The Slovak University of Technology Selects Geneza’s MediaINFO Server for Dissemination of Digital Textbooks and Notes

Bratislava, Slovakia
Imagine a university that gives all the study materials to its students electronically, imagine no more it is happening in Bratislava!

Faculty of Chemical and Food technology, one from the faculties of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, the most significant technical university in Slovakia, has selected Geneza’s MediaINFO solution. This central European university will primarily use MediaINFO Server as the method of distributing digital books to its numerous students. Standardising on MediaINFO is going to help cut the cost, waste, and the physical constraints of the old paper textbooks and notes that are currently printed or bought.  
Additional benefits are the 24/7 online availability of the study materials and textbooks, which can be then linked, forwarded via email, printed, saved, annotated, or even translated automatically. MediaINFO is going to help sweep away the printed study materials in the university as well as the strain they place on the university library facilities. Normally an initiative that helps contain costs can hardly be expected to improve educational outcomes, but with MediaINFO the Slovak University of Technology is poised to achieve just that.  
The Chemical library (where implementation will take place first) was founded in 1955 and has developed into one of the most complete collections of chemical information in the world. The chemical library’s leadership extends in being a technologically astute organisation, and a pioneer in digitisation in Slovakia. In this spirit the students will be the first to benefit from the ability to use social networking tools in conjunction with MediaINFO as well as the collaboration tools that MediaINFO provides. The ability to work on assignments together using modern web tools is something that the students are also likely to encounter in their future employment. Becoming conversant with modern ways of digital working is a skill sought by employers so this will indirectly benefit the students too.
Jozef Dzivak, the director of University’s Chemical Library, said on behalf of the Faculty of Chemical and Food technology: “We anticipate that the successful implementation of MediaINFO will help us save time, effort and costs for ourselves and for our students. This is a good application of technology that solves a number of practical problems in the real world. We are making MediaINFO our university system because it maximises access to the study materials, makes them easy to search, print and study from. But one of my favourite outcomes is the first real reduction in hundreds of thousands of pages that are routinely thrown away and reprinted either because the textbooks have been updated or because the paper copies become damaged or lost. MediaINFO will help us do our bit for the environment”. 
Sasa Mutic, chief executive officer at Geneza, said, “Organisations today are challenged by inefficiencies and a lack of easy accessibility to their content both internally and externally. It is often underestimated how many resources are wasted in activities such as photocopying or printing information, especially time. MediaINFO helps optimise processes inside an organisation leading to a boost in communication, effectiveness, speedy and modern transfer of information irrespective of working hours, distances, or other constraints. The granular control of rights also allows the university to stay in control of its intellectual property”.

About The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava ( “STU”) & the Slovak Chemical Library  
The STU is a modern educational-pedagogical and scientific-research institution and the biggest technical university in Slovakia. Since its establishment in 1937 more than 112,000 graduates have completed their education at STU and annually an average of 19,000 students study at the university.
STU currently consists of 7 Faculties and 2 institutes, offering accredited study programmes for Bachelors, Engineering (Master) and Doctoral study.  
The Chemical library was founded in 1955 as the Library Centre at the Faculty of Chemical and Food technology Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. After various changes culminating in its current status since 2004 the library has become a major driving force for digitisation and computerisation of processes in the Slovak academic community.

About MediaINFO
MediaINFO is a complete software solution for intuitive viewing, browsing, searching, cataloguing and sharing digitized content. MediaINFO is powering some of the world's most prestigious libraries, publishers, educational institutions, and magazines. MediaINFO helps organizations utilize and re-use their content more effectively by leveraging past investments in content and re-purposing them for new audiences.
Find out how it can help your organization by visiting 
About Geneza
Geneza develops solutions for organizations seeking to better present, control, search and manage their content. Whether your content is still only in physical form, partly digitised, in PDF, ALTO/METS, flat tiff; we can provide an end-to-end solution that will cover your requirements. Geneza is trusted by some of the world's largest and most respected libraries, academic institutions including the Library of Norway, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and others.

