ZAGREB, Oct 14 (Croatia Sun News) – “If we want to take a serious step in the area of research and development, a synergy is essential between local and central government, the academic community and the real sector,” Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat said.
Horvat said this while promoting the “Everything in one place” campaign at Zagreb’s Faculty of Electronic Engineering (FER) and the Artificial Intelligence Centre opened recently at FER.
Horvat said that Croatia invests 0.86% of its GDP in R&D and is currently lagging behind in applying ICT solutions as well as that it has problems in implementing practical applications.
He added that the academic community has to participate and contribute more strongly to increase investments in R&D.
If we want to take a serious step toward R&D, we have to connect local and central government, the academic community and the real sector, said Horvat.
He added that it was essential to transform Croatia’s industry to Industry 4.0 (based on a progressive growth of information and communication technology) and that a EUR 250 million tender is being prepared with a call for applications expected in the first half of next year.
The head of the Artificial Intelligence Centre at FER, Sven Loncaric, said that the centre would focus on R&D activities that had been implemented for decades as well as cooperating with the business sector.
FER has been present in the field of AI for decades and has been cooperating with a number of companies, its role being to provide the business sector with R&D services because, for example, micro and small enterprises cannot afford to have their own research centres, he said.
The ministry on Monday presented its “Everything in one place” project to FER students to inform them of how to launch their own business as soon as they graduate and of the opportunities of doing business in the single EU market.
The project was launched two years ago with the aim of informing Croatian citizens, business people and public administration bodies of the possibilities offered by the single EU market.