Made in Slovenia

23 May 2022, 14:02 PM

STA, 23 May 2022 - Love In Plane Sight, a short film by Slovenian arts student Matej Rimanić, has won one of the two main prizes of the Tik Tok competition organised at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time this year.

The short comedy by Rimanić, a third year student at the University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, tells the story of a future couple who talk across balconies.

@rimanic Love In Plane Sight #TikTokShortFilm #fyp #fypシ #foryoupage ♬ Love In Plane Sight Short Film - rimanic

"Filmmaking is a team sport, so this win is not just for me, it's for everybody involved in the project," Rimanić said about the award for the film, which also involved Nik Kranjec as director of photography, Eva Mlakar as the actress alongside Rimanić, sound designer Alen Fekonja and consultant Luka Jurinčič.

"Personally, I hope this award will open the door to the wider world of filmmaking to me, as I want to work professionally in this field on a global level," the Slovenian Film Centre moreover quoted Rimanić as saying on Monday.

The Tik Tok section featured videos between 30 seconds and three minutes in length. It involved contributions from 44 countries and was viewed by 4.5 billion people worldwide.

12 May 2022, 17:54 PM

It isn't always easy to find work as an immigrant, which is why so many start their own businesses and thus add to the vitality and vigour of the countries they settle in. Such is the case with Werner and Nardia, founders of Adriatic Elements. Curious to learn more, we got in touch with couple and asked some questions...

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Tell us about your journey. Why Slovenia ?

We are originally from Cape Town, South Africa, where in 2016, Nardia started the now well known “Leaf Jou” brand of handmade natural products. Five years later we decided to relocate as a family to Slovenia and from this Adriatic Elements was born. We could not resist Slovenia’s emerald waters, beautiful mountains and clean air to call home. We now source the elements needed to manufacture Nardia’s natural products right here in the heart of Europe. We found Slovenians to be connected to Mother Nature on many levels, be it their love of hiking and the outdoors , or growing their own organic vegetables in urban gardens all over Slovenia.

What products do you make ?

The first products to be produced right here in Slovenia are our 100% natural dishwasher tablets. They are made of biodegradable ingredients, are vegan friendly and packed in a biodegradable, compostable container. Customers love the lemongrass aroma of the essential oil in the tablets.

We also make biodegradable laundry powder that are unscented, contains no sulphates or phthalates and is compatible with grey water systems.  Suitable for sensitive or allergy prone skin.

Watch this space as we are working on launching our natural bubble bath powder, laundry softener and solid dish washing soap bar in the near future.

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What do you like about Slovenia the most ?

As a family we love the balance between work, play and family time. We love the outdoors, natural beauty and proximity of the elements, including the Adriatic that inspires us to develop new products that are friendly to the environment.

How are you finding the language ?

Challenging but not insurmountable! We are practicing and learning new words on a daily basis. It is important to us to engage every client or potential customer in their mother tongue. Our labels are also all in Slovene, since the products are proudly made in Slovenia.  

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Why do you think people need these products ?

There is no Planet B. We still have time to save and renew what we have. We believe Slovenia is proof of this, by nurturing your environment and making conscious and sustainable choices.

What is your vision for the company ?

Moving away from harmful everyday chemical products has been our mission since day one. The prevalence of carcinogenic ingredients in cleaning products we use in and around our homes and bodies are frightening.  We decided to change the world and people’s consumer habits one product at a time. The natural alternatives just make so much more sense:  no harm to you, your children or the environment.

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coming soon...bubble bath powder

Where can people try or buy your products ?

You can visit our website www.adriaticelements.com or drop us a mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for sales, trade enquiries, samples or just to chat. We will also be selling our products in Health and Bio stores, including Trgovina Suzana in Radovljica, at Ulica Staneta Žagarja 2b.

11 May 2022, 11:18 AM

STA, 11 May 2022 - Last Pizza Slice (LPS) did not make it past the semi-final of the Eurovision song contest, the second year in a row that the Slovenian entrant has remained without the much coveted final.

The high-school band from Celje, which was created in 2018, performed Disko, an uplifting retro blend of pop and funk but with sad lyrics about a painful breakup.

The standout feature of their performance was a giant disco ball, alluding to the name of the song, the Slovenian word for disco.

"We're very grateful for the whole experience," singer Filip Vidušin said after their performance. "We did what we wanted to do. We put on a show for Europe."

Ten of the 17 countries featured in the first semi-final made the cut.

