AINova is an institution of lifelong learning focusing on the development of human resources and training of experts in order to help increase Slovakia’s competitiveness and meet the expectations associated with Slovakia’s membership in the European Union.
AINova provides specialised training and consulting services and participates in applied research projects. It organizes long-term programs and short-term courses for participants from the state and public sector as well as for various professional groups. Since its inception, it has promoted international cooperation in the field of education and research, mainly by creating international partnerships, developing active cross-border cooperation and providing its experience abroad
The first post-communist Minister of Education established the Istropolitan Academy (AI) named after the first academy on the territory of Slovakia founded by Matej Korvín in 1465, with the aim of creating a modern academic institution based on international cooperation. AI had been developing dynamically thanks to the support of the governments of the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Austria, Netherlands, EU and several American foundations.
After the elections in 1994, thanks to its independence and modern approaches to education, AI became the target of criticism from the new Slovak government. The international cooperation and foreign support of AI was not tolerated. The solution was to create a new, independent non-governmental organization Academia Istropolitana Nova (AINova). The key figure of AINova was still prof. Alena Brunovská.
Donna M. Culpepper, President of the Civic Education Project in Budapest, became the Chairwoman of AINova’s Board of Directors. In the following period, this position was held by: prof. Ján Pišút from Comenius University in Bratislava, Herbert Pfeiffer from První stavebná sporiteľňa and Boris Pavlačka from Elopak. The patrons of the institution are Lord Dahrendorf (Great Britain), Jonathan F. Fanton (USA), Hans Ludwig Schreiber (Germany), Milan Žalman (Slovakia).
With the help of excellent domestic and foreign teachers, one-year and two-year study programs were opened in English for students mainly from Central and Eastern Europe: Cultural Heritage Protection, Environmental Policy, European Studies, Professional Program in Applied Economics, later journalism was added. There were 104 students from Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA.The ceremonial opening of new premises in Pálffy’s mansion in Svätý Jur, which AINova renovated for its own purposes. The opening took place in the presence of important guests from academic, political and social environment. The library was ceremoniously opened by the Austrian Ambassador Dr. Gabriele Matzner-Holzer
The ceremonial opening of new premises in Pálffy’s mansion in Svätý Jur, which AINova renovated for its own purposes. The opening took place in the presence of important guests from academic, political and social environment. The library was ceremoniously opened by the Austrian Ambassador Dr. Gabriele Matzner-Holzer.
AINova faced a great loss when its founder A. Brunovská died. Her work and vision motivated AINova’s team, partners and students to continue the work started and build a strong institution. In the years 1998 to 2004, the best student work was awarded by AINova Prize of prof. Alena Brunovská.
AINova was involved in several international projects funded by PHARE, Tempus and MATRA, which have developed ongoing educational programs. At the same time, new courses had been created for state administration employees in the field of European integration, for which in 2001 the institution received an award from the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
The Czech-American-Slovak project financed through USAID – Strategic Planning of Economic Development of Cities – Participatory Planning in Pilot Slovak Cities begins. Later, local and regional authorities had a legal obligation to draw up economic and social development plans (PHSR). Cooperation with the Czech partner Berman Group continues to this day.
The first Public Policy Training Program had been opened for public administration staff as well as non-governmental sector leaders, with the aim of increasing their expertise and effectiveness, as well as establishing cooperation between these sectors. The program was accredited for lifelong learning.
The AINova evaluation report for the years 1997 – 2002 served as a basis for further direction of the institution. From 1997 to 2004, a total of 406 students completed postgraduate annual programs. Since 2003, AINova had been focusing mainly on shorter forms of education, including distance learning.
AINova moved from Pálfy’s mansion to its own premises in the neighbouring building. It opened accredited training programs especially for public administration employees and professional organizations: Project Creation & Management, Strategic Planning & Territorial Management, European Integration, and Environmental Law. AINova participated in the first projects financed from the EU structural funds.
Several years of cooperation with the Municipality of Svätý Jur had led to a project to restore the historical building of the former Sokolovna in the city centre, where a tourist information centre was established. AINova co-organized several successful projects focused on the development of the city of Svätý Jur: partial restoration of the Scheidlinova garden, support for separate waste collection, and preparation for the construction of a cycling path, LIFE project to protect the Šúr Nature Reserve, educational trail on the city’s cultural and natural heritage
AINova’s experts created new educational programs and projects aimed at transferring experience with EU accession. In cooperation with the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) and within the framework of SlovakAid’s development cooperation, the projects were mainly implemented in Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, and Montenegro. They educated the civil servants, teachers and civil society organizations.
