About the Deep Demonstration in Slovenia
Slovenia, along with other EU Member States, needs to significantly step up its efforts to meet the goals of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century. In response to this urgent need, the Slovenian government has started working with EIT Climate-KIC on the Deep Demonstration of a Circular, Regenerative and Low-Carbon Economy in Slovenia to develop pathways for a more radical transition to climate neutrality through a circular economy, using a systems innovation approach.
This partnership aims to catalyse rapid decarbonisation and drive climate action and resilience through circular economy approaches while having a prosperous society. The Deep Demonstration methodology was deliberately chosen due to the complexity associated with transforming whole systems (not only technical but also social systems) and at the pace, the transformation needs to happen. This pace stems from the fact that achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 requires rapid critical structural and exponential changes on multiple fronts simultaneously.
The Deep Demonstration mechanism aims to generate actionable intelligence for local policy and decision makers on how to manage system change in the current context of urgency, diversity and uncertainty. It entails the design and promotion of the circular transition of key value chains and economic sectors through a coordinated and coherent national approach based on international best practice. The aim is to achieve a cohesive transition to a resilient circular model in Slovenia that can reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, while creating local added value.
This transformation process will innovate the governance model by facilitating the work of ministries, empowering decision makers, strengthening mutual cooperation, overcoming silos and narrow thinking in practice. It will also contribute to building synergies and a more efficient and targeted use of public and private financial resources. By applying Deep Demonstration ways of working and a portfolio approach, the process aims to provide the following added value to Slovenian stakeholders:
- Establish a common reference framework for the ‘Circular Economy’ portfolio in Slovenia
- Support decarbonisation of key value chains of the Slovenian economy
- Enable cross-sectoral collaboration to overcome organisational siloes and identify interconnected priority areas across the public administration and beyond.
- Spark innovation and development of new systemic solutions across entrepreneurship, education, policy pillars, exploring finance and investment opportunities.
- Gain more systemic engagement of a wider spectrum of stakeholders in decision-making and policy processes
- Empower public sector stakeholders through hands-on capability development and application of systems thinking tools and methods to support implementation of decarbonisation and circularity measures.
- Spark innovation and the development of new systemic solutions in entrepreneurship, education, policy and finance.
The project runs from late 2018 to mid-2025 and has been divided into three main phases. In the first year and a half, the Slovenian government together with the EIT Climate-KIC developed a shared vision and commitment to systemic transformation. This was followed by a pre-implementation phase, aimed at preparing the ground for the Deep Demonstration roll-out. Since mid-2022, the implementation phase has been underway, putting the system innovation into practice.
Portfolio approach across key value chains
A portfolio approach involves developing and dynamically managing a collection of projects, initiatives, or innovation actions in a coordinated and holistic way to achieve a more significant and transformative impact on the entire system and across the five value chains that were selected for the Deep Demonstration programme in Slovenia – built environment, food, forest-based & wood, mobility and manufacturing.
The portfolio approach also provides a powerful framework for driving systems innovation through co-creation, experimentation, and enhanced learning, breaking down silos and considering interdependencies between different parts of the system.
Deeply rooted in collaboration across multiple actors, systems innovation efforts in this programme seek to create positive shifts in the way how the entire system operates by bringing together a diversity of perspectives and expertise, which in return holds added value for each stakeholder group: Slovenian government, local businesses (start-ups, SMEs, industry), research and academia and citizens.
The Deep Demonstration programme works closely with a range of actors and organisations from five key cross-cutting areas of work (or levers of change) identified to leverage emerging opportunities for new cross-sectoral partnerships or connect with already ongoing processes and mechanisms that can be used to create conditions necessary for change. Designed to foster systems innovation activities, the cross-cutting pillars aim to:
Enable policy innovation and experimentation, building up a Policy Lab including its structure and processes to pilot targeted experiments across the selected value chains
Enable the Slovenian start-up and enterprise community to develop a strong network of partners and climate-positive entrepreneurs through a set of ecosystem development activities in each value chain
Support the education system transformation by integrating the circular economy dimension in both layers – curriculum and organisational to co-design pilot actions in Education.
Capability development to develop deeper systemic thinking across a spectrum of organisations, stakeholders, and communities, and further, enhance knowledge and skills in practicing systems innovation beyond the Deep Demonstration programme.
The portfolio development process is supported by a financial architecture stream that aims to develop a funding strategy and capital and investment plan for the whole Deep Demonstration portfolio.