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A delegation from Azerbaijan visited Slovenia as part of international development cooperation projects

Within the UNIDO international development cooperation project "Development of Innovation Ecosystem and Support Infrastructure" we hosted a study delegation of experts from the Agency for Innovation and Start - up of the institutional environment from Azerbaijan. The aim of the visit was to gain experience in Slovenia and exchange of good practices.

The visit took place from 15 to 19 November 2021 with the support of various Slovenian public and privat companies and organizations.The expert visit began at Slovenian Institute for Quality and Metrology (SIQ), where a delegation of 13 start-ups and the representatives of the Innovation Agency visited the test laboratories and got acquainted with the activities of the institute.

They were received by the State Secretary Andrej Čuš at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia (MEDT) Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (MGRT) the next day. The guests and the hosts were also greeted virtually by the project manager Farrukh Alimidjanov from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Afterwards, the guests got acquainted with the activities of the Entrepreneurship Fund of Slovenia (SPS), the Public Agency SPIRIT Slovenia, and the Digital Innovation Hub of Slovenia (DIH) and obtained important information on the incentives and support of the Slovenian state to the development of start-up entrepreneurship.

This was followed by tours of good-practice production and service organizations, and networking with Slovenian organizations. In Yaskawa Slovenija in Kočevje, they saw the production of industrial robots and in INTEC TIV, the production of printed circuit boards. GEOCODIS presented its activity of geoinformation services while NETS the use of its own developed information system.

In Slovenia, technology parks play an important role in the development of the start-up ecosystem, which was excellently presented at the Technology Park Ljubljana through success stories and experiences. Key information on the mechanisms for entering the European market was exchanged with the Ljubljana University Incubator (LUI), Sežana Incubator, and Primorska Technology Park.

Slovenia is recognized as a tourist destination. A piece of our heritage was presented to our guests at the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum, while a part of our history was revealed to them at the Ljubljana Castle. They also visited Bled, one of the most beautiful Slovenian tourist destinations. The Tourist Information Center (TIC) Bled presented the strategy of sustainable development of Bled tourism. They were met at the castle by the mayor, who took them through the milestones of Bled's history with his picturesque presentation. In the beautiful nature of the village of Ribno, they took a walk through the Cycling Village in the company of the owner of the Hotel & Glamping Ribno Bled, the holder of the Zero Waste Hotel certificate, and learned the story of their family business.

Despite the jam-packed agenda, we managed to find time for networking. Namely, the exchange of good practices in the form of study visits plays an important role in the development of the innovation and start-up ecosystem and in creating opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries.

We would like to thank all participating Slovenian organizations for the implementation of a very demanding professional program, especially the project partners: the Slovenian Institute for Quality and Metrology (SIQ) and the Ljubljana Technology Park, and of course UNIDO for their technical support in the project. Together, we co-create the success stories of UNIDO projects and contribute to the development of other regions with the knowledge and experience we have in Slovenia, which we recognize over and over again at UNIDO, so that together we can realize our development mission.