12 Apr 2022, 12:25 PM

STA, 12 April 2022 - Yaskawa Europe Robotics, one of Yaskawa's three companies in Slovenia, has developed its own robot after it has been manufacturing only robots developed in Japan. The GP20 is suited for the metal-processing industry and the Kočevje-based company would like to sell it in the US.

The robot has the advantage of an increased working space given its size, a high degree of rigidity and a high degree of precision, the company told the STA.

Its slender upper arm makes it suitable for the metal-processing industry, especially for CNC machines and lathes with narrow inlets.

The company is developing some other projects, including robots specialised for the food industry. Last year it developed subsets for Cartesian robots for a French company.

The Japanese multinational Yaskawa, a global industrial robots leader, started building the Kočevje facility in 2017 and launched production in 2019.

At the time it planned to employ 200 workers by 2023, while it now employs only around 120.

Yaskawa has three companies in Slovenia: apart from Yaskawa Europe Robotics in Kočevje, it has had Yaskawa Ristro and Yaskawa Slovenija in Ribnica for more than 30 years.

The coronavirus epidemic has slashed Yaskawa Europe Robotics' revenue in 2020, but both production and sales picked up in 2021 for the company to end the year with EUR 36 million in revenue.

The Kočevje-based company manufactures more than 330 robots and more than 180 controllers a month.

Learn more about the robot

11 Apr 2022, 15:53 PM

STA, 11 April 2022 - Verschwinden (Vanishing), a documentary by Andrina Mračnikar, the Austrian director and screenwriter of Slovenian descent, about the Slovenian language disappearing from everyday life in Carinthia, has won the audience award at the Diagonale film festival in Graz.

The director of the feature-length documentary also received a EUR 3,000 cheque awarded by the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung.

The film, featured at the festival on Saturday and Sunday, is a "call against resignation and for courageous political action", says the presentation of the film in the festival's catalogue.

It is noted that before 1910, about 90% of the population of what is now the Austrian state of Carinthia spoke Slovenian, and most of them exclusively Slovenian. For instance, only 5% of people in Keutschach/Hodiše speak Slovenian today.

"This decline is a consequence of more than a century of discrimination fuelled by nationalism ... and ignorance of the German-speaking society and politics."

In interviews with Slovenian families in the area, the director presents an image of "persecution, deportations, violence, insidious hostility and bureaucratic obstacles" that have led many Carinthian Slovenians to give up their own language.

Born in 1981 in Hallein, Mračnikar grew up in Carinthia and studied at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana and directing and screenwriting at the Vienna Film Academy. She has lived in Vienna for the past 20 years.

She has made two other documentaries - Andri 1924-1944 (2003) and Der Kärntner spricht Deutsch (2007), and one feature film - Ma Folie (2015) to receive a number of awards and recognitions.

The best film award at the Diagonale festival was conferred to Austrian director Ulrich Seidl for Rimini, while Sabine Derflinger received the award for best documentary for her film on German journalist and feminist Alice Schwarzer.

There’s not yet a website or trailer, but the documentary’s Facebook page is here to learn about screenings

06 Apr 2022, 13:06 PM

STA, 5 April 2022 - A dozen Slovenian companies have developed an innovative net zero-energy house that can serve as a home and a workplace. With the smart appliances and fittings linked into a cloud it can be monitored and managed remotely.

The model Dom24 (Home24) was put on display on Tuesday at the headquarters of Marles, Slovenia's oldest and largest maker of prefabricated homes, in Limbuš near Maribor.

"Home24 is the optimal combination of energy self-sufficiency, environmentally sustainable construction and modern technological solutions," said Marles CEO Matej Vukmanič at the inauguration ceremony, which featured President Borut Pahor.

Apart from Marles, the project also includes Gorenje, Petrol, Helios, Alples, Danfoss, Robotina, Eti, Jub, Intectiv, Smartis and Špica.

The companies, each of which developed innovative solutions in its own field, have invested EUR 12 million in the project with the Economy Ministry and European Regional Development Fund chipping in a grant of EUR 5 million.

Marles official Bogdan Božac said the idea back in 2018 was to make a home in which people could spend 24 hours a day, meaning they could also work in it. "Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and showed how visionary our idea had been."

Home24 gets its power from the sun through an integrated photovoltaic plant and any excess electricity is stored in the integrated storage battery or fed into the grid. It provides a two-way connection to community energy systems and can operate efficiently on its own or as a smart community unit.

