Conclusion of the Patent Sale Agreement between the University of Nova Gorica and Institute CES, inštitut znanosti in tehnologije, d.o.o.

May 8, 2019

Today, the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, and the Director of Institute CES, inštitut znanosti in tehnologije, d.o.o., mag. inž. el. Nina Gramc, concluded the Agreement based on which the University of Nova Gorica sold the patent rights for the method for “solid-state grid energy storage” invention to Institute CES, inštitut znanosti in tehnologije, d.o.o..

The patent inventor is Prof. Dr. Matjaž Valant, the Head of Materials Research Laboratory and Dean of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Nova Gorica. The patent invention provides a solution to currently one of the major problems in the energy industry, that results from unbalanced electricity generation and consumption. This problem is particularly significant in cases where a greater amount of energy from non-permanent sustainable resources, such as wind and sun, is added to the electricity grid. “Today, a huge amount of energy is being discarded globally in order to balance electricity generation and production, and thus stabilise the grids; however, this represents environmental and economic damage. With the exception of pumped-storage power plants, which are geographically dependent on gravity fall, we do not yet have any appropriate technology for storing such huge amounts of electricity. The invention solves this problem by storing electricity in the oxidation reduction potential of a solid matter. The process is ecologically neutral, economically advantageous, and enables permanent storage of energy of density greater than that of e.g. fossil fuels”, explained the inventor, Prof. Dr. Valant, who highlighted that this is a one-of-a-kind solution in the world. Prof. Dr. Valant and his colleagues conducted research in connection with the invention for many years; a year and a half passed before they found a company that was interested in developing a prototype.

This is a huge milestone for the University of Nova Gorica, as for the first time in 24 years of the University’s operation, patent rights have been sold. “Long-term investments in science are required in order to get the results with market value and financial evaluation. In the future, we would like to see many achievements of this kind”, said Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik. The proceeds from the sale will be used to finance new patents. “The University keeps its own fund, and it is the first time that funds have been raised from the sale of an invention or patent. They will be used exclusively for the development of new inventions and the financing of their patenting, and not for anything else”, said the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica.

The cooperation between the institutions will continue in the future, since the two have concluded a development cooperation agreement in addition to the aforementioned agreement on the purchase of patent rights. “One agreement relates to the purchase of patents, and the other, which is even more important for us, is the cooperation agreement with the University. The Materials Research Laboratory will produce a working prototype for our company, and determine all the relevant technological, energy, and economic parameters of this technology. It is important to support Slovenian science and knowledge, and to work together hand in hand in the future”, said the Director of the Institute CES, Nina Gramc, upon the signing of the Agreement.

Andreja Leban, Public Relations

From left to right: Head of the CES Institute, Nina Gramc (holding a Master’s degree in engineering), Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik and Inventor of the Patent, Prof. Dr. Matjaž Valant.
From left to right: Head of the CES Institute, Nina Gramc (holding a Master’s degree in engineering), Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik and Inventor of the Patent, Prof. Dr. Matjaž Valant.
From left to right: Head of the CES Institute, Nina Gramc (holding a Master’s degree in engineering), Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik and Inventor of the Patent, Prof. Dr. Matjaž Valant.