Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshops in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

In May 2023, our workshop team successfully organised two EDP workshops in Banská Bystrica, one of the 8 regions in Slovakia, located in the mid-south part of the country (22.-25.05.2023).

Banská Bystrica is characterized by a relatively high level of intra-regional inequalities. While some parts of the region (especially its northwestern area along the highway to Bratislava) offer more favourable conditions in terms of economic development, other quite hard accessible districts of the region (primarily the ones in the southeastern part of the area) are among the most deprived Slovakian regions, having the highest unemployment rate in Slovakia.

In close collaboration with our regional Support Partner Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region (BBSGR) our team managed to bring together local and regional stakeholders representing business, research, public administration and civil society. In two separate workshops, we developed transformative ideas for the Industrial Park Hnúšťa (PPH) as well as the Industrial Park Gemer (PPG).

PPH is ocated in Hnúšťa, which is a small town in the district of Rimavská Sobota about 25 km from the town of Rimavská Sobota. The site was originally established as an ironwork plant in the 19th century. After World War I, a chemical factory was founded in 1924 and operated until the early 1990s. After the transition to a market economy, the production of chemical goods sequentially ceased between the years 1995 and 2003. The rest of the former chemical plant was finally closed down at the end of 2006. In 2007, the town of Hnúšťa initiated the re-opening of the site, however, about 80% of the whole area is still vacant.

Building on BB’s regional assets in forestry, workshop participants developed the idea of a „Wood crafting/processing Campus“, bringing together producers, designers, researchers and education providers on various wood-related materials and products, such as wooden eco-houses, furniture, natural fibre composites in automotive interiors, wood pellets for green energy production, etc.

A workshop summary and additional fotos can be found here (in Slovak).

PP Gemer (PPG) Industrial Park (Priemyselný Park Gemer) in the town of Rimavská Sobota. The site was formerly part of a machinery holding (ZŤS Detva). The decline in machinery production started in 1995, and the plant’s activity was closed down in 2000. The current owner is PPGemer AV, s.r.o., who intend to develop a new transformative project building based on locally available assets.

RIS4Danu workshop participants identified an innovative, green and inclusive transformational goal and roadmap for the Industrial Park Gemer. The idea is currently being elaborated by the private owner.