It combines environmentally-friendly building materials, superinsulation, an innovative ventilation system, highly efficient heat recovery, and special paints and coatings to control humidity. The home also includes ceiling heating and cooling and a charging station for electric vehicles.

See more about this project

30 Mar 2022, 17:28 PM

STA, 30 March 2022 - A public research institution will be founded in Novo Mesto in April to unite the scientific, technological and development potential of south-eastern Slovenia and wider. The Rudolfovo Institute - Science and Technology Centre Novo Mesto (Rudolfovo - Znanstveno in tehnološko središče Novo mesto, JRZ Rudolfovo) is to start work this summer. Initially, it is to employ 30 people.

The institute will be an upgrade of efforts that started in 2016 with the foundation of the Development, Research and Innovation Centre by four municipalities from the region, and the Laboratory for Factories of the Future, said the head of the Novo Mesto Development Centre, Franci Bratkovič.

The project, in which over a million euro in regional funds has been invested so far, will unite the scientific, technological and development potential in the region and wider, enable applicative research in cooperation with businesses and promote innovation.

The new hub will be created in line with a government decision adopted on 24 March. "We have a team of competent experts and equipment, we are cooperating with businesses and education institutions. And we have purchased land where the new institute is to be based," Bratkovič said.

Staff will be hired gradually, and Borut Rončević was appointed interim head yesterday. In the first phase, 30 people will be employed.

Initially, the hub will use the facilities of the Development Centre and later move to a new building with a technological campus.

In the next 15 years, it plans to help set up 15 companies that will employ 1,500 people, said Bratkovič.

Rudolfovo will be the first public research institution in SE Slovenia and regional mayors agreed today that it would open development opportunities, contribute to decentralisation of the country, enable access to technology, boost regional cooperation and promote innovation.

The newspaper Večer has reported the government will secure EUR 5.2 million in funding for the hub in two years, of which EUR 2.6 million the first year, more than initially planned, probably due to the upcoming election.

According to the paper, the hub is the brainchild of Borut Rončević, the head of the RTV Slovenija supervisory board who served as the director of the Education Ministry's Higher Education Directorate during the second Janez Janša government.

30 Mar 2022, 13:07 PM

STA, 30 March 2022 - A team of researchers at Slovenia's National Institute of Biology (NiB) has presented StressKnowledgeMap, an app that will help potato breeders develop more weather stress-resistant potato varieties.

The app brings together the world's knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of plant stress responses and organises it into complex functional networks, the NiB said.

Information on genes involved in the stress response has been integrated into the app alongside mRNAs and the translation of mRNAs into proteins that have a function in the plant response.

The researchers, led by Kristina Gruden, have also described the links between these elements and other regulatory mechanisms, thus combining the dispersed knowledge from countless experiments into digital tools that allows computer modelling of plant stress responses.

At https://skm.nib.si, users can review, research and analyse data or add new data as well as export it for the purposes of modelling and visualisation.

This enables scientists to jointly improve the treasure trove of knowledge gathered in the StressKnowledgeMap app, the NiB said in a press release.

The app has been developed as part of the Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato (ADAPT) project funded by the EU-Horizon 2020 programme.

The project aims at making potato varieties more resilient to adverse weather conditions to contribute to new strategies of adapting this plant to future climate changes.

21 Mar 2022, 17:24 PM

STA, 21 March 2022 - Slovenia is launching Slovenian Genome, a project of Slovenian population's genetic variability data that could simplify genetic diagnostics and thus help people with rare diseases, which affect one in 2,000 Slovenians. To have fast genomic diagnostics, normal variations of the human genome in Slovenia need to be defined.

It usually takes more than eight years from first symptoms to the right diagnosis, while this period could be significantly shortened with the Slovenian Genome, Health Minister Janez Poklukar told the press on Monday.

Tadej Battelino from UKC Ljubljana's Paediatric Clinic invited all healthy Slovenian residents who have no rare disease to donate their genomic information to help make a diagnose for those who have inherited one of the rare diseases.

Battelino said that if we wanted to shorten the path to diagnosis, we needed the genome of healthy people, adding that "every genomic information is strictly anonymous".

He said "this is a kind of a humanitarian trait of this project. Those more lucky can help those less lucky by giving at the disposal our genomic data anonymously."

