R&D in Slovakia: Peanuts and Monkeys

Tibor Lörincz of Tatra Banka points out that Slovakia's path to a knowledge economy requires many changes and much effort, but the first inevitable step is to start investing in R&D.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Unsplash)

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, the saying goes, and unfortunately it describes the research and development situation in Slovakia. Business leaders and consultants throw around buzzwords, such as “Industry 4.0”, “Disruption”, and “Knowledge Economy”, but when it comes to walking the walk, the Slovak R&D is chronically underfunded by both the public and private sectors.

When it comes to innovating the economy the rest of Europe and the world is trying much harder than us. This creates significant hurdles for the future of the economy: 1) no clusters where the economy can increase value added are created; and 2) causes brain drain, where the talented and ambitious move abroad, with the risk of Slovakia being left behind by global competition.

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