International projects

SAAM, Supporting Active Ageing through Multimodal coaching – EU H2020- SC1-PM-15-2017, #769661, 2018-2021. Project Manager at Soča: Prof. Dr. Zlatko Matjačić.

The SAAM project focuses on the development and implementation of innovative, technology-oriented approaches to supporting the lives of an aging population living in their own homes. The emphasis is on new and especially practical aspects of ambient intelligence, which perceives the user's wishes and preferences and supports them with an approach of "coaching" the user's activities, if necessary, also by involving the user's social network (family, friends, neighbors). In three and a half years, the project partners will develop and test new methods that will enable the aging population to remain active and independent in their homes for as long as possible.

BeStable, Benchmarking system for assessment of balance performance (subproject, selected at the EUROBENCH project tender) - EU H2020 EUROBENCH #779963, 2019-2021. Project Manager at URI-Soča: Prof. Dr. Zlatko Matjačić.

As part of the project, we developed a system for projecting the next step in walking on a treadmill. The purpose of projecting the next step is to establish a state during walking that is supposed to be similar to the conditions during walking on a treadmill, when the disturbance is generated by a sudden mechanical perturbation in the pelvic region. In the central part of the project, we performed a study on a group of healthy subjects and three selected individuals after trans-tibial amputation, where we varied the different deviations of the next steps and the time at which the visualization of the next step occurs. The obtained responses were compared with the responses to mechanically induced disturbances at different parameters of perturbations. We found that both perturbation modalities elicit similar reactions when the perturbation is directed medially with respect to the leg in support. In the final part of the project, the developed system will be installed in Madrid, where it will be available as part of the EUROBENCH project to evaluate the dynamic balance capabilities of various exo-skeletal systems and active prostheses.

REHA2030 Post-clinical rehabilitation of stroke patients at home at the year 2030 –Telerehabilitation as user-oriented service/ Postclinical rehabilitation of stroke patients in rural areas in 2030 - telerehabilitation as a user-friendly service
Interreg V-A, Slovenia-Austria, ERDF no. SIAT258, 2018-2022. Project Manager at URI-Soča: Prof. Dr. Zlatko Matjačić.

The REHA 2030 project deals with an innovative model of telerehabilitation services, combining (a) technological scientific knowledge (b) methodological knowledge (c) networks of participating partners on both sides of the border. The main achievement of the REHA 2030 project is a service model suitable for stroke patients in post-clinical rehabilitation at home and the development of the necessary technology platform (REHA robot, internet platform). The common challenge in the program area is the current demographic changes, which result in a lack of opportunities for post-clinical rehabilitation care for patients after a stroke on both the Slovenian and Austrian sides of the border. Current rehabilitation possibilities are insufficient, especially in rural areas. The role of the URI-Soča partner is clinical testing of a robotic device and an exercise model for independent arm training in the narrower sense at home.

Domestic programs and projects

Public health research 
ARRS P3-0339, 2019-2024
Programme Officer at URI-Soča: Prof. Dr. Helena Burger

The importance of strengthening public health research is emphasized by increasingly important health development strategies, where public health research supports health policy. On the other hand, public health research makes an important contribution to science through its specific methods, especially epidemiological ones. The research program contains four program areas:

  • family medicine,
  • epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases,
  • genomics and public health,
  • rehabilitation medicine.

The entire program deals with the challenges and opportunities that the development of modern technologies brings in these areas. In the field of rehabilitation, it is crucial to measure the health of the individual and the population in a uniform way.

Analysis and synthesis of human and machine movement 
ARRS P2-0228, 2015-2021 
Programme Officer at URI-Soča: Prof. Dr. Zlatko Matjačić 

The research contents of the six-year research program from the national list of research programs cover the full spectrum of human movement studies, development of appropriate technologies, clinical evaluation and development of new diagnostic, therapeutic and measurement methods in the areas of evaluation and training of upper limb movement, control of complex rehabilitation devices, dynamic balance training and functional movements during standing, getting up and sitting down, and walking.

Industrial projects

LOKO-VR (company Hocoma, Switzerland), 2021-2022
Project Manager at URI-Soča: Prof. Dr. Zlatko Matjačić

The primary ambition of LOKO-VR is to transfer and integrate Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) into Gait Rehabilitation Robotics (GRR) in order to create and demonstrate a novel multisensory training concept for robot supported NeuroRehabilitation (NR), which is expected to increase task-specificity and patient-involvement in robotic rehabilitation training. 
The ambition of LOKO-VR is to introduce state of the art IVR into GRRs and truly integrate both, so that the "reality” displayed by the robot and the “reality” displayed by the IVR are mutually coupled and in agreement so that they provide an enhanced illusion of walking in an environment.

Early occupational and vocational rehabilitation in the return to work process

The activities of the Early Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation in the Return to Work Process project are focused on solving occupational problems of those persons who, due to their illness or injury, are unable to perform their current work in the same way as they had before becoming disabled. 

The purpose of the project is to create a model of integrated early vocational rehabilitation in the returning to work process with an emphasis on cooperation of all stakeholders. The project will highlight the current professional and legal bases that take place in the framework of vocational rehabilitation as a right under the Pension and Disability Insurance Act and vocational rehabilitation, which takes place in accordance with the Employment Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons Act. One of the most important results will be the bases for solutions to adapt the legislation in the field of disability insurance.
The project results will be achieved in a pilot testing of the integrated model and will help to prevent early exit from the labor market, especially for persons who are absent long-term due to the consequences of illness or reduced work capacity. The treatment will be based on a biopsychosocial model

The project started in May 2020 and will last until the end of 2022. It is managed by URI Soča in cooperation with various stakeholders, e.g. the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the Ministry of Health, the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of Slovenia, the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, providers of vocational rehabilitation, occupational, traffic and sports medicine specialists, employers and insured persons. The project is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Social Fund, European Union.

More information about the project is available at the following link: