The Slovenia Times

Innovation partnerships to boost Slovenia's competitiveness


According to Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, the government pinpointed nine areas as significant for the economy already as part of the smart specialisation talks in 2015.

These include smart cities and communities, smart buildings and home with the wood-processing chain, the networks for the transition into circular economy, sustainable food, sustainable tourism, the factories of the future, health and medicine, mobility and materials as end products.

The innovation partnerships are the implementation of the smart specialisation strategy and they include more than 600 stakeholders, Počivalšek noted.

He assessed he would not manage to make the labour market legislation more flexible until the end of his term. "But we must not fear to import labour force. Without the right people, we will not improve our competitiveness on the global market," he said.

Sonja Šmuc, the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), believes smart specialisation brings many benefits. She welcomes the innovative partnerships as creating connections between companies and scientific institutions.

The GZS is in change of two investment partnerships. One deals with the development of materials as end products and the other with sustainable tourism. The chamber plans to enter another four partnerships, Šmuc said.

Vesna Nahtigal, the project head of the strategic and innovation partnership of developing materials as end products, said one of their goals was to carry out a human resources pilot project that would help determine which professionals will be needed in the next three to five years.

"Internationalisation is also important and being included in the international chain. I wish the aviation and energy industries would also use our materials," Nahtigal said.


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