WG of support, development and innovation (SDI)

WG of support, development and innovation (SDI)


Working group of support, development and innovation (SDI) is a group, which combines administrative and research expertise and competences.



Fields of expertise, activities and research


Working group of support, development and innovation (SDI) is a group, which combines administrative and research expertise and competences.


SDI activities include, but are not limited to:

-       Financial and administrative management of the national and international projects.

-       Management and maintenance of the facilities of Marine Biology Station.

-       Promotion of so-called soft skills (for example, science communication, teamwork etc.).

-       Promotion and ensurance of gender equality and equality and diversity in general.

-       Identification of research fields with high potential, but low level of national, regional and/or international exploitation (such as Blue Biotechnologies).

-       Awareness raising and promotion of innovation.

-       Management of Marine Biology Station rooms and apartments.

-       MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions).

-       Coordination of Marine Biology Station educational activities.



Staff members


Gašper Polajnar (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Head of working group. An economist with a Msc. in management. His work focuses primarily on preparing annual financial and business plans for Marine Biology Station (MBS), monitoring and analysing business results, proposing and planning annual investments and monitoring their implementation, collaborating and advising the management of Marine Biology Station, preparing various business and financial reports, and providing financial and administrative management of development and research projects.


Ana Rotter (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

She is a microbiologist with a PhD in statistics at the MBS. Her research includes marine biotechnology, data visualization and analysis and network analysis. She is passionate about science communication, project management and applied sciences. More information.


Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

She is a project associate at MBS and a PhD student in management programme at the University of Primorska (Slovenia). Her activities are focused on the management of EU funded projects. More information.


Anja Sergaš (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Anja is an administrative assistant at MBS. She graduated management studies at the University of Primorska. Her work is based on the administrative support of the European projects. More information.


Jan Ulčar (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

He is a Senior Professional Associate at the MBS. He holds a bachelor degree in Biology and master degree in Molecular and Functional Biology from University of Ljubljana. His work is focused on the marine biotechnologies and science communication. More information.


Tadej Gračner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

He is an associate at Marine Biology Station and a master’s student in tourism program at the University of Primorska (Slovenia). He holds a bachelor degree in Tourism. His work is focused on coordination of accommodation facilities, education facilities and MICE organizations.


Marko Tadejević (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

He is responsible for managing and maintaining the facilities of MBS.



ARRS Research Programme


Marine and microbial biotechnology

Project leader: dr. Ana Rotter

Code: P4-0432

Duration: 1.1.2022 - 31.12.2027





1.    CHAlleNging Gender (In)Equality in science and research (CHANGE), H2020


The main aim of CHANGE is to support research organisations in implementing equality plans. This will be achieved through the involvement of key actors, known as transfer agents, within each organisation who will work with core consortium partners to share co-produced equality knowledge within their institution. This innovative approach will ensure the promotion and sustainable institutionalisation of the gender equality plans beyond the project lifetime.


Duration: may 2018 - october 2022

Team: Ana Rotter, Katja Klun, Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič and Gašper Polajnar.

Links: Website in Twitter.


2.    A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution (GoJelly), H2020


The goal of the GoJelly project is to develop, test and promote a gelatinous solution to micro plastic pollution through the development of a TRL 5-6 prototype micro plastic filter (GoJelly) for commercial and public use, where the main raw material is jellyfish mucus. In doing so, the consortium addresses two environmental problems with one approach by removing commercially and environmentally destructive marine and coastal pollution from both jellyfish and microplastics. The by-products of GoJelly biomass also have other uses, so GoJelly also delivers a green innovation that leads to a novel, valuable resource for the food and feed industries, as well as an agro-biological fertilizer for organic farming.


Duration: january 2018 - december 2021

Team: Ana Rotter, Katja Klun and Tinkara Tinta

Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


3.    CA18238 - European transdisciplinary networking platform for marine biotechnology (Ocean4Biotech), H2020


The overall goal of Ocean4Biotech is to bring together experts in the field of marine biotechnology, to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences, knowledge and technologies, and to design a roadmap for a more efficient and faster development of marine biotechnology research in Europe and beyond. To our knowledge, such a large, diverse and geographically dispersed network of marine biotechnology experts does not exist. Since marine biotechnology is still in its infancy, we believe that this is the optimal time to create this efficient, operational, motivated, inclusive and sustainable network with a serious and ambitious commitment to proactive dissemination and science communication activities.


