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Slovenia Business Week no. 11/2005: Experts Examine Ways of Boosting Science-Business Cooperation

Science institutes, universities, enterprises and state authorities must join forces to speed up the transfer of innovations from academia into the corporate sector

Science institutes, universities, enterprises and state authorities must join forces to speed up the transfer of innovations from academia into the corporate sector, Economics Minister Andrej Vizjak told a panel on the transfer of innovation on Thursday, 10 March, which focused on ways of motivating scientists and researchers to take part in corporate R&D.

Bozidar Hribernik, a former university professor and manager, proposed that the academic award system should be changed, as research and development in the corporate sector is not appreciated enough as compared to academic work.

He was also critical of how it is still considered inappropriate if university professors or institutes set up companies to test new technologies and ideas.

Stojan Petric, the chief executive of commutator maker Kolektor, believes that science institutes focus too much on basic research and neglect applicative research. Petric blames the funding system for this situation. He suggested that technology clubs should be created to link up businessmen and scientists.

Several participants, among them Ptuj mayor Stefan Celan, noted that the word entrepreneur is still perceived as negative, which dissuades young people from having a go as entrepreneurs. He also regrets that legislation prevents local communities from investing more money into the development of entrepreneurship in their backyard.

The debate ended with the conclusion that all actors should do their share, or else Slovenia will remain at the bottom of the list of developed countries in terms of entrepreneur activity and innovation.

The event was held as part of the conference on entrepreneurship, innovation and management, dubbed PODIM, which was organised by business daily Finance.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA