chapter  10
22 Pages

Socio-Economic Transition and New Challenges for the Science and Technology Policy in Slovenia

Slovenia is a young state, but it has a rich history. The latter also applies to the field of science and technology (S&T). Only since 1991, when Slovenia became a sovereign state, can we speak of the national science and technology policy (STP) as a state institutional process, guiding research and development. It does not mean that Slovenia, before that time, did not start to establish a parallel and complementary concept of STP in spite of its being restricted by the multinational Yugoslav concept of managing S&T and introducing socialist ideology into science. Hence, it can be stated that even before the constitution of the Slovenian state, the national scientific community was being formed with all its essential sociological characteristics. In particular, we saw a division of the roles in research activities among the institutes, the two universities, and research units in enterprises. The relationship between the basic, applied, and industrial research work had also been established. It was very significant for the development of science in Slovenia before the changes in 1991 that the Soviet model of the organization of science, which had been known in most of the other East and Central European countries, had never been introduced in full. For example, in the Soviet model universities were essentially confined to education, while basic research was performed by the science academy institutes and the industrial research by the so-called branch institutes. This was not the case in Slovenia. Here, universities emerged and remained important centres of basic research. Moreover, research-

development units of industrial companies had a lot of organizational similarities to industrial research in the West.