Photo: Royal Academy of Engineering Publishing - Pixabay
Engineering is an essential factor for economic growth, influencing industry as well as services. Slovenia ranks 12th in the engineering industry according to the Global Engineering Capability Report, a survey published earlier this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit and prepared by the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering. The study tries to assess “the extent to which 99 countries are able to conduct engineering activities in a safe and innovative way”.
Rather than constructing a unified index the report uses a framework of 23 indicators in six different categories. Slovenia’s best performance lies in the field of engineering, both in strength and sophistication. Only eleven nations globally score better in this area than Slovenia, with Japan and Germany in first and second place.
Slovenia also scores well in other categories. The Alpine republic is 16th in safety standards. The leader in safety standards is Singapore, while Slovenia lies ahead of Germany, Switzerland or Austria. In “labour force” – the availability and diversity of engineers in the industry – Slovenia takes 23rd place. The best placed nation here again is Singapore. In the ability of infrastructure to support and demonstrate engineering activities Slovenia ranks 27th. The leader in infrastructure is Switzerland. In digital infrastructure Slovenia is positioned one place lower, ranking 28th. In “knowledge” – which combines the number of patents, index rankings on citations and papers, number of top universities and R&D spending, Slovenia ranks 30th. In this area the undisputed leader is the USA, the category being a weak point for the whole Central European region.
Engineering skills are a key driver of economic growth and a firm foundation for the success of a national economy. The importance of engineering is not limited to industry – nowadays it is also important in sectors such as professional services, media and medicine. For an economy founded on manufacturing, engineering is not only important, but essential. According to the World Bank data, Slovenia’s manufacturing sector contributes 20.43 percent to the overall GDP. This share is well above the average and puts Slovenia in third place in the European Union, behind Ireland and the Czech Republic and ahead of Germany with a slightly lower share (20.4 percent). On a global level, Slovenian industry contributes the 14th largest share of GDP. Industry is thus a key driver of the Alpine republic’s economy – and engineering is one of its strongest assets. While the young nation may be among top global players in the engineering industry, the Global Engineering Capability Report points out other areas where there is still definitely room for improvement.