Radovan Fuchs, PhD, Minister of Science, Education and Sports, accompanied by Ivana Mrkonjić, PhD, State Secretary, today opened a solid state nuclear magnetic resonance laboratory (NMR Lab) at the Physics Department within the Faculty of Science (PMF) in Zagreb.
The funds for the laboratory, i.e. over 460,000 euros, were ensured owing to the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and through the "SOLeNeMar" programme supported by the European Commission.
Minister Fuchs congratulated the Faculty students and employees on the new laboratory.
"The founding of this laboratory has put Croatia on the European map of scientific research laboratories of this type" - Minister Fuchs said, emphasizing that this opened up fresh opportunities for the Faculty of Science to participate in various scientific projects, without being restricted to Europe only. He also pointed out the fact that the representatives of the profession advocated for decades the purchase of such a device and the founding of a laboratory that would open up new research possibilities.
"New regulations pertaining to science and higher education are soon to be introduced" - Minister Fuchs said. "The scientific community has offered the Ministry a number of suggestions and comments in relation to the proposed draft bills, many of which will be adopted".
Amir Hamzić, Dean of the Faculty of Science, emphasized that such ceremonial occasions were not frequent in the scientific community. He said that he was proud of the fact that the new equipment was obtained, and pointed out that the work performed at the Faculty did not comprise teaching activities only, but also research activities, which would greatly benefit from the opening of the respective laboratory.
Prof. Miroslav Požek, PhD, Head of the NMR Lab, said that there had been plans for the purchase of such a device back in 1991, but the war situation made it impossible. He emphasized that, in addition to being a significant diagnostic method in medicine, magnetic resonance was also an important method applied in chemical research and it would be hard to imagine scientific work without the results obtained owing to it.
The respective solid state nuclear magnetic resonance laboratory is the first such laboratory opened at a higher education institution in Croatia. Until today, our scientists had to carry out solid state NMR research activities abroad.