Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Design of novel (nano)material properties & Applications

January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2027
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
Advanced (nano) materials, biomaterials, hybrid (nano) materials, applications, environment, health, food, sensors, sustainable technologies, circular economy, scale up processes, business models, patents.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 26, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  555  13,025  11,340  20.43 
Scopus  645  15,366  13,405  20.78 
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  04011  PhD Jože Balič  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Retired researcher  2022  1,286 
2.  30138  PhD Maja Bauman  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2024  149 
3.  53894  Laura Galun  Chemical engineering  Technical associate  2023 - 2024 
4.  39212  PhD Ajra Hadela  Textile and leather  Researcher  2023 - 2024  15 
5.  15322  PhD Vanja Kokol  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  523 
6.  52028  PhD Tjaša Kolar  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  22 
7.  57323  Vid Kolmanič Bučar  Biotechnology  Technical associate  2023 - 2024 
8.  22280  PhD Aljoša Košak  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  203 
9.  54319  PhD Eva Kranjc  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2022 - 2024  13 
10.  53797  Kaja Kupnik  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  24 
11.  01407  PhD Aleksandra Lobnik  Textile and leather  Head  2022 - 2024  728 
12.  32964  PhD Polonca Nedeljko  Chemistry  Researcher  2022  36 
13.  19099  PhD Mojca Poberžnik  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2023  170 
14.  38496  PhD Doris Potočnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2022 - 2024  188 
15.  35601  PhD Boštjan Rajh  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2022 - 2024  55 
16.  07814  PhD Karin Stana Kleinschek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2022 - 2024  1,116 
17.  38899  Vid Šumak  Biotechnology  Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
Organisations (5)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,010 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,562 
3.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,886 
4.  0796  University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  Maribor  5089638003  27,403 
5.  2772  IOS, Institute for Environmental Protection and Sensors  Maribor  2251914000  1,904 
The latest societal challenges, such as ageing of population, energy security, scarcity of raw materials, environmental pollution, and finally COVID-19 pandemic, guide modern research in the line with ensuring the sustainability and healthy future of society. In the last ten years, a special contribution to modern society has been shown mainly in the development of technologically advanced multifunctional nano/organic/biomaterials with high added value. Due to their unlimited possibilities of adapting surface, structural and chemical properties, they are important in improving human health, living, and the environment. By studying their relations between the composition, structure, microstructure and their intrinsic and extrinsic properties (WP1), we will gain new knowledge necessary for the design and development of a new generation of advanced, high-tech nano/organic/biomaterials with required properties for real applications in env., health, food, sensors (WP2). The most innovative nano/organic/biomaterials developed in WP1 and tested for various applications in WP2 will be introduced by advanced environmental-friendly, sustainable technologies in a continuous and integrated processes within WP3. The synthesized nano/organic/ biomaterials (lab-prototypes) that will show an innovation potential at the laboratory level (TRL4) or will meet the required criteria for wider application, will be transferred to the semi-industrial level with a "scale-up" approach (pilot-prototypes, TRL6) using an automated and computer-controlled reactor system at IOS, that enables an accurate and reproducible synthesis of various nano/organic/biomaterials on a kg scale. The synthesis routes for production of nano/organic/ biomaterials with different sizes/shapes and (hierarchical, size range) porous structure and surface chemistry will be optimized, to allow easy and fast up-scaling and commercialization (WP4). Important part of the project are aspects of sustainable development within WP5 including studies of possible adverse effects of the developed nano/organic/biomaterials. The ecological and biological toxicity/safety impact of the representative nano/organic/biomaterials will be assessed through various toxicology models. Technological feasibility for production of the most promising prototype-demonstrated nano/organic/biomaterials and related products will be evaluated in relation to the performance and functional properties, as well as considering the socio-economic and environmental effects by employing LCA/LCC methodology tools in order to achieve a positive ecological and energy impact in terms of avoidance of hazardous materials, compounds and solvents by developing processes and product life cycles following a circular economy and a new business models for the most promising nano/oganic/biomaterials will be proposed. Within WP6 IOS will focus on the project coordination&management&dissemination with the goal to publish high level (A") papers & patents.
