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Institute of Metals and Technology (formerly Institute of Metallurgy) was established in 1950 by the Slovenian government. Establishment of the Institute enabled scientific research in the field of metallurgy. Initial focus on extractive metallurgy was later replaced by research on making metallic materials from secondary raw materials, and the activities included also development of new materials and processing materials to optimize their applicative properties. In 1990 the name of Institute of Metallurgy was changed to Institute of Metals and Technology in order to better represent the activities of the institution. In 1997 it was constituted as a public research institution, founded by the Ministry of Science and technology, Republic of Slovenia; and co-founded by Slovenske železarne (Slovenian steelworks), which have been later renamed to Slovenska industrija jekla d.d. (SIJ - Slovenian Steel Industry).
In 2011 the co-founder, Slovenian Steel Industry, decided to withdraw as co-founder with the “Sklep o izstopu iz soustanoviteljstva javnega raziskovalnega zavoda Inštitut za kovinske materiale in tehnologije” act.

According to the number of employees, the Institute is a small research institution – but nonetheless it represents a strong and modern potential in basic, applied and developmental research activities in the field of metallic materials, composites and vacuum technology.