EUSAIR POPRI Youth is an innovative initiative designed to transfer entrepreneurial knowledge to young people, equipping them with crucial soft skills and offering opportunities to enhance their abilities in digitalization, innovation, adaptability, risk-taking, and more. This initiative is not only run for young people but also by them, fostering a sense of ownership and real-world experience.

From Local Beginnings to International Success

Starting in the Goriška region of Slovenia, EUSAIR POPRI Youth has grown into an international platform. It helps young people develop entrepreneurial skills and innovative business ideas over several months, supported by mentors and business institutions like technology parks and incubators. Participants gain valuable knowledge, linking school with the labor market and addressing brain drain by finding local opportunities.

Under Slovenia’s EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) presidency in 2021, the initiative connected young people and institutions from all ten EUSAIR countries. Since then, EUSAIR POPRI Youth events have occurred annually in different countries (Albania in 2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2023, Croatia in 2024), uniting youth from diverse backgrounds to tackle shared challenges and strive for a better future.

A Platform for Innovation and Sustainability

The success of the EUSAIR POPRI Youth initiative is evident from the high level of participation and quality of ideas presented. In Slovenia, 607 teams applied, 103 reached the final selection, and two advanced to the international pitching competition at the EUSAIR Forum in Šibenik in 2024. This large number of participants underscores the initiative’s importance and impact. When similar processes occur across ten countries, a global movement of young, enthusiastic individuals emerges, offering concrete solutions to common challenges in the region.

EUSAIR POPRI Youth aligns with sustainability principles, with participants demonstrating commitment through innovative business ideas. For example, ecologically sustainable ideas included ERUCA (a smart grass cutter), KERAGLOW (keratin paste from sheep’s wool), SLUGUARD (organic slug control), HUMORGANICS (organic fertilizer), and the Trash Feaster Vessel (collecting ocean garbage). Socially sustainable ideas included DIGIDoc (medical data access app), CAP (tool for reproducing human thoughts into images), Law Brainer (platform for legal and administrative ease for travelers), and the Wildfire Detection System (early forest fire detection).

The POPRI process itself fosters economic sustainability, promoting long-term prosperity and growth in the Adriatic-Ionian region. Sharing entrepreneurial practices among technology parks enhances efficiency, innovation, and responsible consumption and production.

A key aspect of sustainability in this initiative is partnership. Collaboration between technology parks, youth agencies, schools, academia, and media strengthens the region, making it more sustainable and resilient. This partnership, known as the EUSAIR Innovation HUB, drives positive changes locally, nationally, and globally, underpinned by mutual trust and a shared commitment to supporting young people.


The future of EUSAIR POPRI Youth looks promising as it continues to support young enthusiasts in finding innovative solutions for the region and Europe. By investing in these young minds, we are not only fostering entrepreneurship but also paving the way for a sustainable, prosperous future.

By Bojana Cipot, Head of International Cooperation and Project Management
Primorski Tehnoloski Park, Slovenia