Mailing Address
Champs Courbes 23
1024 Ecublens

Almost 40% of big business in Slovakia wants to hire and expand

Bratislava's Eurovea. Bratislava's downtown is buzzing
with activity and growth. 
Foreign investors operating in Slovakia believe the economic crisis is ending and expect their businesses to flourish in the coming months, according to an economic sentiment survey conducted among 166 investors from other European countries undertaken by seven foreign chambers of commerce in February and March 2011, Slovak spectator reported on 8 April.

Almost two thirds of investors in Slovakia expect the economic environment to improve significantly over the course of 2011.

Nearly 39% of the surveyed businesses said they will be looking to hire more employees this year.
We are optimists now too, since movement has returned to the Slovak economy, said Vladimír Slezak, the general director of the Bratislava-based branch of Siemens.

IMF on Slovakia and its economy

Bratislava, April 11, 2011
Slovakia has swiftly recovered from a deep recession, and is facing a favorable medium-term macroeconomic outlook, with real GDP projected to grow by around 4 percent per year. The policy focus should shift from crisis response to enhancing the foundations for long-term growth and stability. The main challenges will be to correct the crisis-induced underlying deterioration in the fiscal position, prevent credit boom-bust cycles, reduce the high unemployment and maintain strong productivity growth. Following important fiscal adjustment this year, consolidation will need to continue during 2012–13 with a view to bringing the government deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2013. Achieving this challenging target will require a careful consideration of the composition of the adjustment efforts.
Outlook: a return to steady and robust growth
1. The Slovak economy has continued to recover since early 2010. Following a deep recession in 2009, real GDP swung to a robust 4 percent growth in 2010. The upturn has been larger than in most of Slovakia’s neighbors reflecting strong fundamentals and a surge in the export-oriented manufacturing sector, which benefited from a revival in global demand. In tandem, the financial sector has regained strength, profits in the corporate sector are recovering, real estate prices have stabilized, and the fiscal position is improving.
2. The growth outlook for 2011 and the coming years is strong. While growth will still be driven mainly by the export sector, a gradual rebound in domestic demand would provide some boost and broadly offset the withdrawal of fiscal support. As spare capacity diminishes and confidence firms, employment and private consumption will start to improve, albeit gradually. Overall, real GDP is projected to grow by about 3¾ percent in 2011 and by about 4¼ percent in 2012–15, among the strongest performances in the European Union (EU) but still significantly below the pre-crisis rate of expansion.
3. Inflation is projected this year temporarily to increase to about 3½ percent. Reflecting higher international oil and food prices, and an increase in VAT and excise taxes, inflation surged in early 2011. However, as core inflation remains well-anchored, headline inflation is projected to decline to below 3 percent in 2012 and beyond.
4. Downside risks remain considerable and are both external and domestic in nature. The global economic environment continues to be challenging, including on account of possible loss of market confidence related to adverse feedback loops between sovereign and bank risks, Mideast political turmoil, and uncertain oil and other commodity prices. Domestically, a renewed decline in real estate prices and a loss of fiscal credibility, if the government fails to achieve the targeted fiscal consolidation, are the main risks.
The policy agenda: from crisis response to growth and stability
Fiscal Policy: bringing the deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2013
5. In spite of the recovery, the general government deficit remained high in 2010, at 7¾ percent of GDP. The deficit had widened to about 8 percent of GDP in 2009, as revenue contracted sharply and spending continued to expand at a fast pre-crisis pace. Reflecting the export-led recovery, revenue growth in 2010 fell short of GDP growth. With expenditure and output growing broadly in line, the deficit was almost unchanged from its 2009 level.
6. The 2011 deficit is projected to decline to below 5 percent of GDP on the back of a welcome consolidation effort and further economic recovery. The size of the adjustment, around 2½ percentage points of GDP, and its composition are broadly appropriate. Implementing the planned expenditure cuts in full, particularly with regard to wages and municipal spending, may prove to be difficult. However, some higher-than-budgeted revenue on account of the improved economic conditions would help offset expenditure slippages.
7. The authorities’ commitment to reduce the deficit to below 3 percent of GDP by 2013 is credible and appropriate.Adhering to this anchor, in line with EU requirements, will help maintain market confidence and keep Slovakia’s interest premium low. The deficit should be further reduced to about 1 percent of GDP in the medium term. This will help prepare for aging-related expenditure pressures, and provide some room for counter-cyclical fiscal policy in case of a downturn.
8. The intention to reduce the deficit by around 1 percentage point of GDP each year in 2012–13 strikes the right balance. Pacing the adjustment will help minimize the adverse impact on growth and avoid recourse to lower-quality and possibly unsustainable measures. Nonetheless, the adjustment efforts needed to meet the 2013 deficit target will be challenging.
9. The authorities’ fiscal policy priorities should guide the composition of the 2012–13 consolidation efforts. Priorities could include supporting growth through infrastructure investment and education, reducing the high unemployment and income disparity across regions, and strengthening the efficiency of the tax system. In addition, improving the quality and ensuring the financial soundness of the health care system remains a standing priority.2
