RVmagnetics was listed in SARIO's publication R&D & Innovation Sector in Slovakia published in 2024. Despite being a scale-up, for almost a decade, the company has continued to invest in microwire-driven application development for a number of Fortune 500 clients globally.

As the publication sums up, The Slovak economy registered a continuous increase in gross domestic expenditure on R&D in the last five years. More than 500 companies represent the R&D (private) sector. Many of the country's most notable R&D centers are tied to foreign direct investments (FDI), while R&D provides approximately 40,000 jobs. Most notable local companies investing in R&D include ESET (IT security), AirCar (Flying car), Photoneo (3D vision), Sensoneo (waste management), GA Drilling (plasma drilling), Spinea (actuators), MultiplexDX (cancer diagnostics), Inobat (EV batteries), Tachyum (processors), Sygic (navigation), Innovatrics (biometrics), and many more. It is certainly an inspiring group to be part of.

Most notable investors in R&D in Košice include US Steel Corporation, Volvo Cars, Minebea Mitsumi (electric and electromechanical components), U-Shin (automotive access mechanisms), Faurecia (automotive components), and DB Biotech (antibodies)

source:https://www.sario.sk/sites/default/files/sario-research-and-development-2024-02-21.pdf

History of RVmagnetics

Prior to the company incorporation, founder Rastislav Varga spent nearly 20 years researching the topic of magnetic MicroWires. Company was established in 2015 and started with three team members. First years of the company were dedicated to fully developing the technology of enabling microwire sensing in contactless. Company started commercializing the technology at the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019. As of 2024, the scientific team counts 20 associates (10 PhDs) covering end-to-end development of the MicroWire based sensor prototypes – including professions such as physicists, chemists, coil design, coil manufacturing, MicroWire production, electronic engineers, mechanical engineers, and software engineers.

History of Slovak Science

In the above-mentioned publication, SARIO provides an excellent overview of the History of Slovak science. This is a topic especially close to our hearts, so make sure to read our view on the country’s past presence and future of the science.

Universities and Public R&D

Košice, Slovakia's second-largest city, is home to two universities with a strong focus on scientific, technical, and engineering education: The Technical University of Košice (approximately 9,500 students) and the Faculty of Science at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University (approximately 1,000 students).

Public R&D in Slovakia is represented by the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), which has several institutes in Košice, including the Institute of Experimental Physics, the Institute of Material Research, and the Institute of Neurobiology.

We especially appreciate academia, as most of our unique talent stems are not from abroad but predominantly from two technical universities based in Košice.

Industrialisation of Košice

Košice is the most important industrial center of eastern Slovakia, with heavy metallurgical, electric power, engineering, and construction industries represented. A company called “Slovak Magnesite Plants” produced and exported magnesite from the beginning of the 1900s until the 1990s. After WWII, the East Slovak machinery group was established to produce and export machines and trucks to V4 countries and functioned until the 2010s.

The region's indus­trialization began in early 1960s with the East-Slovak Steel Plant (VSŽ) coming into production. At its peak, the company employed 20,000 workers and had a strong R&D department, which has remained in operation to this day. In the 1990s, the plant was bought by U.S. Steel. The plant operated under U.S. Steel management, but at the end of 2023, it was acquired by Japanese Nippon Steel Corp.

Transformation of Local Industries Structure

Similar to other “steel cities” in the region—most notably Ostrava in Czechia—the City of Košice, the Self-governing region of Košice, together with the universities mentioned above and private investors, started the transformation by establishing Kosice IT Valley, transitioning from heavy industrial production to IT services attracting the companies including T-Systems, Ness, Cisco Systems, AT&T, Accenture, GlobalLogic and Siemens.

Around the same time, a whole automotive cluster emerged in the vicinity of Kosice, with supply chain and investment benefits. Today, the most notable players include Magna, Magneti Marelli, U-Shin, Faurecia, IEE Sensing, Howe, and MinebeaMitsumi. Although the automotive OEM plants in Slovakia are concentrated in the west (Volkswagen, Stellantis, Kia and Jaguar LandRover), strong logistics network (including railway and airport) proximity to both Poland and Hungary and finally, government FDI subsidies helped to attract one OEM to the east also. In 2023, Volvo Cars started building Slovakia’s 5th carmaker to build its plant, but the 1st one focused purely on EVs. The company plans to produce 250.000 EVs annually in the initial phase.

About SARIO

The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) is the investment promotion agency of the Slovak Republic, operating under the Ministry of Economy. SARIO's mission is to accelerate Slovakia's in­vestment, export, and innovation potential, aiming to transform the country into a technology hub attractive to foreign investors, experts, and business partners. The agency focuses on enhancing export potential in competitive industries, supporting the expansion of established companies, attracting foreign investment, and increasing employment in high value-added sectors across all regions in alignment with the Slovak government's stra­tegy and economic policy.


Author
Vladimir Marhefka
Vladimir holds position of Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at RVmagnetics. In his current role he’s responsible for Strategy, Business Development and Marketing activities of the company. During 18+ years of experience he held executive, strategy and business development roles in various B2B industries, led international sales teams and lived in Spain and Australia. With the background in finance, Vladimir’s interest is in deeptech, international startups, and industrial IOT.