Excellence in Innovation
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Scientific insight is a purpose in itself, but only the transfer of technology and innovation into industrial practice helps to advance the economy and create value for a society. This holds particularly true for Slovakia where the economic revival has been based on large production and manufacturing sites of large multinationals. Recently the domestic production capacities have begun to have an increasing interest in innovating their products as well the large international industrial players who started to develop R&D capacities in Slovakia. Hence, any application oriented research centre needs to plan for transferring their scientific results into applied research and industrially relevant innovation, which in turn leads to the regionally relevant increase of economic welfare.

Innovation and valorization will be the second most important focus area for SlovakION fostering the demand-driven and profitable transfer of cutting-edge research results into economically and ecologically viable and robust industrial innovation. Experience not only from HZDR and the Dresden scientific cluster, but also innovation processes all over Europe ask for a holistic approach to innovation and valorization of research results.

Key to success is the early integration of industrial needs and long term trends into the planning of research projects and scientific interests. Systematic foresight processes integrate industrial stakeholders early on without choking off scientific findings by limiting developments too early. This integrated innovation perspective will be completed by adequate transfer structures staffed with competent transfer professionals.

This corresponds nicely with Slovakia’s regional innovation and smart specialization strategy (RIS³), which strongly emphasizes the importance of R&D for increasing the rate of added value in the Slovakian industry. The main areas of interest are the automotive sector and consumer electronics.

In the long run, SlovakION should combine excellent research units with an efficient and successful unit for applied research, R&D, and tech transfer. Inspiration and experiences will be gathered from successful models like the German Fraunhofer Association, the Dutch TNO or the Finnish VTT and adequately applied to the specific Slovak situation.

Therefore, SlovakION will build the necessary organizational and legal structures and processes:

  • to identify trends within certain industries via systematic and regular foresight process,
  • to involve the applied perspective of industrial users early on in the research planning processes,
  • to efficiently identify and protect potentially valuable intellectual property,
  • to further develop and test technologies in collaboration with end-users, and
  • to profitably sell or license them to regional and international customers.

The basic requirement for a sustainable and successful innovation transfer is a legal and administrative framework in favor of technology transfer and valorization on the national level. That’s why national authorities from both the administrative and the legislative side will be involved early on. Ideally, SlovakION will turn into a role model for other research institutions interested in effectively combining excellent science with efficient innovation transfer.

A detailed science and innovation strategy will be developed during the first stage within the teaming framework resulting in a competitive Business Plan.