The Centre for Mediterranean Cultures (CMK) is an infrastructural unit of ZRS Koper, which offers support to research and professional activities of the Institute for Oliveculture and the accredited Laboratory of the Institute for Oliveculture. An integral part of CMK are laboratories and experimental plantations with analytical and measuring equipment.

In 2016, a modern equipped research and control laboratory was established, which enables the performance of  physico-chemical and sensory analyses. Unfortunately, a fire in 2017 destroyed all the equipment of the Laboratory. The relocation of the Institute for Oliveculture to the renovated facility of the CMK is planned for 2022.

In 2013, the first Slovenian research plantation of jujube, equipped with an irrigation system, was established in Pobegi, with a view to assess the agronomic characteristics of the cultivated varieties ‘Li’, ‘Lang’ and small-fruited jujube, as well as for educational and promotional purposes.

Since 2009, the first research study on the  irrigation of olive trees has been carried out in a private olive orchard in Dekani. Research work in the plantation includes terrestrial plant observation response to climate changes, pests borne disease, the impact of various agrotechnical measures on plants, and physico-chemical and sensory characteristics of the olive oil produced. Since 2018, the Institute for Oliveculture has been intensively striving to acquire agricultural land for its exclusive use, on which it could independently and autonomously perform research and professional activities in the field of olive growing.

An important part of the CMK infrastructure is the network of 8 meteorological stations, which enables a comprehensive evaluation of new technologies introduced into olive growing.

CMK’s activities include the processing of table olives. Debittering and fermentation processes of table olives are necessary to reduce the extreme bitternes and astringecy of the olives, that are tipycally present at the harvest of the fruits. Changes in the physico-chemical and sensory parameters of table olives are monitored.

The general objectives of the CMK are:

  • to connect and strengthen the cooperation of key actors in the field of olive growing, agriculture and food sector,
  • to increase the quality of locally produced food,
  • to provide support in the implementation of quality control,
  • to develop and introduce new technologies,
  • to mitigate the negative effects of climate changes in food production,
  • to control diseases and pests,
  • to carry out educational and promotional activities,
  • to improve the marketing of local products,
  • to support the work of various associations.

Head: Vasilij Valenčič, PhD

Phone: +386 5 663 77 00

Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Vasilij Valenčič PhD

Research Associate
Head of Unit
Phone: +386 5 611 79 30
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Erika Bešter PhD

Research Assistant
Phone: +386 5 611 79 30
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Milena Bučar Miklavčič PhD

Development Counsellor
Phone: +386 5 611 79 36
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Jakob Fantinič MSc

Independent Professional Associate
Phone: +386 5 663 77 75
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Katja Fičur

Independent Professional Associate
Phone: +386 5 611 79 31
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Gašper Kozlovič

Independent Professional Associate - Analyst
Phone: +386 5 633 77 75
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Maja Podgornik PhD

Research Associate
Phone: +386 5 663 77 74
Centre for Mediterranean Cultures

Saša Volk

Independent Professional Associate
Phone: +386 5 611 79 30


Oil analyser FOSS Analytical A/S NIRSTM DS2500L
Adcon GPRS/UMT Automatic agrometeorological station
Leica stereo microscope