Educational program The World Heritage Site Management in Slovakia was accredited, which contributed to the protection and development of cultural and natural sites that are inscribed on the UNESCO list. The course also responded to the need to develop plans for their management. The course was implemented in cooperation with the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic. It was dedicated for local governments, but also for other actors in the public and private sectors, whose cooperation has been necessary for the development of the locality.
European Union Prize –The Europa Nostra Prize for Education and Awareness in the Field of Cultural Heritage Protection was awarded to AINova on 5 June 2009 in Taormina, Italy. The jury appreciated AINova’s exemplary interdisciplinary educational and training activities developed in the field of cultural heritage protection and for the promotion of cultural and environmental values important as European values.
AINova became the winner of the public procurement for the elaboration of the Program of Economic and Social Development (PHSR) of the capital city of Bratislava for the years 2010 – 2020. Thus, it continued to provide this service for various Slovak cities: Trnava in the years of 2007-2013 and 2014 – 2020, for Prešov for the years 2008 – 2013, for Bardejov 2007-2013. The creation of strategies took place with a long-term partner of AINova – the Czech consulting company Berman Group.
The education program Administration of the Housing Fund was accredited, which in 2013-2019 was completed by more than 400 administrators from all over Slovakia. The program was based on an extensive Slovak-German-Austrian project Analysis of the effectiveness of housing fund in Slovakia and a proposal for further education in this area. Since 2015, the education of property administrators has become a requirement from the law. Prva stavebná sporiteľňa (First Building Society) has become the AINova’s long-term financial partner related to this topic until today.
Within the framework of long-term cooperation with the City of Bardejov, the Management Plan of the World Heritage Site 2013-2020 – Historical Core of the City of Bardejov was created, which aimed to contribute to effective protection and management of this world heritage and its preservation for future generations. AINova prepared the plan in close cooperation with the City of Bardejov, the Regional Monuments Board of Prešov, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic and the local action group.
A new topic “adult education policy in Slovakia“ opened. Through projects funded by the Erasmus + program, AINova mapped the situation in Slovakia in comparison with other EU countries. Analysis of the situation in this policy area were prepared for the European Commission. Moreover, the educational programs were created, which focused on the development of key competencies – digital, civic, social, as well as competencies for sustainable development.
AINova organized the Art and Wine Festival from 2014 to 2017, which was thematically linked to Svätý Jur and its surroundings, its history, monuments, important historical figures and contemporary regional artists. There were exhibitions, lectures, creative workshops, walks, concerts, readings and screenings, which are an opportunity for education and culture.
The ten-year series of seminars in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia for representatives of regional media devoted to the position of Slovakia in the EU, current challenges and issues was it its peak. Next year, the cooperation with the European Parliament’s Office on the EP’s Embassy School program was initiated, which activated secondary school teachers and students on the topic of European citizenship
Two years prior the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, AINova organized a series of seminars for civil servants, which prepared them professionally and linguistically for the tasks during the Slovak Presidency. The training took place in close cooperation with AINova’s long-term partner, the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Luxembourg, as well as the Parliamentary Institute of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
AINova’s new strategy document for the next 10 years identified the following four pillars: cultural heritage, active European citizenship, good governance, and sustainable development. In all education and awareness-raising activities, AINova also strived to develop key competences for lifelong learning as defined by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.
Three major projects funded by the EU structural funds were launched: Ambassadors’ Platform of European Democratic Culture (AmbEDK), We are creating a modern adult education policy (MOVED) and the Regional Academy (REGIO).
The tenth year of the Award for Exemplary Restoration took place, where AINova, in cooperation with BSK and PSS, awarded the owners of historic buildings in the region. The tenth anniversary also celebrated the conference on European Cultural Heritage Days, which is traditionally organized by the Bratislava self-governing region in cooperation with AINova. Annual publications were created for both activities. The fifth year of the School of Traditional Building Crafts was also held.
