Digital entrepreneurship has high growth potential, as it is estimated that digitally proactive companies can perform up to ten times better than comparable companies that have not yet started using digital technology.
The intensive and innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) offers significant opportunities in reducing operation costs, increasing work efficiency, enhancing innovation capacities, improving consumer engagement and expanding into new markets. Businesses using digital technology are characterised by a high growth potential, low initial investment in equipment and easy access to global markets.
Slovenia ranks 13th among EU Member States in the Digital Economy Index 2021, and 8th among EU Member States regarding the integration of digital technology in businesses. We aim to improve this score further in the future.
Strategic guidelines for the digitalisation and digital transformation of the Slovenian economy
The Digitalisation and Digital Transformation Programme was designed to provide a supportive environment for digitalisation and innovation, to increase internationalisation through the greater use of ICT, to improve the digital competences of employees and managers, and to encourage the digital transformation of companies.
The programme comprises complementary measures for which €32.85 million is guaranteed by 2023.
The Strategy for the digital transformation of the economy, adopted by the Government on 6th January 2022 outlines how Slovenia will achieve the transition to a modern digital economy over the next decade. By 2030, Slovenia will become a leading hub for advanced digital technologies in Europe and one of the top three European countries in the use of advanced digital technologies. The Strategy is a part of the reform measures of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, under the Digital Transformation of Business component. The Strategy is also an important milestone for achieving the objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Digital Innovation Hub
The Digital Innovation Hub (DIH Slovenia) acts as a one-stop shop for digitalisation, connecting the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Technology Park Ljubljana, the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership of the Factories of the Future, the Horizontal ICT Network, the FabLab Network Slovenia, TECOS Celje, the Wood Industry Cluster, and the IIBA Slovenia. Its activities are focused on establishing a digital ecosystem by reviewing market supply and demand, preparing a catalogue of digital competences and compiling catalogues of mentors, consultants and training programmes. DIH Slovenia promotes digitalisation and brings together stakeholders from Slovenia and across the globe. It also offers consulting and mentoring for companies.
Measures to promote the digitalisation of the economy
Support for the digital transformation of businesses is provided through:
- direct grants (subsidies);
- reimbursable grants (equity capital – seed or venture capital, (micro)loans and guarantees with interest rate subsidies); and
- a combination of different forms (e.g. seed capital combined with non-financial assistance in the form of mentoring and training).
Through public calls, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the Republic of Slovenia are able to accelerate the development of digital competences, strategies and marketing. The aim is to strengthen business development and innovation in order to make the economy more competitive and improve the ability of businesses to respond to market changes. This is particularly important for ensuring competitiveness in light of the acceleration of digitalisation.
Strategy of digital transformation of the economy
Strategy of digital transformation of the economyThe Strategy comprises the period from 2021 to 2030. It was prepared simultaneously with
the initiated processes of digitalisation, informatization and EU’s single digital market. The
Strategy highlights the current advanced digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI),
Internet of Things (IoT), big data technology, blockchain technology (BC), high-performance
computing (HPC), quantum computing and 5G technologies that will drive economic
growth and competitiveness.Strategies and programmes
- Strategy of digital transformation of the economy (pdf, 1.7 MB)
Multi-country cross-border projects on advanced digital technologies
Multi-country cross-border projects are projects implemented at the EU level that are aimed at strengthening competitiveness, added value, innovation and resilience, and increasing the strategic autonomy of the EU. There are various kinds of projects, such as:
- cross-border projects that are implemented in a large number of EU Member States;
- important projects of common European interest (IPCEI);
- joint undertaking projects;
- project associations for the future implementation of joint European projects;
- project partnerships under Horizon Europe.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is implementing three multi-country cross-border projects under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, encouraging Slovenian companies to engage in all of the above-mentioned forms of integration at the EU and global level. Ten million euros have been provided for this purpose. The cross-border projects are:
- a project on the Common European data infrastructure and services;
- a project on European Blockchain Services Infrastructure;
- a project on semiconductors and microchips (Microelectronics).
European Common Data Infrastructure and ServicesIn preparation
The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology intends to implement the European Common Data Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI-CIS) project as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, more specifically under the Digital Economy Transformation component.
European Blockchain Services InfrastructureIn preparation
The European Blockchain services infrastructure (EBSI) node will establish a suitable testing infrastructure for blockchains, contributing to more reliable cross-border, national and local services.
Microelectronics-2: Semiconductors and microchipsIn preparation
The cross-border multi-country Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) "Microelectronics-2" strengthens the capacity of EU Member States to build and enhance the EU's autonomy and resilience in the field of semiconductor value chains, in which Slovenia also intends to participate, as part of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan - Digital Transformation of the Economy.
Implementation of digitalisation measures
Measures in the area of digitalisation and digital transformation of the economy are implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology, the Slovene Enterprise Fund and the Slovenian Export and Development Bank.
In light of the importance of digitalisation and digital transformation for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the Slovene Enterprise Fund has launched calls to obtain vouchers in the areas of digital strategy preparation, digital marketing and digital competence enhancement.
A wide range of experts and training programmes are available to help all who wish to apply for the public call on their path to successful digital transformation. They are listed in the catalogue of training programmes and consultancy services, which are managed by DIH Slovenia and are published on the DIH Slovenia website. There are currently more than 230 verified training providers and external experts registered in the catalogue, with new names being added every month. In addition, DIH Slovenia is responsible for issuing positive preliminary opinions for projects, which must be obtained by all applicants applying for vouchers in the area of digital marketing and digital strategy preparation.
Consultants from the Slovenian Business Point (SPOT) network are also available to provide free information and assistance to applicants in preparing their public call applications.