Poklukar said that rare disease patients often got a misdiagnosis and consequently wrong treatment, which further affected the quality of their living. The plan to treat rare diseases thus involves "prompt diagnostics with personalised medicine".

"Slovenian Gemone will make genomic diagnostics in Slovenia much easier, because it will bring to the common European database all genomic variability data of a representative sample of healthy Slovenian residents," Poklukar said.

"In a few year's time many diseases which are now incurable could be cured. So I think it is very good to have the data about the normal genome," said Marko Pokorn, medical director of the Paediatric Clinic, who has already contributed his blood sample for sequencing.

Every person differs genetically from another person with whom they are not related by three million bases in genes, said Damjana Rozman from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.

"Within the three million bases there are probably some changes which are more frequent in the Slovenian population but are perfectly normal. If we know that, then it will be easier to see which changes actually make us predisposed to some rare disease."

14 Mar 2022, 12:16 PM

STA, 14 March 2022 - Cleangrad, a Ljutomer-based company specialising in design and construction of cleanrooms, has become the first in the world to develop sliding airtight doors for cleanrooms. A total of 25 such doors have been ordered so far, and if the demand increases, a new production facility will be built solely for this product.

The company, which will celebrate 20th anniversary in June, has entered 2022 with 13 million euros in orders, Cleangrad director Jernej Zupančič has told the STA as he announced the development of the new product.

He said that 2021 was one of the best years in the company's history, as sales increased by about EUR 1 million euros and revenue amounted to EUR 18.5 million.

The company continued to hire additional staff last year to increase the workforce to 240, and is still looking for new staff. "We need engineers, project managers, security engineers, electricians," Zupančič said.

Cleangrad designs and manufactures cleanrooms for the production of vaccines and medications and for hospitals, and produces doors and special airtight doors, pass-box chambers and stainless steel furniture.

It supplies its products to large pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Jannsen and GlaxoSmithKline, and it has struck partnership with the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, the Indian Serum Institute.

Cleangrad has also scored its first major project in France, in a company that will fill Covid-19 medication pills, Zupančič said, noting that this deal had secured two and a half years of work for Cleangrad.

The company has a production facility in the former premises of the clothings maker Mura, and last year it built a new administrative building nearby, in the Ljutomer industrial zone in what was a EUR 2.5 million investment.

A special showroom will also be developed there to present the company's products and production processes, and there is some additional space and land at the new location for potential new production facilities, Zupančič said.

Learn more at Cleangrad’s website

01 Mar 2022, 09:00 AM

STA, 28 February - The Slovenian-language edition of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It was launched in 2002 as the 16th language variant after the original Wikipedia was launched in 2001, and there are currently 314 language variants.

The initiative came from user Jani Melik, and the Slovenian-language Wikipedia now boasts over 175,000 articles, which puts it among the top 50 per number of entries.

Jernej Polajnar, a representative of the Slovenian collective behind Wikipedia, has told the STA upon the anniversary that they are proud to produce such content with an innovative approach and completely voluntarily.

He says that the relevance of their work is reflected in the use of their work and the citation rate. "We also score quite high in Wikipedia's various international rankings in terms of the amount of content."

The project also proves that Slovenian is equal to languages spoken by many more speakers in terms of richness and the power of expression even at a time of globalisation and the global dominance of English.

"We want to be a role model showing that writing in the mother tongue and in a home environment is not in vain," Polajnar says.

As a relatively large pool of freely accessible structured information, the Slovenian-language Wikipedia has also been used to create language corpora for machine learning algorithm and for analysing online presence of Slovenian writers.

Looking to challenges ahead, Polajnar says their wish is for experts to better understand the opportunities wiki platforms provide for spreading knowledge.

"Several fields are covered insufficiently on Wikipedia, such as economics, law and various social topics, while we are doing better in natural sciences."

Some experts see their contributions as self-promotion, which totally misses the wiki platforms' basic mission, so Polajnar says they want to change this, which will require more awareness raising.

The core of the team behind the Slovenian-language Wikipedia is relatively stable in terms of its size and activity, even the founder still finds time to write articles.

While many decide to improve the existing articles, there are few who decide to cooperate for a longer period of time or as a hobby, but Polajnar says the team of administrators does get rejuvenated and refreshed all the time quite successfully.

"Despite the competition modern mobile platforms present, I feel the enthusiasm will not wane just yet, but we will have to do more for promotion. When it comes to a community or project like us, the rule the more the better definitely holds true."

Visit the Slovenian-language Wikipedia

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