95 Billion Euros in EU Cash On Offer To Croatian Companies

Lauren Simmonds

croatian companies

May the 23rd, 2024 – There is an enormous sum of 95 billion euros on EU funds on offer to Croatian companies.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, under the organisation of STEMwise and IMPULS savjetovanje, the Horizon Europe Summit was held on Wednesday. This conference is on the EU’s Horizon Europe programme, which has more than 95 billion euros for innovation and development. It can be accessed by Croatian companies and institutions involved in development and research projects.

Horizon Europe is a programme through which the European Union provides grants intended for development and research projects. The programme is aimed at promoting scientific excellence, dealing with social challenges such as climate change, and promoting innovation aimed at improving European industry and improving global competitiveness.

The President of the Impuls Consulting Board, Darko Liović, emphasised that in the seven-year period, from 2021 to 2027, the programme will provide a massive 95.5 billion euros for Croatian companies and institutions.

At the same time, Liović encouraged Croatian companies to find potential partners and participate in tenders for centralised grants, because they have great development and innovation potential, as evidenced by the constant growth of foreign investments in the Croatian economy.

only 90 million has been withdrawn by croatian companies thus far

“Croatia has so far withdrawn only 90 million euros from the Horizon Europe programme. By participating in it, companies can have numerous benefits at their immediate disposal – from generous financial resources to connections with other companies across Europe,” explained Liović.

The director of the Directorate for Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Education, Hrvoje Meštrić, added that the position of the current government is to invest 2.5 percent of GDP in research and development by the end of the mandate. On top of that, the strategic goal of the Republic of Croatia is three percent. According to the latest statistics from 2022, 1.43 percent of GDP was invested in research and development, which was a jump of 30 percent compared to 2021,” Meštrić said.

“This means that we’ve had excellent growth, and I expect such growth in the future. This is mainly thanks to the Government and the National Programme for Recovery and Resilience, and the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Cohesion. We’ve now more than 700 million euros for research and development for competitive projects,” said Meštrić.

He added that these projects are an incentive for Croatian scientists and companies engaged in research and development to go to the strongest tenders like Horizon. He emphasised that the projects financed directly from the EU headquarters must have undergone a rigorous, high-quality, scientific evaluation.

Projects applying to Horizon enable the connection of faculties, universities, institutes and research companies with partners in Europe.

RBI and FER are the most successful, as the private sector lags behind

He pointed out that the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) and FER are the institutions that are most successful in using these programmes.

Asked how oriented Croatian companies are to local funds, and how often they directly apply for money from the EU, Petar Gregurić from the STEMwise company said that too few apply for money directly from Brussels.

“Given that national funds for research and development have been extremely high over the last few years, it wasn’t a primary goal for Croatian companies, especially private ones, to get involved in highly competitive centralised EU funds. But now, considering the increase in competition for tenders for national funds, we’ve felt the need and desire to strengthen this component on the market for the last nine or ten months. There’s since been a much greater interest in these centralised EU funds,” said Gregurić, concluding that it isn’t at the expected level quite yet.


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