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The Executive Workshop on Bridging the Digital Innovation Divide: Fostering Digital Entrepreneurship and Startup Ecosystem was held in ICPE headquarters in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 12 to 13 September 2017 in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), a regional cooperative framework for countries in Southeast Europe. The objective of the workshop was to build regional and national capacities and skills in developing digital ecosystems, including designing policies, implementation programmes and projects. Programme of this workshop also promoted a toolkit on bridging the digital innovation divide.

Mr Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia in his inaugural address mentioned great strides that Slovenia has made in IT and eGovernance sectors. He explained that certain areas of administration have to be centralized to avoid disorder. He expressed his opinion that personal data of the citizens should remain safe in the hands of elected governments and not with big business. Mindless decentralization in government can lead to chaos. The Ministry of Public Administration has attained notable success in many fields of public administration including IT through centralization. The Ministry is responsible for all public enterprises in Slovenia as also all public properties. When asked as to why some buildings are being maintained by Ministry of Education which has no expertise in this field the Minister replied that so far the Ministry of Public Administration has taken over 60% of public buildings in Slovenia.

The workshop attended representatives of the seven countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Georgia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Slovenia. During very fruitful sessions and dynamic discussions, the participants empowered with methodology, frameworks, tools and context relevant case studies to accelerate digital transformation through promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.