We were still in a learning stage when we started to prepare our S3. Although we understood the entrepreneurial discovery approach it was not easy to carry out. Participation from the 'quadruple helix' was limited and business in particular lacked incentives to dedicate valuable time and resources. But a new hands-on approach led to a decisive shift in policy making.
It started with background analysis that defined three large areas where Slovenia could have a competitive advantage due to critical mass. But most important was what followed: A drive to change the mind-set and perceptions of key stakeholders including business and researchers. After many networking events, promotional activities and consultations, stakeholders no longer looked at the process from afar and with an overly critical view of government policies. Instead they began to form the policies.
We have set up informal groups of innovation actors called strategic partnerships which have begun to prepare business plans, project proposals and visions around specific value chains with potential. We have aimed to systematically take on their ideas, knowledge and expertise.
Today the S3 has clearly defined areas of investment and priority domains. But the main result is without doubt the change in policy making, since the new collaborative approach continues. Above all we have realised the value of these stakeholder groups, which will now govern the implementation of the priority domains. They will play key roles in further defining niche areas of intervention, helping to monitor progress, serve as consultants in preparation of roadmaps and most importantly, ensure the continuation of networking and collaboration.