The spider graph below provides a synthetic picture of strengths and weaknesses in the Slovak R&I system. Reading clockwise, the graph provides information on human resources, scientific production, technology valorisation and innovation. The average annual growth rates from 2000 to the latest available year are given in brackets under each indicator.
The strengths in Slovakia’s R&I system are found in human resources for research and innovation and in attracting business R&D investments from abroad. There is also a positive innovation dynamics in Small and Medium-Sized firms and in attracting foreign doctoral students. By contrast, the country’s main weaknesses lay in business research activities, including low patenting, business researchers and R&D investments. In the public sector, the main challenges consist in pursuing the improvement in scientific quality and in public-private cooperation in R&D activities.
There is need to enhance quality of the higher education system and increase excellence and internationalization of its universities, as the latter one are not visible in major international rankings. The overall efficiency of the public science sector can be improved, given the low number of scientific outputs. Meanwhile, the Slovak Republic relative strengths are in Human Resources and Outputs, with a strong increase of the new graduates in science and engineering and at PhD level, although a shrinking number are employed in the business sector.
As the country has been able to attract a large volume of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the recent years, this would create the appropriate conditions for a progressive improvement of the knowledgeintensity of the local production, which would benefit the whole economy of the country, creating better paid and qualified jobs. For all the aforementioned, the Slovak Republic is facing a challenging set of reforms in the R&I fields.