10. Simultaneously achieving these priorities and the consolidation targets will require broad-ranging revenue efforts and expenditure reallocation and cuts. Only raising some minor taxes and concentrating the expenditure efforts on cutting wages and operational costs may not be sufficient, and may erode some essential government services to unsustainably low levels. Given the large consolidation needs, there is no room for premature tax cuts or for additional spending without re-prioritization. It will also be important not to slow or postpone key public investment projects and to strengthen EU funds absorption capacity.
11. Initiatives to harmonize and simplify social security contributions and unify revenue collection are welcome.They could be complemented with efforts to broaden the tax base and improve the efficiency of VAT collection. However, net revenue gains from harmonization, unified collection and improved VAT administration could be slow to materialize and should not be expected to contribute to the 2012–13 consolidation effort. In this regard, it would be preferable for recently announced proposals to reform the social security contributions system to remain focused on the main objectives of simplification, transparency and reduced incentives to opt for self-employed status, while maintaining broad revenue neutrality.
12. The authorities’ fiscal institutional reform plans are expected to improve commitment, discipline, transparency and planning. Laudable efforts to seek a broad consensus on such important reforms as introducing debt and expenditure ceilings and establishing a fiscal council can help ensure their durability. A well-designed ceiling on overall expenditure growth could be especially useful for guiding the fiscal consolidation in the next few years and for facilitating spending reallocation in line with evolving priorities. In the context of the envisaged fiscal institutional reforms, putting in place an effective medium-term budget framework would support planning and prioritization. Further improving the timeliness and quality of fiscal information would enhance transparency. Proposals to strengthen fiscal discipline at the local level could be complemented with incentives to raise real estate taxes.
13. The plans to ensure the sustainability of the pension system are welcome. Automatic alignment of the retirement age with changes in life expectancy and in the old age dependency ratio and adjustments in the indexation formulas could help ensure the viability of the first pillar. As to the second pillar, relaxing the restrictions on investment policies would increase the range of products available to savers and better align saving and investment objectives and horizons, and is an immediate priority. In addition, maintaining a sufficient contribution rate and promoting the participation of new labor market entrants would help support this pillar.
Financial Sector: strengthening safeguards and promoting further capital market development
14. The financial sector has strengthened further. A traditional banking model with a large deposit-to-loan ratio and limited investment in risky securities helped banks withstand the global financial crisis. With the improvement in economic conditions profits have rebounded. Financial soundness indicators are solid, and recent stress tests carried out by the National Bank of Slovakia reassure that banks can cope with severe shocks to economic growth and inflation.
15. Nevertheless, risks remain and continued vigilance is needed. In particular, the commercial real estate and construction sectors remain fragile. Moreover, banks could be affected in case of renewed financial turmoil in the euro area through the impact on parent banks, even though domestic direct exposure to foreign securities is limited. To reduce these risks, the authorities should continue improving coordination and collaboration with neighboring countries and home supervisors of foreign banks. Indications of intensifying competition, relaxation of lending standards and accelerating credit growth should be carefully monitored.
16. The authorities should harmonize the different treatment of housing loans to avoid regulatory arbitrage.Banks are substituting traditional mortgages with other housing loans that are subject to weaker regulations and allow for higher loan-to-value ratios. Harmonizing the different treatment would ensure that regulation aimed at limiting excessive risk taking remains effective. To improve consumer protection, steps to increase the transparency of housing loans with regard to interest rate adjustments would be welcome.
17. The authorities should explore ways to deepen the secondary government bond market. This can lower interest rates and help develop the capital market overall. Steps taken by the debt management agency to increase issuance size and focus on benchmark instruments are welcome. Establishing an effective primary market dealer arrangement and relaxing investment restrictions on pension funds could provide additional liquidity to the market.
Labor Market and Other Structural Policies: tackling high long-term unemployment and maintaining strong productivity growth
18. In the wake of the crisis, addressing long-term unemployment and regional disparities is even more pressing. Long-term unemployment of low-skilled and young workers has risen to among the highest in the EU. Less prosperous regions are particularly affected. The economic recovery and incipient rebound in employment had little impact, so far, on prospects for the long-term unemployed.
19. Bringing down long-term unemployment will require a range of measures. Various new initiatives considered by the authorities—including linking social benefits to training and job search efforts; expanding intermediate labor market opportunities; and selectively increasing labor market flexibility—are welcome. However, they need to be complemented with steps to enhance some existing active labor market policies, and with appropriate funding to ensure implementation and program evaluation. Improving the transport infrastructure and fostering the development of a private rental market could help ease labor mobility constraints.
20. Productivity gains remain the main driver of medium-term growth potential and convergence, and the key to preserving external competitiveness. Boosting productivity will require sustained efforts to further reduce administrative burdens; to enhance the transparency of public procurement, in line with welcome recent initiatives; to strengthen legal enforcement; and to promote competition in network industries. Labor market flexibility in combination with wage growth moderation should help maintain the strong performance of Slovakia’s main export sectors.

