Companies Interested in Developing Space Industry in Croatia

Total Croatia News

Croatian companies reach for the skies.

After entrepreneur Mate Rimac sent a letter to Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković expressing his ideas about developing car industry in Croatia, Swiss Space Systems (S3) manager for Croatia Slobodan Bosanac sent to the prime minister a written proposal to support the development of the space industry as well, reports on February 23, 2016.

In May, the government held an initial meeting with the European Space Agency (ESA), but that was it. Bosanac has asked Orešković to urgently establish a Croatian government institution which would be responsible for the space industry. “It does not matter whether it is Croatia’s Space Agency, Croatian Office for the Space or the National Commission on Space, but it is essential to speed up talks with ESA so that Croatian companies can compete for ESA projects”, explains Bosanac.

A month ago, ESA adopted a budget for 2016 worth 5.25 billion euros. ESA will offer part of this money to companies and research institutions from member countries through public tenders for research, production and maintenance of various technologies. “Companies from Croatia cannot use these funds, because we have not yet formally signed an agreement with ESA, and Croatia does not understand that the primary goal of ESA is to support the development of companies which deal with space technologies”, says Bosanac. He has the support of 45 representatives and experts from various companies and institutions, from Croatia and abroad.

Among them is Frane Miloš, chief operating officer of Amphinicy Technologies from Zagreb, which has developed software 20 times faster than the one NASA uses to receive data from satellites. Miloš explains that they do work together with ESA, but only through their daughter company in Luxembourg, which is a member of ESA. “I appeal to the government to start negotiations on Croatian membership in ESA, because Amphinicy and other Croatian companies could then work together with companies from Germany, France, Italy and the UK, and participate in consortia which would be competitive with those coming from the United States and Japan”, says Miloš.

He adds that, if Croatia was a member of ESA, in two years Amphinicy could grow by 50 percent by number of employees and revenues. “In Croatia, we already have companies such as Končar which make various products needed by the aerospace industry”, explains Miloš. Unsurprisingly, among the signatories of the initiative for the space industry development in Croatia are experts from Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Končar Institute for Electrical Engineering, designers of microchips from Systemcom and experts from various institutes and universities. The funds from ESA can only be used by companies coming from member states, which include, in addition to many members of the EU, even Canada.


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