Slovakia's "Silicon Valley" for Central Europe

Project of CEPIT in Vajnory district, photo:

Slovakia will acquire another huge investment project. The Central European Park for Innovative Technologies or CEPIT will be the largest Technological Park in the region. Michal Groch went to the unofficial presentation of CEPIT to find out more.

It's been described as a framework for know-how transfer between science, education and economy. The park should contain a high concentration of innovative companies, public and private research & educational institutions as well as space for leisure activities. The project is located in the Vajnory district of Bratislava and the main Architect for the park is Peter Gero.

"Basically the main idea is to build a learning village in eastern Bratislava, for students - knowledge-based economy and learning in one place."

Groch: This project is absolutely unique because nothing similar has been introduced here so far. Why has Vajnory been chosen - why a Bratislava location?

"Vajnory because it is a part of Bratislava and the University and as well a learning village needs to be near a city and culture."

Groch: What will be the main focus of research and development activities in this new project?

"The main focus is on new technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and also physics and biology in general."

Groch: What about the university participation?

"It has been a part of the deal between the CEPIT representatives and the local district authority."

The mayor of the Vajnory district in Bratislava Jan Mrva confirmed his dedication to sort out the transport problem.

Mrva: "My biggest concern over this project is also over the transport situation in our district. That is why I pay lot of attention to it and I organize various meetings with mayors from surrounding districts and transport experts."

Despite the infrastructure problems in Vajnory district, the mayor believes that the project will bring many benefits.

Mrva: "Vajnory will be a famous district not only in Bratislava, but also in Europe. It will also create 7000 new positions for the Slovak citizens. The project will also attract new people, especially young and educated people, who will bring additional resources to our budget."

German investors who are behind the project plan to invest more than 400 million euros. They point out the excellent location of Bratislava which is basically within the Prague, Vienna, Budapest triangle. Despite concerns from some of the local citizens from the Vajnory district, the project seems to offer immense opportunities for the whole country. The state budget for the next year will also influence the final shape of the project, as it is to some extent dependent on the support of the government. The support of science & research in Slovakia lags behind the European standard and experts say if we want narrow this gap, it is necessary to really focus on the development of a knowledge based economy. The Central European Park for Innovative Technologies appears to be a step on the way to achieving this goal.