Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Strategic development and innovation partnerships as a tool to strengthen innovation capability of Slovenian economy

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.06.02  Social sciences  Political science  International relations 

Code Science Field
S170  Social sciences  Political and administrative sciences 

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
Strategic development and innovation partnerships; smart specialisation; innovation.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  13617  PhD Janez Bešter  Economics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  146 
2.  03791  PhD Maja Bučar  Political science  Head  2016 - 2019  554 
3.  27501  PhD Matjaž Črnigoj  Economics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  163 
4.  19075  PhD Andreja Jaklič  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2019  442 
5.  15636  PhD Damjan Kavaš  Economics  Researcher  2016  272 
6.  13199  MSc Matej Koren  Economics  Researcher  2017 - 2019  191 
7.  10201  PhD Borut Likar  Economics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  797 
8.  23934  PhD Aleš Lipnik  Economics  Researcher  2017 - 2019  68 
9.  33095  PhD Marko Lovec  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2019  336 
10.  10440  PhD Aleš Mihelič  Mechanics  Researcher  2017  106 
11.  51175  Polona Mlinarič    Technical associate  2019 
12.  36854  Boštjan Mur    Technical associate  2018 - 2019  12 
13.  02393  PhD Peter Stanovnik  Economics  Retired researcher  2016 - 2019  506 
14.  02880  PhD Metka Stare  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2019  326 
15.  32172  PhD Peter Štrukelj  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2019  89 
16.  27579  PhD Boštjan Udovič  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2019  499 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0502  Institute for Economic Research  Ljubljana  5051690000  2,459 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,131 
3.  7097  University of Primorska, Faculty of management  Koper  1810014002  10,094 
The analyses of Slovenian innovation systems (OECD 2012; ERAC 2010; MVZT 2011; RIO reports on Slovenia) often stress two central problems: lack of specialisation in research financing as well as insufficient and improper cooperation between relatively well developed public research sphere and business sector. One of the ways which should, not just in Slovenia, but also in other EU countries, help in improved and more focused research and innovation activity and closer interlinkage of public research domain and business sector, is to be the development of smart specialisation strategy. In parallel, there should be new measures formulated which will help in implementing the strategy. The key objective of the strategy of smart specialisation, as defined by EU is to »set priorities at national and regional level to build competitive advantage by developing and matching research and innovation own strengths with business needs, to address emerging opportunities and market developments in a coherent manner, while avoiding duplication and fragmentation of efforts.[i]  The Slovenian focus is captured in the introductory section of the Slovenian smart specialisation strategy (S4): » Smart specialisation is a platform for concentrating development investments in areas where Slovenia has the critical mass of knowledge, capacities and competences and where there is innovation potential for placing Slovenia within global markets and thus enhancing its recognisability«. (SVRK 2015:1) During the design of the objectives of the Operational Programme for the implementation of the European cohesion policy 2014-2020 (SVRK, 2014) in the fields of research, development, innovation and entrepreneurship a new instrument was proposed within the framework of Smart specialisation strategy (SVRK, 2015a). This new instrument should enable a formation of a novel model for cooperation between business entities, public research organisations and other stakeholders. The establishment of so called »strategic partnerships« (SVRK, 2015b) should contribute to the formation of long-term public-private partnerships with the leading role of the stakeholders (not the government) in establishment of value chains and organisation of complex support to the research and innovation activity with the objective of transition to the market in priority areas of S4. With the interlinkages build among the strategic partners the upgrading of the existing cooperation mechanisms (centres of excellence, competence centres, clusters, etc.) will be achieved, providing for improved competencies to enable a strategic breakthrough in the individual priority areas of S4.  Since the instrument is designed so that its financing and content focus will be in the hands of stakeholders and not the government, it is expected that strategic partnerships will be successful in the formation of linkages which would lead towards long-term partnerships with objective of increased value added in Slovenian economy. The concepts and objectives of strategic partnerships are defined in the documents accompanying the preparation of S4 and in their concept represent a novelty in Slovenian research and innovation system. The specific attention is given to the active role of business sector, focus on promotion of joint research and development objectives, which are not driven by scientific goals only, but primarily aimed at promoting access to market in the identified priority areas, also through formation of value chains, where the result is high value added.  A systematic participation of stakeholders from Slovenia in the international value chains is a highly demanding task, which assumes new quality in the cooperation of stakeholders. The demanding process of establishment of strategic partnerships will have to be followed in the development of the methodology to evaluate their results. Such a methodology will have to be multi-layer and integrate the use of standard evaluation techniques as well as c
Significance for science
Key element of any evaluation process is the applied methodology, which has significant impact on evaluation focus, its findings and implications. This is why the project on developing methodology is important for the evaluation profession and can contribute to the quality of future evaluation work. STI policy evaluation faces the same complex challenges as STI policies themselves and the policy interventions typically seek to affect complex phenomena that involve a number of actors and institutional settings (OECD 2012b). This complexity is a significant barrier to more efficient policy learning and the transfer of the evaluation findings into the policy.   The complexity of working across different departments of the government and coordinating the instruments, as well as integrating the findings of various evaluations in coherent new policy is a considerable challenge for the designers of innovation policies. The fact that the evaluation is a key tool for learning about how well policies and programmes are delivering, what problems may be emerging, what practices work well and what should be done better in the future” (OECD 2015:24) requires that the government officials accept and understand that mistakes and errors are inevitable in the process of policy making. They need to embrace evaluations as an integral part of R&D policy shaping from the perspective of providing the information and as a significant adjustment tool (Fteval 2012:3). Of course, such a backward linkage is possible only in the environment, where the commissioning institutions value the evaluation results and are bound to integrate the findings in policy process. This is why the content of the proposed project is so important. The commissioning body would like to have the tool developed - methodology for the evaluation of the instrument, through which the cooperation between the business sector and research sphere within the priority areas of Slovenian smart specialisation strategy. The process of development of the methodology is from the start conceptualised in such a manner that learning-by-doing approach is to be utilised. This will be in particular demonstrated through the pilot testing of the methodology, which will also provide an input in potentially revised strategy. Such an approach will enable adaptation of the instrument as well as all other measures designed for the S4, already during their implementation.   Fteval (2012): Evaluation Standards in research and technology policy. Vienna. Available at: http://fteval.at/upload/fteval_Standards_english.pdf OECD (2012) Evaluation of STI policies", in OECD. , OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/sti_outlook-2012-10-en OECD INNOVATION STRATEGY (2015)  CHAPTER 5 GOVERNANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION: str.24. DSTI/IND/STP/ICCP(2015)5/REV1/.
Significance for the country
Strategic development and innovation partnerships bring an important novelty in the ways of promoting the cooperation among the enterprises as well as the cooperation between enterprises and public research organisations within the pre-defined priority areas of smart specialisation. The smart specialisation is focused primarily on improving the competitiveness of Slovenian business sector. Cooperation within the strategic partnerships should enable the business sector more focused integration in the value chains, which will be not only more successful but also at a technologically more demanding level and with higher innovation content. With this in mind, the development of suitable methodology to evaluate strategic partnerships will have an impact on continuous monitoring and assessment of the achieved progress. Since the project envisages the pilot testing of the methodology with all strategic partnerships, the business partners will be directly involved in co-development of the methodology. This will mean that the methodology could be applied by themselves in measuring and evaluating their own results as well.
Most important scientific results Final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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