Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Slovenia can't wait for ERA

Slovenia's government has made a push to be part of Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin's European Research Area (ERA).

Speaking at a presentation of Slovenian R&D expertise in Brussels, Cene Bavec, Slovenian state secretary for science and technology, emphasised how impo...
Slovenia's government has made a push to be part of Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin's European Research Area (ERA).

Speaking at a presentation of Slovenian R&D expertise in Brussels, Cene Bavec, Slovenian state secretary for science and technology, emphasised how important the move would be to Slovenia.

'Becoming part of the ERA will give us the ability to compare our work with others and we need this comparison to see how far we have come,' he said. 'We want to make our R&D institutions European ones rather than national ones.'

The Slovenian government has been adjusting all of its regulations to fit in with the EU's and this process will be complete by 1 July 2000. This includes legislation that will make it easier for foreign researchers to work in Slovenia.

The ERA objective also fits in with the country's campaign to attract hi-tech companies with substantial R&D programmes. According to Mr Bavec, the areas that the country has been doing particularly well in are biotechnology, materials and cooperation on technological advances. The intention now is to exploit these sectors while also becoming integrated into the ERA, proving R&D expertise and new hi-tech jobs at the same time.

As Slovenia prepares for accession to the EU, it has placed increasing importance on its participation in European R&D programmes. It concluded its cooperation in the field of RTD with the European Commission in August 1999 and since then has been actively involved in the Fifth Framework programme.

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