Industrial production is located mainly in the west part of Slovakia which is formed by Bratislava, Trnava, Trenčín and Nitra self-governing regions. These western regions have a 59% share of Slovakia’s total GDP (2018). Central Slovakia is formed by self-governing regions Žilina and Banská Bystrica, with a share of 20%, and the Eastern part, formed by self-governing regions Prešov and Košice, with a 21% share of total GDP. The highway connection between the west and the east of Slovakia is still not finished, which is a big drawback mainly for Prešov and Košice regions.
The chemical industry is also concentrated mainly in the western part of Slovakia where oil refinery, production of primary plastics, rubber products (tyres), fertilizers, coatings, pharmaceuticals, plastic products are located. Production mainly focuses on of man-made fibres, plastic foils and other chemical products in central and eastern Slovakia. Many small- and medium-sized companies are geared to the production of rubber, plastic and other products for the automotive industry. There are four big car factories: Volkswagen, Peugeot-Citroen, Jaguar Land Rover and KIA, located in the western part of Slovakia. A total number of over 1,08 million cars manufactured in 2018, the equivalent of 198 units per 1,000 inhabitants, the most compared to any country in the world. A new Porsche plant is under construction near the town of Piešťany.
As far as the accessibility of universities and research technology organisations is concerned, there are three universities important for the industry: Comenius University and Slovak University of Technology both located in Bratislava, and the University of Technology in Košice in eastern Slovakia. There are four private R&D Institutes geared mainly to the chemical sector: R&D of chemical technology, petrochemicals, plastics, and man-made fibres. There is good co-operation between specialised faculties of the universities, R&D institutes and the Slovak Academy of Science, a state institution.
Slovakia spends only about 0.7 – 0.8 % of its GDP on R&D per year. Slovakia relies on EU funding for research and development, as private sector investment is insufficient. 39% of national R&D investment is based on foreign sources of funding, in particular EU funds, which account for 89% of all funding in this area.