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31. 1. 2013

Foreign Ministry supports the setting up of the PoliMaT Centre of Excellence in Kenya

Nairobi, 27–30 January 2013: A workshop entitled 'Biopolymer' is being held from 27 to 30 January in Nairobi, Kenya, attended by the PoliMaT Centre of Excellence, Ljubljana; Jomo Kenyatta University, Nairobi; and the Science, Technology and Globalisation Project, Harvard Kennedy School.  The workshop is aimed at finding potential solutions to global issues in sustainable agriculture, health and technological development with biopolymers. As part of the workshop, in cooperation between the Slovenian and Kenyan foreign ministries, new ties are being forged between the PoliMat Centre and Kenyan government institutions, as well as between individual Slovenian and Kenyan companies.


The PoliMat Centre of Excellence brings together the interests of four leading Slovenian scientific institutions and 19 Slovenian companies; with its network of international institutions and top-level experts, it organises the first workshop on biopolymers, which is aimed not only at spreading the knowledge of biopolymers but also at addressing global challenges and at setting up international groups of experts to address these problems in the context of projects.


The first workshop of this type, under the subtitle Harnessing the power of biopolymers for improving human wellbeing and enhancing global competitiveness, is held at the Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi and is aimed at resolving local issues, which are also part of global challenges. 


A group of international experts from CO PoliMaT, JKUAT, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) (all USA), VDI/VDE-IT (Germany), MikroCaps (Slovenia), and Polymer Competence Center Leoben (Austria), together with JKUAT student, are addressing challenges in agriculture, waste management and the medical applications of polymers. The focus is on the latest progress in biopolymer research, the application of know-how in industry, and legislation. Therefore, it is essential that Slovenian and Kenyan companies interested in the commercialisation of innovation in this field take part in the workshop.


In addition to this project, in cooperation with the Slovenian and Kenyan foreign ministries, working talks are being held with the relevant government institutions in Kenya on the promotion of PoliMat activities. The project is also important for the strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation between Slovenia and Kenya.