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RIO Country Report Slovakia 2016

The annual RIO Country Report offers an analysis of the R&I system in Slovakia, including relevant policies and funding, with particular focus on topics critical for EU policies. The report identifies the main challenges of the Slovak research and innovation system and assesses the policy response.




  • The Slovak economy experienced dynamic growth over the last decade. The average annual GDP growth was 4% over the period 2005-2015. Slovakia has a small and quite open economy.
  • The total exports of goods and services accounted for 96.2% of the Slovak GDP in 2015.In 2016, the Slovak Government presented its plans for increasing public support for R&D in 2016-2019. Most of the increase should be channelled into project finance and international cooperation in the field of research and innovation (R&I).
  • The National Reform Programme (NRP) 2016 sees the implementation of the RIS3 document as very significant for structural changes in the area of R&I. A higher involvement of Slovak organisations in EU and international R&D programmes is also considered a priority. The NRP refers to the need for stabilising public support to R&D and a higher engagement of the private sector in R&D activities.
  • The Ministry of Finance has presented estimates of the indirect support to R&D of €372.6m for 2016-2019 in the Proposal for the Budget of Public Administration for 2016-2017.


Main R&I policy challenges

  • Improve the R&I governance. The R&I reforms were implemented only partially by the second half of 2016. The Slovak Government Council for Research, Development and Innovations (SGCSTI) met unfrequently in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Agency for the Structural Funds of the EU was renamed into the Research Agency and the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency into the Technology Agency. 
  • Improve the quality of the science base. The quality of the science base lags behind the EU average in terms of research outputs. The Slovak HEIs and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) have been also decreasing in international rankings over the last three years. In the NRP 2015 and 2016, the Slovak Government presented its plans to reform the SAS and Slovak HEIs. 
  • Increase private innovations outputs and R&D investments. The European Innovation Scoreboard 2016 (EIS 2016) data indicate that Slovakia has low shares of innovative companies. The Government has developed national schemes to support start-ups and innovation vouchers. Yet, national support is low and the implementation of EU schemes behind schedule.
  • Strengthen synergies between science and industry. The Eurostat data on R&D funding indicate weak linkages between science and industry, which are confirmed by low levels of R&I commercial outputs. Slovakia has allocated resources to strengthen synergies between science and industry in the budget of the Operational Programme Research and Innovation (OPRI). In February 2016, the Slovak Government approved the Resolution on the SRDA Programmes for 2016-2019, designing a national programme for cooperation between academia and industry over the period 2016-2020. However, any of these initiatives has not been implemented yet.


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Report year
Official publication date
Friday, 12 May, 2017
Last update: 22/10/2019 | Top | Legal notice | Contact | Search