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Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy

Enabling condition for Policy Objective 1


Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy sets out national strategic development priorities and niches that are supported on the ground by a comprehensive, focused and tailored policy mix. By implementing S4, Slovenia has rolled out an entirely new model of development and innovation cooperation between the key stakeholders and has significantly improved its integration in the European and global development and innovation networks, thematic platforms and consortia. S4 has been the driving force behind efforts to strengthen and take Slovenian innovation ecosystem to the next level, and has facilitated clustering and cluster-based economic development via so called Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships.  

By implementing S4, Slovenia revamped its policy mix supporting innovation, spanning idea and start-up stages and initiatives, all technology readiness levels as well as pilots, demo projects and financial instruments for commercialisation. This helped put in place a robust comprehensive and coherent set of measures and instruments and ensured that government departments and agencies better coordinate and align respective policies, both in terms of content and time.

S4 acted as a precondition in the programming period 2014-2020, allowing the country access to the resources under the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the European Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020, priority axis ‘International competitiveness of research, innovation and technological development in line with smart specialisation for enhanced competitiveness and greening of the economy’.

Information regarding the development and implementation of Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy is available here.

Updating of Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy 

S4 remains one of the bases underpinning the implementation of Cohesion Policy in Slovenia in the period 2021-2027. Regulations at the European level lay down that national smart specialisation strategies are to be revisited, refined and updated; also, the regulations label smart specialisation strategies as an enabling condition for Policy Objective 1 ‘A Smarter Europe by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation’. 

Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy took the first steps towards updating S4 already back in January 2020. A range of activities particularly focused on revision of the necessary analyses serving as bases and on entrepreneurial discovery process, the bottom-up process driving stakeholder engagement to prioritise investments.

Working documents were developed in partnership with key government departments, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Public Administration and the nine Slovenian Strategic research and Innovation Partnerships on the basis of entrepreneurial discovery process that took place between September 2020 and February 2021.

Further concentration and prioritisation or narrowing down of focus areas and their product lines will be undertaken on the basis of quantitative justifications for market potentials provided by Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships for the proposed focus areas and product lines, as well as on the basis of proposals and justifications put forward during public consultation.  

Online workshops on updating Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy wrap up - over 900 stakeholders have their say

A series of online workshops on priority domains of Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy have been held by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy as part of the exercise of preparing an updated Smart Specialisation Strategy for the upcoming programming period 2021-2027 on the basis of entrepreneurial discovery process.

A total of 10 workshops took place between 26 March and 19 April 2021. The kick-off workshop focused on presenting the process of updating Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy (S4) and outlining the relevant expert and programme bases of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy that the updating exercise should build on.

At the nine domain- or sector-specific online workshops that followed coordinators and beneficiaries of the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships (SRIPs) outlined the scope and objective of the work to be carried out under the workshops, whereas representatives from SRIPs put forward concrete proposals for new focus areas and product lines under each priority domain; these were the result of the previous stages of the entrepreneurial discovery process. The scheduled presentations and the group discussion that followed afterwards gave the stakeholders an opportunity to share their views and insights on current priority domains, focus areas and product lines, and to propose new ones.    

The workshops were widely attended, bringing together over 900 stakeholders from the business sector, public and private institutions, civil society, government departments and other spheres. The events were recorded; anyone who missed them and is interested in the discussion and conclusions can access workshop video recordings on our YouTube channel (here). 

All presentations and workshop videos are available on our dedicated website:

Kick-off workshop: 26 March 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Materials as end products: 29 March 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Mobility: 31 March 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Health - Medicine: 2 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Factories of the future: 7 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Sustainable tourism: 9 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Sustainable food production: 12 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Network for transition to circular economy: 14 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Smart buildings and home including wood chain: 15 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

Smart cities and communities and horizontal ICT network: 19 April 2021 (PresentationsVideo)

While open workshops on proposed priority domains, focus areas and product lines of the updated S4 have already finished, the stakeholders are still invited to submit their proposals, views and questions at [email protected] to actively participate in the shaping of the updated S4. At the end of the day, entrepreneurial discovery process is, and should be, a continuous, open, inclusive and meaningful multi-stakeholder process.