ZAGREB, October 21, 2018 – Croatian Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak confirmed in Dubrovnik on Sunday that Croatia had had met all three requirements for membership of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and would be an associate member of the world’s biggest research laboratory as of 2019.
Divjak said that among the three membership criteria was sufficient research capacity in the field of physics, computing and information science. “Our faculties and institutes have very significant capacity in that regard, which is what CERN officials were able to see for themselves during their visit to Croatia. We have also met the requirement of sufficient capacity in innovative industries that offer innovative solutions in engineering, information science and development of new materials. The third requirement refers to the political will of the state, which fully supports these processes through the Ministry and the Science Foundation,” Divjak said.
Croatia’s associate membership of CERN begins in 2019, and Divjak noted that this would offer entirely new opportunities to Croatian researchers, teachers, as well as innovative industries which, she said, would be able to significantly advance their business processes by applying for CERN grants, which amount to 500 million euro annually.
“Some of our companies have already applied for the funding, and now others will have that opportunity, too, notably many smaller IT companies. They have gained access to an entirely new market,” said Divjak.
She noted that CERN’s annual membership fee totalled one million Swiss francs, adding that considering the opening up of new markets, that was not a big amount.
In October 2017, Divjak discussed Croatia’s accession to CERN with its Director-General Fabiolla Gianotti, and a five-member CERN delegation visited Croatia in May this year to establish if Croatia was meeting the membership criteria.
CERN was founded by the European Council for Nuclear Research and is governed by 20 states. It employs around 2,500 people, and some 8,000 researchers from 580 institutions around the globe use its facilities for their research.