The OECD review of Slovenia’s innovation policy is part of a series of OECD country reviews.* It was requested by the Slovenian authorities, represented by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MHEST) and was carried out by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) under the auspices of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP). The review draws on the results of a series of interviews with major stakeholders of Slovenia’s innovation system and on a background report commissioned by the Slovenian authorities. This background report (Bucar et al., 2010) was prepared by a team of Slovenian experts: Maja Bucar (main author) together with Andreja Jaklic and Bostjan Udovic. It contains a broad range of valuable information that is widely drawn upon in this report.
Abbreviations and acronyms
OECD Review of Innovation Policy
Over the past two decades, Slovenia has made very substantial achievements and had notable success in economic and social development, underpinned by a transformation to a market-based economy and economic integration into European markets. This success opened the way for Slovenia’s accession to an enlarging European Union, membership in the European Monetary Union, and adherence to the Schengen agreement which greatly facilitates cross-border movement in much of the European continent. In a number of respects Slovenia has been leading among new EU Member States. The country’s efforts were once more recognised when in the summer of 2010 Slovenia also became a member of the OECD. While becoming closely integrated into the European and global economy, Slovenia has kept a strong sense of national identity placing high value on its language and culture. Already before 1991, Slovenia had been at the economic forefront within former Yugoslavia. In the two decades that followed, bold decisions, sound economic policy and hard work yielded success and resulted in stability as well as a strong position of this small country of two million inhabitants in Central Europe.
Examen de l'OCDE de la politique d'innovation de la Slovénie
Au cours des deux dernières décennies, la Slovénie a accompli d’énormes progrès et a affiché une réussite remarquable en matière de développement économique et social, sous-tendue par un passage à l’économie de marché et par une intégration économique sur les marchés européens. Ce succès a ouvert la voie à l’adhésion du pays à l’Union européenne alors en plein élargissement, à sa qualité de membre de l’Union monétaire européenne, et à son adhésion aux accords de Schengen, ce qui a grandement facilité les mouvements transfrontières sur une bonne part du continent européen. À certains égards, la Slovénie est en tête des nouveaux États membres de l’UE. Les efforts déployés par le pays ont encore une fois été reconnus lorsqu’à l’été 2010, la Slovénie est également devenue membre de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE). Tout en s’intégrant étroitement à l’économie européenne et mondiale, la Slovénie a conservé un fort sens de l’identité nationale, en privilégiant sa langue et sa culture. Déjà avant 1991, le pays se trouvait aux avant-postes sur le plan de l’économie au sein de l’ex-Yougoslavie. Dans les deux décennies qui ont suivi, des décisions ambitieuses, une politique économique saine et un travail acharné lui ont valu le succès et se sont traduits par une position solide de ce petit pays d’Europe centrale comptant deux millions d’habitants.
Economic performance and framework conditions for innovation
This chapter gives a short overview of Slovenia’s macroeconomic performance and highlights features of its economic development, including its increasing integration in European and global markets – with increasing openness to international trade and foreign direct investment – and sketches some salient features and patterns of structural change in production and trade. It also addresses the current state of important framework conditions for innovation. It concludes with a discussion of the potential role of innovation in Slovenia’s economic development in the longer term.
Performance in science, technology and innovation in an international comparison
This chapter provides an overview of Slovenia’s innovation inputs and outputs and compares them with other OECD and EU countries, notably the new EU member states in central and eastern Europe and more developed small economies. For inputs, the comparatively high absolute level and constant evolution of gross expenditure on research and development, with a high industrial share, ensure it a good position. The chapter also shows Slovenia’s emphasis on increasing publications, and to a lesser degree patents, with some impact measures still at a low level. Finally, the overall efficiency of the Slovenian innovation system is assessed in comparison with other countries.
This chapter describes the main actors in the Slovenian innovation system, their linkages and the main challenges. The business sector includes a number of internationally well integrated, dynamic industries, many of them part of European supplier networks. Overall the Slovenian economy faces challenges as regards innovation leadership, productivity and resilience. The university sector, with a comparatively small number of organisations and share of gross domestic product, has many successful individual research groups. Public research organisations have a traditionally strong position, with a high degree of devolution of powers and a general tendency to integrate basic and industry-oriented research. Transfer and collaboration patterns are influenced by the organisational set-up of the public research sector; there are many dedicated transfers institutions and programmes. Finally, human resources for research and innovation are analysed.
The role of government
This chapter surveys the various public activities that influence the Slovenian innovation system. It traces the rather steady and incremental development of policy over time. It describes the governance structure in some detail: the budgeting, advisory and steering functions as well as the main actors at ministerial and agency level. Analysis of their interactions leads to a number of policy conclusions and recommendations for improved governance mechanisms. Next the chapter considers the large array of funding programmes at both the national and European levels. The chapter concludes by drawing together main findings of this review regarding major functions an innovation system has to perform. It points at scope to strengthen the framework conditions for innovation, maximise the benefits from the internationalisation of R&D and strengthen the human resource base for science and innovation. Further it addresses possible improvements of the governance of the innovation system and measures to foster innovation in the business sector, to achieve critical mass, excellence and relevance of public research and to strengthen the links in the innovation system.
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