Publish Date: 03.11.2011

Category: News from the University

You are cordially invited to attend the Panel Discussion on Partnership between the Academic Sphere and the Economy – the key instrument of the economy of knowledge. The event will be held on Friday, 4 November 2011, at 10:00 in the Conference Hall of the University of Ljubljana, Kongresni trg 12.
The panel discussion, organised in the European context of Open Days 2011, will be attended by representatives of universities, other higher education establishments, research and development institutions and departments and representatives of support organisations for small and medium-sized enterprises in Slovenia.

Also participating in the panel discussion will be:

• Dr. Igor Lukšič, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology,
• Mag. Mitja Gaspari, Minister of the Economy,
• Martin Koch from the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission,
• Alenka Avberšek, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS),
• Dr. Neža Finžgar, Managing Director of the incubated company Envit, okoljske tehnologije in inženiring d.o.o.,
• Dr. Boris Cizelj, Slovenian Business & Research Association (SBRA),
• Dr. Jadran Lenarčič, Jožef Stefan Institute,
• Mag. Iztok Lesjak, General Manager of the Ljubljana Technology Park,
• Dušan Krajnik, Secretary-General of the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia,
• Dr. Lidija Honzak, Director-General of the Ljubljana University Incubator,
• Prof. Dr. Tomaž Rodič, Director-General of the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies, Space-SI.

The main objective of the panel discussion is to bring the academic sphere and the economy closer together and to strengthen the dialogue between them with the purpose of enabling the more effective implementation of research, innovation and higher education development strategies in Slovenia up to 2020, which were adopted in the Slovenian Parliament in May 2011. This would allow the country to make the important shift to a society of knowledge and a knowledge-based economy, which would in turn mean a development breakthrough and greater competitiveness on the European and global levels. The panel will also discuss the relationship between the two spheres and the possibilities for eliminating existing impediments to enable the development of a productive partnership.

Above all, the participants will seek to address and resolve the following issues: 

• today’s position and the new role of universities in the global race for students, researchers and partners in the economy, both of which require greater and faster opening up in the international sphere; 
• the development of relevant partnerships between the academic sphere and the economy for the purpose of acquiring new financial resources and jointly achieving added value; 
• the contribution of collaboration between the academic sphere and the economy to regional development, in particular to the implementation of innovation policies.
The panel discussion is organised by the University of Ljubljana with its partners in the consortium of universities from the Alps-Adriatic region in collaboration with the Slovenian Business & Research Association (SBRA). The University of Ljubljana is a founding member of the SBRA, which acts as a representative of the University in Brussels.

The event, organised by the University of Ljubljana in the European context of Open Days 2011 (workshops and discussions in Brussels and other regions), is expected to contribute to the more extensive collaboration between institutions and the economy and to strengthen awareness of the factors that could encourage the best results in the collaboration process. Supported by the financial system and an entrepreneurial culture, the innovation policy in a specific region has a significant impact on the success of these partnerships. Joint programmes encompassing the economy and financial organisations allow for a greater influence on all factors and could improve the results achieved.

Since 1999, the SBRA has been acting as a non-government representative of the Slovenian economy, scientific and research sphere and of certain municipalities in Brussels; the Association acts on the basis of a public-private partnership to connect public interests with the interests of its members. Since March this year, SBRA has also been performing Secretariat tasks for the international global network KEN (Knowledge Economy Network), which established its Forum in Maribor this year.