Significance for science
The originality of the proposed research is based on advanced functional nano/organic/biomaterials. The research program will contribute to a greater understanding of environmental-friendly synthesis routes of various (nano)materials, the convergence of nano/organic/biomaterials and their interdependencies, giving new insights in the field of (nano)materials, (nano)technology, and biotechnology. New insights in the field of (nano)material functionalization will contribute to the enrichment of the fundamental (the correlation between structure and functional properties of (nano)materials) and applied knowledge (development and introduction of new or improved physicochemical methods, new (nano)materials and processes). For this purpose, we will study and research the synthesis, surface modification, and functionalization preferably of the following nano/organic/biomaterials: o Magnetic (nano)materials based on iron-oxides, and their colloids. o Sol-gel based mesoporous (nano)materials such as SiO2, Al2O3 in TiO2. o Semiconductive (nano)materials, quantum dots, (nano)materials based on Ag, Au and Cu. o Carbon based (nano)materials, metal carbides and nitrides for energy harvesting/storage. o Hybrid (nano)materials as ""core-shell"" (nano)materials, dendrimers, hollow spherical structures. o Organic/sustainable nano and/or polymeric materials and biocatalysts. We highlight some scientific contributions arising from our previously recorded work: o New insights into the synthesis routes of advanced nano/organic/bio hybrid materials, and sensory nano/organic/biomaterials. o Realization of a new economic concepts based on LCA and LCCA analysis. o Knowledge on health, security/protection of an individual and his environment. o Development/adaptation of appropriate technology and process to allow easy and fast ""up-scaling"" and commercialization, taking into account the principles of sustainable use of raw materials, positive ecological and energy impact, and thus a low carbon footprint. Special emphasis will be placed on increasing the use and renewal of existing (nano)materials and the production of new, functionally more efficient, and ecologically/safety-acceptable (nano)materials for a sustainable environment in line with the circular economy and with requirements of Sustainable development defined by the Slovenia Ministry (Affordable and clean energy, Sustainable industry and innovation) as well as in-line with the EU's vision under Horizon 2027 work program and SPIRE 2030 process technologies. By combining renewable/recyclable raw materials with newly developed nano/organic/biomaterials, we will achieve the production of environmentally sustainable, bio-degradable, and/or recyclable materials. The aim of the research program is to develop high-tech novel (nano)materials with required properties for applications in environment, health, and sensors. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed research, the presented results will have a major impact on different scientific fields from chemistry, biochemistry to energy, telecommunications, environmental protection, health, security, and natural sciences. The research is in line with the EU's research and innovation strategy, with a focus on the leading areas of (nano)technology and advanced (nano)materials and is closely linked to the EU's Program for Enabling and Industrial Technologies. The high level of research will maintain through intensive cooperation with reputable research institutions around the world. Accordingly, all partners will broaden their competences matching industry needs towards new applications, resulting in higher standards and promotion, not only within the national academic and technological programs, but also internationally, regarding the high possibility for publications in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factor and a high degree of citations, as well as communications within the scientific and business communities. Finally, the research cooperation between all involved groups will be strengthened and the basis network for the future collaboration within EU program or other international programs, will be established.
Significance for the country
The results of our research program will have a direct impact on the economy as well as on society at large. The market needs innovations that are linked to greater awareness of individuals of health and the environment we live in. With the aim of ensuring quality in different areas of our lives, the development of sustainable solutions is becoming increasingly important. Novel nano/organic/biomaterials and their applications are essential for health, environment, sensors, and in addition, have a direct impact on the industry and the economy. The market analysis predicts a large increase in demand for new (nano)materials, secondary raw materials, whose prices have increased 2 to 5 times in the last year, and delivery times have been extended. At the moment high demand is on raw materials for energy, IT, electronics, etc., which is be-coming crucial for successful business concepts, so recycling processes enabling the supply of secondary raw materials are urgent. With a part of this program, we are also addressing those urgent issues. In such a way we will greatly contribute to the transfer of knowledge to the wider economy. Thus, the research scope is interdisciplinary and involves different sectors of the economy, from chemistry, biotechnology, materials to physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and medicine. Direct impact on the economy is also reflected in various industries. The research program will be a challenge but also an opportunity for starting new businesses, that could take over the production of nano/organic/biomaterials, novel water technologies focusing on water reuse, recycling processes to provide secondary raw materials, following rules of circular economy. Program content is in line with the basic objectives of the Horizons 2020 European Strategic Development Plan (SRA, Strategic Research Agenda). It is also consistent with the prescribed topics and follows EU guidelines on food safety (EC178/2002). The introduction of advanced, environmental-friendly, sustainable processes and technologies, as well as modern approaches to recycling materials from waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE), are in line with the EU guidelines for the transition to a Circular Economy in the framework of the adopted Circular Economy Package and the EU's Directive for sustainability and recycling, sustainable extraction of raw materials worldwide and guidelines for waste management and resource efficiency (EC2015a). Given the major problems and interests in the field of health, sensors, and environment the dissemination of our research program results through publications in indexed journals, patents, ideas, and experiences is greatly important and will be extended through presentations at conferences and trade fairs. In this way, we will increase the possibility of integration in various bilateral and other international projects and cooperation with the business sector. The research program will have a direct impact on the development of society and its sustainable development in terms of social justice and solidarity between generations. This will reflect in the inclusion of a greater number of young researchers at the beginning of their career and cooperation with experienced researchers. Results of the program will also contribute to the expansion of knowledge in the field of (nano)materials which will provide the basis for developing novel applications for a variety of purposes and usability in areas of environment, health, food and sensors. When planning novel (nano)materials we will use aspects of sustainable development, with an emphasis on nano safety. New theoretical knowledge helps solving problems in enterprises raise awareness of modern, sustainable technologies and materials. Through joint national and European projects, functional training, industry seminars, joint degrees, masters, and research and development functions we will have an indirect impact on technological development and reorientation of production and increase the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy (sustainable production of high-tech products). This way of work has been confirmed as extremely effective because we already cooperate with many companies (Gorenje, AquafilSlo, Cetis, BSH, Messer, Cinkarna Celje, Perutnina Ptuj, etc.), other organizations, associations, and ministries (the Ministry of Defense, Slovenian Fire Association, Energetics, Maribor plumbing, etc.). By organizing meetings, conferences (NANOAPP), workshops (NANOFUTURE), and other forms of communication and knowledge transfer, we will raise awareness among economic subjects and the general public about advanced and sustainable solutions in the field of production and use of nano/organic/biomaterials. All these activities can shift the production of small and medium-sized Slovenian enterprises to manufacture products with higher added value and therefore increase the competitiveness of our industry. This would also mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, improve sustainable development, environmental protection, health, and consequently lead to a better quality of life.
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