AINova is annually audited by PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
Since its establishment, AINova has been a strong partner of EIPA – the European Institute of Public Administration in capacity building projects in Slovakia financed from the Phare program and the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following Slovakia’s accession to the EU, it provided training in EU affairs and fund management to candidate countries and neighbouring countries.Peter Ib Bruun Goldschmidt Director of the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers, EIPA’s Centre in Luxembourg
AINova has built up its reputation as a trustworthy and reliable project partner of international foundations. Also the Austrian Embassy helped to build up this NGO as an independent educational institution in Slovakia. For many years AINova organized an international education on the protection and management of cultural heritage. It also managed high quality courses on applied economics, strategic regional planning and developed strategic plans for e.g. the City of Bratislava. The German BBR together with the Ministry of Economics in Austria and the Slovak Bausparkassen financed a project for improving the efficiency of the housing management in Slovakia. AINova became also an accepted and preferred partner in educating Slovak civil servants on EU membership issues and also later preparing Slovakia for the EU presidency. AINova has been always improving the competitiveness and image of Slovakia within the international community. I am very happy that I had the honor to serve as a Chairman of its Board of Trustees which I consider to be a highlight of my professional activities in Slovakia.Herbert Pfeiffer Former member of Board of Directors of PSS, a.s. and Chairman of AINova’s Board of Directors
Since its beginning, AINova has been offering educational programs on innovative topics, developing critical and creative thinking in its students, and encouraging them to apply new approaches and methods. Its research and application projects deal with current social issues and finding solutions. Thanks to its activities, AINova helps to develop the cultural identity, social cohesion and economic prosperity of its region and Slovakia. It has been a reliable and competent institution for national and international partners for more than two decades.PhDr. Gabriela Kiliánová, CSc. Former director of Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology
I usually look to the future rather than the past. In the case of AINova, both aspects are fascinating, as its main pillar is people who can fulfil the fundamental values of a liberal and democratic society through the development of education and community life. My recognition thus clearly belongs to a small, educated and skilled team that is constantly adapting to the unpredictable challenges of contemporary civilization and skilfully combining local and global aspects in its work. The cooperation of the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Science, Charles University in many educational projects has brought our students and graduates fundamental knowledge and extraordinary experiences. I believe that such exceptionally gifted people will continue to develop the potential of our community.Prof. Darina Malová, PhD. Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University
For more than 20 years of its existence, AINova has been constantly proving that even a small institution with a limited budget can systematically and visibly improve important areas of our society that lack long-term state support. It succeeds thanks to the continuously correct choice of topics and people. From the outset, they have been the soul of the organization and are enthusiasts saving the country’s cultural heritage, believing in the importance of unquestionable transatlantic orientation and liberal values, as well as the need for sustainability and the positive contribution of cultural diversity. Their deep conviction translates into their daily work. The result is an offer of long-term topics, attractive lecturers and hundreds of domestic and foreign graduates who are building culturally and intellectually richer and more tolerant societies in the Central European region. I am grateful for the possibility of an intensive several years of personal experience.Ronald Blaško Executive Director of AmCham – American Chamber of Commerce
We are proud to have in our team a number of local and international experts and important personalities:
Board of Directors
Team of AINova
Management Board member, consultant and project manager
Management Board member, trainer and project manager
Project manager, lecturer, consultant
External advisor, former project manager
Lecturer and project manager
Manager of language education
Project manager assistant
Financial and administrative support
We are members of and we cooperate with:
|International organisations and networks:|
|NISPACee – The Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe||Europa Nostra – The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe|
|EIPA – European Institute for Public Administration||EAEA – European Association for the Education of Adults|
|National organisations and networks:|
|Ambrela – Platform of development NGOs||AIVD – Association of Adult Learning Institutions in Slovakia|
|ZBHS – Association of Housing in Slovakia||ZPOBD – Association for support of renewal of housing|
|AKOI – Association of Cultural and Awareness Learning Institutions||HVS – Helsinski Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia|
|Olymp – Human Rights Olympics||OZ Malokarpatský región – Civic Assosiation of Lower Carpathinas Regions (MAS – Local Action Group)|
|OOCR Malé Karpaty – Local Tourism organisation|
|BSK – Self-governing region of Bratislava||TTSK – Self-governing region of Trnava|
|MŠVVŠ SR – Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Dpt of Lifelong Learning||ŠIOV – State Institute of Vocational Education; Dpt of European Policies|
|MDV SR – Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic, Dpt of Housing and Urban Development||PÚ SR – The Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic|
|SAV – Slovak Academy of Sciences||FiF UK – Philoshophical Faculty of the Comenius University, Dpt of Political Science|
|UMB – University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica||PU – Prešov University in Prešov|