The Slovenia Times

European Paradox



Technology platforms are currently the most important instruments of increasing the innovative thinking and competitiveness of both national and European economies. So thinks the majority of participants at the 3rd Strategic Conference of Technology Platforms that took place in January at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), attended by many leading Slovenian managers. Many of them wanted to discuss technology platforms but some came to meet and talk with Janez Potocnik, the European Science and Research Commissioner. "The 7th Framework Programme, which was adopted at the end of 2006, brings a lot of changes for technology platforms. The European Union listens to the needs of industry and makes significant efforts to put European knowledge into use. The Co-operation Programme accounted for 60 % of all funds allocated for the programme. The fact remains that the connection between the knowledge of the academic sphere and industry is too weak and changes on the global market demand more effective solutions. Technology platforms are the right answer because they are intelligent and modern instruments of the industrial policy that must be wisely used by companies," stated Potocnik at the beginning of the panel. How to use technology platforms Technology platforms must be wisely used. But are Slovenian companies making the right moves? Tomaz Kmecl, director of the firm Iskra Feriti, said: "The effects of technological platforms can be very positive if one is very active part of it. If I know what I want and what I need from whom, the cooperation inside technological platforms can be very useful." Furthermore Tomaz Domanjko, director of R&D department in the firm SRC.SI, said that technological platforms are the right place and opportunity for companies to develop their possibilities and capacities. Another advantage of them was indicated by Ljubisa Malbasic, president of I-Tehmed: "We can meet people who probably would never sit at the same table. A technology platform is the best way to unite different types of knowledge." The government is on the same page At the start of the initiative to establish technology platforms, almost nobody knows what the point of it was. Even the government was hesitant, especially regarding the initiatives made by the CCI. Presently, however, the attitude from the government is different and more cooperative. However, Janko Burgar, deputy of general director of Directorate for Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness at Ministry of the Economy warns, "We should make a decision to choose only those fields of interest where partners want to invest their money." Technology platforms will grow when companies with specific projects join, Janez Potocnik also stressed. However, the future lay in technology platforms and Slovenia has been successful in utilising and exploiting them.


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