Duration: october 2019 - october 2023

Team: Ana Rotter, Katja Klun and Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič

Links: COST website, website and Twitter.


4.    Building the blue biotechnology community in the Mediterranean (B-Blue), Interreg MED


The exploitation of marine bio-resources through biotechnological solutions is a field with massive potential for innovation and economic growth. This field is a relatively young discipline, so opportunities and key enabling factors need a coordination. The B-Blue project aims at gather the key actors of the Med BBt sector and increase their innovation capacity and coordination in order to unlock the innovation potential in this field through joint transnational initiatives, involving also organizations from the Southern Shore of the Mediterranean.


Duration: september 2020 - june 2022

Team: Ana Rotter, Anja Sergaš, Jan Ulčar and Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič

Links: Website and Twitter





1. ROTTER, Ana, BACU, Ariola, BARBIER, Michèle, BERTONI, Francesco, BONES, Atle M., CANCELA, M. Leonor, CARLSSON , Jens, et al. 2020. 'A New Network for the Advancement of Marine Biotechnology in Europe and Beyond'. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 278. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00278.

2. ROTTER, Ana, BARBIER, Michèle, BERTONI, Francesco, BONES, Atle M., CANCELA, M. Leonor, CARLSSON, Jens, CARVALHO, Maria F., et al. 2021. 'The Essentials of Marine Biotechnology'. Frontiers in Marine Science 8: 158. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.629629.

3. ROTTER, ANA, GAUDÊNCIO, Susana P., KLUN, Katja, MACHER, Jan-Niklas, THOMAS, Olivier P., DENIZ, Irem, EDWARDS, Christine, GRIGALIONYTE-BEMBIČ, Ernesta et al. 2021. 'A New Tool for Faster Construction of Marine Biotechnology Collaborative Networks'. Frontiers in Marine Science 8: 530. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.685164.

4. ROTTER, ANA, and GOSTINČAR, Cene. 2014. 'A Defense of Eastern European Science�. Science 343 (6173): 839. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.343.6173.839-a.

5. ROTTER, ANA, KLUN, Katja, FRANCÉ, Janja, MOZETIČ, Patricija, and ORLANDO-BONACA, Martina. 2020. 'Non-Indigenous Species in the Mediterranean Sea: Turning From Pest to Source by Developing the 8Rs Model, a New Paradigm in Pollution Mitigation'. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 178. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00178.





Beit Berl College (BBC), Israel

CA18238 management Committee members

Institute of Culture and Memory Studies, Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Science and Arts

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Germany

Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ), Austria

National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Italy

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

SINTEF Ocean (SINTEF), Norway

The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece

The National Research Council (CNR), Italy

University of Aveiro (UAVR), Portugal

University of Vienna, Austria

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Germany

Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering (UL FGG), Slovenia

University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty (UL BF), Slovenia

University of Maribor, Faculty of Natural sciences and Mathematics (UM FNM), Slovenia



Other activities



1.   Community of Practice for Gender Equality in Central and Eastern Europe (GEinCEE)


The CoP gathers practitioners - representatives of higher education institutions (HEIs), research and study centres, research funding organizations (RFOs), policy-making organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and entrepreneurships operating mainly in Central and Eastern European countries, who commit to promote institutional change to advance gender equality in their organizations.

Representative: Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič

Link: CEinCEE



2. Alternative Infrastructure for Gender Equality (Alt+G)


This is a Community of Practice (CoP) of various academic institutions in Slovenia interested in implementing gender equality policies at their institutions. Since no institution in Slovenia has a gender equality office (er), the focus of CoP Alt+G is to create an alternative institutional infrastructure for sharing knowledge, experiences and strategies for implementing gender equality policies at institutional and national level. The plan is to expand Alt+G to the region of the former Yugoslavia where the structural context is most similar.

Representatives: Ana Rotter, Katja Klun in Ernesta Grigalionyte-Bembič.

Link: Alt+G