The University of Maribor (UM) is the second largest Slovene university with nineteen member institutions (faculties), 15,000 students and 1,800 employees. It is a comprehensive educational and research organization striving for academic excellence and the expansion of knowledge through basic and applied research. UM is cooperating with 91 institutions from four continents and is a member of various international higher education associations, such as the Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC), Alps-Adriatic Rectors’ Conference, European University Association (EUA), Leo-Net, European Network of Academic Sports Services (ENAS) and University Network of the European Capitals of Culture (UNEECC). From 1999, UM has signed bilateral Erasmus agreements with 340 foreign universities. UM participates in various mobility programmes (Erasmus Mundus, CEEPUS, Leonardo da Vinci and Norwegian Financial Mechanism). UM has established various partnerships with the economy, NGOs and other national as well as international organizations. In the period between 2004 and 2016, UM has participated in over 200 European projects.
The Institute of Engineering Materials and Design (IIMO) is a non-profit research institution within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor. The Institute has currently 60 employees. Seven well-equipped Laboratories and three Centres within the IIMO possess sophisticated and adequate equipment in order to perform basic and applied research, as well as educational activities in the area of engineering materials and design and offers analyses and other services for companies. IIMO is a member of EPNOE – European Network of Excellence for polysaccharide, POLIMAT – Centre of Excellence Polymer Materials and Technologies, AUTEX – Association of Universities for Textile, EURATEX – European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing, etc. The Institute’s interdisciplinary research team is currently active in 3 Horizon 2020, 2 national programs, 9 basic and applied national ARRS projects, 2 M-ERA.NET, 1 Erasmus Mundus Euphrates, 1 Erasmus+, 3 COST Actions, 4 bilateral projects and 3 projects founded by European Regional Development Found, where they collaborate with numerous universities and research institutions as well as industrial partners on national and international level.
The involved two laboratories at the IIMO, Laboratory for Characterisation and Processing of Polymers (LCPP) and Laboratory for Dyeing, Colourimetry and Finishing Ecology (LBBE) focus on scientific and industrial research in the field textile chemistry, textile finishing processes and textiles quality testing with emphasis on polysaccharides and synthetic advanced materials, as well as product development and their application (e.g. bio- surfaces and technical surfaces). The group of researchers deals with researching polymeric materials and fibre- forming polymers, where the special attention is given to the study of surface characterization (morphology, chemical structure, ability to interact), structural parameters of fibres/foils/films, correlations between the surface/structural parameters and its reactivity/interaction capacity as well as modification and functionalization of polymers and textiles in various forms; having the key role in development of new, ecologically friendly processes, advanced methods for samples preparation, development of innovative functional materials, testing of textiles, ergonomics/comfort, research related to fibres, spun yarns and fabrics, etc. Furthermore, it conducts basic and applied research in the field of dyeing (physical chemistry and process kinetics), colourimetry (numerical evaluation of colour, measurement of reflexion/absorption and transmission in the UV/Vis/NIR region), use of enzymes for modification, degradation, cross-linking, immobilisation, bionanotechnology, etc.