ZAGREB, May 28, 2018 – Seventeen grant agreements that are part of a call for investment in state-of-the-art research equipment and infrastructure worth one billion kuna of EU money were signed at the Science and Education Ministry on Monday.
The funds, granted under the programme “Investing in Organisational Reform and Infrastructure in the Research, Development and Innovation Sector”, are the biggest investment in research infrastructure and equipment in the last ten years, government officials and beneficiaries of the grants agreed at the signing ceremony.
Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said that the grants would ensure significant progress in research, help attract young researchers and enhance possibilities for cooperation with foreign researchers and the business sector.
This is the second time in the last six months that we are giving one billion kuna to the science sector, after 760 million kuna invested in research centres of excellence and several projects worth dozens of millions of kuna, Divjak said.
The projects that were granted EU money involve, among other things, development of new food centres and robotics in Zagreb, development of the metal industry in Međimurje County, energy efficiency in Split, and the diagnosis of malignant diseases in Osijek, Divjak said.
She repeated that Croatia would gradually increase investment in research, which now stands at 0.8% of GDP, with the target rate being 1.4% of GDP.
The head of the Central Finance and Contracting Agency Tomislav Petrić said that among the most successful beneficiaries of EU grants in the last few years were the Zagreb Faculty of Machine Engineering and Naval Architecture and Virovitica-Podravina and Međimurje counties.
A total of 22 projects were approved for financing under this tender, of which two were signed in Split in early May, and three more are expected to be signed soon.