The Smart specialisation policy concept promotes the structural transformation of Slovenia.
First, as stressed on the national Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy's website, the approach has facilitated the set-up of the national innovation priorities towards diversification of existing industries and service activities, as well as the engagement in new entrepreneurial activities. Thanks to its strategy, Slovenia has identified three priority pillars ("Industry 4.0"; "Healthy working and living environment"; and "Natural and traditional resources for the future") with nine relative areas of application.
Second, the newly established Strategic Research & Innovation Partnerships (SRIPs) that bring together quadruple helix representatives have emerged as structuring tools that strengthen stakeholders' decision-making process towards joint strategic projects. Their aim is to promote the convergence of a wide range of technologies services, and social innovations in a systematic way. More than 500 key actors - involving inter alia firms and higher education institutions - are now engaged in bottom-up initiatives and networks that recognise the need for cooperation and integration. Working on the nine application areas, they have adopted road maps and action plans for joint development activities, internationalisation, human resources development, entrepreneurship and joint services promotion. The bottom-up process has also triggered an optimisation of the State's regulatory framework in the field of Research & Innovation and economic policies. The Slovenian Entrepreneurial Discovery Process is continuous and ongoing.
Third, the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) has brought about a major change in the government policy-making process. Rather than perceived as the country's financing institution, the government is recognised as a facilitator of change that supports the business-innovation ecosystem. It is worth noting that flexible and efficient policy schemes have buttressed interdepartmental coordination within the government office. The Slovenian government has conferred powers to S3 working groups which involves high level representatives from the three line ministries and acts as SRIPs counterpart and as an authority supporting and monitoring S3 delivery at strategic level.
Moreover, this process is helping Slovenia enter global value chains. The introduction of efficient policy instruments - dedicated SRIPs as well as Research & Innovation S3 related calls - is helping the government to better focus on niche areas, enhance international networking and improve the country's visibility at international high-level forums. "Specialisation facilitates building up and complementing capacity among different EU regions, which results in achieving critical mass in specific fields, and, in turn, enhances the potential for global competitiveness". Last but not least, both Slovenian NUTS-2 regions have joined the Vanguard Initiative that supports world-class clusters and regional eco-systems through pilot projects and large-scale investments.