With profound sadness, I am informing the AIRnet community of the passing on April 4, 2023, of Tea Petrin, a dedicated board member of the Academic-Industry Research Network since its founding in 2010. A professor at the University of Ljubljana from 1991, Tea was also the Slovenian Minister of Economic Affairs from 2000 to 2004 and the Slovenian Ambassador to the Netherlands from 2004 to 2008.
I first met Tea when, while on sabbatical, when she was a visiting scholar at the UMass Lowell Center for Industrial Competitiveness (CIC) in 1993-1994. For many years, Tea had worked in Slovenia with CIC co-director Michael Best on enterprise restructuring projects. At the CIC, she shared with us her deep insights into enterprise dynamics, and I remained in regular communication with her over the next decade and a half.
When, after eight years of public service, Tea returned to her professorship in 2008, I was quick to get her involved in a European Commission research project. She subsequently recruited me to be a visiting professor at Ljubljana, where I taught a course on the theory of innovative enterprise from 2010 to 2017. During this time, I often stayed at her lovely home in Ljubljana, enjoying the hospitality of Tea and her husband Aleš. Tea became one of my dearest friends.
During the pandemic, Tea and I often spoke online, and once I started travelling again about a year ago, I had the intention of paying a visit to her in Ljubljana. Unfortunately, that did not happen, as Tea succumbed to an illness with which she had been bravely struggling for many years.
The Academic-Industry Research Network