Hot topics

Best innovations of 2019

The best innovation award winners in 2019: new medicines, industrial processes, energy efficient electro motors, the first flying foil on the European market, an original motorhome interior design, the world’s first hand mixer with spot light, a new powertrain for electric cars, and much more.

The awarded innovators at the Innovation Day.
Photo: Dan inovacij, GZS


The national contest for the best innovations held every September is a display of interesting ideas, new products and services. This year’s selection was no exception. 199 proposals were presented by over 1,000 innovators and innovation teams coming from various companies and institutions ranging from large Slovenian companies with substantial R&D budgets, to small start-ups.


The jury awarded 46 innovations with being eight selected for the Golden Award.  Most of the golden awards went to well-known Slovenian companies. Lek (Rank 7, TOP300), a part of Sandoz and Novartis groups, won two golds: the first for the “continuous and fully integrated biopharmaceutical downstream process”, the second for its Lincomplex, the new generation of high-quality probiotic. Krka (Rank 5, TOP300), another Slovenian pharmaceutical company, was selected for the “first generic medicine containing prolonged-release paliperidone based on osmotic pump technology”. The key element of the innovation is a patented independent, prolonged-release tablet formulation. “The active pharmaceutical ingredient is released from the tablet through holes drilled with a laser into the tablet’s semipermeable film coating”.


Domel (Rank 59, TOP300) is a global leader in vacuum cleaner electric motors: it was awarded gold for its new highly efficient NZ270 motor. Several original tweaks in motorhome interior of the Twin 2019 series won gold for Adria Mobil (Rank 19, TOP300), one of the leading caravans and motorhome producers in Europe. ETI Elektroelement (Rank 95, TOP300) received the golden award for its new generation of plastic fuses – the company is the European market leader in its niche. Despite its name the Quickfit TL5 “Full Metal Jacket” is a rather unassuming everyday product: a dowel used in furniture. The dowel developed by Titus received an award for providing “a unique solution for fast and intuitive cabinet assembly at home”. Titus won the award jointly with its sister company Lama Avtomatizacija – Lama developed the FastFIt machine for industrial insertion of Quickfit TL5 dowels. One of the gold awards went also to small entrepreneurs: Franc Dolenc convinced the jury with his Mediainteractive, “a mobile medical emergency communications and training solution”.


A number of interesting ideas stand out also among the silver, bronze and special award winners. HighFly won one of the awards for young companies. Its Flying Rodeo is the first electric foil on the European market: “this electric board rises up to 60 cm above the water’s surface with the aid of underwater hydro wings, reaching up to 45 km/h while maintaining stability”. The Best Innovation of 2019 title is awarded by the public choice - this year’s title went to Vivapen for its automated machine for 3D shape screen printing on fountain pens.


The National Institute of Chemistry presented a new nanofabrication process for catalyst production of better and cheaper hydrogen fuel cells. Kopur, a small company from Slovenj Gradec, was selected for its production of composite panels and 3D products from recycled material in electro-heating tools. Roto Group, another SME, developed an original wastewater treatment plant SBR-Q. Celje’s CPPE showed its cryogen pressure reactor system for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
Vilko Pustotnik and Aljoša Tušek from Tushek Supercars, a luxury sports car producer, developed a new powertrain which enables “100% power utilization from the electric motor to the wheel of the vehicle, as it has no built-in elements that would reduce efficiency”. CleverMixx is the world’s first hand mixer with a built in spot light: a product developed by small appliances producer and developer BSH Hišni Aparati, (Rank 24, TOP300).


The awards were presented at the Innovation Day in late September. The Innovation Day is organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in partnership with SPIRIT Slovenia - Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Fore­ign Investments and Technology, and Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.