The Slovenia Times

Finding the Way to the Market



This was the prevailing impression at the Slovenian Innovation Forum, organised by the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI) and the Ministry of the Economy. "The journey to commercialisation becomes more pleasant if there is a helping hand, which is what the Forum is all about: to provide a stage for innovators to display their ideas and discoveries and to benefit from a range of state measures, tailored to spur innovative momentum," says JAPTI director Igor Plestenjak.
It is a fact that the number of registered patents in Slovenia is growing faster than the EU average; however, the economy is not using them and innovators cannot sell their know-how. Although innovators themselves feel the attitude of the state and the economy towards them is improving, they still believe to have too many problems and the state has failed to provide systematic support for developing innovations and getting them into production.
Ivo Boscarol, the CEO of ultralight aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, said that Slovenia had arduous and motivated people, and many good innovations, but what was missing was a vision. "With a vision, strategies can follow for spreading the innovations outside Slovenia," he said, calling the innovators attending the Forum visionaries. What is needed besides innovation and vision is ambition and courage, he added.
The forum attracted a total of 235 innovations and 55 of them were selected for a display at the event. According to organisers, the response to this year's forum was the highest ever. Innovations included products, services and business models as well as processes. The biggest number of applications came from micro, small and medium-sized companies.

The Cream of the Forum

Innovations were reviewed and evaluated by 56 members of the National Evaluation Committee. Awards in seven categories went to the following companies and individuals:
Pipistrel, d. o. o.: four-seat passenger aircraft Panthera with modular drive
Domel d.o.o.: user-friendly electronics for EC motor controllers
MESI d.o.o.: automated ankle brachial pressure index measuring device
Marko Čenčur: the method for producing dimmable energy saving light bulbs
Mandatela d. o. o.: brand engaging games
Uporabna energetika, d. o. o.: solution for intelligent monitoring of energy consumption EIC
Ana Krajnc and Dušana Findeisen: University of the Third Age


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