Three SIJ Group Innovations in the Running for Slovenia's Best Innovation

Ljubljana, Monday, 6 June 2016 – In the call for the best innovations, awarded by the Gorenjska and Koroška Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the SIJ Group has received a total of six awards – five Gold and one Silver. Three Gold regional innovations have gone through to the next round at the national level. Acroni has been formally recognized as the most innovative company in the Gorenjska region.

At the Gorenjska and Koroška Chambers of Commerce and Industry events, on 31 May and 2 June 2016 respectively, the SIJ Group showed that innovation within the Group is of an extremely high standard, serving as a basis for development and ensuring continued growth and competitiveness.

Acroni was named the most innovative company in the Gorenjska region. The Managing Director, Blaž Jasnič, said: "Above all, this award serves to confirm that we are pursuing the right strategy by promoting innovation at all levels – in an innovative company, improvements and new solutions are sought and found everywhere, not just in the development department."

Two Gold awards went to user-friendly access to technological data and non-acidic cleaning of hot and cold rolled steel strips, which is also in the running for the innovation award at the national level. Dr. Matevž Fazarinc, Director of Development at Acroni and RCJ (Jesenice Development Center), said: "The non-acidic cleaning of hot and cold rolled steel strips is a 'one in a thousand' innovation, as it enables higher productivity, lower operating costs, better properties of the end product, a significantly reduced environmental footprint and improved safety at work. It is the perfect 'win-win' innovation."

Receiving a total of three regional Gold awards, the two Koroška companies of the SIJ Group – Metal Ravne and Ravne Systems – have proven to be similarly innovative. Ravne Systems won a Gold award for producing a multi-purpose CNC (Computer Numerical Control) controlled machine for the manufacture of industrial blades. Gold awards also went to two of Metal Ravne’s innovations – working with Petrol Energetika, Metal Ravne has devised a way to use waste heat from the steel industry for district heating of sanitary water in Ravne na Koroškem. The second Gold award was given to Metal Ravne for the forging and heat treatment of large pieces of stainless steel. "By optimizing the forging and heat treatment process, we have been able to produce a competitively priced steel billet that has opened the door for us not only to the European market, but the US market as well," said Blaž Šuler, MSc, Research Engineer at Metal Ravne. Both award-winning innovations from Metal Ravne are in the running for the Slovenian national award. The Managing Director, Andrej Gradišnik, said: "At Metal Ravne we export 80% of our products. Both innovations are our answer to the tough market conditions where the only way for a company to receive sufficient orders is by constantly focusing on cost optimization, developing new products and offering new solutions".

At the SIJ Group we make considerable investments in promoting innovation in all the Group companies at every level. The six regional awards – one Silver and five Gold – are the best indication of our success in doing so. We firmly believe that the three Gold award-winning innovations that have been included in the national contest (one from Acroni and two from Metal Ravne) will rank among the best when the winners are announced in the fall.


The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgist group, ranked among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group comprises five business areas, has 23 affiliated companies in Europe and the USA, and employs some 3,400 people. In 2015 the SIJ Group generated EUR 664.8 million in revenues, an EBITDA of EUR 63.5 million and a net profit of EUR 10.7 million. The share of exports in the revenues structure increased by 1.1 percentage points to 87.3%, ranking the SIJ Group among Slovenia's largest exporters.


Additional information:

SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group

Dr. Denis Mancevič, Director of Corporate Communications

Phone: +386 1 242 98 44