1 The mission wants to thank the Slovak authorities for their hospitality and the open and constructive discussions.
2 Health care reforms could be guided by earlier IMF advice and recent OECD recommendations.

Pre-2008 economic crisis level of economic confidence in Slovakia

Slovak business confidence has just reached its pre 2007-8 worldwide economic crisis levels. This is quite an achievement given that this is not the case with most other european states with the notable exception of Germany.

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Forbes, and in a study they commisioned. The CEOs of companies in Slovakia perceive the business environment in Slovakia as positive or satisfactory, 44 percent of those polled said they had good reason to expect their revenues to rise within the next twelve months. “It is very important, how the companies active in Slovakia see the development of their future growth. The fact that they
do perceive it positively is a good signal for the future of the Slovak economy,” said Alica Pavukova, a PwC partner.

Investment comes to Slovakia

GERMAN COMPANIES TO CREATE 10,000 NEW JOBS German companies expected to create some 10,000 new jobs at its Slovak units this year, welcoming planned changes aimed to boost the labour market flexibility making Slovakia a more attractive investment spot, a survey by investors showed. Hospodarske noviny, page 1

HEWLETT PACKARD WANTS TO HIRE NEW WORKERS The U.S. Hewlett-Packard Co.(HPQ.N) said it wants to hire hundreds of new workers to boost its Slovak unit to around 2,000 by the end of the year. The company operates a service centre for the region in the central European country. Hospodarske noviny, page 1

SLOVAK KIA LURES NEXT INVESTOR Spain company Grupo Antoliny, a supplier of South Korean car maker Kia Motor (000270.KS), wants to build an assembly plant with 120 jobs near Kia's Slovak unit in northern town of Zilina, a ministry report showed. Hospodarske noviny, page 15