Overall Slovakia made a limited progress in the last years to address the gaps in the Slovak R&I system, namely to improve the quality and relevance of the science base and cooperation between academia, research and business. While public R&D intensity has rapidly increased in recent years, mostly thanks to the support of the Structural Funds, there are still inefficiencies in the allocation of public research funding and business R&D intensity remains very low. Moreover, skill mismatch between industry and academia limits the performance of high-tech sectors and encourages brain drain, which is worsened by the low attractiveness of research career.
The National Smart Specialisation Strategy, adopted in November 2013, provides a coherent framework to address the main national challenges of the R&I system and holds the potential to foster its development and qualitative improvement. However, the adoption of the Strategy Action Plan is still pending which prevents the effective and timely implementation of the envisaged reforms and investments under the Structural Funds. The Plan is expected to further foster the links of the selected areas of specialisation in the Strategy with the country's economic and science potential. It is also expected to specify a number of institutional and legislative actions in particular to enable them to enhance the cooperation with business, as well as to introduce a public funding reform.
Among the positive steps was the entering into force of a Tax law introducing significant tax deductions for private companies investing in R&I. The Innovation vouchers launched by Ministry of Economy gained success but need further ambition. The introduction of measures to support innovation oriented SMEs and start-ups, as well as the export of technological products, was approved by the Government in June 2015. A system of national promotion of knowledge and technology transfer has been set up that will provide assistance in the application of intellectual property rights.