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IBM Innovation Centre for SE Europe Opens in Ljubljana

Ljubljana, 16 June (STA) - The Slovenian office of the US computer giant IBM inaugurated an innovation centre for South East Europe in Ljubljana's commercial district BTC on Thursday. The opening of the 40th such IBM centre in the world coincides with the company's centenary.

IBM Innovation Center Ljubljana is located on the new premises of IBM Slovenija in Crystal Palace, the new office tower on the north-eastern outskirts of the capital.

The centre is intended for companies, universities, developers, IBM's business partners and others from Slovenia and SE Europe, IBM Slovenija general manager Roman Koritnik told the opening ceremony.

The visitors will be able to work together with IBM experts to develop innovative solutions based on IBM technologies, get training, perform tests and so on.

The aim is to make the centre an important part of Slovenia's emerging industries and a crossroads of initiatives for development of a new generation of Slovenian entrepreneurs.

"Together we'll help develop a smarter Slovenia - Slovenia as a knowledge society," Koritnik said in his address, adding that innovation was what propelled humanity into a more prudent future.

With its talented and educated people, Slovenia is an excellent place for subsidiaries of US technological companies in Slovenia, said US Ambassador Joseph A. Mussomeli, who was also on hand for the occasion.

According to him, Slovenia has everything necessary to become a European Singapore, but it will have to open up to fresh and better ideas for younger generations and welcome foreign investors more openly.

In a similar vein, the director of Slovenia's leading research institution, Institut Jozef Stefan, Jadran Lenarcic, said that ideas were born in an open space where different kinds of expertise and cultures can clash. But this takes cooperation and trust, he added.

The condition for a long-term development is having the greatest number of educated people who can make things rather than just debate, Lenarcic said, adding that the bankrupt builder Vegrad's annual loss in its final year was twice what the institute spent throughout its existence.

The inauguration ceremony was rounded off with a debate featuring Peter Florjancic, the legendary Slovenian innovator who made his mark world wide. He argues that money lies on the street, and the idea is a shovel that you can pick it up with.

According to global leader of IBM innovation centres Luis Rodriguez, IBM decided to open the centre for SE Europe in Ljubljana because of the opportunities for growth offered by these markets, the network of existing IBM partners and the great number of IT students and experts.

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