem obdobju še povečali. CO Nanocenter je namreč izrazito infrastrukturno zasnovan (več kot 90% sredstev je bilo namenjeno nakupu raziskovalne infrastrukture). Zato neposredne dolgoročne učinke na gospodarstvo šele pričakujemo, saj vpeljava novih metode potrebuje čas za razvoj preden jih lahko uporabimo za izboljšanje končnih produktov industrije.

Pozitiven finančni učinek izkazuje, da se je investicija Slovenije v CO Nanocenter podvojena vrnila v proračun že samo z vplačilom davka na dodano vrednost.

Na podlagi pričujoče predstavitve lahko investicijo v CO Nanocenter ocenimo kot odlično v vseh pogledih. Težava pri študiji je pomanjkanje metodologije za oceno učinkov R in R. Kot smernice smo uporabili metodologijo, ki so jo uporabili v VB (več). Za bolj koncizno obravnavo je potrebno razviti bolj izčrpno metodologijo, predvsem zaradi primerjave z drugimi instrumenti financiranja R in R, kar presega namen te prezentacije.

Executive summary


Early in 2009, the Government of Slovenia funded 8 Centres of Excellence (CoE), which were set up after an international evaluation procedure. The centres were financed with the aim of boosting the research environment and research infrastructure in Slovenia. These pages present a brief summary of the broad scientific and economic impact of one of these centres, the CoE in Nanoscience and nanotechnology - the Nanocenter. The aim of the Nanocenter at its outset was exclusively to modernise the research facilities in the field of nanotechnology, which was badly lagging behind the competition, and introduce new cutting edge technologies. The overall long term impact of the CoE is shown here to be well above expectations, not only scientifically but also economically. The present study also points out shorfalls in the general perception of the economic impact, particularly because there is no established method to measure the long term and hidden positive effects of R&D, and particularly of reseach infrastructure.
Here we show that beyond scientific impact, the investment in the CoE Nanocenter is overwhelmingly beneficial to society as a whole through the establishment of new industrially relevant technologiesnew projects and highly skilled jobs coming from increased competitiveness on the international level. Remarkably, the Nanocenter can also show direct measurable fiscal and multiplicative economic benefits which overwhelmingly justify the original investment.

Up to this point a final evaluation of the instrument Centres of Excellence 2009 – 2013 (CoE) was performed by the government, but no evaluation of the actual results or scientific or economic impact of the CoE. In this context, the presented data are intended to serve as example and guideline for the general and necessary debate on scientific, financial and economic effects of investments into the Centers of Excellence, and other forthcoming instruments. Unescapably, the content published on this site is preliminary and will be upgraded and updated regularly, as methodology improves.

Two and a half years after the completion of initial financing, we can present preliminary estimates of the scientific and economic impact of the CoE Nanocenter. The scientific impact is presented in the form of established indicators (high-impact publications etc.), and is seen to be quite remarkable. 

The already large economic impact is expected to further increase in following years. As the CoE Nanocenter is basicaly an infrastructure center (more than 90% of the funding was devoted to the purchase of research Infrastructure), direct effects on the economy will be visible in the next decade, with the introduction of the new methods, technologies, training and eventually marketable products or improved nanomaterials, devices and processes. 

Even from a purely fiscal viewpoint, the Slovenian part of the investment in the CoE Nanocenter was immediately paid of more than twice over, simply through the payment of different forms of tax. 

However, we have encountered a clear absence of an internationally established methodology for the assement of the impact of R&D on society. Here, we have used the evaluation of the economic impact of British universities as an example. But a new, more comprehensive methodology is clearly required to expose all the benefits of investments in R&D, particularly for those with long-term impact. Detailed results are given in the Annual Report(s).

Scientific knowledge enables us to do all kinds of things and to make all kinds of things..,
yet, (another) value of science is the fun called intellectual enjoyment which some people get from reading and learning and thinking about it, and which others get from working in it. Richard P. Feynman, Caltech address,1955.
"Basic research is the pacemaker of technological progress. New products and new processes do not appear full-grown" from "Science, the endless frontier; a report to the President on a program for postwar scientific research", by Vannevar Bush, July 1945.

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