Innovation That Matters

Global innovation spotlight: Slovakia

Global Innovation Spotlight

From deep geothermal energy to biofertiliser produced on site, discover exciting innovations from Slovakia

Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. Ahead of constitution day on September 1st, we are celebrating three innovations from Slovakia…

Slovakia Innovation Facts

Global Innovation Index ranking: 37th

Climate targets:  At least 40 per cent domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, net zero by 2050 (EU-wide)

Sustainability issues

Water pollution – Water quality in Slovakia as a whole is deemed to be average, but the country is currently dealing with a discharge of polluted water from an iron ore mine. The polluted water has turned the waters of the Slana River orange, damaging plant and animal life. 

Waste management – Slovakia has made significant improvements in waste management in recent years reducing the proportion of waste going to landfill from 69 per cent in 2016 to 48 per cent in 2021. Nonetheless, its recycling rate at 44 per cent remains below the EU target of 50 per cent. Moreover waste management practices vary significantly within the country. 

Climate impacts – Slovakia has been heavily hit by drought and hot weather during 2022. In July, the interior ministry declared an emergency in 11 municipalities due to a lack of drinking water, while the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute announced that more than half of the territory of Slovakia is facing extreme drought.

Sector specialisms

Software and data

Marketing and sales

Health

Source: StartupBlink

Three Exciting Innovations From Slovakia

Photo source GA Drilling

A WAY TO POWER THE PLANET THROUGH ULTRA-DEEP GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Renewable energy is gaining steam, but many people feel that progress is not moving fast enough to have the kind of impact needed to hold global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Energy company GA Drilling argues that small changes will not help. Instead, it has developed a series of scalable geothermal solutions that rely on ultra-deep drilling to tap into the heat produced deep in the Earth. The startup combines this drilling with scalable surface infrastructure. Read more

Photo source Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

A NEW WAY TO PRODUCE SUSTAINABLE FERTILISER ON SITE

Most farms use fertiliser. However, not only is fertiliser a major expense for farmers, its use can also be harmful to the environment. Ammonia, a main ingredient in commercial fertilisers takes a lot of energy to manufacture, most of which comes from burning fossil fuels. Fertilisers also release the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into the atmosphere when they are broken down by microbes. Biofertilisers are a more sustainable option. These contain living microorganisms that fix atmospheric nitrogen directly. A startup has developed a system to allow farmers to produce tailor-made, sustainable biofertiliser on site. Read more

Photo source Scase

HANDHELD DIAGNOSTIC DEVICE BRINGS CARE TO PATIENTS

During the COVID-19 pandemic patients and doctors faced a dilemma. Doctors were nervous about examining patients for fear of catching the disease, while that same fear dissuaded patients from visiting a clinic. Remote telemonitoring is an obvious way of circumventing the problem, but this solution has long been hampered by a lack of intelligent monitoring systems for the chronically ill and those recovering from trauma. Enter Scase, a Slovakian startup that has developed a portable, point-of-care diagnostic device for remote telemonitoring. Read more

Words: Matthew Hempstead

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