EU funding for the Centre for Demonstration and Training in Zero Carbon Technologies 

Ljubljana, 19 December 2023 – The Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development has approved EU funding for the strategic project Centre for Demonstration and Training in Zero Carbon Technologies. ”This project is identified in the Territorial Just Transition Plan for the Zasavje coal region as one of the flagship projects of the Just Transition Fund with the objective of investing in growth and jobs,” said Minister Jevšek.

As part of this EU-funded project, the National Institute of Chemistry will establish a development centre for carbon-free technologies in the Zasavje region. The centre will feature state-of-the-art research infrastructure for the development of zero carbon technologies. It will consist of a battery development and testing laboratory and H2 and CO2 technology demonstration laboratory. The centre will employ at least 15 researchers and other technical staff with the relevant high-tech knowledge. The centre is expected to cooperate with at least 15 companies.

The project will be implemented under the priority Restructuring of coal regions of Slovenia’s Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027. As part of the project, research, development, and innovation capacities will be strengthened in the Zasavje region. The Centre for Demonstration and Training in Zero Carbon Technologies that will be the first public research organisation in the Zasavje region will make a key contribution to this. The centre will operate as an internal organisational unit of the National Institute of Chemistry.

‘’This investment will make the region a science hub with positive effects on the economy, delivering new low-carbon products and services while supporting research, development, and innovation activities,’’ said State Secretary at the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development Andreja Katič.

The project that is worth a total of 32,102,922 euros will receive a 27 million euro contribution from the Just Transition Fund, more specifically 27,258,599 euros.

The following calls for proposals under the Just Transition Fund are scheduled for 2024:

  • For productive investments of large enterprises and SMEs worth a total of 68.7 million euros. The call will be published in January 2024 by the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport and will be open to both coal regions.
  • For RDI teams and pilot projects of enterprises in both coal regions. The call for proposals with a total budget of 14.4 million euros will be out in April 2024.
  • For economic and business infrastructure in the business zone of the Savinjsko-Šaleška region. The call will be published by the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development in the first quarter of 2024 and will make a total 10.6 million euros available, of which 9 million euros will come from the Just Transition Fund.
  • The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy is expected to submit an application for funding of the strategic project of the Savinjsko-Šaleška region called Modernisation of the region’s district heating system. The application is expected to be submitted in the first quarter of 2024. The estimated cost of the project is 21.7 million euros, of which a total of 18.4 million euros will come from the Just Transition Fund.
  • For the project Lifelong career orientation that will be prepared by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Over 3 million euros will be available for both coal regions under the project.
  • The Ministry of Education will prepare a call for proposals called Enriched implementation of quality and accessible education and integration of circular economy concepts in schools making a total of 8 million euros available for both coal regions. The funding decision is expected in the second quarter of 2024. 

Photo: Freepik

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