Archive for the ‘Slovenia’ Category

Slovenia – motors for innovation

December 4, 2002

The Cluster Seminar in Slovenia held in November 2001 was titled “Motors for Growth and Social Innovation”.

Convened by the Slovenian Ministry of Economy. The seminar grappled, inter alia, with the question why the level of trust was so low among Slovenes preventing the forming of strategic alliances and hindering a functioning bottom-up approach among clustering firms.

Mr Damjan Kavas, Institute for Economic Research, opened the discussion with a summary of a publication pointing out that Slovenes have traditionally had very short-term relations in history and were very individualistic.

The lack of a culture of cooperation (Old Slovenian proverb: “In cooperation, even the dog dies”!), as well as disrespect for the entrepreneurial spirit among the public on the one hand – and a profound mistrust of entrepreneurs in public institutions and in fellow entrepreneurs on the other hand – accounted for the absence of a common social capital.

The Austrian experience was seen as instructive for Slovenia, which means that the regional and local dimension of clustering needs to be appreciated.  

A cluster also has to be integrated into the local community/city. The local political level needs to be implicated in order to avoid problems arising from clusters not being tied to the local economic and political environment.

Three other messages were that neutral clusters advisers need to be found,   the educational setting is vital to encourage innovation, and natural cluster leaders need to emerge.

Finally, it was suggested that the Irish experience showed entrepreneurs were most suitable cluster leaders.