On 24th of October, the Slovenian Technology Agency (TIA), in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, organised the Japanese-Slovenian technological meeting. In the framework of the meeting the Slovenian and Japanese high technology enterprises in the field of the technologies for smart networks and smart houses presented the technological competences for strategic cooperation and joint appearance at international markets.

The meeting was held in the framework of the signing of the agreement – the agreement was signed by the Director of TIA Mateja Mesl, MSc and the President of NEDO Hideo Hato – on the cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia Technology Agency (TIA) and the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The purpose of the agreement is to strengthen technological cooperation between the Slovenian and Japanese enterprises in the field of advanced energy and industry technologies which are included into the concept of the construction of the so-called smart cities or smart communities (e.g. smart transportation, smart houses – energy efficient buildings, smart networks, etc.).

On the occasion of the signing of the agreement the Minister, responsible for economic development and technology, Radovan Zerjav, MSc, said Slovenia, like other small countries, needs to focus on the areas, where it can reach high added value, and the areas, where the critical mass for researchers as well as enterprises exists. In doing so, it needs to cooperate with partners who recognize and appreciate the knowledge and experiences Slovenia has to offer.

The identification of the potential demonstration projects for the reference application of new technologies in the field of smart networks and smart buildings in Slovenia and other markets, which could be implemented in cooperation by the Slovenian and Japanese partners, will follow. Cooperation is established in the field where Slovenia has the critical mass of knowledge and industrial competences and internationally acclaimed actors of technology. What Slovenia and Japan have in common are the national strategies and the commitment to realise the objectives of sustainable development, especially in the field of sustainable energy use and the management of natural resources as well as the reduction of the burdening of the environment.

Besides the two areas, which are the topic of the first technological meeting between the Slovenian and the Japanese enterprises – technologies for smart networks and smart buildings – the development and industrial competences of Slovenia are recognized also in the field of renewable energy, storage of energy and the technologies for sustainable transportation.

NEDO is the agency of the Japanese Ministry for economy, trade and industry with over 1,000 employees and a network of units all over the world (www.nedo.go.jp). In accordance with the national strategy is invests into the development of technologies for sustainable development and provides support to the Japanese enterprise in the application and enforcement of their technologies at the world markets. With 1.5 billion Euros of investments per year NEDO forms the development-investment policy of Japan.

Japan has established a model for development partnerships in the development and application of new technologies, which it is successfully implementing in Japan and some other European countries and other regions. Cooperation, upgrade of knowledge and the most advanced technologies takes place through joint demonstration projects. Cooperation is based on the partnership between enterprises and countries or the investors into tight and reference installations (e.g. into energy efficient transport system).

Demonstration projects in the field of advanced energy technologies in cooperation with the established actors of technology, such as certain Japanese enterprises, represent a big opportunity for the greater part of the Slovenian industry: for the traditional industries as well as the new, growing industries, which emerge at the intersections of various technologies, and need access to international knowledge chains and markets for a successful growth and development. Demonstration projects enable testing new, technologically advanced products and services in the real environment, their testing and setting standards. By doing this, demonstration projects provide the enterprises with the first market references and the competitive advantage at the global market. This is why demonstration projects are recognized as important instruments of development policy for increasing the competitiveness of the economy also in the European Union and Slovenia.

The cooperation, which is being established, has firm bases. It derives from the present fruitful cooperation between individual enterprises which have already recognized the opportunities of cooperation and joint appearance. The embassies of both countries also contributed to concluding the cooperation agreement.