The 8th edition of the Italian Business Forum in Ljubljana closed on 5 November with a virtual meeting on sustainable cross-border tourism that was largely attended. Every year the Forum brings together in Ljubljana representatives of institutions, entrepreneurs and researchers from the two countries on specific issues of common collaboration and is organized by the Italijansko-Slovenski Forum, the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Trade Agency in Ljubljana, the Slovenian Research Center Jozef Stefan, and the Italian Cultural Institute. With a totally new digital formula, due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic,  this edition of the Forum focused on how to overcome the present crisis, looking for new ways of collaboration within the Recovery Fund, especially in sustainable development. The Ambassador of Italy to Slovenia Carlo Campanile opened the Forum and highlighted the importance of the European Recovery Plan, hoping that Italy and Slovenia, through joint projects, will be able to make the most of its resources. The Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Institute of Culture in Ljubljana both focused future promotional and cultural projects. This introductory session, coordinated by Jurij Giacomelli, President of the Italijansko-Slovenski Forum, was followed by two thematic workshops: on new eco-sustainable materials and technologies and on cross-border tourism.

The Workshop on Sustainable and Innovative Materials (October 28, 2020) qualified for the level of interventions by the participating experts, including on the Italian side: Trieste’s Area Science Park - which addressed the issue with a view to their impact on logistics - Lucart Group of Lucca, which already has some important projects with Ljubljana and Novo Mesto and intends to expand its range - the Venetian group Ecopaté, which focused on glass reuse techniques and the impact on consumption and transport, and Lucy Plast of Perugia, which presented new solutions on the regeneration of plastic in granules and innovative technologies of injection molding. Unicredit Bank in Slovenia examined the financial aspect of research contributions in this country. On the Slovenian side, the interventions of three of the Strategic Research Partnership on Innovation and Development (SRIP) created great interest: the SRIP Factories of the Future, the SRIP Circular Economy and SRIP Future Materials. These are groups of researchers committed to finding technological and innovative solutions to the various problems of industrial development and the environment, thanks to international collaboration and public-private partnerships. TECOS-Development Center for Toolmaking illustrated new research and development projects for the plastics industry.

For the second workshop (November 5, 2020) on EU recovery through sustainable cross-border tourism, the program - in collaboration with the URES-Slovenian Regional Economic Union in Trieste -  counted on an equally qualified presence, Among them Renzo Tondo, former President of the FVG Region and himself a catering entrepreneur, the General Manager of Promo Turismo FVG  Lucio Gomiero and Alioša Ota, Director for Italy of the Slovenian National Tourist Board. All the other experts described the deep crisis of the tourism sector and underlined the need of a greater synergy to promote the whole cross-border context: presenting new tourist packages that can include the entire Alpe Adria Region, taking advantage of new digital and communication technologies and focusing on the common values ​​of environmental sustainability and both cross- sector and cross-border alliances. A great opportunity may come form the joint candidacy of Gorizia and Nova Gorica as European Capital of Culture 2025, which will also be supported by the other Slovenian candidacy of the 4 towns on the Coast, leaded by Piran, here represented by its Deputy Mayor Manuela Roject.