Document / search engine: Country report: Slovenia
Framework project: Promoting circular bio-society in Central Europe
Short name of the project:
Website link: https://celebio.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Slovenia-Country-Report.pdf
CORDIS link if relevant:
Slovenia is the third country in the European Union when it comes to relative forest coverage, right after Finland
and Sweden. Around 58 % of Slovenia’s surface is covered by forests; they are mainly beech, fir-beech and
beech-oak forests, all of which have a relatively high production capacity. However, one of the major
hampering factors are strong export lines of raw wood to the neighbouring countries, predominantly to Austria
and to Italy. Besides raw wood, another accessible and abundant source of biomass is waste. Slovenia is one of
the countries with the highest percentage of collected waste and management of recycling. The latter is
attainable thanks to the RCERO, which is the most modern plant in Europe for the treatment of biological waste.
The facilities can process 150,000 tonnes of mixed waste and over 20,000 tonnes of biological waste per year.
Another factor supporting bioeconomy in Slovenia is the strong R&I activity in the field of bio-based products.
The most relevant research infrastructure equipment, related to bio-based industrial development may be found
at the Pulp and Paper Institute, the National Institute of Chemistry and the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical
technology (University of Maribor). Considering the equipment of the Pulp and Paper Institute, the latter spans
from the laboratory to pilots and represents the only papermaking infrastructure centre in the area of SE Europe.
In the case of National Institute of Chemistry, the latter primarily relates to the production of various bio-based
chemicals/materials. Research is oriented towards the development of new technologies and products, which
will help to ensure the long-term development of Slovenia, and are at the same time internationally relevant.
Industry is an important partner to the Institute in these endeavours. With respect to existing industries, domestic
chemical sector is particularly inclined towards the transition to bio-based solutions. The spectrum of bio-based
product is quite broad, covering polymers for textile industry, various coatings, resins, wood-derived chemicals,
plant extracts, biological drugs etc. One of the most vital challenges to further expand bio-based industry is the
implementation of bio-refining, which is presently lacking. There is a strong industrial pull for various
chemical/material intermediates, but no biomass bio-refineries are in operation. Establishing a local bio-refining
capacity would drastically promote the advancement of emerging bio-based initiatives/commercialization.
With respect to the current policy framework – bioeconomy is not the central topic of any specific Slovenian
strategy. There are, however, several national and EU frameworks that touch on the topic of bioeconomy. As
mentioned before, Slovenia has a great potential for fostering bioeconomy, but the realization of this potential
ultimately depends on the financing. In order to encourage the development of the economy (which is
indirectly also related to bioeconomy), the Slovenian government has started offering special investment
incentives: cost-sharing schemes designed to attract serious investors, as well as promoting well-developed
infrastructure and supporting industries, and clusters of specialized suppliers. Ministry funding is provided from
policies and strategies (especially the S4 strategy, further elaborated in chapter 8.1.1), whereas EU funding
provides resources for research and innovation. Pro-business climate in Slovenia manifests as a growing
recognition of the importance of FDI (Foreign direct investment in Slovenia) as a source of fixed capital formation
to economic growth and performance.
Countries/regions described/represented: Slovenia