The technology network “Process Control Technology” which established the CC ACT has been connecting public research institutions and companies since 2002. The aim of the network is to foster the transfer of knowledge and technologies to industrial practice and stimulate the development of new products and services. Since 2007, it has been organized as a strategic consortium. Currently, 10 companies and 4 academic institutions are members: All the most important public research organizations (more than 90% of basic and applied research in control technology in Slovenia is carried out within their research groups) and main Slovenian engineering companies, which together account for more than 70% of the services market in this field are involved. Among the users of these services are all major and most respected Slovenian companies and many foreign companies.
The network activity is carried out within consortium research and development projects in which participate research institutions, engineering companies providing services, and companies end-users of control technology.
In 2003, the Technology Network prepared a development strategy in the field of control technology (automation, informatization and cybernetics), which has since then been from time to time upgraded and implemented in some major research and development projects.
Since its founding, it has organized and managed three major Slovenian projects:
- ACT IC – Advanced control technologies for increasing competitiveness, 2004-2006, 26 partners, EUR 5.4 million
- CE ACT – Center of excellence for advanced control technologies, 2004-2007, 19 partners, EUR 1.35 million
- CC ACT – Competence Center for Advanced Control Technologies, 2011-2013, 17 partners, EUR 9.36 million
and participated in the organization and implementation of several other important domestic and international projects. Among them, the largest research and development program in the field of factories of the future in Slovenia entitled:
- “Building blocks, tools and systems for factories of the future – GOSTOP” is worth mentioning: it was financed by the European Union, the Republic of Slovenia, and the Slovenian industry. 19 partners participated in the program, and the total value of the program amounted to almost EUR 9.4 million.
Members of the Technology network initiated or have actively participated in several other important research, development and innovation projects and liaisons, inter alia:
- Foundation of DCHT – Development Centre for Hydrogen technologies, 2009, 8 founders
- Foundation of EEIG JETNET – Japanese-European technology hub for new energy and process control technologies, 2013, 6 members
- Developing the concept and setting-up of demonstration project Japan-Slovenia in the field of smart grids and communities, 2014-2016 (project »NEDO«)
In all the above-listed projects a strong link among business partners and research and educational institutions was established.
Within the framework of the mentioned projects, many results were achieved, which are characterized by their innovation, diversity, and the influence they either already have or will have on the technological and economic development of Slovenia. This is primarily about new technological solutions, filed patent applications, implemented demonstration projects, marketing and promotional campaigns, publications in scientific journals and at conferences, organization of conferences, workshops, and panels, etc.
In the process of creating the Smart Specialization Strategy (SSS) of the Republic of Slovenia in 2013-2015, the network PCT participated in the creation of the SSS concept which relies on discovering existing competences and capacities and interesting cross-cutting areas in Slovene research, development, and business environment. It is also important to note that in the process of identification and mapping of competences and capacities, it formed strong initiatives in four domains: Factories of the Future, Smart Cities and Communities, Smart Buildings and Home and the Circular Economy.
The Council of the TN PCT decided in 2016 to establish a legal entity which would serve as the project organization of the network for the preparation of proposals for consortium projects, coordination of projects and joint tasks, and cooperation in the introduction of the developed solutions in which the network is a stakeholder, to the market. The legal entity was named after the already mentioned successful project as Competence Centre for Advanced Control Technologies (CC ACT).
The Competence Centre KC STV was established by all industrial partners in TN PCT and is a legal entity that in SRIP FoF is the beneficiary responsible for carrying out the SRIP activities in two matrix domains: the horizontal network “Control Technology” as one of the key enabling technologies (KETs), and the vertical value chain” Intelligent Control Systems for Factories of the Future” with priority technology areas for development and introduction of new solutions to the market.