RTDI Policy, smart specialization, sectoral analysis, priority sectors, European Cohesion Policy


Slovenian Smart Specialization Strategy was adopted in 2015, identifying key priority areas of the country’s future Research, Technology Development and Innovation (RTDI) policy. The aim of this paper is to find how well these areas correspond to the past development priorities in Slovenia. Since they have never been explicitly determined before, this paper seeks to identify them ex-post, based on the analysis of sectoral distribution of firm-level data on cohesion policy subsidies, distributed to firms for R&D activities between 2004 and 2011. We find that as high as 76% of subsidies going to manufacturing firms were concentrated in only seven sectors, which are in fact consistent with the recently defined future RTDI priority areas. This contributes to our understanding of cohesion policy in practice by recognizing that despite no explicitly identified priority sectors before 2015, cohesion R&D support in Slovenia has in the past been successful in identifying and promoting sectors which have later proved to be the most dynamic and promising parts of the Slovenian economy, and which still form the backbone of its current RTDI strategy.