A new report highlights the importance of regional innovation ecosystems in transforming the economy of Slovakia

The report features interviews with top ecosystem stakeholders, analyzes 5 emerging innovation hotspots in Slovakia, and showcases over 40 most promising startups from the country.

CIVITTA and EIT Digital launched its third ecosystem report titled Slovakia: Regional innovation ecosystems of the future – the largest joint publication to date.

The report advances the Slovak innovation ecosystem's vision and strategy by promoting the most promising sectors and areas of innovation in the country. The report maps and analyzes 5 emerging entrepreneurial & technology-driven communities. These innovation communities have been studied through an extensive interview process with over a hundred different stakeholders from the ecosystem conducted by CIVITTA and Slovak American Foundation.

Innovation communities have gravitational effect

The report argues that sector-driven innovation communities can be crucial in developing local & regional innovation hotspots. These can materialize in both formal and informal networks or institutions, but more importantly, they can more effectively retain and attract talent, create meaningful linkages between startups, corporates, and universities, or make the regional R&D base more attractive and investable.

The study makes a strong case for regions and cities, building a reputation for supporting entrepreneurship, for example, by creating opportunities and spaces where entrepreneurs can interact with other stakeholders. If a substantial mass of startups, accelerators, researchers, investors, and corporates meet, exchange ideas, and cooperate, the probability of creating more testing grounds and sandboxes for new business models increases.


Innovation hotspots as catalysts for the new economy

Nowadays, compared to ten years ago, Slovakia is better positioned to direct more attention, support, and funding towards sector-specific communities of entrepreneurs and innovators. If well supported and nurtured, sector-specific innovation communities can drive Slovakia's regional economies' growth, competitiveness, and attractiveness. The report puts five emerging innovation communities at the forefront of a wider discussion: healthcare, climate resilience, fintech, digital & creative, and mobility.

Individual communities need more tailor-made support to thrive, may it be a better regulatory environment, suitable public funding schemes, or more collaboration with other stakeholders. Some innovation communities function well more or less independently, while others lag due to being disconnected from other stakeholders.

The report presents some 20 interviews with high-profile ecosystem players who share their thoughts on resolving the needs of different innovation communities in Slovakia.


Findings are based on the strong competence of its authors

CIVITTA has been at the forefront of many transformational innovation initiatives in Slovakia. From the popular Startup Awards, first fully regulated VC fund Neulogy Ventures to more recent landmark startup programs like Challenger and HealthCare Lab, the team continues to strengthen and enthusiastically contribute to the entrepreneurial and innovation culture of Slovakia. Since 2017, CIVITTA is also in long-term partnership with EIT Digital – a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organization supporting the creation of a strong digital Europe.

In the past, the two organizations promoted Slovakia's innovative community through publications like Slovak Challengers 2017, a report that listed the top 15 scaleups in the country, or Ecosystem 2018 which mapped the most important organizations and stakeholders in the Slovak innovation ecosystem. The beginning of a new decade, while being accompanied by the unfortunate circumstances of the global pandemic, asked for a fresh perspective on Slovakia's local innovation ecosystem's status.

The full report can be accessed here.  


About EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organization supporting the creation of a strong digital Europe. EIT Digital is focused on building and scaling ventures, and on breeding and up-skilling talents to equip them with both digital and entrepreneurial skills. It does this by mobilizing a pan-European ecosystem of over 300 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities, and research institutes. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship and is at the forefront of integrating education, research, and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers, and entrepreneurs. This is done in our pan-European network of Co-Location Centres in Berlin, Budapest, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, and Trento. We also have a hub in Silicon Valley


CIVITTA Slovakia is one of the Central European leaders in providing consulting services covering the entire innovation cycle. The team's mission is to advise startups, established companies, and research institutions to deliver world-class innovations. Since its founding in Bratislava in 2007, the Slovak team has been instrumental in building the local and regional innovation ecosystem. Its strategic advisory services cover areas like startup support, R&D commercialization, corporate innovations, creative industries, as well as public policy and institutional strategies. CIVTTA Slovakia runs two leading startup accelerators in the region - Challenger focused on startups in sustainability and HealthCare Lab focused on digital healthcare. We are part of the CIVITTA group with 25 offices in 15 countries headquartered in Tartu, Estonia.