Compete Centre for Micro Process Engineering and Technology launched

Ljubljana, 18 May - The Compete Centre for Micro Process Engineering and Technology, which aims to become one of the leading regional and European centres for microfluidic technologies, was officially launched by the University of Ljubljana on Wednesday.

The centre, described by project coordinator Polona Žnidaršič Plazl from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology as one of the university's major projects, was set up with the help of EUR 2.5 million from the European Research Area ERA Chair.

Aimed at upgrading existing knowledge in the field of microfluidics, this is the first Slovenian project of its kind under the Horizon 2020 programme. The ERA Chair funding allows the project to be carried out over a five-year period, which began in 2019, centre's head Tadej Kokalj explained at the presentation in Ljubljana.

The centre's objectives and plans include the development of basic skills in a promising field of both basic and applied sciences. Žnidaršič Plazl stressed that they intend to expand the team with new staff, attract new projects and encourage industrial and academic cooperation.

A key objective is to lay a solid foundation for quality working conditions that will allow the university's scientists to become leaders in the field of microfluidics and to provide quality education for younger researchers. In addition, the project aims to introduce sustainable solutions in the fields of medicine, nutrition, energy and the environment.

Microfluidics is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the behaviour, control and manipulation of fluids at the micrometer scale. It allows minituarisation of processes, micro-actuation, micro-management of heat flows and lab-on-a-chip interfacing, thus allowing experiments to be carried out faster and more efficiently.