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The mechatronics laboratory was equipped under the Cooperation Memorandum signed by NIS and Mechanical School “Pancevo” in September 2017 in order to provide conditions for adapting the school program and training personnel for the business needs of Pancevo Oil Refinery. Opening ceremony of the mechatronics laboratory was attended by the representatives of the Provincial Secretariat for Education, Regulations, Administration and National Minorities - National Communities, local self-government, NIS and management of the Mechanical School in Pancevo. New mechatronics laboratory is equipped with modern didactic equipment for carrying out practical exercises and acquiring practical knowledge, which simulates conditions in real working environment and helps experience real conditions of the process industry. New furniture and teaching equipment modernized and improved the educational process, primarily for the mechatronics technician educational profile, but also for other educational profiles, among which are computer-aided control technicians and computer-aided design mechanical technicians. NIS allocated funds in the amount of one million dinars for equipping the mechatronics laboratory. Sasa Pavlov, the Mayor of Pancevo, stated on this occasion: “I would like to express my great gratitude to NIS for repeatedly proven social responsibility. I am glad that this money has been invested in the mechatronics department and I am sure that, together with the Provincial Secretariat for Education and the Ministry of Education, we will be able to show in Pancevo what dual education is and how to create conditions for our children to earn money and be independent when they finish high school. I am sure that we will have more projects together, first of all in the field of education, which becomes a very important area, because this is a sign of social improvement and development in the City of Pancevo.” Milan Kovacevic, Deputy Provincial Secretary for Education, Regulations, Administration and National Minorities - National Communities thanked everyone who took part in the project and showed understanding and will for its realization: “I would also like to thank the students who chose this profession for their future and who through their work and education can contribute to the company which showed interest to help this project. We want to support such activities, as evidenced by the fact that the Government of the Republic of Serbia, together with the Provincial Government, defined education and health as two strategic goals.” Vladimir Gagic, Director of Refining Block in NIS, pointed out the importance of education as one of the main pillars of every society and a pledge for the future. “This laboratory will enable students to acquire practical knowledge, in addition to theoretical knowledge. Mechatronics as a science is a combination of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and digitization, and it is clear that the world is at the threshold of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Pancevo Oil Refinery has been developing continuously; in 2012 we built a MHC/DHT plant, and this year we are planning to start the Bottom of the Barrel project. Therefore, technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are more present, and professional staff is needed to follow these trends. This is a time of challenges for the industry, and we have the ambition to be, if not the best refinery in Europe, then certainly one of the best in the region. In order to achieve this, in addition to investing in equipment, investing in professional staff, education and schooling are also needed”, said Gagic. In addition, in cooperation with NIS, and upon consultation with engineers of the Pancevo Oil Refinery, the Mechanical School has supplemented and adapted the curriculum for the educational profile of mechatronics technician. By adapting the curriculum and equipping the work space, the circumstances for training the staff for the needs of the Refinery have been created. “We mark another station on a long, fruitful and successful road of cooperation between NIS and Mechanical School ‘Pancevo’. I am hoping for many new similar cooperation stations, and one of the next ones to be realized at the initiative of NIS is the first exhibition republic competition of mechatronics technicians, which will be held in May. We started talking about the mechatronics laboratory on the initiative of the City of Pancevo and NIS, in order to realize dual education, so the students leaving this would acquire adequate knowledge and adapt quickly to work in a company such as NIS”, said Nenad Dojcinovic, Director of the Mechanical School “Pancevo”. Through its “Energy of Knowledge” corporate program, NIS has been cooperating with educational and scientific institutions in Serbia and abroad for seven years, with the aim of contributing to science and education, as well as adapting study programs to market needs. In order to improve conditions for students, NIS has so far equipped over 50 classrooms and laboratories in schools and faculties in Serbia within the framework of the “Energy of Knowledge” program. NIS is the first company to receive the prestigious “St. Sava Award” for its contribution to the development of education. This was awarded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.